Denny Lane, one of the most popular of the young Ireland leaders, and the writer of the two well-known poems, “Kate of Araglen” and ” Lament of the Irish Maiden,” was born in Cork on the 7th of December, 1818, the only child of Maurice Lane, proprietor of the Glyntown Distillery, Riverstown, Cork.
The two poems mentioned appeared in The Nation- the first on the 12th October, 1844, and the second on the 15th February, 1845, over the signature “Donall Na Glanna” and “Doinnall Na Glenna.” “Kate of Arraglen” became his wife. Lane received his early education at Hamblin and Porter’s well-known school in Queen’s Street, Cork. Entering Trinity College on the 18th January , 1836, he took out his B.A. degree in 1839, and was called to the Bar in the Trinity Term 1840, when he was living at No.8 Hume Street, Dublin.
Lane, who had been a member of the Repeal Association, and intimately associated with Thomas Davis, identified himself with the Young Irelanders after the secession from Conciliation Hall in 1846, and when the Habeas Corpus Act was suspended in July, 1848, he was arrested and imprisoned. After four months’ confinement he was released without trial. For many years he took a prominent part in literary movements in his native city; and also interested himself in promoting industrial development. For many years he was Managing Director of the Cork Gas Company, and also filled the position of President of the Institute of Gas Engineers in 1887 and 1893. On one occasion he addressed a body of French engineers in their own tongue.
Lane was deeply interested in Science and Art. He was Chairman of the School of Science, and frequently lectured to Art students in the city. “Then and Now” was the title of an address which he delivered as President of the Cork Literary and Scientific Society at the opening of the 52nd session in 1885. It was described as “a luminous survey of general literature as it existed during the years which witnessed the establishment of, the Society, with special references to the literary genius of Cork.”
Throwing in his lot with the Home Rule Party, Lane stood as a Parliamentary candidate, but was defeated in a triangular contest owing to the splitting of the Nationalist vote between himself and John Daly. He filled the positions of Chairman of the Macroom Railway Co, and Director of the Blackrock and Passage Railway Co.
Denny Lane died in his 77th year, a highly respected citizen of Cork, at his residence, No.72 South Mall, on the 29th November, 1895, and was buried in the Matehy cemetery, near Blarney.