Trinity College Celebrates Beckett’s Birthday

Posted on: 13 April 2006

To mark the birthday of one of Trinity College’s most famous graduates and his association with the College, Samuel Beckett’s niece, Caroline Beckett Murphy unveiled an inscribed stone in his honour outside House 39 in TCD  today (Thursday 13 April).

Samuel Beckett lived on campus in House 39 as a student from October 1926 to January 1928. He distinguished himself academically, winning a foundation scholarship which entitled him to free meals at commons, rooms on campus at half the normal rate, and reduced fees. Beckett graduated with a first in Modern Languages. While studying, he represented the College in cricket, played golf and chess and joined the Motor Cycle Club and the Historical Society.

He resumed residency in House 39 from October 1930 to December 1931 after he returned from France to lecture in French. However because he was unable to take to academic life, his last sojourn here was not the happiest of times for him as he struggled to face what he considered the torments of lecturing.

Beckett was conferred with an Honorary Degree by the University in 1959, the only one he ever accepted. In 1986 as part of his 80th birthday celebrations, he agreed to the naming of the Samuel Beckett Theatre as a tribute to his legacy to the College.

Commissioned from the sculptor Stuart McGrath through the Beckett Centenary Festival Committee, the memorial plaque is carved from Hopton Stone. It was grant-aided by the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism.