(1837–1874), journalist and poet. Born and educated in Limerick, he joined the Catholic Universal News in London in 1860. He returned to Dublin briefly as a staff writer on The Nation, 1861–2. In 1863–4 he edited the Fenian journal The Irish People, and then moved on to The Tablet, 1865–8. A novel about the swindler John Sadlier and another on land agents and evictions appeared in The Nation and The Lamp respectively in the early 1870s. His Memoirs of the Irish Franciscans (1871) commemorates the Counter-Reformation in Ireland. Richard Dowling edited his Poems (1891) for the Irish Literary Society. O'Donnell's work shows surprising modernity of feeling, especially in the self-questioning monologues that express a sense of alienation common to many Irishmen living in England.
From The Concise Oxford Companion to Irish Literature in Oxford Reference.