- A Brooks Brothers suit with two buttons off and a big f—ing booze stain on the front.
- (On Fashion)
- If I'm a snob, I'm a working class snob and that is the best kind.
- I never turned to drink. It seemed to turn to me.
- I ruined my health by drinking to everyone else's.
- It's a queer world but the best we've got to be going on with.
- I wish I was a rich Communist.
- Many of our fears are tissue paper thin, and a single courageous step would carry us clear through them.
- New York is my Lourdes. I go there for spiritual regeneration.
- The only thing I envy in young people is their livers.
- When I came back to Dublin I was courtmartialed in my absence and sentenced to death in my absence, so I said they could shoot me in my absence.
- Well now, I was in a bar in Dublin, and it had one of those coasters. And it said, "Drink Canada Dry," so I thought I'd give it a shot.
- When asked why he visited Canada
- There is a standard story accredited to Brendan Behan while he was lying on his death bed. He is creditted with saying to the ward sister that was tending to him "God bless you sister, may your son grow up to be a bishop."
- Although there is no evidence that Behan actually said this, the following is part of Irish literary folklore.
When asked to define the difference between prose and poetry, Behan is reported as saying:
There was a young fellah named Rollocks
Who worked for Ferrier Pollocks.
As he walked on the Strand
With his girl by the hand
The tide came up to his knees.
Now that’s prose. If the tide had been in, it would have been poetry.
- He is also reputed to have coined the ditty;
Here's a health to the Protestant Minister
And his church withou meaning or faith
For the foundation stones of his temple are
The bollocks of Henry the Eight.
- Behan certainly didn't pen that ditty. My grandmother who was of Irish extraction and born in Tumut in 1870 taught it to me as a small child almost verbatim. She would never have heard of Behan. She attributed it to Robert Emmet though this is highly unlikely as Emmet was himself a Protestant.
- Brendan met Tony O'Reilly in O'Connell Street in Dublin one day and Tony was amazed to find himself talking, not to the amiable tramp he was used to but a shaved and coiffured gentleman dressed in an Armani Suit and sporting a silk tie.
"Heaven's above Brenadan" he said, " Have you given up the drink altogether?"
"NO!" replied Brendan "I have joined alcoholics anonymous - I am drinking under an assumed name!!"