Irish Language

Tá an bailiúchán Gaeilge i Leabharlann agus Cartlann Chuimhneacháin an Chairdinéil Tomás Ó Fiaich bunaithe ar na leabhair, na scríbhinní agus an bailiúchán lámhscríbhinne a bhí ag an chairdinéal nach maireann. Bhí speis ar leith ag Tomás Ó Fiaich i dtraidisiúin lámhscríbhinne agus filíochta a cheantair dhúchais i ndeisceart Uladh. Ba chainteoir Gaeilge líofa é óna óige agus tá a ghrá do thraidisiún filíochta Oirghialla sofheicthe sna hábhair atá sa chartlann seo.

The Cardinal’s interest in the south Ulster poets centred on the political and social background that set them apart from their predecessors. There had been no substantial poetic tradition in this area before the seventeenth century. However, as the Ulster plantation and the subsequent Cromwellian confiscations brought about the destruction of the aristocratic patronage of the professional Gaelic poets across Ulster, poetry was embraced by families previously outside of this elite. The styles of the emerging new Gaelic poetry drew upon the lives of the ordinary person rather than a classical tradition. Many of these new poets were probably immigrants into the area of south Armagh, Louth, Monaghan, south Down and north Meath. Land and religion formed the thematic character of their poetry which reflected the simple day to day events of rural society.

Tháinig an traidisiúin sin i mbláth i rith an ochtú aois déag agus an naoú aois déag trí obair fhilí éagsúla maraon le Peadar Ó Doirnín, Séamas Dall Mac Cuarta, Cathal Buí Mac Giolla Ghunna, Aodh MacDomhnaill, Nioclás Ó Cearnaigh agus Art Mac Bionaid. B’é an tAthair Luke Donnellan a bhailigh beagnach gach lámhscríbhinn a bhaineann leis na filí Oirghialla seo atá sa chartlann. Rugadh é in aice le Crois Mhic Lionnáin in Ard Mhacha theas agus oirníodh é i Maigh Nuad i 1902 sula thosaigh sé a mhinistreacht i bparóistí éagsúla in Ard-Deoise Ardmhacha. Chomh maith leis sin bhailigh an Chairdinéal Ó Fiaich féin roinnt lámhscríbhinní a coinníodh i gColáiste Naomh Pádraig, Maigh Nuad ar feadh blianta. Tugadh an saothar seo ina iomláine ar ais go Cúige Uladh agus tá anois mar chroílár chnuasach na lámhscribhínní in CÓFLA.

Two other items in the cardinal’s own collection are extremely interesting. The first of these is a life of St. Patrick which appears to have been transcribed in the late eighteen century. The second is an illuminated Book of Hours which the great Patrician scholar Ludwig Bieler dated to the late sixteenth century. These are complimented by additional material on the Oriel poets gathered by the famous nineteenth century historian and antiquarian Monsignor James O’Laverty. His collection also includes music and a large quantity of notes on the origins of Irish surnames.

Several other important manus were collected by Fr. Lorcán Ó Muireadhaigh including an Irish translation of the prayer book Parrthas an Anma, two eighteenth century versions of the religious work Tirí Biorghaoithe an Bhais (Geoffery Keating’s Three Shafts of Death), an eighteenth century Life of Christ in Irish, a copy of the seventeenth century lament Tuireamh na hÉireann and a copy of Samuel Nielsons’ Introduction to the Irish Language. This was widely used by the Presbyterian community in Belfast involved in the revival of the Irish language there in the nineteenth century.

 

 

19th century manuscript                       20th century newspaper

Cardinal Toms Fiaich Library
15 Moy Road
Armagh
BT61 7LY
Northern Ireland

Tel: +44 28 3752 2981
Director: Roddy.Hegarty@ofiaich.ie

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