Book Chapter


Meidhbhín Ní Úrdail



great famine clare irish society irish language nineteenth century irish manuscripts raghallaigh m che l social commentary

An t-ár agus an t-ocras: a Clare scribe's response to the Great Famine (2019)

Abstract MÍCHEÁL Ó RAGHALLAIGH, alias Michael O’Reilly, has come to be associated with Ennistymon in the northwest barony of Corcomroe, Co. Clare. Published accounts of him include a brief mention in an overview of the poets of that county published by T. F. O’Rahilly as well as those by Pádraig Ó Fiannachta and Eilís Ní Dheá. Pádraig de Brún has suggested that the ‘Michael Reilly’ employed as a teacher for the Clare district by the Irish Society in 1826 is perhaps the same as our scribe. In light of a colophon written in 1855 in which Ó Raghallaigh tells his reader that he was seventy years of age, he was born in 1785 or 1786. Moreover, according to a note by a fellow scribe, Domhnall Mac Consaidín (fl. c.1845–1876) of Kilnamona in the barony of Inchiquin, it appears that Ó Raghallaigh may have been a native of Co. Cavan and it would seem that he died in 1856. Indeed, if we are to believe what George Macnamara mentioned in passing in an article on the O’Davorens of Cahermacnaghten in northwest Clare, it was a particularly gruesome death, Ó Raghallaigh having been ‘poisoned by rat-poison, probably arsenic, accidentally put in a cake of which he partook, sometime in the early fifties of the last [i.e. nineteenth] century, and his books and MSS. were scattered to the four winds of heaven’.
Collections Ireland -> University College Dublin -> School of Irish, Celtic Studies and Folklore
Ireland -> University College Dublin -> Irish, Celtic Studies and Folklore Research Collection
Ireland -> University College Dublin -> College of Arts and Humanities

Full list of authors on original publication

Meidhbhín Ní Úrdail

Experts in our system

Meidhbhín Ní Úrdail
University College Dublin
Total Publications: 43