Dr Tomás Mac Síomóin (born 1938) is an Irish doctoral graduate of Cornell University, New York, who has worked as a biological researcher and university lecturer in the USA and Ireland. He has worked as a journalist, as editor of the newspaper Anois and for many years he was editor of the literary and current affairs magazine, Comhar . He writes in Irish and has published both poetry and fiction in that language.
He was born in Dublin. His story Cinn Lae Seangáin (“The Diary of an Ant”) won the award for best short story collection in the Oireachtas 2005 competition, while in the following year his novel An Tionscadal (“The Project”) won the main Oireachtas literary award.
His poems, stories, articles and translations from Catalan and Spanish have appeared in diverse publications. His novel, Ceallaigh (2009), was written in Cuba; it challenges some common assumptions about contemporary Cuban life and history.
His work has been translated into many languages, most recently into Slovenian, Romanian and Catalan. He now lives and works in Catalonia.
Although Irish has been used as a literary language for more than 1,500 years, and modern literature in Irish dates – as in most European languages – to the 16th century, modern Irish literature owes much of its popularity to the 19th century Gaelic Revival cultural movement. Writers in Irish have since produced some of the most interesting literature to come out of Ireland, supplemented by work produced in the language abroad.
Máirtín Ó Cadhain was one of the most prominent Irish language writers of the twentieth century. Perhaps best known for his 1949 work Cré na Cille, Ó Cadhain played a key role in bringing literary modernism to contemporary Irish language literature. Politically, he was an Irish nationalist and socialist, promoting the Athghabháil na hÉireann, through Gaelic culture. He was a member of the post-Civil War Irish Republican Army with Brendan Behan during the Emergency.
Séamus Ó Néill, (1910–1981), was an Irish writer from Clarkhill, Castlewellan, County Down, Ireland. Following a primary degree from Queen's University, Belfast, he did historical research under Eoin MacNeill at University College, Dublin. He spent periods as editor of the journals An Iris and Comhar.
Ulster Irish is the variety of Irish spoken in the province of Ulster. It "occupies a central position in the Gaelic world made up of Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man". Ulster Irish thus has more in common with Scottish Gaelic and Manx. Within Ulster there have historically been two main sub-dialects: West Ulster and East Ulster. The Western dialect is spoken in County Donegal and once was in parts of neighbouring counties, hence the name Donegal Irish. The Eastern dialect was spoken in most of the rest of Ulster and northern parts of counties Louth and Meath.
Connacht Irish is the dialect of the Irish language spoken in the province of Connacht. Gaeltacht regions in Connacht are found in Counties Mayo and Galway (notably in parts of Connemara and on the Aran Islands. The dialects of Irish in Connacht are extremely diverse, with the pronunciation, forms and lexicon being different even within each county. The irish of South Connemara is often considered the "standard" Connacht irish owing to the number of speakers however it is unique within Connacht and has a lot more idiomatic connection to extinct dialects in North Clare. Words such as "dubh" and snámh tend to be pronounced with a Munster accent in South Connemara whereas in Joyce Country, Galway City and Mayo they are pronounced with the Ulster pronunciation. In addition to this the standard in Connacht would be to pronounce the words "leo" and "dóibh" as "leofa" and "dófa" however in South Connemara and Aran they are pronounced "Leothab" and "dóib". Lexical and pronunciation differences exist within Mayo with Tourmakeady featuring an "í" sound in vowel endings much more commonly. In addition to this the lexicon of Dún Chaocháin to the east of Belmullet tends to be far more Ulster influenced than that of Eachléim and there is a huge Ulster influence on the dialect of North Mayo in general owing to historic migration. The Irish of Eachréidh na Gaillimhe and Dúiche Sheoigheach tend to share more phonetic commonalities with neighbouring Mayo than with South Connemara
Munster Irish is the dialect of the Irish language spoken in the province of Munster. Gaeltacht regions in Munster are found in the Gaeltachtaí of the Dingle Peninsula in west County Kerry, in the Iveragh Peninsula in south Kerry, in Cape Clear Island off the coast of west County Cork, in Muskerry West; Cúil Aodha, Ballingeary, Ballyvourney, Kilnamartyra, and Renaree of central County Cork; and in an Rinn and an Sean Phobal in Gaeltacht na nDéise in west County Waterford.
Louis de Paor is a well-known poet in the Irish language. Born in Cork in 1961 and educated at Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh, de Paor edited the Irish language journal Innti, founded in 1970 by Michael Davitt, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Liam Ó Muirthile and Gabriel Rosenstock. He was awarded a PhD in Modern Irish from the National University of Ireland in 1986 for his thesis on Máirtín Ó Cadhain.
Pádraig Ó Snodaigh is an Irish language activist, poet, writer and publisher. He worked for the Irish Electricity Supply Board, and later in the National Museum of Ireland. He is a former president of Conradh na Gaeilge, the Gaelic League.
Comhar is a prominent literary journal in the Irish language, published by the company Comhar Teoranta. It was founded in 1942, and has published work by some of the most notable writers in Irish, including Máirtín Ó Cadhain, Seán Ó Ríordáin, Máirtín Ó Direáin, Máire Mhac an tSaoi and Brendan Behan. Comhar also publishes books in Irish.
Breandán Ó hEithir was an Irish writer and broadcaster.
Leon Ó Broin was an Irish civil servant, known as a writer and playwright. He wrote many plays, stories and historical works in both English and Irish.
Seán Ó Tuama was an Irish poet, playwright and academic.
Cathal Ó Searcaigh, is a modern Irish language poet. His work has been widely translated, anthologised and studied. "His confident internationalism", according to Theo Dorgan, has channelled "new modes, new possibilities, into the writing of Irish language poetry in our time".
Seán Mac Giollarnáth was an Irish folklorist.
Coiscéim is a prolific Dublin-based Irish-language publisher founded by writer, historian and language activist Pádraig Ó Snodaigh in 1980. With over 1,500 titles Coiscéim have published the largest number of titles amongst the 26 other Irish language publishers.
Seán Mac Mathúna is an Irish writer whose work has been published in both Irish and English.
Biddy Jenkinson is an Irish poet, short story writer and dramatist who writes in the Irish language. She was born in 1949 in Dublin and attended University College Cork. She has published several collections of verse, two collections of short stories and two plays.
Áine Ní Ghlinn is a bilingual Irish journalist, poet, playwright and children's writer. She is the current Laureate na nÓg, 2020—2022, the first to write exclusively in Irish.
Writer Diarmuid Johnson (1965) was born in Cardiff (Wales), and brought up in Galway (Ireland). He holds BA, MA and PhD degrees in Celtic Studies. He has published poetry and prose in Irish, Welsh and English.
Liam Ó Muirthile was a prominent Irish-language poet who also wrote plays and novels, he was also a journalist. Ó Muirthile originally came to the fore as a member of a group of poets from University College Cork who collaborated in the journal Innti in the late 1960s.