'Literature of Irish Exile' Autumn School, 20 October 2007
Ó Muraíle - Keynote speaker at the LIE 2007
Muraíle, is an Irish historian who published an acclaimed edition of
Dubhaltach Mac Fhirbhisigh's Leabhar na nGenealach in 2004.
Life and career
A native of Knock, County Mayo, Ó Muraíle attended National University
of Ireland, Maynooth where he was a postgraduate student enrolled for a Phd.
Placenames Officer with the Ordinance Survey of Ireland 1972-1993. Reader in
Irish and Celtic Studies at Queen's University Belfast to 2004. Senior Lecturer
at the School of Irish, National University of Ireland, Galway from 2005. Married
to Tresa Ní Chianáin with children Róisín and Pádraic.
Lives in Dublin.
Ó Muraíle and Mac Fhirbhisigh
In 1971, at the suggestion of an tAithair Tomás Ó Fiach (later
Tomás Cardinal Ó Fiaich), then Professor of Modern History at
Maynooth, Ó Muraíle began work on Dubhaltach Mac Fhirbhisigh's
Leabhar na nGenealach. This was continued under the directior of Professor of
Old and Middle Irish, an tAthair Pádraig Ó Fiannachta.
Upon joining the Placenames Branch of the Ordnance Survey in late 1972, Ó
Muraíle had already translated over one hundred pages, albeit from Eugene
O'Curry's copy. Access to the autograph of Leabhar na nGenealach however remained
difficult; only on 28 August 1979, at University College Dublin's new home of
Belfield, was he able to begin transcription of the original, which he finished
on 10 September 1981. It had taken a total of 88 sessions in UCD Special Collections
Typing began in late 1982 and was complete by 4 September 1984. By early 1988,
after much tedious work, the Cumire was also successfully in transcript. His
PhD dissertation, submitted in September 1991 on the life, background and work
of Mac Fhirbhisigh, was fully two volumes totally 1,086 pages.
Early in 1998, Ó Muraíle was approached by fellow Mayoman, Eamonn
de Burca, with an offer to publish his edition of Leabhar na nGenealach. De
Burca insisted on a full translation of the text into English (with the original
Irish text on the facing page) in opposition to Ó Muraíle's wish
to publish with Irish text only. De Burca prevailed, and the book, titled The
Great Book of Irish Genealogies, was published in five volumes (vols. IV and
V alone consisting of indices) in 2004, with ver 3,100 pages in a full buckram
gilt presentation box. It remains Ó Muraíle single greatest contribution
to Irish scholarship, and has being described as one of the the most important
contributions to Irish history ever.
The following is a provisional list of Ó Muraíle's publications.
- An Outline
History of Co. Mayo, pp. 10-35, in Mayo: Aspects of its Heritage, ed. Bernard
O'Hara, 1982. ISBN 0 9508233 0 9.
- Mayo Placesnames,
pp. 55-83, same publication.
- The Principal
Surnames of Mayo,, page 83, same publication.
- Aois na Lámhscribhinni
Móra, in The Maynooth Review, No.9, pp.42-72, 1983.
- The Barony-Names
of Fermanagh and Monaghan, in Clougher Record, No.s 11-13, pp. 387-402,
- The Gaelic
personal name (an) Dubhaltach, in Anim No. 2, pp.1-26, 1987.
- The Autograph
Manuscrips of the Annals of the Four Masters, in Celtica No. 19, pp.75-95,
- Leabhar Ua
Maine alias Leabhair Uí Dhubhagáin, in Éigse No.2,
pp. 167-195, 1989.
- The Carneys
of Connacht in Sages, Saints and Storytellers: Celtic Studies in Honour
of Professor James Carney, pp.342-357, ed. Ó Corráin, Breatnach
and McCone, Maynooth, 1989. ISBN 1 870684 07 9.
- A page from
Mac Fhir Bhisigh's "Genealogies", in Celtica No. 21, pp.533-560,
Breathnach (1885-1941), Sagart, Saoi is Seanchaí, in Léachtaí
Cholmcille No.23, pp.81-120, 1992.
- The Irish
genealolgies as an onomastic source, in Nomina No.16, pp.23-47, 1992.
na Seanórach, in Léachtaí Cholmcille No.25, pp.96-127,
- Aspects Intellectual
Life in Seventeenth Century Galway, in Galway:History and Society, ed Gerard
Moran and Raymond Gillespie, pp.149-211, 1996. ISBN 0 90 660 75 0.
Mac Fhirbhisigh and County Galway, in "Journal of the Galway Archaeological
and Historical Society," pp. 23-35, Vol. 49, 1997.
- Some Early
Connacht Population Groups, in Seachas: Studies in Early and Medieval Irish
Archaeology, History and Literature in Honour of Francis J. Byrne, ed. Alfred
P. Smyth, Four Courts Press, Dublin, pp.161-177, 2000. ISBN 1 85182 489
and Placenames in Gaelic Ireland c.1250-c.1650: Land, Lordship and Settlement,"
Patrick J. Duffy, David Edwards and Elizabeth FitzPatrick (eds.), pp. 223-245,
Four Courts Press, 2001. ISBN 1 85182 800 1 pbk.
and Other Places of the Name, in The Kingship and Landscape of Tara, ed.
Edel Bhreathnach, Four Courts Press, Dublin, pp.449-477, 2005. ISBN 1851829547.
- Mayo Places:
Their Names and Origins, 1985.
- The Celebrated
Antiquary: Dubhaltach Mac Fhirbhisigh (c.1600-1671) - His Life, Lineage
and Learning, An Sagart, Maynooth, 2003. ISBN 1903896 05 3; ISSN 0 790 8806.
- Irish Leaders
and Learning Though the Ages, Paul Walsh: Essays collected, edited and introduced
by Nollaig Ó Muraile, 2003. ISBN 1-85182-543-6.
- The Great
Book of Irish Genealogies, Dubhaltach Mac Fhirbhish: Edited, with translation
and indices by Nollaig Ó Muraíle Five volumes. Dublin, DeBurca,
2004. ISBN 0 946130 36 1.
and reader to The Encylopaedia of Ireland, general editior Brian Lalor,
Gill & MacMillian, 2003. ISBN 0 7171 3000 2.
For more information,
Tel: 028 8225 6315
Fax: 028 8224 2241