PEADAR Ó DOIRNÍN

Adhlacadh Peadar Ó Doirnín i reilig Urnaí i gContae Ard Mhacha ar an 5ú Aibreán 1769. Bhí sé ar dhuine de na filí ba mhó i gCúige Uladh san ochtú haois déag. Rugadh é in aice le Dún Dealgan i gContae Lú. File agus múinteoir a bhí ann. Deirtear go raibh sé ina ábhar sagairt ach gur éirigh sé as. D’oibrigh sé mar mhúinteoir baile. Chum sé ‘Úrchnoc Chéin Mhic Cáinte.’ Deirtear gur chaill sé a phost toisc gur thug na tagairtí collaí sa dán scannal do dhaoine. Creideann daoine áirithe gur scríobh sé ‘Mná na hÉireann’, ach creideann scoláirí eile gur chum Nioclás Ó Cearnaigh é. Chuir Seán Ó Riada ceol ar an amhrán agus rinne Kate Bush taifead de. Níl saol seilfe ag ár n-amhráin thraidisiúnta. Faoi dheireadh bhunaigh Ó Doirnín scoil dá chuid féin i bhFoirceal, Contae Ard Mhacha. Fuair sé bás ina sheomra ranga ansin. Déanann Seosamh Ó Grianna cur síos maoithneach ar bhás an fhile ina ghearrscéal ‘Codladh an Mháistir’.Tá suas le daichead dán de chuid Uí Dhoirnín ar fáil go fóill.

Tá dánta a scríobh filí móra Shasana léite ag achan duine sa tír seo. Ach cé a léann Ó Doirnín, Cathal Buí Mac Giolla Ghunna, Séamus Dall Mac Cuarta agus na filí Ultacha eile? Coimpléacs íochtaránachta atá i gceist. Dúirt Art Hughes, léachtóir in Ollscoil Uladh, ag Éigse Cholm Cille ar na mallaibh gur chóir cnuasach d’fhilíocht Uladh a fhoilsiú do scoileanna. Aontaím leis go huile is go hiomlán .Chuir bean a rugadh agus a tógadh i Sasana – ‘Éireannach den dara glúin’ - chuir sí spéis sa Ghaeilge agus rinne sí ‘cnag’ domhanda de ‘Mná na hÉireann’. Idir an dá linn, ar ais sa seantír, tá an teanga ar an dé deiridh de bharr easpa suime agus easpa tacaíochta ar gach leibhéal.

PEADAR Ó DOIRNÍN

Peadar Ó Doirnín was buried in Urnaí graveyard in County Armagh on 5 April 1769. He was one of Ulster’s greatest 18th century poets. He was born near Dundalk in County Louth. He was a teacher and a poet. It was said that he studied for priesthood, but that he gave up his studies. He worked as a tutor. He composed ‘Úrchnoc Chéin Mhic Cáinte’. It is said that he lost his job because people were shocked by the earthy references in the poem. Some people believe that he wrote ‘Mná na hÉireann’, but other scholars believe that it was composed by Nioclás Ó Cearnaigh. Seán Ó Riada put the poem to music and Kate Bush recorded it. Our traditional songs don’t have a shelf life. Eventually Ó Doirnín established his own school in Forkhill, in County Armagh. He died there in his classroom. Seosamh Mac Grianna gives an emotional account of the poet’s death in his short story ‘Teacher’s Death’. Around forty of Ó Doirnín’s poems survive.

Everyone in this country has read poems of the great English poets. But who reads Ó Doirnín, Cathal Buí Mac Giolla Ghunna, Séamus Dall Mac Cuarta and the other Ulster poets? We suffer from an inferiority complex. Art Hughes, a lecturer in the University of Ulster said recently at Éigse Cholmcille that an anthology of Ulster poetry should be published for schools. I am in total agreement. A woman born and reared in England- ‘second generation Irish’- took an interest in the language and made a world ‘hit’ of ‘Mná na hÉireann. Meanwhile, back in the old country, the language is on its last legs through lack of interest and lack of support.