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Photo: Louis de Paor

The Barra Ó Donnabháin Memorial Lecture: Dr. Louis de Paor

Saturday, March 9th, 2013, 6:30 p.m.

at Glucksman Ireland House NYU

Professor Louis de Paor will deliver the Eight Annual Barra ó Donnabháin Memorial Lecture on the topic of the poet Liam S. Gógan. Perhaps the most neglected Irish language poet of the twentieth century, Gógan was the most significant poet writing in Irish between 1916 and the early 1940s. An unapologetic Irish republican, he was the first paid secretary of the Irish Volunteers and a trenchant critic of the failure of successive Irish governments to fulfill the ideals of the Easter Rising. A key contributor to Dineen's dictionary, he had a detailed knowledge of the Irish language and its literature as well as a high degree of competence in classical and contemporary European literature, art and language. This lecture will provide a historical and critical context for a close reading of Gógan's work, with a particular emphasis on his insistence that poets in Irish should not restrict themselves to the spoken language of the Gaeltacht which, he argued, was inadequate to a twentieth-century urban sensibility.

Prof. Louis de Paor, Director of the Centre for Irish Studies at the National University of Ireland, Galway is a multi-award winner of the Oireachtas literary competitions and holds his PhD in Modern Irish from the National University of Ireland.

This annual lecture was established by Glucksman Ireland House in 2006 to commemorate Barra Ó Donnabháin, a beloved and influential teacher and advocate of the language. Ó Donnabháin, from Leap, Co. Cork, took a degree in Irish and Latin at University College, Cork and immigrated to the US in 1963. One of the leading Irish linguists in the tri-state area, Barra wrote an Irish language column in the Irish Echo for many years as well as contributing essays and articles to a variety of other publications. In 2008 Daltaí na Gaeilge published a bilingual collection of 32 of his essays, Súil Siar: Cnuasach Aistí le Barra Ó Donnabháin, edited and translated by Hilary Mhic Suibhne, Irish language lecturer at NYU, and Eileen Zurrell.


Labhróidh an Dr Louis de Paor faoin bhfile Liam S. Gogan ag an ochtú léacht bhliantúil i ndilchuimhne ar Barra Ó Donnabháin. Bhí Gógan ar dhuine de na filí is tábhachtaí in Éirinn idir 1916 agus tús na 1940í ach tá a cháil imithe i léig go mór ó cailleadh é in 1979. Ba phoblachtach neamhleithscéalach é, an chéad rúnaí ar thuarastal a bhí ag Óglaigh na hÉireann, agus ba mhinic é ina chuid dánta agus aistí ag cáineadh pholaiteooirí na hÉireann a bhí tréis idéil Éirí Amach 1916 a thréigint, dar leis. Bhí Gogan oilte i gcúrsaí ealaíne, litríochta agus teangan na mór-roinne agus i ngach cuid de stair litríochta na Gaeilge. Míneoidh léacht an Phaoraigh do léitheoirí díograiseacha na linne seo an cúlra casta taobh thiar de shaothar Gogan, go mór mhór an tslí ar dhiúltaigh sé glacadh leis gur cheart go mbeadh friotal na filíochta bonn ar bhonn le caint na ndaoine agus teanga bheo na Gaeltachta. Chreid Gogan go gcaithfí athchóiriú a dhéanamh ar an nGaeilge chun í a chur in oiriúint do shaol nua-aimseartha na cathrach agus an seancheangal le litríocht agus aigne na hEorpa a athbheochan.

Introduction by Professor Joe Lee, Professor Pádraig Ó Cearúill, and Professor Hilary Mhic Suibhne.

The lecture is bilingual in English and Irish.

Free admission.

In order to ensure a seat at events, please RSVP to 212-998-3950 (option 3) or email ireland.house@nyu.edu, except for the Blarney Star Concert Series which does not accept reservations.

Immediately before the Eighth Annual Barra Ó Donnabháin Lecture, the NYU Irish language faculty will lead an Irish language immersion day intended for speakers of all levels, including beginners!

All events are supported by members of Glucksman Ireland House. Become a member.