Pádraigín Haicéad (An tAth.)


Life
?1600-1654; b. an orphan, probably nr. Cashel Co. Tipperary; protégé of the Butlers of Kilcash; ed. Dominican Convents of Coleraine and Limerick; at St. Anthony’s College, Louvain, 1628; holy orders; returned to Ireland, late 1630s; prior in Cashel, c.1637; assoc. with Gaelic Party and Papal Nuncio Rinuccini in Rebellion of 1641; sided with the nuncio against compromise of Confederation of Kilkenny with Ormond,
 
he wrote poems calling for rebellion and excoriating traitors to the Irish cause; returned to Louvain after 1646; isolated there Louvain during latter years; continued his political correspondence with Rinucinni, urging Catholic determination in Ireland; came under investigation for his ‘audacia’ in a dispute over rotating the headship of college; suffered posthumous judgement against him in the Dominican Order; d. ?Cashel. DIW FDA OCIL

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Criticism
An t-Athair Pádraigín Hacéad
, ed. Tadhg Ó Donnchadhda (Dublin 1916); Máire Ní Cheallacháin, ed., Filíocht Phádraigín Haicéad (1962); Seán Ó Tuama, Cathrúnan Phádraigín Haicéad, in The Irish Review, 23 (Winter 1998), pp.1-23. SEE also translation-versions by Michael Hartnett, Haicéad (Gallery Press 1993); Seán Ó Tuama, ‘Ceathrúna Phádraigín Haicéad’, in The Irish Review, 23, 1 (Dec. 1998), pp.1-23.

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Commentary
Seán Ó Tuama, ‘Gaelic Culture in Crisis, The Literary Response, 1600-1850’, in Gearoid ó Tuathaig, et. al. eds., Irish Studies, A General Introduction (Macmillan 1980), pp.33-35 [remarks on Haicéad], Old English, b. north of Cashel, close links with Earls of Dunboyne; his cousin the third earl of Dunbyne consciously resisted Anglicisation; received poem from Haicéad when he suffered a severe leg injury; ‘to judge from Hacéad’s eulogies, even the third Earl did not think of offering opposition to British political hegemony in Ireland’; ed. Louvain, imbued with hatred of Protestant ‘heresy’; very much the truculent cleric in poems urging people to unite in holy war; deeply embittered by jettisoning of Catholic cause; ‘The are evil progeny of their mother [Ireland]/they are dishonourable sons in remote places./they are a heap of excrement from a leper house;/they are vipers in our breast’; wrote no religious or didactic poem; no basic aversion to British politic presence in Ireland; for Haicéad the chief cultural mark of distinctiveness between Ireland and England had become that of religion, and special political arrangements had become necessary to pretext that distinctiveness; these arrangements having failed, he spent his last sad years back in Louvain meditating savagely on heretics. Ó Tuama also draws attention to the haunting eighteenth c. Irish folk poem, ‘Cill Chais/Kilcash’, An Duanaire, No. 90.

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Michael Hartnett, Haicéad (Gallery 1993), Introduction: ‘The above paragraph is but a précis of a life full of rage and patriotism; of the life of a poet-priest capable of delicate conceits, of puns and tenderness, of savage poems inciting to war and carnage; of the life of a Gaelic poet who could lament in moving language the deaths of his adopted chieftains; of the life of a poet-priest who left no prayers of repentance and whose last verses brought curses down on his fellow clergymen.’ Hartnett further expresses the hope that the reader ‘will not be led away from but towards the real Haicéad’. He worked directly from Máire ní Cheallacháin’s 1962 edn. of the poems, indicating that she provided him with a literal translation and oversaw the work for two years.

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References
Seamus Deane, gen. ed., The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (Derry: Field Day 1991), Vol. 1,, BIOG, 325-6; also selects ‘The Emigrant’s Love for Ireland’, 283; ‘The Marigold’, 183-84; ‘Máire’s Death’, 284-85.

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