Criostóir Ó Floinn

Life
1927- [var. O’Flynn]; b. Limerick, son of coalman and saxophonist father; ed. locally and TCD; worked as primary school teacher teacher; author of a poem on Sean South (“Maraíodh Sean Sabhat Aréir”); Lá Dá bhFaca Thú (1955) Cóta Bán Chríost (1966), winner of Oireachtas drama prize; and The Order of Melchizedek (Dublin Theatre Festival, 1967), and dealing with a priest’s whose visitor claims she has conceived on Christmas Eve; sacked from primary school by the local parish priest in a scrawled letter; worked at general jobs in Liverpool; attended Salzburg Seminars; issued Land of the Living (q.d.), Learairí Lios an Phúca (1968), and Is É a Dúirt Polonius (1973), a morality play; briefly employed by Bord Fáilte; taken on by Christian Brothers; Mise Raifteirí an File (1974), an ‘absurdist’ piece which incls. Douglas Hyde as a character; At the Dun Laoghaire Lighthouse (1978) is a narrative poem; An Taibhdhearc, Galway, opened with An Spalpín Fánach (17 March 1988); also There is an Isle: A Limerick Childhood (1998), an autobiography, with a sequel, Consplawkus (1999), the title being an expression of his grandmother’s; Final Pages: A Writer’s Life (2000); The Easter Rising (2004), poetry sequence - poss. trans. of 1967 work - and The Heart Has Its Reasons (2004), stories. DIW OCIL

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Works
Fiction, Lá Dá bhFaca Thú (1955), Learairí Lios an Phúca (1968); Sanctuary Island and Other Stories (1971); Mair, a Chapaill (1980); The Heart Has Its Reasons (Obelisk Books 2004), 210pp. .

Poetry, Eirí Amach na Cásca 1916 (1967); Oineachlann (1968); Aisling Dhá Abhann (1977); Bananas (1977); Aisling Dhá Abhann (1977); At the Dun Laoghaire Lighthouse (1978); Centenary (1985); Criostoir O’Flynn, The Easter Rising: A Poem Sequence (Obelisk Books 2004), 52pp.

Drama, Cóta Bán Chríost (1966); Is É a Dúirt Polonius (1973) [morality play]; Aggiornamento (1969); Mise Raifteirí an File (1974); Solas an tSaoil (1980); Homo Sapiens (1985); Three Plays: Land of the Living, The Order of Melchizedek and Homo Sapiens (Obelisk Books 2001), 268pp.

Miscellaneous, [ed.,] Irish Comic Poems (Galway: Cló Chonnachta 1995), 191pp.; ed., Seacláidí Van Gogh (BAC: Coiscéim 1996), 70pp.; ed., Blind Raftery (Galway: Cló Chonnachta 1997) [bilingual anthol.].

Autobiography, There is an Isle: A Limerick Childhood (Cork: Mercier Press 1998), 350pp.; Consplawkus: A Writer’s Life (Cork: Mercier Press 1999): Final Pages: A Writer’s Life (Cork: Mercier Press 2000), 192pp.

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Criticism
Damien Ó Muirí, ‘Drámaí Chríostóra Uí Fhloinn’, Léachtaí Cholm Cille, 10 (1979), [q.p.]; George O’Brien, review of There is an Isle: A Limerick Childhood, in Irish Times (28 April 1998), [infra]; Rita Kelly, review of Blind Raftery, ed Croistoir Ó Floinn, in Books Ireland (April 1999), pp.96f. [infra].

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Commentary
George O’Brien, review of There is an Isle: A Limerick Childhood, in Irish Times (28 April 1998), [q.p.] quotes: ‘I thank God I was privileged to grow up in that community and in those years’; ‘the waffling inanities of the homily at mass nowadays’; ‘very decent man Eamon de Valera’ rugby was played ‘ by the working-class [sic] as well as by the types who play it anywhere else’; O’Brien discerns ‘a lineal descendant of the Citizen in his glory hole.’

Rita Kelly, review of edition of Blind Raftery, ed Croistoir Ó Floinn (1998); with some reproaches regarding his dismissive attitude towards Brendan Behan’s versions of his poetry. (Books Ireland, April 1999, pp.96f.). Reviewer quotes Ó Floinn’s remarks on his own play Mise Rafterí an File, in which he ‘give[s] Douglas Hyde the opportunity to chastise the flippant Dublin jackeen [viz., Behan] who thus misused his literary talents to misrepresent poor blind Raftery ad delectationem stultorum (”for the amusement of fools”) as the scribe of Táin Bó Cuailgne put it in his self-protecting colophon at the end of his labour of love.’

Patrick Maume (QUB) writes: ‘Criostoir O Floinn’s interesting though frequently narrow-minded & splenetic memoir Consplawkus mentions that when he - born in Limerick city and a non-native speaker who learned from standardised written sources - started to write in Irish he was advised that he should adopt one of the regional dialects if he wanted to get published.’ (Diaspora e-list [Bradford], June 2004.)

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