Colm Ó Lochlainn


Life
[occas. pseud. Gerald Carr]; b. Kilkenny; son of printer; joined Irish volunteers; stranded in Belfast during the Easter Rising; informed his associates that the rebellion was cancelled (a mistake for which, he claimed, Patrick Pearse never forgave him); estab. the Candle Press, Sean MacGiollarna, in late 1916; winner of bronze medal for bookbinding and decorative leather-work at Aonach Tailteann Exhibition of Irish Art, 1924;
 
fnd. his own press, At the Sign of the Three Candles Press, with premises employing forty people incl. lithographic artists Michael Ó Briain and Karl Uhlemann; located at 6 Fleet Street, Dublin, 1926, using German printing practices; succeeded Seamus Ó Casaide as volunteer editor of Irish Book Lover in 1930 (Vol. 18), having taken on the publication in Dublin at his Three Candles Press in 1928; wound up the Irish Book Lover in 1957; issued Anglo-Irish Songwriters (1958) .

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Works
‘Roadways in Ancient Ireland’, in Feil-Sgribhinn Eoin MacNeill (1940), p.471. Anglo-Irish Songwriters (3 Candles 1958).

Also numerous articles in Irish Book Lover incl. ‘A Printer’s Device’, in The Irish Book Lover, Jan. & Feb. 1928 [Vol. 16], 15 [infra].

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Commentary
Gerry Smyth, Decolonisation and Criticism: The Construction of Irish Literature (London: Pluto Press 1998), p.126; Smyth objects that O Lochlann’s bookman’s approach is ‘completely divorced from issues of analysis or explication or “literary criticism” in any of its contemporary forms … despite the Irish interest to be hunted down in each text, its value as a commodity is not influenced by questions about the relationship between culture and nation.’ (pp.126-27.) Further calls book-collecting ‘a politically quietistic rejoinder to those writer-critics wishing to make criticism a powerful interventionary weapon in current debates.’ (p.127.)

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Quotations
A Printer’s Device”, in The Irish Book Lover, Vol. 16, No. 1, Jan. & Feb. 1928): ‘In the winter of 1916 Seán Mac Giollarna (then editor of An Claidheamh [Soluis] and now District Justice for the County of Galway) and myself formed the idea of getting suitable material and publishing a series of booklets of Irish interest. Casting around for a suitable style or title, it struck me that the triad (from the volume edited in the Todd Lecture Series, R.I.A. by Kuno Meyer) Tri caindle forosnat cach ndorcha: fir, aicned, ecna (“Three candles that light up every darkness: Truth, Nature and Knowledge”) was very suitable as a legend for the sort of book we meant to issue, and so the name of The Candle Press was chosen. I myself, in common with the public, thought the title rather new and original and it was many years before I realised that I was not the originator but rather the reviver of the Sign of the Three Candles. / In 1926 when I decided to set up my printing press in Fleet Street, it gave me great joy to find that a large sign board hung outside the premises. This I took down and painted with the Sign of the Three Candles which - as Katisha says - has been much admired.’ (p.15.)

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Notes
The March of Intellect”: O’Lochlainn erroneously attributed the ballad of that name to to Oliver Goldsmith [see under Goldsmith, Notes, supra].

Irish Book Lover: O Lochlainn was deemed to be the copyright holder of Irish Book Lover journal, after which it passed into the hands of Ciaran McAnally latterly of Waltham Tce., who acted as his solicitor.

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