Cecile O’Rahilly


Life
Editor of Táin Bó Cualnge from The Book of Leinster (1967) [presum. kin to T F O’Rahilly]; also Ireland and Wales (London 1924); ed. Five Seventeenth-Century Political Poems (1952).

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Criticism
Brian Ó Cuív, ed., Celtica: Journal of the School of Celtic Studies, ‘Cecile O’Rahilly Memorial Volume’, Vol. 15 (1983), vi+188pp.

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Quotations
Cu Chúlainn: ‘Beautiful indeed was the youth who thus came to display his form to the hosts, namely Cu Chulainn mac Suailtaim. He seemed to have three kinds of hair, hark next to his skin, blood-red in the middle and hair like a crown of gold covering them outside. Fair was the arrangement of that hair with three coils in the hollow in the nape of his neck, and like gold thread was each fine hair, loose-flowing, bright-golden, excellent, long-tressed, splendid and of beautiful colour, which fell back over his shoulders. A hundred bright crimson ringlets of flaming red-gold encircled his neck. Around his head a hundred strings interspersed with carbuncle gems ....’ (Trans., Tain Bo Cuailgne [‘Cattle Raid’], rep. Seamus Deane, gen. ed., The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (Derry: Field Day Co. 1991; quoted in P. J. Kavanagh, Voices in Ireland, 1994, p.32-33.)

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Mebhd: ‘Meadb went eastwards over the ford, and he cast another stone from his sling at her east of the ford and killed the pet marten which was on her shoulder. Whence the names of those places are still Meide in Togmaill and Meide ind Loin and Ath Srethe is the name of the ford across which Cu Chulainn cast the stone from his sling.’ (Táin Bo Cuailgne, trans. Cecile O'Rahilly, Dublin 1967, p.173; quoted in Patrick Sheeran, “The Novels of Liam O’Flaherty: A Study in Romantic Realism”, Ph.D., UCG 1972, p.174.)

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Exile of the Sons of Uisneach”: ‘The sons of Uisliu were standing in the middle of the green, and the women were sitting on the rampart of Emhain. Then Eoghan went against them with his troop over the green, but the son of Ferghus came so that he was beside Noisiu. Eoghan welcomed them with a thrusting blow of a great spear into Noisiu, so that his back broke because of it [...//] They were killed all over the green, so that none escaped but those who fought their way out by point of spear and edge of sword; and she was brought across to Conchobhar so that she was in his power, and her hands were bound behind her back. [Conchobhar promises to put her with Eoghan and himself, the two men whom she most hates]... they went the next day to the assembly of Macha. She was behind Eoghan in the chariot. She had vowed that she would not see two husbands together on earth. “Well, Deirdriu”, said Conchobhar, “it is the eye of a ewe between two rams that you make between me and Eoghan”. There was a great boulder of stone before her. She dashed her head on the stone so that her head was shattered, so that she died.’ (Rep. Seamus Deane, gen. ed., The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (Derry: Field Day Co. 1991; quoted in P. J. Kavanagh, op. cit., supra.)

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