Amhlaoibh Ó Súilleabháin
?1780-1837 [Humphrey OSullivan, called Samuel Pepys of Ireland]; b. Co. Kerry, settled at Callan [Callainn], Co. Kilkenny; son of school-teacher, wife of Mayr Delahunty who brought his a draper shop in Kilkenny as her dowry; burgess[?] and councillor; diary for years 1827-35; MS in RIA, part of diary for 1827 printed in Gaedlica 1912-13, ed. Seamus Ó Casaide; entire text edited by Michael McGrath SJ, with trans. as Cinn-lae Amhlaoibh Uí Shúilleanbháin, 4 vols. (ITS 1936); trans. ed., Tomás de Bhaildraithe (Cork 1979, pbk.). DIW OCIL
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Seamus Ua Casaide, ed., Humphrey OSullivans Diary, 1827 [Cinn-Lae Amhlaoibh Uí Shúileabháin], in Gadelica, 51-61; 177-183; 263-168 [ní críoch]; Michael McGrath SJ, trans., Cinn-lae Amhlaoibh Uí Shúilleanbháin, 4 vols. (ITS 1936; rep. as Cín Lae Amhlaoibh (BaC: An Clóchomar 1970); also Tomás de Bhaldraithe, trans., Diary of An Irish Countryman (Cork: Mercier Press 1993), 140pp. [formerly as The Diary of Humphrey OSullivan, 1979].
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Liam P. Ó Murchú, ed., Cinn-lae Amhlaoibh Uí Shúilleanbháin: A Reassessment [5th Annual Seminar of ITS, 2003] (ITS 2005), 134pp. [contribs. incl. Gearoid O Tuathaigh, Cathal O Hainle, et al.]
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T. F. ORahilly, review of Merrimans Cúirt Mean Oiche, ed. Richard Foley, in Gadelica Vol. I (1912-13), A description of Humphrey OSullivans diary is not very accurate and plainly second-hand; apparently OSullivan of Callan collated texts K and S, together with some other, and made marginal corrections and additions to each of them (p.195).
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Desart woods (Kilkenny): I went to Desart by the same roads which I took on Easter Friday. We walked through dark evergreen pinewoods, through fine laneways, now crooked, now straight [...] The landscape from this beautiful sun-palace is exquisite, a gaseous exhalation came from the sun, the mountains to the south were dark blue ... the sky was cloudless save one cloudlet adding to its beauty as a dimple to a damsels cheek . it is in the heart of this calley that the head-mound and capital city of Ireland ought to be. (Quoted in Hubert Butler, Grandmother and Wolfe Tone, Dublin: Lilliput Press 1990, pp.103-04.)
Note: Butler goes on to write of his homemade education and his passionate loyalty to the last remnants of the Irish traditions and language which he knew to be dying, and calls much of his diary uninteresting and repetitive though it is easy to believe that he had in him some seed of truth, some zest for life, which in a less unhapppy and divided society would have flowered into poetry and prose of a high order.
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Ubi sunt?: What is the good of repining? The bright walled castles will disappear and the glittering sun-palaces, the earth form elemental, the entire universe like a wisp-blaze. Will it be long till this Irish language in which I am writing goes too? Fine big school houses are daily being built to teach in them this new language, the Saxon tongue. But, alas, no attention is being paid to the fine smooth Irish tongue, except by wretched Swaddlers, who are trying to see whether they can wheedle away the children of the Gael to their accursed new religion. (Quoted in Butler, op. cit., p.104; rep. in Roy Foster, ed., Butler, The Sub-Prefect Should Have Held His Tongue, Dublin: Lilliput 1990; pp.37-38; and see ftn.: Some have compared this to Prosperos monologue in The Tempest.
Urban skinflints - Fionntán de Brún writes: Amhlaoibh Ó Súilleabháin in his diary of 1830, where he remarked that there was much less charity dispensed in the big towns of Kilkenny and Clonmel than in the small town of Callan in which he lived, adding that the small farmers fed the poor almost on their own. ( Fionntán de Brún, Expressing the Nineteenth Century in Irish: The Poetry of Aodh Mac Domhnaill (1802–67), in New Hibernia Review/Iris Éireannach Nua, Spring 2011, p.101; citing Cín Lae Amhlaoibh, ed. Tomás de Bhaldraithe, Dublin: An Clóchomhar, 1970, p. 67.)
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Black Irish: "Is clos dom gurb i an Ghaeilge an teanga mharthartha san oilean sin Montserrat o aimsir Chromail, noch ar dibriodh iad. Cia dubh ban iad is gean liom cine Gael. /I hear that Iris is the native language of people in Montserrat, where the poor Irish were driven at the time of Cromwell. Whether they are black or white, I love the Irish speakers." (Diary; quoted in Crazd in Her Intellectuals, in Nailing Theses: Selected Essays, Belfast: Lagan Press 2011, p,73.)
Patrick Corish quotes the phrase bruscár na bhaile, so often on the lips of the diarist Humphrey OSullivan, in The Irish Catholic Experience (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 1985). See Books Ireland, Oct. 1985 [review].
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