Breandán Ó Buachalla 1936-2010

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Breandán Ó Buachalla - 1936-2010

Thomas J. and Kathleen O'Donnell Chair of Irish Language and Literature

Biography

Breandán Ó Buachalla was the first Thomas J. and Kathleen O'Donnell Chair in Irish Language and Literature. Professor Ó Buachalla was a former Professor of Modern Irish in University College Dublin (1978-1996) and Professor of Irish in the School of Celtic Studies at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (1973-1978). He held the Parnell Fellowship at Cambridge University and visiting professorships at New York University and Boston College.

Professor Ó Buachalla was the leading authority on the literature and ideology of early modern Ireland and published extensively on the impact of the Counter-Reformation on Irish political thought, early modern historiography and the cult of the Stuarts in Irish literature. His Aisling Ghéar: Na Stíobhartaigh agus an tAos Léinn, 1603-1788 (An Clóchomhar, 1996) is a monumental study of Irish political poetry in the period 1603-1788 and comprises the first comprehensive analysis of Irish Jacobitism.

Professor Ó Buachalla also wrote I mBéal Feirste Cois Cuain (An Clóchomhar, 1968, 1978), an award-winning study of scribal and antiquarian circles in late eighteenth and early nineteenth century Belfast, and An Caoine agus an Chaointeoireacht (Cois Life, 1998), a radical reappraisal of the literature of lament in modern Irish. He edited Peadar Ó Doirnín: Amhráin (An Clóchomhar, 1969) and Cathal Buí: Amhráin (An Clóchomhar, 1975), definitive collections of verse by two 18th-century poets, and is also co-editor (with Pádraig de Brún, and Tomás Ó Concheanainn) of Nua Dhuanaire I, II (Institiúid Ard-Léinn, 1971, 1976), landmark anthologies of early modern verse. Besides cultural studies, literature and politics, he published extensively in the field of linguistics; his most recent book in this field was An Teanga Bheo: Gaeilge Chléire (Institiúid Teangeolaíochta Éireann, 2003), an analysis of the dialect of Irish spoken in Cape Clear, west Cork. Other recent publications include Dánta Aodhagáin Uí Rathaille: Reassessments (Irish Texts Society, 2004), The Crown of Ireland (Arlen House, 2006) and Aogán Ó Rathaille (Field Day Publications, 2007). He was recently honored by a festschrift, Aistí ar an Nua-Ghaeilge in Ómós do Bhreandán Ó Buachalla, edited by Aidan Doyle and Siobhán Ní Laoire (Cois Life, 2006).

Professor Ó Buachalla was editing a new series of editions of the works of eighteenth-century Irish poets published by Field Day, of which Ó Rathaille was the first and Eoghan Rua Ó Súilleabháin (ed. Breandán Ó Conchúir) was the second.

Breandán Ó Buachalla passed away unexpectedly in the summer of 2010. He was a revered colleague and dear friend and will be sorely missed.