Caitlín Maude (1941 – 1982) was an Irish poet, teacher, actress and traditional singer.
She was born in Casla, County Galway, and reared in the Irish language. Her mother, Máire Nic an Iomaire, was a school teacher from Casla, and Caitlín received her primary education from her on a small island off the coast of Rosmuc, Conamara. Caitlín's father, John Maude, was from Cill Bhriocáin in Rosmuc.
Caitlín Maude attended University College Galway, where she excelled in French. She became a teacher, working in schools in Counties Kildare, Mayo, and Wicklow. She also worked in other capacities in London and Dublin.
She was widely praised as an actress. She acted at the University, at the Taibhdhearc in Galway and the Damer in Dublin, and was particularly successful in a production of “An Triail” by Máiréad Ní Ghráda in 1964, where she played the part of Máire Ní Chathasaigh, the protagonist of the story. She herself was a playwright, being co-author with poet Michael Hartnett of “An Lasair Choille” .
She began writing poetry in Irish in secondary school and developed a lyrical style closely attuned to the rhythms of the voice. Though not conventionally religious, she said in an interview that she had a deep interest in the spiritual and that this would leave its mark on her poetry. She was noted as a highly effective reciter of her own verse. A posthumous collected edition was published in 1984. Géibheann is the most well-known of her poems, and is studied at Leaving Cert Higher Level Irish in the Republic of Ireland.
She was a sean-nós singer of distinction. She made one album in this genre, Caitlín (1975), now available as a CD. It contains both traditional songs and a selection of her poetry.
She married Cathal Ó Luain in 1969. They had one child, Caomhán, a son.
She died of cancer in 1982.
- ’[T]á tnúthán spioradálta iontach ionam agus sílim go mbeidh sé seo le brath go láidir ar mo chuid filíochta amach anseo’: quoted in Ó Coigligh 1984: see introduction.
Ó Coigligh, Ciarán (ed.) (1984). Caitlín Maude: dánta. Coiscéim.
Caitlín Maude - Caitlín [CD]. Ref: CEFCD042
- 'A Dhé' (O Lord): poem composed and recited by Caitlín Maude on YouTube
- 'Aisling Gheal': traditional song in Irish, performed by Caitlín Maude on YouTube
- 'Róisín Dubh': traditional song in Irish, performed by Caitlín Maude on YouTube
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