Máirtín Ó Direáin

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Máirtín Ó Direáin (29 November 1910 – 19 March 1988), one of the foremost Irish language poets of the twentieth century, was born in Sruthán on Inis Mór in the Aran Islands.[1]

He was educated at Onaght national school.[2] The son of a small-farmer, Máirtín Ó Direáin spoke only Irish until his mid-teens.[3]

He worked as a civil servant from 1928 until 1975. His main works include the poetry collections:

  • Rogha Dánta (1949)
  • Ó Mórna agus Dánta Eile (1957)
  • Ar Ré Dhearóil (1962)
  • Cloch Choirnéil (1967)
  • Crainn is Cairde (1970)
  • Dánta 1939-79 (1980)
  • Ceacht an Éin (1984)
  • Béasa an Túir (1984)
  • Tacar Dánta/Selected Poems (1984)
  • Craobhóg: Dán (1986)
  • Fear Lasta Lampaí (1928 - i Gaillimh/in Galway)

His autobiographical essays are collected as Feamainn Bhealtine (1961). His awards include the An Chomhairle Ealaíon/The Arts Council Awards (1964 and 1971); the Butler Prize, with Eoghan Ó Tuairisc (1967); the Ossian Prize for Poetry, FVS Foundation, Hamburg (1977). He was a member of Aosdána.

Carraig agus cathair: Ó Direáin is a recent (2002) biography. Its title ('Rock and City') refers to Ó Direáin's journey from his native rocky island to Dublin, where he lived most of his life.

An Charraig Stoite (The Uprooted Rock) is a 2003 award-nominated TG4/Bord Scannán na hÉireann funded documentary on Máirtín Ó Direáin which was written by Alan Titley and produced and directed by Mac Dara Ó Curraidhín.

On 27 May 2010, An Post (the Republic of Ireland's Post Office) issued a single stamp to commemorate the birth centenary of Máirtín Ó Direáin featuring a portrait of the poet.[4] Five of his poems have been put to music by Colm Ó Snodaigh from the music group Kíla: Faoiseamh a Gheobhadsa, Maith Dhom, Bua na Mara, Dínit an Bhróin and Bí i do Chrann. The first three have been recorded on Handel's Fantasy, Luna Park (two Kíla albums) and Giving - Colm's solo album from 2007.


  1. ^ "Máirtín O'Direáin". Irish culture and Irish customs. Retrieved 2012-10-25. 
  2. ^ Maher, Helen (1976). Galway Authors. p. 116. 
  3. ^ "Máirtín O'Direáin". Irish culture and Irish customs. Retrieved 2012-10-25. 
  4. ^ "NEW Irish stamps". World Stamp News. Retrieved 2012-10-25. 

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