Brian Ó Cuív

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Brian Ó Cuív (1916 – 14 November 1999) was a Celtic scholar who specialised in Irish history and philology.


Ó Cuív was professor of Celtic Studies at University College Dublin and later at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies.[1] His later years were devoted to the compilation of a catalogue of the Irish manuscripts in the University of Oxford.[2] The completed catalogue was published after his death.

He married Emer de Valera, who would become the last surviving daughter of Éamon de Valera, with whom he had nine children. She died in 2012.[3] A son, Éamon Ó Cuív, is a prominent Irish politician.[1]


Ó Cuív's surname was changed from Ó Caoimh (O'Keeffe) by his father, Shán Ó Cuív, a Cork journalist, who in the early 20th century, changed the spelling of his surname to conform with a simplified spelling system of his own invention which he called An Leitriú Shimplí.[4] The letter 'v' is extremely rare in Irish outside modern loanwords.[5][6]


His works include:

  • The Irish of West Muskerry, Co. Cork: A Phonetic Study (1951)
  • Irish Dialects and Irish Speaking Districts: Three Lectures (1951)
  • Parliament Na mBan, editor, (1952)
  • Seven Centuries of Irish Learning: 1000–1700 (1961)
  • A View of the Irish Language(1969)
  • The Linguistic Training of the Mediaeval Irish Poet (1973)
  • The Impact of the Scandinavian Invasions on the Celtic-speaking Peoples c.800–1100 A.D. (1983)
  • Catalogue of Irish Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library at Oxford and Oxford College Libraries (2001)

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Nine News". RTÉ. 14 November 1999. Archived from the original on 27 August 2004. Retrieved 5 February 2009. 
  2. ^ "School of Celtic Studies – Catalogue of Irish manuscripts in the Bodleian Library at Oxford and Oxford College Libraries: Plates and Indexes". Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies: School of Celtic Studies. Retrieved 5 February 2009. 
  3. ^ "Emer Í Chuív passes away aged 93". RTÉ News. 9 February 2012. Retrieved 9 February 2012. 
  4. ^ "O Cuiv – the spelling of my name". Retrieved 19 July 2009. 
  5. ^ "Dáil Éireann – Volume 602 – 19 May 2005 – Priority Questions – Irish Language". Archived from the original on 7 June 2011. Retrieved 19 July 2009. 
  6. ^ "The spelling of Irish". Archived from the original on 27 November 2009. Retrieved 19 July 2007.