Máire Bhuí Ní Laoghaire

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Máire Bhuí Ní Laoghaire (1774–1849) was an Irish poet.

Ní Laoghaire was born in Túirín na nÉan in Uibh Laoghaire (Iveleary), near Ballingeary, County Cork. She was from a family of five sons and three daughters who lived on her father's fifty acre farm. In 1792, she married Séamus de Búrca, a Skibbereen horsetrader and the couple settled on a holding they purchased near Céim an Fhia/Keimaneigh, living in some prosperity. They were widely known for their generosity. By 1847, however, their fortunes declined and they were unable to pay their rent. Mounting debts and their arrest for membership of a secret agrarian organisation led to their eviction. Ní Laoghaire died soon after and was buried in Inchigeelagh.

Career[edit]

She was illiterate, which was unusual for the time, and she learned her trade from the oral tradition. Her poems frequently allude to classical tropes thus indicating her exposure to wider contemporary literary tastes in Munster. but her songs and poems survived via the oral folk tradition of the area, as did compositions by her contemporaries such as Antoine Ó Raifteiri.

Her best-known composition is Cath Chéim an Fhia (The Battle of Keimaneigh), which graphically records a fight between the local yeoman militia and the Whiteboys in 1822.

References[edit]

Oxford Concise Companion to Irish Literature, Robert Welsh, 1996. ISBN 0-19-280080-9

Lesa Ní Mhunghaile, 'Ní Laoghaire, Máire "Bhuí"' in Dictionary of Irish Biography.