Niall Ó Dónaill

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Niall Ó Dónaill
Born27 August 1908
Ailt an Eidhinn, Loughanure, County Donegal, Ireland
Died10 February 1995 (aged 86–87)
Dublin, Ireland
OccupationIrish language lexicographer
Spouse(s)Sorcha Ní Ghallchóir, Na Rosa, County Donegal, Ireland

Niall Ó Dónaill (27 August 1908 – 10 February 1995) was an Irish language lexicographer from Ailt an Eidhinn, Loughanure, County Donegal. He was the oldest of the six children of Tarlach Ó Dónaill and Éilis Nic Ruairí from Grial, Loughanure. They had a little land and a few cows. His father would spend June to November working in Scotland and died when Niall Ó Dónaill was 13 years old. Ó Dónaill himself would spend summers working in the tunnels in Scotland.[1]

During his time in university he would spend his summers teaching at Coláiste Bhríde, Rann na Feirste.[2]

Ó Dónaill is most famous for his work as editor of the 1977 Irish-English dictionary Foclóir Gaeilge-Béarla, which is still widely used today.[citation needed]

Ó Dónaill received his education at Scoil Loch an Iúir in Loughanure before gaining a scholarship to St Eunan's College in Letterkenny. Another scholarship took him to University College Dublin to study Irish, English and History. In June 1982 he was awarded a D.Litt by Trinity College Dublin.[citation needed]

Ó Dónaill wrote the book Bruigheann Féile which is based on stories of pastimes in the Gaeltacht town Loughanure and its surrounding area. Ó Dónaill's book Na Glúnta Rosannacha was first published in 1952.[3]

He was awarded Gradam an Oireachtais at Oireachtas na Gaeilge in 1980.[4]

Ó Dónaill died in 1995.



1977 - Foclóir Gaeilge-Béarla - Irish-English dictionary known as Foclóir Uí Dhónaill


1934 - Bruighean feille - a collection of short stories and historical events in Loughanure

1937 - Beatha Sheáin Mhistéil - The life of John Mitchel

1951 - Forbairt na Gaeilge

1952 - Na Glúnta Rosannacha - the history of The Rosses and the story of the O'Donnell dynasty

Translation work:

1932 - Scairt an dúthchais (The Call of the Wild by Jack London);

1932 - Ise (She: A History of Adventure by H. Rider Haggard);

1935 - Máire (Marie (novel) by H. Rider Haggard);

1935 - Cineadh an fhásaigh (The kindred of the wild by Charles G. D. Roberts);

1935 - Mac rí na hÉireann (The King of Ireland's Son by Padraic Colum);

1936 - An chloch órtha (The Talisman (Scott novel) by Walter Scott);

1936 - Roibeart Emmet (Robert Emmet by Raymond Postgate);

1937 - An Ministir Ó Ceallaigh (Parson Kelly by A.E.W. Mason and Andrew Lang);

1938 - Commando (Commando by Denys Reitz);

1938 - Maighistir Bhaile na Trágha (The Master of Ballantrae by Robert Louis Stevenson)

1939 - An tOllphéist (Juggernaut by Alice Campbell);

1946 - Seachrán na nAingeal (The Demi-Gods by James Stephens);

1958 - Dhá choinneal do Mhuire (a religious publication by H.B. Zimmerman)

Cathair Phrotastúnach (a book about Belfast by Denis Ireland)

Unpublished - An Bealach chun na Róimhe (The path to Rome by Hilaire Belloc)[5]


  1. ^ "Ó DÓNAILL, Niall (1908–1995)".
  2. ^ "Ó DÓNAILL, Niall (1908–1995)".
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 June 2007. Retrieved 5 July 2007.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Ó DÓNAILL, Niall (1908–1995)".
  5. ^ "Ó DÓNAILL, Niall (1908–1995)".

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