Patrick S. Dinneen

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A portrait of Patrick Dinneen by John Butler Yeats.

Patrick Stephen Dinneen (Irish: Pádraig Ua Duinnín; 25 December 1860 – 29 September 1934) was an Irish lexicographer and historian, and a leading figure in the Gaelic revival.

Dinneen was born near Rathmore, County Kerry.[1] He was educated at Shrone and Meentogues National Schools and at St. Brendan's College in Killarney.[2] In 1885 and 1889, respectively, he earned bachelor's and master's degrees in mathematics from the Royal University of Ireland. He joined the Society of Jesus in 1880 and was ordained a priest in 1894, but left the order in 1900 to devote his life to the study of the Irish language while still remaining a priest. After his ordination, he taught Irish, English, classics, and mathematics in three different Jesuit colleges, including Clongowes Wood College, a Jesuit boarding school near Clane, Co. Kildare.

He was a leading figure in the Irish Texts Society, publishing editions of Geoffrey Keating's Foras Feasa ar Éirinn, poems by Aogán Ó Rathaille and Piaras Feiritéar, and other works. He also wrote a novel and a play in Irish, and translated such works as Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol into Irish. His best known work, however, is his Irish-English dictionary, Foclóir Gaedhilge agus Béarla, which was first published in 1904.[3] The stock and plates of the dictionary were destroyed during the Easter Rising of 1916, so Dinneen took the opportunity to expand the dictionary. A much larger second edition, compiled with the assistance of Liam S Gogan, was published in 1927.[4] Dinneen's request to the Irish Texts Society to include Gogan's name on the title page was refused.[5] Gogan continued to work on the collection of words up to his death in 1979. This complementary dictionary was published online in 2011.[6]

Fr Dinneen died in Dublin at the age of 73 and is buried in Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Noel O'Connell, 29 September 1984, Father Dinneen, his dictionary and the Gaelic Revival. Accessed 31 December 2007
  2. ^ Letter from his grandniece Bridie Dinneen
  3. ^ Welch, Robert (1996). The Concise Oxford Companion to Irish Literature. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-280080-9. 
  4. ^ Foclóir Gaedilge agus Béarla: an Irish-English dictionary, being a thesaurus of the words, phrases and idioms of the modern Irish language; compiled and edited by Patrick S. Dinneen. New edition, revised and greatly enlarged. xxx, 1344 p. Dublin: published for the Irish Texts Society by the Educational Company of Ireland, 1927.
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ Location: Plot No: CH 83.5, St Bridget's, CPS Coordinates: 53°22'19.48"N 6°16'44.04"W

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