Tadhg Dall Ó hUiginn
Tadhg Dall Ó hUiginn (c. 1550 – c.1591) was an Irish poet.
A well-known late-Gaelic era poet, Tadhg Dall Ó hUiginn was a member of a family of professional poets from north Connacht. He was called dall because he was blind. His mother's name is unknown. His father was Mathghamhain mac Maolmhuire, a direct descendant of Tadg Óg Ó hUiginn (died 1448). His brother, Maol Muire Ó hUiginn, Archbishop of Tuam, died in 1590. Tadhg had lands at Doughrarane in Achonry, and Coolrecuil in Kilmactigue, among other parcels in County Sligo and served as a juror. Eleanor Knott, the twentieth-century editor and translator of his works for the Irish Texts Society, suggested that these were lands originally granted to his ancestors by the O'Conor Sligo family, who were patrons of the family.
Ó hUiginn evidently enjoyed high status in his lifetime, reflected in the lords to whom he addressed some of his poems. They included Cú Chonnacht Mag Uidhir (died 1589), Patrick Plunkett, Baron Dunsany (d. 1601), Aodh Mac Seáin Ó Broin (d. 1579), Aodh Mag Uidhir (died 1600), Cormac Ó hEadhra (died 1612), Brían na Múrtha Ó Ruairc (died 1591), Conn Ó Dónaill (died 1583), Aodh Ó Dónaill (died 1600), Turlough Luineach O'Neill (died 1595), John Burke (died 1580), Myler Burke (died 1586). Further indication of his status among contemporaries and in the decades after is the sizable number of his compositions that are found in the Book of O'Conor Don and in the Ó Gadhra manuscript (RIA MS 23 F 16), compiled in Ostend in 1631 and Brussels/Lille c. 1659 respectively.
A constant theme of his work is a very distinct sense of Irish nationalism, acutely aware of the political situation in late 16th-century Ireland. Irish sovereignty under threat from England features in several, along with restructuring invasion stories found in Lebor Gabala Erenn for the Norman-Irish, who were now heavily Gaelicised.
An inquisition held at Ballymote in 1593 recorded that Tadhg Dall had died at Coolrecuil on the last day of March 1591. A chancery inquisition of 1617 provided further details, stating that members of the Ó hEadhra family of Cashel Carragh, Kilmacteige, were attained in 1591 for murdering one Teige Dall O Higgen (sic) his wife and childe in the year one thousand five hundred ninetee and one or thereabouts. Tadhg Dall apparently composed a satirical poem about six robbers, all members of the Ó hEadhra family, who retaliated by cutting out his tongue before murdering him.
Tadgh Dall had a daughter, Máire. His son, Tadg Óg Ó hÚigínn, who was nine years old when his father was killed by members of the Ó hEadhra sept, inherited his father's lands at Dooghorne in Achonry. Tadg Óg's grandson, Pól Ó hUiginn (1628? - 1724) was a scholar and Protestant preacher.
Tadhg, d. 1315 | | ? | | Tadhg, d. 1391 = Áine | _______________|_________ | | | | Fearghal Ruadh Tadg Óg Ó hUiginn (died 1448) | | | [some generations] | | | Brian Óge | | Maolhmuire | |___________________________ | | | | Mathghamhain Gilla Coluim, d. 1587. | ______________________|_____________________________ | | | | | | Tadgh Dall, d. 1591 Maol Muire, d. 1590. Tomultach Óg? | |________________________________ | | | | Tadg Óg Ó hUiginn, b. 1582. Máire (d. 1591?) | | ? | | Pol, 1628? - 1724
This section lacks ISBNs for the books listed in it. (December 2014)
- The bardic poems of Tadhg Dall Ó hUiginn (1550–1591), Eleanor Knott (ed.), London, 1920 and 1926.
- An appeal for a guarantor, Pádraig A. Bhreatnach, Celtica 21 (1990), 28-37, esp. pp. 32–33.
- Dictionary of Irish Biography, pp. 576–578, Cambridge, 2009.