Updating Bible on Local History
Reproduced from Connacht Tribune - August 2021
Jim Hynes, Connacht Tribune
A seminal – and bilingual – book outlines the story of Southeast Galway from pre-Christian times until the early 19th century, has just been relaunched.
The new, revised edition of Oirdheisceart na Gaillimhe: Gnéithe dá Stair or South-east Galway: Aspects of its history – first published in 1932 by Micheál Ó Conaill – now boasts a new translation by Dr Nollaig Ó Muraíle.
Dr Ó Muraíle is a member of the Royal Irish Academy, former Placenames Officer with the Ordnance Survey of Ireland, and a retired University professor.
The initial impetus for the translation project came from Frances Holohan of Abbey Heritage, and Marie Mannion (Heritage Officer with Galway County Council) who contacted Dr Ó Muraíle about the project.
Helping hands were available in the shape of the Abbey Heritage Society which agreed to publish the book in its present bilingual format.
Dr Christy Cunniffe, equipped with unparalleled archaeological knowledge of South-east Galway, also proved invaluable.
Founded on a love of history and heritage, the volume explores a wide array of topics: from place-names to the foundation of castles and religious orders. Teachers, parents and students will also appreciate having a bilingual book with ‘side by side’ translations, making if an easy, useful resource for those learning Irish and also hoping to improve their fluency.
For the first time, this volume makes accessible a work exploring a little written about part of Ireland. It also adds valuable biographical information on the book’s original author Micheál Ó Conaill.
This engaging book will appeal to anyone with ties to Galway, past of present. It is also a beautifully composed description of a long-gone Ireland. Lovers of language and history alike will be clamouring to read this new edition.