Liam Mac Con Iomaire

Liam Mac Con Iomaire

Photographer: Máire Uí Mhaicín

Usage rights: Foras na Gaeilge

Date: 14 October 2011

Setting: Blackrock, Co. Dublin

I nDoire an Fhéich, Casla, Conamara a rugadh Liam Mac Con Iomaire sa mbliain 1937. Oileadh ina bhunmhúinteoir é i gColáiste Phádraig i nDroim Conrach i mBaile Átha Cliath (1955–1957). I mBaile Átha Cliath a chaith sé a shaol oibre go léir ina dhiaidh sin, seachas cúig shamhradh a chaith sé ag obair ar láithreacha tógála i Londain (1956–1960). Chaith sé aon bhliain déag (1957–1968) ina mhúinteoir i Scoil Lorcáin, bunscoil lán-Ghaeilge i ndeisceart Bhaile Átha Cliath, aon bhliain déag eile (1968–1979) ina iriseoir agus ina léitheoir nuachta le RTÉ, agus seacht mbliana déag (1979–1996) ina Stiúrthóir Teanglainne i Roinn na Nua-Ghaeilge sa gColáiste Ollscoile, Baile Átha Cliath. Bhí aithne freisin air mar chraoltóir ar Raidió na Gaeltachta, áit a raibh sé ina chathaoirleach ar phainéal cainteoirí Leagan Cainte: Eibhlín Ní Mhurchú, Seosamh Ó Cuaig agus An tOllamh Dónall Ó Baoill. Bhí sé ar dhuine de bhunaitheoirí Sean-Nós Cois Life agus chaith sé seal ar bhord Thaisce Cheol Dúchais Éireann agus ar Choimisiún na Logainmneacha. Is iad na leabhair leis ná: Breandán Ó hEithir: Iomramh Aonair (Cló Iar-Chonnacht, 2000), Seosamh Ó hÉanaí: Nár fhagha mé bás choíche (Cló Iar-Chonnacht, 2007), agus le déanaí, an t-aistriúchán i gcomhar le Tim Robinson ar Cré na Cille le Máirtín Ó Cadhain, Graveyard Clay (Yale University Press & Cló Iar-Chonnacht, 2016). Cailleadh é, i ndiaidh tinnis, i mí na Bealtaine 2019.

A native of Casla, Connemara, Co Galway, he spent all his working life in Dublin, as a teacher, journalist, lecturer and broadcaster, and chaired the popular Raidió na Gaeltachta panel programme Leagan Cainte for thirteen years. On finishing his two year course in St Patrick’s Training College, Drumcondra (1955–1957) he spent eleven years teaching in Scoil Lorcáin, an all-Irish national school in Monkstown, near Blackrock. He worked for a further eleven years on the Nuacht desk in the RTÉ Newsroom, as journalist, sub-editor and Nuacht Reader. He spent the following seventeen years (1979–1996) as Director of the Irish Language Laboratory in the Department of Modern Irish in University College Dublin. He was a founding member of Sean-Nós Cois Life and has served on the board of Taisce Cheol Dúchais Éireann (National Traditional Music Archive) and of Coimisiún na Logainmneacha (Irish Placenames Commission). An expert on the people, language and heritage of Connemara, he wrote Conamara: The Unknown Country with Bob Quinn (Cló Iar-Chonnacht, 1997). Liam most recently worked on an acclaimed translation of Máirtín Ó Cadhain’s Cré na Cille with Tim Robinson, published by Yale University Press and Cló Iar-Chonnacht as Graveyard Clay (2016). He died, after illness, in May 2019.

Birth date: 1937

Place of birth: Casla, Co. Galway

Death date: 5 May 2019

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Siar go Béal an Mhuirthead i gContae Mhaigh Eo a thug foireann Féach a n-aghaidh i bhfómhar na bliana 1969, áit a ndearna siad clár conspóideach faoin gCanónach Kilgallon agus faoin agóid a bhí ar siúl ag pobal Gaeltachta ar an nGeata Mór, ag iarraidh gur i nGaeilge a déarfaí an tAifreann ansin. Chuaigh Breandán siar roimh ré agus d’fhan sé tigh mhuintir Phóilín agus Áine Ní Chiaráin i nGaoth Sáile. Chuaigh Áine go Béal an Mhuirthead le Breandán an lá a raibh siad ag déanamh an chláir agus tá cuimhne mhaith aici ar ar tharla. Nuair a dhiúltaigh an Canónach labhairt le Féach faoin Aifreann i nGaeilge leanadar leis an gceamara suas an tsráid é... agus bhí an tuairisc seo ag Tom O’Dea ina cholún rialta i Scéala Éireann ar an 27ú lá de Mheán Fómhair 1969: “They turned an accusing camera on a priest who was giving trouble by refusing to have the Mass in Irish. They kept pace with him down the street, past the saloon, past the jail, past the sheriff’s office, past the fancy-house, until in the end one expected to hear ‘The Streets of Loredo’ faded up on the soundtrack. In the best western tradition he betrayed no emotion, but took a couple of slow, cool looks out from under the brim of his hat, as if he were thinking: ‘Yup, them critters sure as hell got me covered.’”

Liam Mac Con Iomaire, sliocht as beathaisnéis Bhreandáin Uí Eithir, Breandán Ó hEithir: Iomramh Aonair, lgh 302-3 (Cló Iar-Chonnacht, 2000)

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