Giolla na Naomh O'Heerin

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

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O'Heerin, or O'Huidhrin, Giolla na Naomh, a historian and bard, who died in 1420. His principal work was a topographical poem, intended as a supplement to O'Dugan's [see O'DUGAN, JOHN] itinerary. O'Dugan described the tribes and territories of Leath Cuinn (Meath, Ulster, and Connaught), at the time of the Anglo-Norman invasion; O'Heerin, in a poem of 780 verses, describes those of Leath Mogha (Leinster and Munster). O'Heerin's work commences with the line "Tuille Feasa ar Erinn Oigh" — (An addition of knowledge on sacred Erin). The oldest existing copies of these poems date from the 17th century, and are in the handwriting of Michael and Cucogry O'Clery, two of the Four Masters. John O'Donovan remarks: "The style of the poems is necessarily very stiff, in some instances defective, in others redundant.. . The orthography is in general that of the 17th century, the age in which the O'Clerys lived; sometimes, however, they have introduced very ancient forms of spelling... They adhere, however, to no regular rule, but write sometimes the ancient, sometimes modern orthography, in the most capricious manner." These poems were edited for the Irish Archaeological and Celtic Society by O'Donovan, elaborately noted, and prefaced with a valuable essay on Ancient Irish Names and their modernized forms.

Sources

134. Four Masters, Annals of Ireland by the: Translated and Edited by John O'Donovan. 7 vols. Dublin, 1856.

264. O'Dubhagain and O'Huidhrin: Topographical Poems: Edited by John O'Donovan, LL.D. (I.A.S.) Dublin, 1862.
O'Donovan, John, see Nos. 134, 264.
O'Halloran, Sylvester, see No. 173c.

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