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Ó Maolchathaigh Collection: Home

Personal library of Séamus Ó Maolchathaigh.

About the Collection

 The collection is representative of Séamus Ó Maolchathaigh's interests and is strong in the area of folklore, language and history. The collection contain items mostly in English and Irish although there are a number of French novels and some items in translation. The majority of items are from the early-mid 20th century.

The collection prefix is: Ó Maolchathaigh.

Biographical History

Séamus Ó Maolchathaigh, or James Mulcahy, (1884-1968) was a teacher, writer and folklore collector. He was born in the townland of Cruan, Newcastle, Co. Tipperary to parents Thomas Mulcahy and Margaret Burke. He had three brothers: Sean, Patrick and Thomas; and one sister: Mary Ann. His father was a farm labourer and his mother managed the household. Séamus received his certificate of teaching from De La Salle Training College, Waterford in 1904 and served as headmaster of the national school at Grange, Co. Tipperary from 1904 to 1948. His birthplace of Cruan overlooks the village of Newcastle and is located between the Knockmealdown mountains and the river Suir. Newcastle was a 'Breac Gaeltacht' that remained largely immune to outside influences because of the isolated location. The Irish language survived in a small pocket of people until the 1950s but did so in a dialect not spoken elsewhere in the country. Ó Maolchathaigh collected extensive lists of word and phrases from his native area for the Archive of Irish Dialects along with local folklore for the Irish Folklore Commission. His memoir An Gleann agus A Raibh Ann, written in the regional dialect, was published in 1963.


The collection was acquired through the Newcastle Historical Society in May 2014 in collaboration with the Department of Irish at UCC.

Collection Highlights

Selection of items by Séamas Ó Maolchathaigh including translations

Top left: Ó Maolchathaigh, Séamas. Hier Unter Im Tal: erzählungen aus einer vergangenen welt. aus dem Englischen von Christine O'Neill nach der übertragung von Mícheál Ó hAodha des Irischen originals an Gleann agus a raibh von Séamas Ó Maolchathaigh. Zürich  Kommode Verlag, [2016].

Top right: Ó Maolchathaigh, Séamas. The glen: recollections from a lost world = An gleann. Trans. and ed. from the Irish by Mícheal Ó hAodha. Dublin: Arlen House, 2014.

Lower left: Ó Maolchathaigh, Séamas. Fo-Ghráinne annso súd i measg an Lócháin, eag. Liam MacPeaircín. Thurles, Co. Tipperary: Johnswood Press, 2021.

Lower right: An gleann agus a raibh ann: notes and explanations of words in the book, Researched by Helen MhicCraith; Niall Ó Dónaill a chuir in eagar; eagarthóir comhairleach: Tomás de Bhaldraithe.  Baile Átha Cliath: Foras na Gaeilge, 2011.

Folklore Related Items in the Collection

A selection of folklore related items in the collection:

Top left: Moloney, Michael F. Irish ethno-botany and the evolution of medicine in Ireland. Dublin: M.H. Gill, 1919.

Top right: Webb, D.A. An Irish flora with drawings by Hilda Parkes. Dundalk: W. Tempest, Dundalgan Press, 1943.

Lower left: Ó Súilleabháin, Seán. Caitheamh aimsire ar thórraimh. Baile Átha Cliath: Clóchomhar, 1961.

Lower right: Horwood, A R. A new British flora: British wild flowers in their natural haunts. With sixty-four plates in colour representing 350 different plants, from drawings by J. N. Fitch and many illustrations from photographs. London: Gresham, 1919.

More Information

UCC Library Archives holds an ephemera collection of items extracted from books and other publications of the Séamus Ó Maolchathaigh Printed Collection. Items include press cuttings, handwritten notes, letters, and bookmarks.

Correspondence mostly re publication of Séamas Ó Maolchaithaigh's An gleann agus a raibh ann, National Library of Ireland.

Entries by Séamas Ó Maolchaithaigh on