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Ó Riada Collection: Home

Personal collection of Sean Ó Riada.

About the Collection

The collection comprises Ó Riada’s personal library. The collection has c.738 books with c.19th century books and the remainder being 20th century. Languages within the collection include Gaelic Irish and French. The subject matter of the collection is literature and music. 

The collection prefix is: Ó Riada.

Biographical History

Seán Ó Riada (1931-19971) was born John Reidy in the Erinville Hospital, Cork. His parents, John and Julia Reidy brought young John back to their home in Adare, where he remained until he transferred to St. Finbarr’s College, Farranferris, Cork in 1943. Reidy subsequently attended University College Cork where he met his future wife, Ruth Coughlan. The pair married in the Honan Chapel in 1953 and had seven children: Peadar, Eoghan, Alasdair, Cathal, Reitseal, Sorcha and Liadh. Ó Riada’s first venture into professional employment was with RTE where he was appointed Assistant Director of Music. From there he went on to become Director of Music at the Abbey Theatre. In 1955 he began signing his name as 'Seán Ó Riada' on Abbey compositions. This signalled a new phase in Ó Riada’s personal development, one which saw him become immersed in the traditional Irish way of life. Ó Riada was appointed Lecturer in Music at University College Cork and he and his family moved to Cúil Aodha, in the Cork Gaeltacht, in 1963. Ó Riada rapidly became a fluent Irish speaker. He remained in Cúil Aodha until his death following a heart attack, in King’s College Hospital, London.

Collection Highlights

Examples of science fiction items in Seán Ó Riada's collection

More Information

UCC Library Archives hold Ó Riada’s personal papers and music scores: Seán Ó Riada Collection/Bailiúchán Sheáin Uí Riada.

UCC Library Archives holds the Anne James Photographic Collection.

Harris, Bernard and Grattan Freyer, eds. The Achievement of Seán O Riada: integrating tradition. Foreword by Seán MacReamoinn. Ballina, Ireland: Irish Humanities Centre & Keohanes; Chester Springs, Pa.: Dufour Editions, 1981.

Ó Canainn, Tomás & Gearóid Mac an Bhua. Sean Ó Riada: a shaol agus a shaothar. Dublin: Gartan, 1993.

Ó Canainn, Tomás. Seán Ó Riada: his life and work. Wilton, Cork: Collins, 2003.