The collection is Seán Ó Ríordáin's personal library. The collection has c.1260 items the majority of which were published in the 20th century. The subject matter focuses on literature, linguistics and history. A substantial portion of the collection is in the Irish language.
The collection prefix before the call number is: Ó Ríordáin.
The collection is closed.
Seán Ó Ríordáin (1916-1977) was a poet and essayist, and worked as a Lecturer in the Department of Modern Irish at University College Cork (1969-1976). Ó Ríordáin was born in Baile Mhúirne Gaeltacht in County Cork. He was educated locally and in Cork City where his family moved when his father died in 1932. Though Irish was spoken in Ballyvourney where Ó Ríordáin grew up English was his first language. As a young man he contracted pneumonia and was in poor health for the rest of his life. In 1938 he was diagnosed with tuberculosis and spent significant amounts of time in sanatoria.
On leaving school he worked as a clerk with Cork City Council. Ó Ríordáin spent long periods in hospital and his illness had a central influence on his poetry. He began writing a diary his ‘fight against death’, in 1940 and continued with it until 5 days before he died. His mother’s death in 1945 affected him deeply, commemorated in his poem ’Adhlacadh mo Mhathar.’ His first collection Eireaball Spideoige (1952) revolutionised poetry in Irish. His poems sought to answer fundamental questions about the nature of human existence. Additional poetry collections followed: Brosna (1964), Línte Liombó (1971), and Tar éis mo Bháis (1978).
Ó Ríordáin retired from Cork City Council in 1965 on health grounds and in 1969 was appointed as a part-time lecturer in Irish at UCC. While there he greatly influenced the Innti generation of poets. From 1969 to 1975 he wrote a regular column for The Irish Times.
UCC Library Archives Service holds Seán Ó Riordáin Collection BL/L/SOR: manuscript material (ephemera and notes) found within the books in his personal library and drafts of papers.
UCD Special Collections holds the papers of Seán Ó Riordáin.
2023: 15 May - 8 September
Closed: 5 June & 7 August.
We are open to UCC staff and students, and members of the public. For more information about what items must be requested and to request them via the online request form see Request Special Collections & Archives.
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