The Ó Dálaigh Bardic Poets: Their Poetry and their Patrons

Bardic poetry is defined as the writings of poets, filid, trained in the bardic schools as they existed in Ireland and the Gaelic parts of Scotland from 1200 to 1650. The Ó Dálaigh family of Meath was the most distinguished bardic family during this period.[i]

The Ó Dálaigh poets originated in the western part of the kingdom of Meath. The first surviving mention of an Ó Dálaigh poet is in 1139 when Cuchonnacht Ó Dálaigh, of Leacain, in Meath, chief ollamh in poetry, died at Cluain-Iraird (Clonard). The Ó Dálaigh family had a special relationship to Clonard with members of the family retiring there, visiting it on pilgrimage and possibly teaching in the school there. In 1185 the Annals of Lough Cé record that Maelisa Ó Dálaigh, chief poet of Erinn and Alba, and principal dux of Corca-Raidhe, and the single choice of Erinn as regards grace, form, and goodness, died at Cluain-Iraid on his pilgrimage.[ii]

Bardic poets were attached to a noble family and poems were written in honour of the patron and his relatives. From Corca-Raidhe (Corkaree) the Ó Dálaigh  family dispersed throughout Ireland and served as court bards to the O’Connors of Connacht, the O’Byrnes and O’Molloys of Leinster, the MacCarthys and O’Sullivans of Munster, the O’Neills and the O’Donnells of Ulster, the O’Loughlins of Corcomroe and the O’Reillys of Breifne.[iii]

In addition to Gaelic lords the Ó Dálaigh poets also served Anglo-Norman and English nobles and each poet may also have served different lords throughout their lifetimes. This poses the question: was the bardic poet ‘ready to sell his poem in any available market’ as Greene suggested.[iv]

The bardic order commenced in pre-Christian times, with the word file originally meaning seer. The students in the bardic schools composed in the dark, a process which Bergin suggested may have been rooted in pagan divination.[v]

With the introduction of Christianity came change and conflict. In the fourteenth century Gofraidh Fionn Ó Dálaigh wrote a poem The Patron Saint of the O’Dalys appealing to the special patron of the family, St. Colmán, and illustrating the conflict between Christianity and the pre-Christian bards. Traditionally St. Colmán was the foster-father and educator of Dálach from whom the Ó Dálaigh poets are descended.[vi]

The great manuscripts of the pre-Christian bardic tradition were written in the monasteries in central Ireland. Many bardic families originated in this central zone and from there spread out throughout the country. The bardic Ó Dálaigh family were native to this particular area and were chiefs of Corca-Raidhe, the barony of Corkaree, in what is now county Westmeath. The bardic families resided on hereditary estates and were provided with fees for their poetic compositions. The bardic profession was hereditary, therefore each man born into a bardic family was a potential poet. There are thirty-six entries for the Ó Dálaigh bardic family in the Annals of the Four Masters between 1139 and 1589.[vii]

The ecclesiastical changes in the twelfth century resulted in the literary tradition being transferred from the monasteries to the lay community. The chieftain who felt threatened by the Anglo-Norman invasion of the late twelfth century employed the bards as a bolster for their position, in fact, the main function of the poet from the twelfth century was to provide support for his patron, the chieftain or lord. The poets were well educated professionals, not inspired in his poetry – he was a ‘professor of literature’. Holding a rank in society equal to the chief or a bishop, the poets were a powerful secular influence in Irish society in the period.[viii]

The style of poetry composed was the dán díreach with a straight or strict metre. Governed by a set of rules with regard to the number of syllables in each line and in each verse, the number of verses were unlimited. In the tenth century there were three or four hundred metres taught in bardic schools but these had been reduced to twenty by the seventeenth century. The most popular metre employed was deibhidh.[ix]

An example of deibhidh (7x + 7 x+1)is Gofraidh Fionn Ó Dálaigh’s poem The Child Born in Prison

Beann torrach, fa tuar broide,

do bhí i bpríosún pheannaide,

bearar dho chead Dé na ndúl,

lé leanbh beag sa bhríosún

A pregnant girl, under sorrow’s sign,

Condemned to a cell of pain,

Bore, by leave of Creation’s Lord

Her small child in prison.[x]

 An example of the rannaighteacht mhór ( 71,71,7 1,71) is Muireadhach Albanach Ó Dálaigh’s lament on the death of his wife.

M’anam do sgar riomsa a-raoir,

calann ghlan dob ionnsa i n-uaigh;

rugadh bruinne maordha mín

is aonbhla lín uime uainn.

My soul parted from me last night;

A pure body that was dear is in the grave;

A gentle stately bosom has been taken from me

With one linen shroud about it.[xi]

Faced with the challenges of a new culture, in the effort to preserve itself, Gaelic society became more conservative from the twelfth century onwards. The poetic language used was formal stylised language, based on the language of the older poets. Every day language changed but the language of the dán díreach remained fixed throughout the period. Recited or chanted to the chieftain, the poetry was meant to be heard aloud and accompanied by music.[xii]

The bardic schools were the successors to the monastic schools of pre-Norman Ireland. Cú Chonnacht na scoile Ó Dálaigh who died at Clonard in 1139  had a school (Scoil) for poets. A later poet Conchubhar Ó Dálaigh (flourished 1580) also had the nickname, na scoile. The poetry of this period is referred to as Filíocht na Scol, the poetry of the school. The Marquis of Clanrickarde describes a bardic school in his Memoirs published in 1722. The students, sons of bardic families, were assigned a subject and then they retired to bed and would spend the whole of the next day in bed composing in complete darkness. The training primarily involved gaining the technical skills necessary to compose a poem but genealogy, topography, history, traditions and mythology were also included in the curriculum.[xiii]

Praise poems, elegies, love poems and satires were the main subjects of the poems. Poets were required to praise their lords even if he had lost a battle or had not merited a poem. In a praise poem the poet assured the chief that the powers of nature are happy with him, this connection being viewed almost as a religious act.[xiv]

Love poems do not appear until the post-Norman period. Gerald FitzGerald, the third earl of Desmond, wrote love poetry in the style of the amour courtois. Later poets used the language of the love poems to describe their relationship with their patron, the poet being the wife and the patron the husband. A poet had the right to lie down close to his lord, obviously benefiting from the proximity with regard to protection and heat as the lord would be near the fire. Lughaidh Ó Dálaigh in the fifteenth century travelled to Trim to view the grave of his slain patron, Féilim O’Reilly. As he looked at the grave he wishes to die too and he recalls how things used to be: ‘Let us be in bed as we were before, O Prince of Bóroimhe; we did not think a narrow bed too narrow for us two, O Féilim’.[xv]

Aonghus Mac Daighre Ó Dálaigh  addressed a poem to Féilim Ó Tuathail  in the role of a prospective bride in the hope that Ó Tuathail will appoint him his permanent poet. Conchobar Ó Dálaigh, a Munster poet, wrote to Maguire of Fermanagh, looking for patronage and saying that he wished to be his leannán (spouse or lover).[xvi]

In a later period English and continental influences were introduced into love poetry with Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh’s poetry being described as ‘echo-song’.[xvii]

Satire was a favourite method of attack or reprisal in Ireland, it was the opposite to a praise poem. Satire gave the poet an air of otherworld powers. Satire calls on the world, including the forces of nature, to reject the subject of the poem. The power of the satire was equal to the power of the priest. Aonghus Rua Ó Dálaigh was employed by the English to use this weapon against the Gaelic chieftains.[xviii]

Personal love poems and personal elegies allowed the poets some opportunity to deviate from the fixed structure and metre of the dán díreach. Muireadhach Albanach Ó Dálaigh composed an elegy to his wife, Maol Mheadha, The Dead Wife.[xix] Gofraidh Fionn Ó Dálaigh wrote a simple and touching elegy on the death of his son, Eoghan, who was also a poet.

‘O cross yonder upon the hill

That art the cause of my weeping

Whosoever is glad at thy completion,

Thy setting up is my casting down.’[xx]

The file recorded the history and genealogy of their patrons.  Singing praises was the major activity of the poet. The poets were the ‘paid propagandists of the existing order of things.’ Promoting a sense of history and connection to the past the poets suggested a historical continuity whether actual or imagined.[xxi]

The position of the bard was a richly rewarded one with poets receiving land, cattle, horses, swords, and jewellery. Payment for one poem might amount to twenty cows. A mutually beneficial relationship between the lord and the poet, the more generous the patronage the more poetry composed regarding the chieftain. The poets were selling their praise poem but they preferred to portray it as an exchange of gifts between them and their chieftain. The poet enjoyed a social and political position, close to the centre of the power, the chieftain.[xxii]

The patron preserved the work of his poet in a duanaire or songbook which indirectly preserved the name of the poet.[xxiii]

The first significant poet to bear the surname Ó Dálaigh was Cú Chonnacht na scoile Ó Dálaigh who died at Clonard in 1139. The Annals of the Four Masters were partly derived from his history book. All the Ó Dálaigh poets are descended from his grandson, Aonghus.[xxiv] 

Donnchadh Mór Ó Dálaigh, born in Meath about 1175, was according to the Annals of the Four Masters, ‘a poet who never was and never shall be surpassed.’ Tradition states that  he was abbot of Boyle and certainly all his surviving poems are religious in content. [xxv]

In 1213 Muireadhach Albanach Ó Dálaigh, brother of Donnchadh, was insulted by the steward of the O’Donnells at Lissadill, Sligo. The poet took a sharp axe and killed the offending servant on the spot. Muireadhach fled the rage of O’Donnell into the territory of de Burgo and from there to Thomond, onto Limerick and finally to Scotland. Muireadhach made appeals to the leading families of Ireland in search of a patron and spent fifteen years in exile in Scotland from which he acquired the name Albanach (meaning Scottish). Muireadhach’s descendants in Scotland are called Mac Vurich’s (MacMhuireadhaigh), and in the present day the Clan Currie claim to be his descendants. One of his descendants, Niall Mór Mac Vurich, was hereditary poet to the Mac Donalds in Scotland in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.[xxvi]

After fleeing Sligo Muireadhach sought the patronage of one of the Norman newcomers, Richard FitzWilliam FitzAdelm de Burgo. Ó Dálaigh accepted the power and leadership of de Burgo although it has been achieved through military conquest rather than by descent from the ancient leaders of Ireland. The poet put forward similar motifs that he would use for a Gaelic leader such as connecting his authority to the ancient royal seats of Cruacha and Tara. He describes de Burgo as ‘become Gaelic, yet foreign.’ Muireadhach hoped that de Burgo would be Gaelic enough to respect the traditions of the Gaelic leaders and use the services of a poet, just as the Gaelic leaders did. He declares himself to be ‘Ó Dálaigh Midhe meise’ – ‘I am O’Daly of Meath.’[xxvii]

Muireadhach also addressed a poem to Cathal Crobhdhearg O’Connor, king of Connacht, who was a brother of Ruadhrí, the last high-king of Ireland. In the poem Cathal is described as showing his strength in battle thereby proving his right to Ireland. His ancestry from the legendary high-king, Tuathal Teachtmhar, estaproved his entitlement. Muireadhach describes the wealth that Cathal possessed and prophesised that Cathal will go ‘forth into Meath and each stone building became a blazing bush.’ Forty years earlier Cathal’s brother, Ruadhrí, had attacked the Normans in Meath in 1174 and burned a number of castles including Trim.[xxviii]

Muireadhach was seeking patronage and he would accept a foreign lord just as easily he would an Irish one. In his poetic appeals for a patron, he treated both native Gaelic chieftain and foreign, Anglo-Norman lord, in similar terms. After Muireadhach’s pilgrimage to the Holy Land he offered three praise poems to the O’Donnell chieftain who accepted him back into favour, rewarding him with lands and cattle.[xxix]

Gaelic culture proved attractive for many Anglo-Norman families. One such family was the FitzGerald family, who despite having become completely gaelicized culturally, continued to maintain allegiance to the English crown. Gofraidh Fionn Ó Dálaigh addressed a poem to one of the family, Maurice FitzMaurice, second earl of Desmond, written pre-1358. The poet used the pre-existing framework, as Muireadhach had, in his works for a non-Gaelic lord. Ó Dálaigh compared Maurice to Lugh Lámhfhada, a mythological Gaelic character and Maurice too is a worthy lover for Banbha (Ireland). Gofraidh treated Maurice in the same way that an Irish chieftain would be treated by a poet. Gofraidh addressed two of his poems to Maurice’s brother, Gerald the Poet. Gofraidh was professional poet to the MacCarthys, to the Earls of Desmond and to the O’Briens of Thomond so he served both Anglo-Norman and Gaelic patrons.[xxx]

In the fourteenth century great bardic festivals were held to celebrate the decrease in English power. William Ó Ceallaig held a Christmas feast for the bards, brehons and harpers of Ireland in 1351. Gofraidh Ó Dálaigh described the event in a poem.[xxxi] Hearing the poets boasting how the Gaelic Irish had defeated the Normans Giofraidh later wrote that the poets of Ireland earned their living telling the Gaelic chieftains that they will defeat the foreigners while other poets tell how the English will triumph over the natives:

I ndán na nGall gealltar linn

Gaoidhil d’ionnarba a hÉireann,

Goill do shraoineadh tar sál soir

I ndán na nGaoidheal gealltair.

In poetry to the English we promise

that the Irish will be exiled from Ireland,

and in poems to the Irish we vow

that the English will be driven across the sea to the East.[xxxii]

Gofraidh wrote a poem in praise of a beautiful harp from Knockycosker, barony of Moycashel, whose owner may have been Diarmaid, son of Donnchadh Mág Eochagáin, Lord of Cenél Fiachach, in Westmeath. The poem probably dates to the mid-1380s as Gofraidh died in 1387.[xxxiii]

In the late fourteenth century the Ó Dálaigh Midhe family divided after a quarrel with the local chieftain in Westmeath and it would appear that the head of the family moved his residence to Corcomroe, Co. Clare.[xxxiv]

In the second quarter of the fourteenth century, Aonghus mac Carvill buidhe Ó Dálaigh addressed Art Ó Maeleachlainn, king of Meath and appealed to him to drive the English from Uisneach.[xxxv]

Tadhg Camchosach (Crooked Legs) Ó Dálaigh in the later fourteenth century, addressed Niall Óg O’Neill, a northern chieftain of the O’Neill, and called on him to unite Ireland and to rescue Banbha (Ireland). This theme of calling for a leader to rescue and protect Ireland is a traditional theme and not just when the Gaelic lords were under threat. Ó Dálaigh describes Ireland as being overrun by foreigners, this fact coupled with the pillaging of internal and external rivals and enemies of Ireland has caused Ireland’s downfall. Niall O’Neill has united Ireland according to Ó Dálaigh and has even mated with her, a pre-Christian motif. The poet foretells or prophesises that Niall will unite all of Ireland and will be ‘victorious’[xxxvi].

The poets were subjected to severe repression by the English government, as they held such influence on Irish society. Fergal Ó Dálaigh, chief poet of Corcamroe, Maurice Ó Dálaigh, a poet of Breifne, Dermot Ó Dálaigh of Meath with others are mentioned as being cruelly plundered and oppressed by Lord Furnival and the English in the early fifteenth century. Sir John Talbot of Hallomshise, afterwards Lord Furnival, and Earl of Shrewsbury was Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in 1415 and resided frequently in Trim at a house which he erected there. This building continues to be known as Talbot’s castle.[xxxvii]

In 1448 Dermot, the son of Owen, son of Mahon Ó Dálaigh, Ollav of all Meath, a learned poet, died, and was interred in Durrow-Columbkille.[xxxviii]

The destruction of the Gaelic world and its chieftains under the Tudor and Stuarts in the sixteenth and seventeenth century led to the disappearance of the office of  poet but the Gaelic chieftains were to lose their position before the poets. When the change came it came suddenly.Conchubhar Crón Ó Dálaigh, a Munster poet, lost three patrons in succession during the Munster disturbances in the 1580s and he then appealed to a northern chief, Maguire, to accept him as poet.[xxxix]

Lochluinn Mac Taidhg Óig Ó Dálaigh wrote a lament on the death of Philip O’Reilly, lord of Breifne in 1596 and composed a poem entitled Great Expectation in praise of three young members of the ruling family of Thomond, dated to about 1550. In another poem Lochalainn praised Domhnall Ó Brian,  who in 1553 had made war upon his brother Donnchadh when the latter accepted the title Earl, with the right to succession for his son according to English Law.[xl]

Writing about the time of the plantation of Ulster Lochluinn laments the disappearance of the Gaelic ways, the warriors are driven abroad and a ‘swarm of foreigners’ have been settled on the lands. Lochluinn also lamented the removal of the friars from Multyfarnham (home territory of the Ó Dálaigh family) and the lost of the monasteries after the Reformation. The Gaelic way of agriculture, based on cattle, was being replaced by enclosed arable agriculture. The Gaelic system, which supported and honoured the poets, was disappearing.[xli]

When the chieftains were deprived of their positions the poets lost not only their patrons but also the focus of their poetry. The social, political and cultural structure was eroded and destroyed and the poets, as part of that structure and one of its supports, were also to fade away.

Poets sometimes sought the patronage of English lords and officials. Ó Dálaigh poets became attached to the Carew family in the late 12th century. Sir George Carew, Lord President of Munster, sought to claim ancestral lands in west Cork in the early seventeenth century. His position and potential power in west Cork proved to be an attraction for Tadhg Ó Dálaigh, who hoped to be given the position of poet to Carew and the hereditary lands, which the poet traditionally occupied. Despite the fact that Carew fought to expand the power of the English in Ireland, subduing Tyrone and parts of Munster, Tadhg proclaims him as the saviour of Banbha (Ireland). In his appeal for patronage Tadhg stated that Carew’s battles were in support and defence of Banbha. Tadhg was therefore treating an English lord as he would a Gaelic chieftain and even travelled to London in 1618 to present the poem to Carew personally. In 1602 Florence MacCarthy advised the English government to bribe the bards to bring them over to the English side. The most famous was Aonghus Rua  Ó Dálaigh who wrote a satire against the Gaelic chieftains. Aonghus na n-aor, ‘of the Satires,’ was employed by Sir George Carew and Lord Mountjoy to use his poetry to satirise the native Irish and the old English families. Aonghus was given lands at Ballyorrone in south west Cork as he held the position of ‘rimer and chronicler’ to George Carew. Two families were allowed to escape his satire – the MacCanns of the Upper Bann and the O’Donnells of Donegal because the poet feared their vengeance perhaps a reference to Muireadhach Albanach Ó Dálaigh. Aonghus met his end at the hands of a servant at a banquet given by O’Meagher of Ikerrin, Co. Tipperary. Aonghus was prepared to serve an English patron to secure his position and income.[xlii]

In some areas of the country the Gaelic way of life survived for a further period. Aonghus Mac Daighre Ó Dálaigh, poet to the O’Byrnes of Wicklow, may have been born in Meath or Wicklow. His greatest surviving poem is Dia Libh a Laochraodh Ghaoidheal which Samuel Ferguson paraphrased in his poem ‘God be with the Irish Host’.

God with you, hero-host of the Gael;

Never may defeat be told of you,

Never did you earn shame

In time of battle or warfare.[xliii]

But an end to the bardic order did come and ‘there was no one left to buy a poem’[xliv].

The Ó Dálaigh family were part of the hereditary body of poets in Irish society between 1200 and 1650. Holding an official position within that society the Ó Dálaigh poets were among the leading professors of literature throughout this period and contributed greatly to the Irish literature of this period.

Poets sought patronage – for some poets it did not matter where that patronage came from as long as their patron was rich enough to afford to maintain a poet in a suitable manner. When a patron was found then the poet remained loyal to that patron. The patron was required to hold a position of power and status. Muireadhach Albanach Ó Dálaigh would have been content to serve the Norman, de Burgo, or the Gaelic, O’Connor. He used similar images in his poetry to both. Gofraidh Fionn Ó Dálaigh also used the pre-existing framework to write in praise of the FitzGeralds  who were lords from a non Gaelic origin. Giofraidh treats his subject, Maurice, in the same way that a Gaelic chieftain would be treated by a poet. Conchubhar Crón Ó Dálaigh and Lochluinn Mac Taidhg Óig Ó Dálaigh were content to write both for Old English families and Gaelic families. Sir George Carew, an English official, was written about as if he was a Gaelic leader by Tadhg Ó Dálaigh.

Having examined the various Ó Dálaigh poets it can be seen that they served different patrons: some served both Gaelic and Anglo-Norman while others in a later period served English patrons. Using similar language and images when addressing their Gaelic and Anglo-Norman patrons, the Ó Dálaigh were content to serve and be loyal to any patron of sufficient standing willing to reward them in the appropriate manner be they Gaelic, Anglo-Norman or English.

[i] Osborn Bergin, Irish Bardic Poetry (Dublin, 1984), p. 3.

[ii] Annals of the Four Master, sub 1139, 1185; Myles Dillon, Early Irish Literature (Chicago, 1948), p. 175, n. 42; James E. Doan, ‘The Ó Dálaigh family of Bardic Poets 1139-1691’ in Éire – Ireland, (1985) 20, 2, pp 20-1; Annals of Lough Cé, sub. 1185.

[iii] Dillon, Early Irish Literature, p. 149; Edmund E. O’Daly, History of the O’Dalys (New Haven, 1937),  p. 29; Doan, ‘The Ó Dálaigh family of Bardic Poets 1139-1691,’ p. 21.

[iv] David Greene, ‘The Professional Poets’ in Brian Ó Cuív (ed.) Seven Centuries of Irish Learning (Dublin, 1961), p. 47.

[v] Greene, ‘The Professional Poets,’ p. 46; Bergin, Irish Bardic Poetry, p. 10.

[vi] Bergin, Irish Bardic Poetry, pp 70-2; Eleanor Knott, Irish Classical Poetry (Cork, 1957), p. 8, DáithíÓ hÓgáin,  An File (Baile Átha Cliath, 1982), p. 130, Dillon, Early Irish Literature, p. 175 n. 45.

[vii] Robin Flower, The Irish Tradition (Oxford, 1947), p. 85; J.E. Caerwyn Williams, The Irish Literary Tradition (Cardiff, 1992), translated by P.K. Ford, p. 158; Eleanor Hull A Text Book of Irish Literature Part II (Dublin, 1908), p. 154.

[viii] Eilean Ní Chuilleanáin, ‘The Bardic Mind’ in Sean Mac Réamoinnn (ed.) The Pleasures of Gaelic Poetry (London, 1982), p. 38; Michelle O’Riordan, The Gaelic Mind and the Collapse of the Gaelic World (Cork, 1990), p. 8; Greene, ‘The Professional Poets,’ p. 57; Bergin, Irish Bardic Poetry, p. 4; Hull, A Text Book of Irish Literature Part II, p. 156.

[ix]  Douglas Hyde, A Literary History of Ireland (London, 1901), p. 530.

[x] Eleanor Knott, An introduction to Irish syllabic poetry of the period 1200-1600 (Dublin, 1981), pp 41, 95.

[xi] Bergin, Irish Bardic Poetry, pp. 101-3, 257-8.

[xii] Seán Ó Tuama, Repossessions – Selected Essays on the Irish Literary Heritage (Cork, 1995), p. 162; Caerwyn Williams, The Irish Literary Tradition, p. 161; Knott, Irish Classical Poetry, p. 17.

[xiii] Caerwyn Williams, The Irish Literary Tradition, pp 159-64; Doan, ‘The Ó Dálaigh family of Bardic Poets 1139-1691,’ p. 25; Bergin, Irish Bardic Poetry, pp. 5-7; Aodh de Blácam, Gaelic Literature Surveyed (Dublin, 1973), p. 89.

[xiv] Knott, Irish Classical Poetry, p. 49; James Carney, The Irish Bardic Poet (Dublin, 1967),  pp 11-2.

[xv] Pádraig A. Breatnach, ‘The Chief’s Poet’ in P.R.I.A., Sect. C., vol. 83, no. 3, (1983), p. 40; Carney, The Irish Bardic Poet, p. 37.

[xvi] Breatnach, ‘The Chief’s Poet,’ p. 42; Doan, ‘The Ó Dálaigh family of Bardic Poets 1139-1691,’ p. 25.

[xvii] Robin Flower (2000) ‘Introduction’ in Tomas Ó Rathaile Dánta Grádha – an anthology of Irish Love Poetry Cork (2000), p.  xxvii; O’Daly, History of the O’Dalys,  p. 53.

[xviii] J.E. Caerwyn Williams, The Court Poet in Medieval Ireland (London, 1972), p. 32; Carney, The Irish Bardic Poet, pp 11-2.

[xix] Bergin, Irish Bardic Poetry, pp 101-3; Ní Chuilleanáin, ‘The Bardic Mind,’ pp 43-5.

[xx] Bergin, Irish Bardic Poetry, pp 16-8.

[xxi] Dillon, Early Irish Literature, p. 172; Caerwyn Williams The Irish Literary Tradition, p. 164; Greene, ‘The Professional Poets,’ p. 57.

[xxii] Caerwyn Williams The Irish Literary Tradition, p. 169; Ní Chuilleanáin, ‘The Bardic Mind,’ p. 37.

[xxiii] Greene, ‘The Professional Poets,’ p. 52.

[xxiv] Annals of the Four Master, sub. 1139; Flower, The Irish Tradition, p. 94; Pádraig Ó Fágáin, Éigse na hIarmhí (Baile Átha Cliath, 1985), pp 81-3; O’Daly, History of the O’Dalys, pp 31-2.

[xxv] A.M. Brady & B. Cleeve, A Biographical Dictionary of Irish Writers (Mullingar, 1985), p. 339; Annals of the Four Masters, sub. 1244; Annals of Lough Cé, sub 1244: Annals of Connacht, sub. 1244.

[xxvi] Annals of the Four Masters, sub. 1213; de Blácam, Gaelic Literature Surveyed, pp 109-110; Bergin, Irish Bardic Poetry, pp 88-92; Flower, The Irish Tradition, pp 86-8; Doan, ‘The Ó Dálaigh family of Bardic Poets 1139-1691,’  pp 28-9.

[xxvii] Bergin, Irish Bardic Poetry, pp 88-92; O’Riordan, The Gaelic Mind and the Collapse of the Gaelic World, pp 36-51; de Blácam, Gaelic Literature Surveyed, pp 109-110.

[xxviii] Bergin, Irish Bardic Poetry, pp 104-7, 259-260; O’Riordan, The Gaelic Mind and the Collapse of the Gaelic World,  pp 36-51.

[xxix] Bergin, Irish Bardic Poetry, pp 108-112; Flower, The Irish Tradition, pp 86-8; Annals of the Four Masters, sub. 1213; Alan Titley, A book based on the life of Muireadhach Albanach O’Dalaigh An Fear Dána (Baile Átha Cliath, 1993)

[xxx] Bergin, Irish Bardic Poetry, pp 73-81; Ní Chuilleanáin, ‘The Bardic Mind,’ pp 39-41; O’Riordan, The Gaelic Mind and the Collapse of the Gaelic World,  pp 51-61.

[xxxi] Annals of Clonmacnois,  sub. 1351, de Blácam, Gaelic Literature Surveyed, pp 117-9; Eleanor Knott, ‘Filidh Éireann go haonteach, William Ó Ceallaigh’s Christmas Feast to the Poets of Ireland, A.D. 1351’, Eriu V, (1911), pp 51-67.

32 Caerwyn Williams The Irish Literary Tradition, p. 171; Greene, ‘The Professional Poets,’ p. 47.

[xxxiii] Bergin, Irish Bardic Poetry, pp 66-9.

[xxxiv] K. Simms ‘Ó Dálaigh family (per. c. 1100-c.1620)’ in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, 2004).

[xxxv] de Blácam, Gaelic Literature Surveyed, p. 117.

[xxxvi] O’Riordan, The Gaelic Mind and the Collapse of the Gaelic World, pp 23-4, 99-101; de Blácam, Gaelic Literature Surveyed,  p. 120.

[xxxvii] Dillon, Early Irish Literature, p. 174, Greene, ‘The Professional Poets,’ p. 45; Hyde, A Literary History of Ireland, p. 470; Annals of the Four Masters, sub. 1415; Annals of Connacht, sub. 1415; Richard Butler,  Some notices of the Castle and of the ecclesiastical buildings of Trim (Trim, 1854), pp 59-61: J. T. Gilbert, History of the Viceroys of Ireland with notices of the Castle of Dublin and its chief occupants in former times (Dublin, 1865), p. 304.

[xxxviii] Annals of the Four Masters, sub. 1448.

39 O’Riordan, The Gaelic Mind and the Collapse of the Gaelic World, pp 127-8; Doan, ‘The Ó Dálaigh family of Bardic Poets 1139-1691,’ pp 25-6; Carney, The Irish Bardic Poet,  pp 16-7; David Greene (ed.),  Duanaire Mhéig Uidhir (Dublin, 1972), p. 218

[xl] O’Riordan, The Gaelic Mind and the Collapse of the Gaelic World, pp 79-80; Bergin, Irish Bardic Poetry, pp 81- 8.

[xli] Ó Fágáin, Éigse na hIarmhí, pp 19-24; Hull, A Text Book of Irish Literature Part II, p. 159.

[xlii] O’Riordan, The Gaelic Mind and the Collapse of the Gaelic World, pp 202-14; Breatnach, ‘The Chief’s Poet,’ p. 62; Knott, Irish Classical Poetry, pp 71-3; Anne O’Sullivan ‘Tadhg O’Daly and Sir George Carew’ in Éigse: A Journal of Irish studies (1971-2) vol. XIV, pp 27-38; Hull, A Text Book of Irish Literature Part II, p. 176.

[xliii] de Blácam, Gaelic Literature Surveyed, pp 136-7

[xliv] Ní Chuilleanáin, ‘The Bardic Mind,’ p. 45.