Laoi Oisín ar Thír na nÓg

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The version of the Laoi reproduced here is from the edition by Tomas Ó Flannghaile, published by M.H. Gill and Son, Dublin. No publication date given. The three different renderings are reproduced exactly as published, with the exception that the original publication used Irish script for the Irish language and this has been converted here to Roman script.
Tomás Ó Flannghaile or Flannery (1846-1916) was from Mayo, but spent most of his life in England where he was deeply involved in the Irish Literary Society and also the Gaelic League and instrumental in the founding of the Irish Texts Society. He published a few other essays and poems. (This information from Beathaisnéis a hAon, 1882-1982, Diarmuid Breathnach agus Máire Ní Mhurchú.)
The version history is given by Ó Flannghaile in his own introduction.
In a recent lecture to the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies the eminent Clare historian, Brian Ó Dalaigh cast considerable doubt on Micheal Coimín’s authorship of this lay. He pointed out that the main evidence for O’Coimín’s authorship is the quotation from Brian O’Looney that he had got the lay from a man (unidentified) who referred to it as laoi an Coimmínigh – Coimin’s lay – but O Looney’s work also awaits further assessment of its reliability. On the other hand the Lay was almost certainly written in Clare or Galway around the middle of the seventeenth century and there are very few other potential authors.
O Dalaigh pointed out that the lay was performed in London about that time and this suggests the possibility that Coimín, who was in severe financial difficulties may have written the lay to ‘cash in’ on the MacPherson/ Ossian controversy which was pre-eminent internationally at the time.
For an article on Coimín by Muiris Ó Rócháin, published in Dal gCais in 1991 Click here.
Prepared for the internet and proofread by Donal De Barra, 2006