Rev Dr Risteárd Ó Dálaigh/ Richard O’Daly DD

Third from the right, back row, in Ballingeary, c.1912
(Credit: Ted Ó Conaill)
(Colourised: Matt Loughrey, 2020)

Rev Dr Risteárd Ó Dálaigh/ Richard O’Daly DD (1865-1930). Born in Australia to Irish emigrant parents, Ó Dálaigh came to London as a young adult and began to learn Irish at Gaelic League classes. He arrived in Uíbh Laoire/Iveleary to perfect his Irish.

In summer 1903, he assembled scholars locally and from around Ireland and offered lessons in Irish at Cronin’s Hotel, Gougane Barra. Subscriptions began to arrive for a more permanent college, from Fr Goulding of New Zealand and Gaelic League branches in London and Dublin. Accommodation at Gougane Barra was too limited and so the College opened in Ballingeary, where there was a good hall for lectures, excellent schools where the children were Irish-speaking, and there were enough lodgings.

Rev Dr Ó Dálaigh spent time as principal at Coláiste na Mumhan and also Professor of Irish at St Finbarr’s Seminary, and as the Chair of Russian in Cork University College.

In around 1907, he and friends including Osborn Bergin and Shán Ó Cuív, began to devise a simplified spelling for Irish, and this controversial movement gained momentum with the founding of An Cuman um Letiriú Shímplí in 1910.


Foinse/source: [ar líne/online]: (ceadaithe/accessed 21/10/2020); P. Hurley, Southern Star, 1905.


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