Tadhg Ó Scanaill

Front row, far right in Ballingeary, c.1912
(Credit: Ted Ó Conaill)
(Colourised: Matt Loughrey, 2020)

Tadhg Ó Scanaill (1870-1939). He was born at Inchmore, Coolea, Co. Cork to Tadhg (Aindrias) Ó Scanaill, a farmer, and Siobhán Ní Chuill. After attending school in Baile Bhuirne/Ballyvourney, he attended De La Salle College in Waterford 1897–8. He spent five years teaching in Baile Bhuirne school before transferring to Béal Átha an Ghaorthaidh/Ballingeary school. He married Martha Nic Chárthaigh from Dunmanway.

At a teachers’ conference in Derry in April 1900 he said: “Our names are still in danger of being insulted by those who come after us, that we, the Irish schoolmasters, have done more than our right to put our language to death across the country. Every inch of me trembles with shame when I feel such things have been attributed to us but sadly they cannot all be denied. It is certainly the case that the national schools have done more harm than we realise …. Let us learn it ourselves first and it is easier to teach it to the students afterwards …. some of you don’t know that a young student who has two languages — Irish and English — is much better at learning than the one who has only one language”.

With Pádraig Ó Séaghdha (Gruagach an Tobair), his teaching in Béal Átha an Ghaorthaidh began when he started to offer classes in a wooden hut in the churchyard with the permission of the parish priest. He was on the committee which set up Coláiste na Mumhan as assistant to Rev Dr Risteárd Ó Dálaigh/Richard Daly and Diarmuid Ó Foghlú (whose pen-name was Feargus Finnbhéal).

He is recorded in the Guy’s Almanac for 1903 as Hon Sec of  Conradh na Gaeilge, Ballingeary Branch.


Foinse/source: Ainm.ie [ar líne/online]: https://www.ainm.ie/Bio.aspx?ID=110 (ceadaithe/accessed 21/10/2020); Guy’s City and Cork County Almanac and Directory, 1903 [ar líne/online]: http://www.corkpastandpresent.ie/places/streetandtradedirectories/1903_guys_complete_reduced.pdf (ceadaithe/accessed 29/10/2020).


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