Irish Fiction for Summer Reading

Posted on July 26, 2023 in Uncategorized by Aedin

The summer isn’t over yet, and we have some suggestions from the Hesburgh Libraries’ shelves.

Here is a great mixed list, including all kinds of fiction — something for every taste and mood. Find a book to read this summer that you would not usually fit in your semester’s schedule.

John Banville. Snow. Hanover Square Press, 2020. PR 6052 .A57 S66 2020 (NYT review)

Niamh Boyce. Her Kind.  Penguin Ireland, 2019. PR 6102 .O9525 H45 2019

Dermot Bolger. An Ark of Light. New Island, 2018. PR 6052 .O384 A93 2018

Lucy Caldwell. Intimacies: Eleven More Stories. Faber, 2021. PR 6103 .A43 A6 2021

Niamh Campbell. The Happy. Weidenfeld and NIcolson, 2021. PR 6103 .A538 T45 2021

Mary Costello. The River Capture. Canongate, 2019. PR 6103 .085 R58 2019 and also online. 

Emma Donoghue. The Pull of the Stars. Little, Brown, 2020. PR 6054 .0547 P85 2020

Emma Donoghue. Haven. Little, Brown, 2022. PR 6054 .O547 H38 2022
Rachael English. The Paper Bracelet. Hachette, 2020. PR 6105 .N488 P37 2020 (Irish Independent review)
Fiona Gartland. Orchids and Lies.  Crimson (Poolbeg), 2021. PR 6107 .A775 O73 2021
Hugo Hamilton. Dublin Palms. 4th Estate, 2019. PR 6058 .A5526 D829 2019

Caoilinn Hughes. The Wild Laughter. Oneworld, 2020. PR 6108 .U3885 W55 2020 and also online.
Claire Keegan. Small Things Like These. Grove Press, 2021. PR 6061 .E329 S63 2021

Louise Kennedy. Trespasses. Riverhead, 2022. PR 6111 .E553 T74 2022
Kelly McCaughrain. Flying Tips for Flightless Birds. Walker, 2018. PR 6113 .C3732 F59 2018
Seosamh Mac Grianna. This Road of Mine. A translation by Mícheál Ó hAodha of Mac Grianna’s Mo Bhealach Féin. Lilliput, 2020. PB 1399 .M174 M63 2020
Audrey Magee. The Colony. Faber, 2022. PR 6113 .A33553 C65 2022b
Louise Nealon. Snowflake: a novel. Harper, 2021. PR 6114 .E2566 S66 2021
Máirtín Ó Cadhain. The Dregs of the Day. Translated by Alan Titley. Yale UP, 2019.  PB 1399 .O38 F8513 2019 and online

Máirtín Ó Cadhain. The Quick and the Dead. Yale UP, 2021. Also online.
Nuala O’Connor. Birdie. Arlen House, 2019. PR 6114 .I23 B573 2019
Ronan O’Driscoll. Chief O’Neill: a novel. Somerville Press, 2021. PR 6115 .D764 C45 2021
Ardal O’Hanlon. Brouhaha. HarperCollinsIreland, 2022. PR 6065 .H236 B76 2022
Melatu Uche Okorie. This Hostel Life. Skein Press, 2018. PR 6065 .K55 T45 2018
Pól Ó Muirí. Triangle: Three Novellas of Ireland. Arlen House, 2022. PR 6065 .M85 T75 2022
Declan O’Rourke. The Pawn Broker’s Reward. Gill, 2021. PR 6115 .R6835 P39 2021
Colm O’Regan. Ann Devine, Handle with Care. Transworld, 2021. PR 6115 .R428 A64 2021

Patricia O’Reilly. Orpen at War. Liffey Press, 2022.  PR 6115 .R45 O87 2022
Eoghan Ó Tuairisc. I am Lewy. Translation by Mícheál Ó hAodha of An Lomnochtán. Bullaun Press, 2022.   PB 1399 .O93 L613 2022
Richard Power. The rebels and other short fiction, edited by James MacKillop. Syracuse UP, 2018. Online and also at PR 6066 .o98 A6 2018

Queer Love: An Anthology of Irish Fiction. Edited by Paul McVeigh. Southword, 2020. PR 8876 .Q44 2021
E. M. Reapy. Skin. Head of Zeuss, 2019. PR 6118 .E343 S55 2019 and also online.
Sally Rooney. Normal People. Hogarth, 2018. PR 6118 .O59 N67 2018
Donal Ryan. Queen of Dirt Island.  Penguin, 2023. Online, also at PB 6118 .y354 Q84 2022b (there is also a copy in Special Collections (MR).  New York Times review

Colm Tóibín.  Weather. Enitharmon Editions, 2021.  PR 6070 .O455 W43 2021
Declan Toohey. Perpetual Comedown. New Island, 2023. PR 6120 .O495 P47 2023
William Wall. Empty Bed Blues. New Island, 2023. PR 6073 .A418 E57 2023
Nicola White. A Famished Heart. Viper, 2020. PR 6123 .H5855 F36 2020

Annette Byrne. Cumar an Dá Shruth. Coiscéim, 2023. PB 1400 .B97 C86 2023
Fionntán de Brún. Béal na Péiste. Cló Iar-Chonnacht, 2023. PB 1400 .D4 B43 2023
Jean-Claude Izzo. Siúrmó. Translation by Bernadette Nic an tSaoir, of Chourmo.  PQ 2669 .Z95 C48157 2022
Dónall Mac Amhlaigh. Exiles. Translated by Mícheál Ó hAodha. Parthian, 2020. PB 1399 .M12 D4613 2020
Colm Mac Confhaola. Is Deacair an Drochrud a Mharú. Coiscéim, 2020. PB 1399 .M1449 I6

Tadhg Mac Dhonnagáín. Madame Lazare. Barzas, 2021.  PB 1399 .M1518 M33 2021
Patrick MacGill. Prochóg na Luchóg. A translation by Mícheál Mac Giolla Easbuic of MacGill’s The Rat Pit. Coiscéim, 2020. PR 6025 .A23 R3157 2020
Áine Ní Ghlinn. I mo Chroí Istigh. Cló Iar-Chonnacht, 2021.  PB 1399 .N49 I66 2021
Isobel Ní Riain. An Lánúin Phósta. Coiscéim, 2022. PB 1400 .N58 L36 2022

Brian Ó Baoill. An Rún. Coiscéim, 2021.  PB 1399 .O19 R86 2021
Feargal Ó Béarra. Mé Suibhne. Leabhar Breac, 2021.  PB 1400 .O22 M4 2021
Ógie Ó Céilleachair. Árasán. Cló Iar-Chonnacht, 2021. PB 1400 .O25 A73 2021
Mícheál Ó Conaola. Le Gean agus Scéalta Eile. Cló Iar-Chonnacht, 2020. PB 1400 .O345 L4 2020
Mícheál Ó Laoghaire. Maraigh Dev! Coiscéim, 2021. PB 1399 .O543 M37 2021
Darach Ó Scolaí. Súil an Daill. Leabhar Breac, 2021. PB 1399 .O7735 S85 2021

New from Ireland – May 2023

Posted on May 24, 2023 in Uncategorized by Aedin

The recent shipment of books from Ireland includes many collections of poetry including books from Salmon Press, Revival Press, Arlen House, and the relatively new Skein Press.

Readers are encouraged to check the new book area in the north end of the first floor of Hesburgh Library — there is always something of interest.

New from Ireland – February 2023

Posted on February 22, 2023 in Uncategorized by Aedin

Our most recent shipment of books from Ireland includes something for everybody! I took a few quick phone pictures before they went off for cataloging.

An File Mícheál Ó Gaoithín

The Blasket Painter

Selected and introduced by

Maria Simonds-Gooding

Book cover: Second voyages: writers on poems by Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin.
Second Voyages: Writers on Poems by Eiléán Ní Chuilleanáin. Gallery Press, 2022.

See the following announcement: ‘The Gallery Press launches poet Eiléán Ní Chuilleanáin’s “Second Voyages” at the Dublin Global Gateway.’

Engaging with Irish Vernacular Worldview: Narrative and ritual expression of native cultural tradition.

Gearóid Ó Crualaoich.

Cork University Press, 2022

This next book is by Fiacre Ryan. The publisher tells is it is ‘the first book to be authored by an Irish non-verbal autistic person.’

Book: Speechless: Reflections from my voiceless world, by Fiacre Ryan.
Speechless. Reflections from my voiceless world. Fiacre Ryan. Irish Academic Press, 2022
Botany and Gardens in Early Modern Ireland. Edited by Elizabethanne Boran, Charles Nelson and Emer Lawlor. Dublin: Four Courts Press for the Trustees of the Edward Worth Library, 2022.

Weekly Irish Tune from the O’Neill Collection – Week 3

Posted on October 17, 2022 in Uncategorized by Aedin
Two lines of music notation with heading, in Irish and in English: An Fear a fuair Bás agus do eirigh arís, The Man Who Died and Rose Again.
‘An Fear do fuair Bás agus do Éirigh Arís/ The Man Who Died and Rose Again.

The Man Who Died and Rose Again. (Double Jig). In Francis O’Neill: The dance music of Ireland: 1001 gems. To see the book, Visit the Hesburgh Special Collections: Special Coll.Rare Books Large M 1744 .D36 1986, or see this digitized copy in Hathi Trust:

If you post a recording on social media of yourself playing our Weekly Irish Tune, please use the hashtag #ONeillTunes.

Weekly Irish Tune from the O’Neill Collection- Week 2

Posted on October 10, 2022 in Music, Special collections by Aedin

Drowsy Maggie. From Francis O’Neill: The dance music of Ireland: 1001 gems. 

To see the book, Visit the Hesburgh Special Collections: Special Coll.Rare Books Large M 1744 .D36 1986, or see this digitized copy in Hathi Trust:

If you post a recording of yourself on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, playing our Weekly Irish Tune, please use the hashtag #ONeillTunes.

Weekly Irish Tune from the O’Neill Collection- Week 1

Posted on October 3, 2022 in Music, Old Books, Special collections by Aedin

We plan to share a tune from the O’Neill Collection (the library of Captain Francis O’Neill) each week this semester. If you wish to share a recording of yourself playing this tune, please tag it on social media with #ONeillTunes.

Week 1 

Image of  a section of musical notation with the heading, Graine Nuisean and the English translation, Grace Nugent.
Graine Nuinsean/ Grace Nugent.

Grace Nugent, in Edward Bunting’s A General of the Ancient Irish Music. Circa 1800. Link to digital image:

Watch this space for next week’s tune!

New Books from Ireland, 2022

Posted on August 31, 2022 in Uncategorized by Aedin

A selection of the books published in Ireland that reached our Hesburgh Library shelves this year:

Claire Breay, Joanna Story and Eleanor Jackson, eds. Manuscripts in the Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms. Four Courts Press.

Richard Doherty.. Irish Men and Women in the Second World War. Four Courts Press.
New Book Area Z 106.5 .G7 B7 2021*

Jonathan Jeffrey Wright. Crime and Punishment in Nineteenth-Century Belfast: The Story of John Linn. Four Courts Press.. HV 6248 .L564 W74 2020

Joseph Brady and Ruth McManus. Building Healthy Homes. Dublin Corporation’s First Housing Schemes 1880-1925. Dublin City Council. HD 7336 .A3 B725 2021

Sinéad McCoole… et al. Against the Odds: A History of the Foundation of the Salesian Sisters in Ireland. Limerick: Salesian Sisters. BX 4333.4 .Z9 L56 2020

Thomas J. Morrissey. Mission to a Suffering People: Irish Jesuits 1596-1696. Irish Messenger Publications.
 BX 3719 .M67 2021

Kenneth Shonk. Ireland’s New Traditionalists: Fianna Fáil Republicanism and Gender, 1926-1938. Cork University Press. JN 1571.5 .F5 S56 2021

Katharine Tynan. The Death Spancel, and Others.. Swan River Press.  PR 4790 .H3 D43 2020

Éilís Ní Dhuibhne, ed. Look! It’s a Woman Writer! Irish Literary Feminisms. Arlen House.
PR 8753 .L66 2021

Jessie Lendennie. The Salmon’s Tale, A Journey in Poetry. Salmon Press. Special Coll. (MR)Medium PR 6062 .E55 S25 2021

Dorothy Macardle. The Unforeseen. Tramp Press. PR 6025 .A124 U52 2017

Daniel Mulhall. Ulysses: A Reader’s Odyssey. New Island. PR 6025 .A124 U52 2017

John Carey. Táin Bó Cúalgne: From the Book of Leinster. Irish Text Society. PB 1347 .I72 no.32

Celia de Fréine. I bhFreagra ar Rilke. PB 1399 .D37 I24 2020

Derek Mahon. The Poems (1961-2020). Gallery Press.
PR 6063 .A34 2021

Derek Mahon. The Adaptations (1975-2020).
Gallery Press, 2022. New Book Area PR 6063 .A34 A652 2022

The Multilingual Mermaid: Translations in Honour of Nuala Ní Dhomhnail.

Ní Dhomhnaill, Nuala. The Multilingual Mermaid. Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill in Translation. Gallery Press.
PB 1399 .N473 A1995 2021

Erin Halliday. The volary. Arlen House.
PR 6108 .A4958 V65 2019

Cathal Ó Searcaigh. Laoithe Cumainn agus Dánta Eile. Arlen House.
PB 1399 .O778 L36 2020

The selection above is a small sample of the many books that arrived from Ireland in the past year.

*Books marked ‘New Book Area’ will eventually be moved to their permanent shelving location. The New Book Area is a good place to browse for new books, especially in the DA section on Irish history, the PB section for Irish language literature and the PR section which includes literature from Britain and from Ireland.

100 Years of James Joyce’s Ulysses: Catalog of an Exhibition

Posted on February 14, 2022 in Special collections by Aedin

The following is a catalog of the Spotlight Exhibit currently in the RBSC Exhibit Room, along with the catalog of the ‘Pop-Up Exhibition’, the one-afternoon arrangement of Ulysses editions and art, held on February 9th. 2022.

Spring Spotlight Exhibit:

Ulysses. James Joyce. Shakespeare and Company. 12, Rue de l’Odéon, 12. Paris, 1922. The first edition, published February 2, 1922. This edition was limited to 1,000 copies. This copy is number 742.

Ulysses. James Joyce. First English edition (printed in France). Published for the Egoist Press, London by John Rodker, Paris, 1922.

[A Protest], Paris, 2nd February, 1927. An original printed copy of the protest and appeal issued on Joyce’s birthday, 2nd February, 1927, against the unauthorized publication of sections of Joyce’s Ulysses by the American publisher Samuel Roth in his Two Worlds Monthly magazine.  167 signatories, including artists and writers of many nationalities, signed this protest which was printed in Transition in April 1927. 

Two Worlds Monthly, December 1926. Edited by Samuel Roth. 14 episodes of Ulysses were reprinted without permission and in twelve instalments,a bowdlersized form in Two Worlds Monthly, New York, from 1926 

February Spotlight Exhibit

Eccles Street, from the special limited edition In Medias Res: The Ulysses Maps: A Dublin Odyssey. By David Lilburn. Printed by Stoney Road Press, Dublin.

Other prints from the suite, placed on temporary display on Feb. 9th were Loop Bridge, Phoenix Park and Howth.

Thanks to the Analog Conservation Unit for mounting and preparing the books and prints, and to Sara Weber whose artistic design work makes an attractive exhibition from a shelf of books.

The following catalog of books and prints was prepared along with Arpit Kumar, who co-curated the one afternoon ‘pop-up exhibit’.

Editions on Display, February 9th

Ulysses by James Joyce. Paris: Shakespeare and Company. Ninth printing, 1927.

Ulysses by James Joyce. Hamburg: The Odyssey Press, 1932. (In two volumes.)

Ulysses by James Joyce. Hamburg: The Odyssey Press, 1939. (In two volumes.)

Ulysses by James Joyce. New York: Random House, 1934. First American Edition.

Ulysses by James Joyce. New York: Limited Editions Club, 1935. With an introduction by Stuart Gilbert and illustrations by Henri Matisse. This book was a gift from Donald Keough.

Ulysses by James Joyce. London: The Bodley Head, 1936. Number 993 of 1,000 copies.

Ulysses by James Joyce. Translated to French by M. Auguste Morel with M. Stuart Gilbert. The translation was reviewed by M. Valery Larbaud with the collaboration of the author. Paris: La Maison des Amis des Livres (Adrienne Monnier), 1929.

Ulysses von James Joyce. Translated to German by Georg Goyert. Basel: Rhein-Verlag, 1927. In three volumes. Made available by the Smurfit Collection in Irish Studies.

Uiliséas a chum James Joyce. Translated by Breasal Uilsean and Séamas Ó hInnéirghe. Belfast: Foilseacháin Inis Gleoire, 1984-1991 (dates are not confirmed). 12 volumes.


James Joyce Ulysses: A Facsimile of the Manuscript. With a critical introduction by Harry Levin and a bibliographical preface by Clive Driver. New York: Octagon Books, 1975. Two volumes.

James Joyce Ulysses: The Manuscript and First Printings Compared, annotated by Clive Driver. New York: Octagon Books, 1975.

Art, Photography and Other Books

The Works of Master Poldy, edited by Stephen Cole. Dublin: The Salvage Press, 2013.

James Joyce. 9 Portraits by Josef Breitenbach. Dublin: The Towers, 2004.

Joyce’s Ulysses by D. Lasky. Minit Classics, 1991.

James Joyce in Paris: His Final Years, by Gisèle Freund and V. B. Carleton, with a preface by Simone de Beauvoir. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1965.

These books may be requested by readers to study in our Reading Room.

Books for Bloomsday

Posted on June 16, 2021 in Old Books, Special collections by Aedin
James Joyce, Ulysses, Paris: Shakespeare and Company, 1922.

Scholarship on Joyce is continually added to the library shelves, both the virtual shelves and the physical shelves.

Here are some of the recently-added titles:

Platt, Len. James Joyce and Education : Schooling and the Social Imaginary in the Modernist Novel, London: Routledge, 2021.

Conley, Tim. The Varieties of Joycean Experience. Anthem Press, 2021.

MacDuff, Sangam. Panepiphanal World: James Joyce’s Epiphanies. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2020.

James Joyce and the Arts, edited by Emma-Louise Silva, Sam Slote and Dirk van Hulle. Leiden: Brill Rodopi, 2020.

Flack, Leah Culligan. James Joyce and Classical Modernism. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2020.

Mayo, Michael. James Joyce and the Jesuits. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020.

Smyth, Gerry. Music and Sound in the Life and Literature of James Joyce: Joyce’s Noyces. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020.

McMorran, Ciaran. Joyce and Geometry. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2020.

Jaurretche, Colleen. Language as Prayer in Finnegans Wake. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2020.

Retranslating Joyce for the 21st Century, edited by Jolanta W. Wasrzycka and Erika Mihálycsa. Leiden: Brill/Rodopi, 2020.

These, and many more books, can be found by searching our catalog, at

Lá Fhéile Bríde and our Radharc Film collection

Posted on February 1, 2021 in Media, Old Books by Aedin

Mindful that this week’s Rare Books and Special Collections blogpost would go out on St. Brigid’s Day, we published a picture from an early twentieth-century children’s book, An Alphabet of Irish Saints.

This morning’s flurry of social media activity, including pictures and accounts of blankets and clothes put out overnight, and photographs of crosses like the cross above, reminds me of an inquiry we received a few years ago about our Radharc video collection.

Does anybody remember the Radharc films on RTÉ television? The Radharc Trust website provides a history, and some digital film and images may be found on websites of RTÉ and of the IFI.

Among our DVDs of Radharc films is a very short documentary describing St. Brigid’s eve in a Co. Donegal household. Our correspondent who emailed from England turned out to be a member of the family featured in the film, and she was interested in obtaining a transcript. She added that her family had moved to Scotland, where the Edinburgh neighbors thought their annual observances of St. Brigid’s Day were quite unusual.

Now, as it happened, my colleague Gráinne Ní Mhuirí, who was a visiting Fulbright Irish language teacher, had used the film in her Irish class, and between us, we had transcribed the text and provided a rough translation, so we had the transcript on file.

The film begins with the Duffy men and boys outside, making preparations, while the women work indoors, and takes us through all the events of the eve of St. Brigid’s Day in the Duffy home.

I nGaeltacht Thír Chonaill tá mórán sean-nósanna in onóir Naoimh Bríd beo go fóill i measc na ndaoine.

Seo Anagaire, áit álainn os cionn na gCaslach, an áit a bhfuil teaghlach mhuintir Dhubhthaigh ina gcónaí.

Oíche Fhéile Bríde téid an seanduine agus Conal agus Liam amach fá choinne cochán a dheineas na crosa.  Caithfear an cochán a thabhairt isteach roimh luí gréine.   Scoitear agus glantar é mar mhínóis an seanduine do na stócaigh.  In áiteanna I dTír Chonaill feaga is mó a bhíonn acu leis na crosa a dhéanamh ach measann siad in Anagaire gur fearr na crosa cocháin.

Istigh sa teach tá Bríd agus Bean Uí Dhubhthaigh ag cur síos tine leis na bruitíní a bhruith.  Brúitíní, sin prátaí brúite agus bainne is im agus oinniúin is salann iontu.  Beirtear na prátaí isteach ón pholl, caithfear a nglanadh go maith anocht, agus an pota a ghlanadh chomh maith.

Ní bhíonn bruitíní ag an teaghlach seo gach uile oíche – dhá oíche chionn féile sa bhliain a bhíos bruitíní acu, mar atá, Oíche Shamhna agus Oíche Fhéile Bhríde.

Bheir na fir lámh cuidithe leis an bhéile; baineann siad na súlógaí as na prátaí, ‘piocadh bruit]in’ an t-ainm a bheirtear ar an obair seo; nitear athuair as uisce glan iad agus tá siad réidh le cur ar an tine.

Agus oíche mar seo, fad is a bhíos na prátaí dá mbruth bheadh duine ag súil le scéal agus gheibhimid é.  Insíonn an seanfhear ceann de na scéalta fá Naomh Bríd, scéalta a tháining aniar ón aimsir chianaosta ó ghlúin go glúin.

Níl sé chomh furasta pota prátaí a shileadh agus a shílfeadh duileadh aineolach, ach tá lámh maith ag mná Thír Chonaill air.  Cuirtear crág shalainn agus oinniúin gearrtha ar na práta]I agus anois caithfear a brú.  Tuirnín an t-ainm atá ar an maide a bhrúnns iad.  Ní an tuirnís seo brúitín de na prátaí is righne dá ….  bhealach.

Tuairim ar chearthrú I ndiaidh a haondéag, téann an teaghlach ar a nglúinibh le paidrín cúig ndeichniúr déag a rá.  Le cois cionn a chur ar an Phaidrín, tá paidir ar leith acu an oíche seo, “Paidir agus Ave Máire le muid féin agus an méid is …. orainn a shábháil ar muir agus ar tír, ar tonn agus ar tráigh, gach bealach agus bearnas dá rachaimid. Agus go speisialta ar chaill agus ar urc..  na farraige móire.”

Paidir í seo atá ar fóirstin do dhaoine a chaithfeas a ngabháil I ngleic leis an fharraige mhóir ag saothrú a mbeatha nach bhfuil le fáil ar an talamh acu.

I dtráthaibh an mheán oíche, nuair atá an Paidrín ráite, tosaíonn Turas Bhríde, príomhócáid na féile.  Bheir gach duine den teaghlach ball éadaigh do Bhríd, idir gheansaí nó stocaí, bheir Bríd léí na neadaí agus an p… chocháin agus téid sí amach ar an doras cúil.  Téid sí thart far an teach thí huaire de thaobh na láimhe deise.  Téid sí ar a glúine ag an doras tosaigh agus scairteann sí leis an teaghlach: “Gabhaigí ar bhur nglúine agus fosclaigí bhur súile agus ligigí isteach Bríd Bheannaithe.”  Bheir siadsan freagra uirthi, “’Sé beatha, ‘sé beatha, ‘sé beatha na mná uaisle.”  Coisrictear na héadaí le huisce coisricthe agus deirtear an urnaí, “Caithfidh mé seo in onóir Bhríde, le mo shábháin ar gach olc agus gach urchóid go bliain ó anocht.”  Rud measartha deacair geansaí ag stócach le cur air.

Sa deireadh suíonn an teaghlach thart ag déanamh crosa Bhríde.  Féachann gach duine le cros a dhéanamh, ach ar ndóigh tá daoine níos fearr ná daoine eile á ndéanamh.

Ní hionann a nitear crosa Bhríde i ngach … den tír.  Anseo in Anagaire, ceanglaíonn siad dhá shlat dá chéile I bhfoirm croise agus fill siad na sipíní thart á cheangail.  Is féidir gach rud go dtí fiche cros a dhéanamh ar an chros mhór amháin.  Ansin cuirtear na crosa in airde sna creataí istigh sa teach agus sna bothaigh ag iarraidh coimirce Bhríde ar dhaoine agus ar ainmhithe sa bhliain atá romhainn.  Fágtar na crosa sna háiteacha seo go bliain ó anocht.  Coinnítear fuíollach an chocháin agus cuirtear I dtaisce é.  Cuirtear deireadh leis an Fhéile le paidir, “Cuidiú Bríde go raibh fár mbun, agus fár mbarr in éadan gach olc agus gan urchóid go ceann bliana ón lá inniu.

In the Donegal Gaeltacht many traditions in honor of Saint Bridgid are still alive among the people.

This is Anagary, a beautiful place above Caslach, where the Duffy family live.

On the Eve of Brigid’s Day, the old people and conal and Liam go out to find straw to make the crosses. the straw must be brought in before sunset. The straw is separated and cleaned as the old people explain to the lads. In some places in Donegal, reeds are what they have for making the crosses, but the people in Anagary think the straw crosses are better.

In the house, Bríd and Mrs. Duffy are setting the fire to boil the brúitín. Brúitíní, that is, potatoes mashed with milk and butter and onion and salt.

The potatoes are brought in from the hole; they must be well-washed tonight, and the pot must also be washed.

This family does not have brúitín every night. Two nights of the eve of a festival annually is when they have brúitín, that is, Halloween and St. Brigid’s Night.

The men give a helping had with the meal; they remove the eyes from the potatoes. “Piocadh brúitín” is what this work is called. They are washed once more in clean water, and then they are ready to be placed on the fire.

And a night like this, as the potatoes are being boiled, one would expect a story, and we have it. The old man tells one of the stories about Saint Bridgit, stories that came from the old days, passed from generation to generation.

It’s not as easy to prepare a pot of potatoes as one might think , but the women of Donegal are practised at it. Salt and chopped onion are added to the potatoes and now it must be mashed. The utensil with which they are mashed is called a Tuirnín. ….

At about a quarter past eleven, the family go on their knees to say five decades of the Rosary. At the head of the Rosary, they have a special prayer for this night, “A Prayer and Ave Maria to keep ourselves and … safe on land and sea, on wave and beach, every way and place where we go. And especially …. on the great sea.

This is a prayer that helps people who must to to sea to make their living as there is not sufficient for them on land.

About midnight, when the Rosary has been said, the Turas Bhríde (Bridgid’s Tour) begins, the main event of the festival. Every member of the family holds a piece of Bridgid’s clothing, either geansaí (sweater) or socks, and Bridgid lods the … and the straw bundle, and she goes out the back door. She goes three times around the house on her right (clockwise). She goes on her knees at the front door and she calls to the family: “Go on your knees and open your eyes and let Holy Bridgid in.” They reply, “’Sé beatha (Hail), ‘sé beatha, ‘sé beatha gentlewoman.” The clothes are blessed with holy water and the prayer is recited, “I will wear this in honor of Bridgid, to protect me from every harm and every iniquity for a year from tonight.”

It is quite difficult to put a geansaí on a young boy.

At last the family sit around making the St. Bridgid’s Crosses. Each person likes to make a cross, but of course some people are better than others at making them.

St. Bridgid’s Crosses are not the same all over the country. Here in Anagary, they tie two sticks together in the form of a cross, and they fold the together in the form of a cross and fold the twigs around to tie them. Up to twenty crosses can be made on one big cross.

Then the crosses are put up in the rafters in the house and in the sheds to ask for Bridgid’s protection for the people and animals in the year ahead. The crosses are left in this place for a year from tonight.

The remaining straw is kept and put away. The festival ends with the prayer, “May the help of Bridgid be below and above, against every ill and every iniquity for a year from today.

The film is found in our catalog as Bridgid’s Night, with the information that it was filmed in Co. Donegal in 1961.

To learn more about our video collections, see our library guide to Ireland on Film.