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Ciarán Mac Murchaidh

Ciarán Mac Murchaidh is a native of Co. Fermanagh and was educated at Mullanaskea Primary School and then at St Michael’s College, Enniskillen. He went to university in Maynooth, attending both the National University of Ireland and the Pontifical University there. He was awarded an honours degree in Celtic Studies in 1986 and was conferred with an MA in Modern Irish in 1987. He went on to receive an honours degree in Divinity (BD) in 1990, a Diploma in Pastoral Studies in 1991, and the Higher Diploma in Education in 1993. He was conferred with the degree of PhD in 2004 for a thesis on the sermons of Dr Séamas Ó Gallchóir, bishop of Raphoe and, thereafter, of Kildare & Leighlin. He worked in Maynooth University as a tutor and part-time lecturer from 1986 to 1998, while also teaching Irish, English, German and Religion in Coláiste Chilliain, Clondalkin for a time. He was a lecturer in the Department of Irish at St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra from 1998 to 2010, when he was appointed as Dean of Research & Humanities. He left St Patrick’s College in November 2013 to take up the position of Head of School in Fiontar, Dublin City University. During the summer of 2016 when Fiontar and the Department of Irish were brought together in a new School – Fiontar & Scoil na Gaeilge – Mac Murchaidh was appointed as Head of School.

His main interest is devotional literature and Irish language during the 18th century but he also has a keen interest in Irish grammar and the teaching of the language. His essays and reviews have appeared in a range of journals. He has recorded a number of programmes about Irish language and literature for RTÉ, BBC Ulster, Raidió na Gaeltachta and Raidió na Life. His most recent work, Irish and English: essays on the Irish linguistic and cultural frontier, 1600-1900 (Four Courts Press) was published in 2012 and comprises a collection of essays that examine the relationship between the Irish and English languages in the period 1600 to 1900 in Ireland. He co-edited the volume with his colleague, Professor James Kelly (School of History & Geography, DCU).

His anthology of religious poetry, Lón anama (Cois Life, 2005), was shortlisted for Gradam Uí Shúilleabháin/ Book of the Year in 2006 and his book, Filíocht ghrá na Gaeilge (Cois Life, 2008) won that award in 2009. He is Secretary of Coiste Léann na Gaeilge, Litríocht na Gaeilge agus na gCultúr Ceilteach in the Royal Irish Academy.

The sixth edition of his best-selling grammar book, Cruinnscríobh na Gaeilge, was published in 2016.

Updated June 2017


Cruinnscríobh na Gaeilge (Cois Life, 2002, sixth edition Cois Life, 2016)


Filíocht ghrá na Gaeilge/Love poems in Irish (Cois Life, 2008)
Lón anama: poems for prayer from the Irish tradition (Cois Life, 2005)

Academic Works

‘Hearing Heaney’: The sixth Seamus Heaney lectures (Four Courts, 2015) [with Eugene McNulty]
Irish and English: Essays on the Irish linguistic and cultural frontier 1600-1900 (Four Courts Press, 2012) [with James Kelly]
‘Who needs Irish?’: reflections on the importance of the Irish language today (Veritas, 2004)
Teanga, pobal agus réigiún: Aistí ar chultúr na Gaeltachta inniu (Coiscéim, 2000)[with Liam Mac Mathúna and Máirín Nic Eoin.]

Ciarán Mac Murchaidh at Cois Life

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