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Séamus Ó Néill, (1910 - 1986), was a versatile Irish writer from Clarkhill, Castlewellan, County Down, Ireland. Following a primary degree from Queen's University, Belfast, he did historical research under Eoin MacNeill at University College, Dublin. He spent periods as editor of the journals An Iris and Comhar.

The endpiece from Dánta do pháistí (Poems for Children), entitled Subh Milis (Sweet Jam), a poignant poem dedicated to his mother (subtitle: Ceann do Mhama), is one of his best-known works:

Original

Bhí subh milis
Ar bhaschrann an dorais
Ach mhúch mé an corraí
Ionam d'éirigh,
Mar smaoinigh mé ar an lá
A bheas an baschrann glan,
Agus an láimh bheag
Ar iarraidh.

Translation

There was jam
On the doorhandle
But I suppressed the anger
That rose up in me,
Because I thought of the day
That the doorhandle would be clean
And the little hand
Would be gone.

Two of his novels, Tonn Tuile and Máire Nic Artáin, dealt with marital breakdown - the latter set in the religiously divided communities of Belfast during the First World War.

Works

  • An Sean-Saighdiúir agus scéalta eile (The veteran and other stories), 1945.
  • An iris/eagarth (An Iris edited), 1945-1946.
  • Colm Cille : drama i gceithre radharcanna (Columcill: a drama in four scenes), 1946.
  • Tonn tuile (Tidal Wave), Novel, Sáirséal agus Dill, 1947.
  • Dánta Poems, pre-1949;
  • Iomramh an Ousel (The Voyage of the Ousel), Poems, pre-1949;
  • Buaidh an Ultaigh (The Ulsterman will Win), Drama, pre-1949;
  • Díolta Faoina Luach (Below-cost Sales), Drama, pre-1949;
  • Ní Chuireann siad Síol (They Sow no Seed), Drama, pre-1949;
  • Dánta do pháistí (Poems for Children), 1949.
  • Súil timpeall (Eye Around), Essay, 1951.
  • Up the Rebels, Oifig an tSoláthair, 1954. Trans. Doiminic Ó Ceallaigh.
  • Ag baint fraochán : agus scéalta eile (Picking Blaeberries and other stories), 1955.
  • Máire Nic Artáin (Maire McCartan), Novel, Cló Morainn, 1959.
  • Iníon Rí Dhún Sobhairce : tragóid trí ghníomh (The King of Dunseverick's Daughter: a tragedy in three acts), 1967.
  • Faill ar an bhFeart : dráma trí ghníomh (Opportunity of a Miracle: a drama in three acts), c.1970.
  • An tSiúr Pól : dráma trí ghníomh (Sister Paul: a drama in three acts), c.1973.
  • Rún an Oileáin (The Secret of the Island), pub. c.1975. Staged in the Damer Hall, Dublin 5-10 June, 1961.
  • Iníon rí na Spáinne (The King of Spain's Daughter), 1978.

Critical and bibliographic material

See also

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