Máirtín Ó Direáin ([ˈmˠaːɾʲtʲiːnʲ oː ˈdʲɪɾʲaːnʲ]; 29 November 1910 – 19 March 1988) was an Irish poet. A native of the Aran Islands Gaeltacht, Ó Direáin later spent time working in Galway and Dublin, where he upheld a connection to Gaelic affairs through Conradh na Gaeilge and Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe. A significant theme of his poetic works deals with the tensions between the urban and rural, modernity and tradition, the English-speaking world and Gaeldom.
Máirtín Ó Direáin
|Born||29 November 1910|
Inis Mór, County Galway, Ireland
|Died||19 March 1988 (aged 77)|
|Resting place||Mount Jerome Cemetery, Dublin|
|Pen name||Ruaidhrí Beag|
|Language||Irish (Connacht Irish)|
|Literary movement||Modern literature in Irish|
|Notable works||Rogha Dánta and Ó Mórna agus Dánta Eile|
|Spouse||Áine Colivet (m. 1945–1976, her death)|
Ó Direáin was born in Sruthán on Inis Mór in the Aran Islands. He was educated at Onaght national school. The son of a small farmer, Máirtín Ó Direáin spoke only Irish until his mid-teens. He worked as a civil servant from 1928 until 1975. In 1952, he translated a play by Irish playwright Teresa Deevy for Radio Eireann; the play was called The King of Spain's Daughter (translated as Iníon Rí na Spáinne).
His literary awards include the An Chomhairle Ealaíon/The Arts Council Awards (1964 and 1971); the Butler Prize, with Eoghan Ó Tuairisc (1967); the Ossian Prize for Poetry, FVS Foundation, Hamburg (1977). He was a member of Aosdána.
While Ó Direáin was rooted deeply in the Gaelic tradition, his poetry also shows influence from wider European writers. His influences included Nietzsche, Spengler, Yeats, Haicéad, Ó Bruadair, Bedell and Shakespeare.
Carraig agus cathair: Ó Direáin is a recent (2002) biography. Its title ('Rock and City') refers to Ó Direáin's journey from his native rocky island to Dublin, where he lived most of his life.
An Charraig Stoite (The Uprooted Rock) is a 2003 award-nominated TG4/Bord Scannán na hÉireann funded documentary on Máirtín Ó Direáin which was written by Alan Titley and produced and directed by Mac Dara Ó Curraidhín.
On 27 May 2010, An Post (the Republic of Ireland's Post Office) issued a single stamp to commemorate the birth centenary of Máirtín Ó Direáin featuring a portrait of the poet. Six of his poems have been put to music by Colm Ó Snodaigh from the music group Kíla: Faoiseamh a Gheobhadsa, Maith Dhom, Bua na Mara, Dínit an Bhróin, "An tEarrach Thiar" and Bí i do Chrann. The first three have been recorded on Handel's Fantasy, Luna Park (two Kíla albums) and Giving - Colm's solo album from 2007.
His main works include the poetry collections:
- Rogha Dánta (1949)
- Ó Mórna agus Dánta Eile (1957)
- Ar Ré Dhearóil (1962)
- Cloch Choirnéil (1967)
- Crainn is Cairde (1970)
- Dánta 1939-79 (1980)
- Ceacht an Éin (1984)
- Béasa an Túir (1984)
- Tacar Dánta/Selected Poems (1984)
- Craobhóg: Dán (1986)
- Fear Lásta Lampaí (1928 - i nGaillimh/in Galway)
His autobiographical essays are collected as Feamainn Bhealtaine (1961).
- Iníon Rí na Spáinne (1952) Translation
- "Irish University Review". Irish University Press. 26 October 1988 – via Google Books.
- "Ó DIREÁIN, Máirtín (1910–1988)". ainm.ie.
- "Máirtín O'Direáin". Irish culture and Irish customs. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
- Maher, Helen (1976). Galway Authors. p. 116.
- "The Teresa Deevy Archive". 19 June 1952.
- "NEW Irish stamps". World Stamp News. Archived from the original on 8 March 2012. Retrieved 25 October 2012.