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 Art O'Leary

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PostSubject: Art O'Leary   Wed Jun 25, 2008 3:14 pm

I heard a piece on Radio 1 a few weeks back about this Lament by his wife Eileen Dubh Ní Chonaill.It was great stuff, with big dollops of sadness.

There's some history of the story HERE

Quote :
Art Ó Laoghaire was proclaimed
‘notoriously infamous’ by the High Sheriff of Cork, Abraham Morris -
the charges were successfully rebutted in court. O'Leary's mare beat
Morris’s at the Macroom races in 1773. O'Leary refused to sell the
horse to the Sheriff’s offer of £5 (aha, now we know why the sheriff
went after him).
O'Leary was shot at Carriganimmy by Abraham’s henchman after an
attempted ambush on Morris at Millstreet, his blood-drenched mare
returning to Rathleigh. According to the poem, Eibhlín Dubh rode back
to Carriganimmy to declaim the first parts of the Caoineadh over her
husband, and drink his blood. Ó Laoghaire was re-buried in Kilcrea
Abbey in an inscribed tomb; the Caoineadh was written down from oral
tradition.
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PostSubject: Re: Art O'Leary   Wed Jun 25, 2008 3:38 pm

You'd think that Daniel O'Connell , her nephew, would have been proud of his aunt's talent in the native language but alas he said " I could witness the death of the (Irish) language without blinking". She should be on the plinth down the bottom of Sráid Uí Laoghaire.
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PostSubject: Re: Art O'Leary   Wed Jun 25, 2008 4:08 pm

EvotingMachine0197 wrote:
I heard a piece on Radio 1 a few weeks back about this Lament by his wife Eileen Dubh Ní Chonaill.It was great stuff, with big dollops of sadness.

There's some history of the story HERE

Quote :
Art Ó Laoghaire was proclaimed
‘notoriously infamous’ by the High Sheriff of Cork, Abraham Morris -
the charges were successfully rebutted in court. O'Leary's mare beat
Morris’s at the Macroom races in 1773. O'Leary refused to sell the
horse to the Sheriff’s offer of £5 (aha, now we know why the sheriff
went after him).
O'Leary was shot at Carriganimmy by Abraham’s henchman after an
attempted ambush on Morris at Millstreet, his blood-drenched mare
returning to Rathleigh. According to the poem, Eibhlín Dubh rode back
to Carriganimmy to declaim the first parts of the Caoineadh over her
husband, and drink his blood. Ó Laoghaire was re-buried in Kilcrea
Abbey in an inscribed tomb; the Caoineadh was written down from oral
tradition.

I'm surprised that the author of that piece said s/he found the poem too grim and dreary - it's anything but. I don't know the original Irish but Thomas Kinsella (a master in his own right) certainly made it eminently readable in English and there's a raw, visceral quality to her keening that I quite like.
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PostSubject: Re: Art O'Leary   Wed Jun 25, 2008 4:40 pm

Have you come across this lament before Kate ? I never heard of it until a few weeks ago. I sounds like it was common practice back then to utter these phrases and remember them for decades.

I'm guessing that the word keening is a phoenitic of ag caoineadh, which means 'crying' ??

Seathrún, did Daniel O Connell say that ?
I hope he didn't have to buy birthday presents for his aunties and uncles...22 of them Shocked
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PostSubject: Re: Art O'Leary   Wed Jun 25, 2008 5:21 pm

I have come across it, but always under its Irish title. Riadach will no doubt be along later to explain 'keening' - I'm not hazarding a guess but if I was, it would be the same as yours, EVM.

Irish literature was full of powerful women - and women probably had more power than now, before we became civilised and Christianised. Where are they all now?

*considers whose blood to drink, whose bull to do battle over and what seas to pirate*
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PostSubject: Re: Art O'Leary   Thu Jun 26, 2008 1:42 am

As far as I know, 'keening' has come into English from the Irish caoineadh alright (ag caoineadh meaning 'lamenting' in this context more than just 'crying')

Art is the subject of one the greatest laments ever written (well, composed... Eibhlín didn't write it down.. it wouldn't have been the custom.. she'd have been kept busy with the lamenting and that like... proper order too Wink)... As far as I know there's no recorded lament for Abraham. Take that Abraham you langer.
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PostSubject: Re: Art O'Leary   Thu Jun 26, 2008 1:45 am

Quote :
Eibhlín Dubh rode back
to Carriganimmy to...drink his blood

I think that image was a convention of the lament in general and wasn't intended literally... I should be well up on all this though, was examined in Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoghaire last month... frightening to think of how fast things can be forgotten No
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PostSubject: Re: Art O'Leary   Thu Jun 26, 2008 1:53 am

BuachaillBeo wrote:
As far as I know, 'keening' has come into English from the Irish caoineadh alright (ag caoineadh meaning 'lamenting' in this context more than just 'crying')

Art is the subject of one the greatest laments ever written (well, composed... Eibhlín didn't write it down.. it wouldn't have been the custom.. she'd have been kept busy with the lamenting and that like... proper order too Wink)... As far as I know there's no recorded lament for Abraham. Take that Abraham you langer.

Caoineadh ag Abraham O'Morris.

Abraham Morris you big bully boy wanker.
How did you die ? We don't care.
Cos you were a bollix.
And you shot A good man over a horse.
You jealous prick.
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PostSubject: Re: Art O'Leary   Thu Jun 26, 2008 2:36 am

EvotingMachine0197 wrote:


Caoineadh ag Abraham O'Morris.

Abraham Morris you big bully boy wanker.
How did you die ? We don't care.
Cos you were a bollix.
And you shot A good man over a horse.
You jealous prick.

Not a bad effort Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Art O'Leary   Thu Jun 26, 2008 3:02 am

BuachaillBeo wrote:
As far as I know, 'keening' has come into English from the Irish caoineadh alright (ag caoineadh meaning 'lamenting' in this context more than just 'crying')

Art is the subject of one the greatest laments ever written (well, composed... Eibhlín didn't write it down.. it wouldn't have been the custom.. she'd have been kept busy with the lamenting and that like... proper order too Wink)... As far as I know there's no recorded lament for Abraham. Take that Abraham you langer.

Yeh, that was mentioned on the radio 1 bit I heard. It was overheard, remembered, learned, passed on or whatever. Apparently in Art's case, someone eventually wrote it down, as gaeilge, the whole thing just fascinated me, I never heard of this stuff before.

We don't really lament like that anymore do we ? We just quote passages and talk shite ?

And what in the name of God were you doing getting asked questions about Art ?
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PostSubject: Re: Art O'Leary   Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:49 pm

BuachaillBeo wrote:
Quote :
Eibhlín Dubh rode back
to Carriganimmy to...drink his blood

I think that image was a convention of the lament in general and wasn't intended literally... I should be well up on all this though, was examined in Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoghaire last month... frightening to think of how fast things can be forgotten No

I did it too in third year as part of our 18th century literature in Irish. Need to try and remember more of it.
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PostSubject: Re: Art O'Leary   Thu Jul 03, 2008 11:23 pm

Kate P wrote:
I have come across it, but always under its Irish title. Riadach will no doubt be along later to explain 'keening' - I'm not hazarding a guess but if I was, it would be the same as yours, EVM.

Irish literature was full of powerful women - and women probably had more power than now, before we became civilised and Christianised. Where are they all now?

*considers whose blood to drink, whose bull to do battle over and what seas to pirate*

Indeed, it is exactly the same word, caoin, to cry or lament. On its own it means to cry, and with a noun it means to lament. For example, chaoin sé, would mean he cried, chaoin sé a mháthair, would mean he lamented his mother.

As far as I can remember, there were three words in Irish for a graveside lament or elegy, being gubha, caoineadh and marbhna. The first two seem to be semantically indisctinct, but the last would have been a more formal lay for the purpose of immortalising the great deeds of the individual who had past. The marbhna seemed to have died out with the collapse of the Bardic Order in the 17th century, given that no patron was willing to pay for immortality anymore. It was a much more formal piece of literature. Frequently it borrowed on well-established themes, often no individuality expressed in either the description of the poet of his patron, or the description of the relationship between them. Indeed, sometimes the only difference between various laments was the genealogy listed, or his battle triumphs.

The caoineadh lacked individuality to an extent, and it too borrowed on themes and ideas from other caointe. Often, even, the themes of the marbhna and the caoineadh would overlap. Indeed, Eibhlín Dubh describes her beloved as 'a mharcaigh an bhánghlaic', oh whitehanded horseman, which would have been an epithet for nobility throughout both syllabic and non-syllabic literature. However, the marbhna employed these characteristics as they considered them to be essential to the art, a certain formula was expected in each poem, whereas in the caoineadh, it made them easier to construct. The caoineadh, it seems, was mainly extemporised. It was done then and there, and to that extent, employed a certain rhythm to draw forth the ideas and concepts. Therefore, ready made phrases, themes and ideas were essential to the recitation of any caoineadh.

However, there is often, more evidence of a personal connection between the keener and the dead person, a connection that is often blurred in the earlier marbhna. For instance, one author did an analysis of the Caoineadh Art Uí Laoghaire based on the psychological process of death acceptence. Sure enough, the Caoineadh, and many others, showed evidence of denial, bargaining, anger, acceptance and depression. Of course, this does not necessarily mean that it was always the case that such connection existed. Indeed, the mná caointe, with little or no connection to the deceased, were frequently employed to allow the relatives to mourn their dead in silence, or to give their deceased a decent lament that they could not provide themselves. However, it may still be that because such laments were initially based on the mourning process that these elements were eventually fossilised within the caoineadh formula so that even the professional keeners would know to employ them. The caointe were sung as well, in rather a haunting repetitive manner, and emphasis on long vowel sounds which repeated within the metre throughout certain verses, would have no doubt added to the effect.

As for their origin, the fact they are based on a stressed metre, and not a syllabic one, is indicative that they their tradition dates back to well before the establishment of the latin-influenced syllabic metres. We have poems dates from the early 6th century that predate this change, whose metre is similar to that found in the caointe. Indeed, the catholic church frequently dismissed the caoineadh as a pagan practice. The fact that such lamenting, the tearing of hair and striking of the breast, is also found in other remote indo-european areas, such as greece and italy, may substantiate this origin. To the catholic church however, the idea of such intense mourning was said to imply that there was no afterlife (there was no need to mourn, apparently, when the soul was destined for eternal reward). This has to, therefore, be a pagan practice.

Thus, various attempts were made by prelates in the late 18th century and 19th century to suppress the practice, as well as other funeral games which were thought to denigrate the affair. Fraud marriages (fronsa), as well as practical jokes involving the corpse, were common practice in Irish funerals at the time. However, despite their protestations, they had little or no effect. What did seem to destroy the caoineadh, was the Famine. There maybe many reasons for this. The most obvious reason, would have been the large amounts of deaths that occured during the famine, divested the traditional Irish funeral of all the trappings of ceremony. I have suggested myself, that the penitential reform may have encouraged people to abandon an overtly pagan practice at a time when they considered that offending God was the cause of their woes. I have also, on reading Mairtín Ó Cadhain's cré na cille where the process is described in the 1940s, considered that the loss of language may have deprived the people of the language, the themes and the metre in which the caoineadh was performed. This difficulty in transition from one language to another, may have also sounded the death knell for the millenia-old practice.

Nowadays, traditional mourning songs are indeed sung at Irish funerals in Gaeltachtaí such as Amhrán Mhuínse, but the idea of an extemporised piece of functional literature has long passed away.
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PostSubject: Re: Art O'Leary   Thu Jul 03, 2008 11:45 pm

That's a class post riadach.

Fascinating that the caoineadh origins were pagan.

Quote :
For instance, one author did an analysis of the Caoineadh Art Uí
Laoghaire based on the psychological process of death acceptence. Sure
enough, the Caoineadh, and many others, showed evidence of denial,
bargaining, anger, acceptance and depression
.

Don't we all still experience these emotions whether we are pagan, christian or whatever ? These are human responses to loss, which cannot be managed by any religious affiliation imho.
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PostSubject: Re: Art O'Leary   Thu Jul 03, 2008 11:49 pm

EvotingMachine0197 wrote:
That's a class post riadach.

Fascinating that the caoineadh origins were pagan.

Quote :
For instance, one author did an analysis of the Caoineadh Art Uí
Laoghaire based on the psychological process of death acceptence. Sure
enough, the Caoineadh, and many others, showed evidence of denial,
bargaining, anger, acceptance and depression
.

Don't we all still experience these emotions whether we are pagan, christian or whatever ? These are human responses to loss, which cannot be managed by any religious affiliation imho.

Oh that wasn't my argument. My argument was that a personal connection between the author and the subject, was more evident in the caoineadh than it was in the Marbhna. This is not because of the pagan origins of the theme, but rather because of its more informal nature.
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PostSubject: Re: Art O'Leary   Fri Jul 04, 2008 1:57 am

Our Irish teacher, who was a young woman herself, told us that they still keen in parts of the Gaeltacht. In the professional detached manner, they'd be laughing and joking one minute and wailing away the next.

I once made a valiant effort to memorise the poem. I have it somewhere in an old anthology. It runs on for quite a bit if memory serves.
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PostSubject: Re: Art O'Leary   Fri Jul 04, 2008 2:24 am

905 wrote:
Our Irish teacher, who was a young woman herself, told us that they still keen in parts of the Gaeltacht. In the professional detached manner, they'd be laughing and joking one minute and wailing away the next.

I once made a valiant effort to memorise the poem. I have it somewhere in an old anthology. It runs on for quite a bit if memory serves.

Indeed, and his father and his sister (although the latter is conjectural and maybe be the result of faulty recollection) get involved too. I had to learn quite a bit of it for the course.

I'm not sure that anything that could be described as a keen, i.e. a metrical form expressing grief over the death of the person lying in state, is still alive in the Gaeltacht. There may be wailing alright, but that is not the same thing at all.
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