Michael O hAirtneide 1941-1999
Thursday April 6th - Saturday April 8th
Oh my darlings, oh my dears,
I have lived for fifty years;
and my hair is a river of tears -
oh my darlings, oh my dears.
- 'For All the Children',
A Book of Strays, The Gallery Press 2002
Michael Hartnett was born on 18 September 1941 in the St. Nessan’s Maternity Hospital at Croom, County Limerick. By the time of his death at the age of fifty-eight in 1999 he had created a significant body of work, including a dozen books from The Gallery Press alone, some published posthumously. He was a scholarly man of wide reading whose literary achievement involved shapeshifting between English and Irish – two very different languages in historical collision – in addition to a rich harvest of translation, mainly from Irish, but also from Spanish, Chinese, German and Latin.
D’fhas Micheál Ó hAirtnéide i gChaisleán Nua Thiar. Thosaigh sé ag scríobh go luath ina shaol agus d’fhéach sé air féin mar oidhre ar thraidisiún liteartha na bhfilí Gaelacha. Le linn a shaoil, d’fhoilsigh sé níos mó ná fiche gcnuasach filíochta, agus rinne sé aistriúchán ar theangacha éagsúla chomh maith. Déanann Éigse Mhicíl Uí Airtnéide céiliúradh ar an traidisiún literartha mar aon leis an traidisiún béil – ar Mhicheál Ó hAirtnéide mar fhile agus mar fhear.