There was a large attendance at Claregalway Castle for the lecture on the works of folklore collector Ciarán Bairéad on Saturday evening. Ciarán Bairéad lived with the Kearney family of Lackagh from 1955 until his death in 1976 and on Saturday evening four speakers spoke on the wonderful work of Ciarán and the Irish Folklore Commission.
Historian Prof Gearóid Ó Tuaithaigh spoke on Ciarán’s family background and cultural formation. He addressed Ciarán’s living in a family which were hugely instrumental in the formation of the Irish Language before the troubled times of the War of Independence. Prof Seamus Ó Cathain spoke on Ciarán and his work within the Irish Folklore Commission and his work with the head of the department Prof Seamus Delargy, and his co-operation with Dr Tony Lucas, Director of the National Museum.
Dr Padraig Ó Healaí spoke of the collected works of the Irish Folklore Commission from the Claregalway area. Dr Briain Ó Curnáin spoke on the different dialect from people in the area which was recorded by Ciarán Bairéad. Members of the Kearney family Frank and Joe, with whom Ciarán Bairéad lived for 21 years also spoke of his time in Lackagh.
The event was coordinated and chaired by Prof Máirin Ní Dhonnachadha (Old Irish, NUIG). It was a wonderful night of entertainment and the huge attendance warmly praised the organisers to at last highlight the wonderful contribution that was made to the entire area by Ciarán Bairéad or as many called him during his lifetime Mr Barrett.