Professor Ó Conchubhair wins first place in Irish literary competition

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Brian O'Conchubhair

A book written by Brian Ó Conchubhair, assistant professor of Irish language and literature at the University of Notre Dame, has won the first-place prize in Ireland’s 2009 Oireachtas na Gaeilge Literary Competition.

The 112-year-old Oireachtas na Gaeilge is the most prestigious Irish language literary competition in the country. It annually awards prizes to writers of Irish fiction, poetry, drama and prose.

Ó Conchubhair won first place in the prose competition for his book, “Fin de Siècle na Gaeilge: Darwin, An Athbheochan agus Smaointeoireacht na hEorpa,” or, as his more monolingual colleagues and friends might call it, “The Irish Fin de Siècle: Darwin, the Language Revival and European Intellectual Thought.”

Returning jet-lagged, but understandably cheerful, from a Sept. 29 nationally televised award ceremony in Dublin, Ó Conchubhair pronounced himself delighted by the award.

“It acknowledges not only the importance of the work to the field of Irish language literature, but affirms the strength of Notre Dame’s Department of Irish Language and Literature and the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies which fosters cutting-edge research and original thinking in Irish studies and the wider humanities,” he said.

Ó Conchubhair, who joined the Notre Dame faculty in 2004, specializes in 19th and 20th century Ireland, the Irish Revival, contemporary Irish language fiction, the European Fin de Siècle and the Irish language among the Diaspora.

Ó Conchubhair is the third faculty member of Notre Dame’s Irish Language and Literature Department to receive the Oireachtas na Gaeilge best book award, joining Professors Bríona Nic Dhiarmada and Breandan Ó Buachalla.

Contact: Professor Ó Conchubhair, 574-631-0499,