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TLRH | SLLCS | Trinity College, ‘proper Irish’ and printing in the Irish language 1602–1685

Tuesday, 5 April 2022, 4 – 5pm

TLRH | SLLCS | Trinity College, ‘proper Irish’ and printing in the Irish language 1602-1685

A talk by Mícheál Hoyne (TCD) as part of the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultural Studies Research Seminar Series in association with Trinity Long Room Hub.

In 1563, Queen Elizabeth I made funding available ‘for making of Carecter to printe the New Testament in Irish’. At that point, not a single book had ever been printed in the language. The Irish New Testament finally appeared on 10 February 1602/3. Elizabeth died on 23 March the same year, perhaps without ever having seen the finished product. The project of translating and publishing the New Testament in Irish had languished for years. No real progress was made until Trinity College was founded: one of the very first Scholars of the College, Uilliam Ó Domhnaill, was key to bringing it to fruition last, and a good portion of the work of translating and printing was carried out on the grounds of the College itself. All of these books (and more) are an important source for the history of the Irish language and the attitudes of Irish writers to what characterized ‘correct’ and ‘plain’ Irish in a time of great change and stress for the language.

This seminar will retell the story of Trinity College and printing in the Irish language in the seventeenth century and examine some of the challenges that faced those involved and the linguistic decisions they made on the path to printing the entire Bible in Irish.


Mícheál Hoyne is a lecturer in the Department of Irish and Celtic Languages, Trinity College Dublin. He is the author of Fuidheall Áir: Bardic poems on the Meic Dhiarmada of Magh Luirg c. 1377– c. 1637 (Dublin, 2018). With the late Professor Richard Sharpe, he co-authored Clóliosta: printing in the Irish language, 1571–1871 – an attempt at narrative bibliography (Dublin, 2020).

Please indicate if you have any access requirements, such as ISL/English interpreting, so that we can facilitate you in attending this event. Contact:

Campus LocationTrinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute
Accessibility: Yes
Room: online
Event Category: Lectures and Seminars
Type of Event: One-time event
Audience: Undergrad, Postgrad, Alumni, Faculty & Staff, Public
Cost: Free but registration is required
Contact Name: Prof Clemens Ruthners

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