Diarmuid Ó Laoghaire SJ, (1915–2001), writer and lecturer on Celtic spirituality, and Irish-language enthusiast, was born in Drumcondra (Dublin 9) on 1 August 1915. He was given the name Diarmuid because he was born on the day Diarmuid Ó Donnabháin Rosa was buried. Diarmuid was one fo three children. He attended Belvedere College from 1925-28 where his teacher of Irish, Tadhg Ó Murchú (1908-71) had a big influence on him.
He joined the Jesuit Order on 7 September 1933. While he was spending a 4-year term in Rathfarnham Castle he read Celtic Studies at UCD. The subject of his MA thesis was Eochair-Sgiath an Aifrinn by Seathrún Céitinn. He studied philospohy for 3 years until a travel scholarship took him to Aberystwyth where he studied manuscripts in the British Library during WWII (1939-45). Diarmuid would often visit his lecturer Tom Jones, from whom he learned Welsh and to whom he taught Irish in exchange. He helped Jones translate Douglas Hyde's book, Sgeulaidhe fíor na seachtmhaine’ (Ó Glaisne) from Irish into Welsh. Welsh was one of his subjects in Dublin and his interest in and respect for Wales lasted a lifetime; he was elected to the Gorsedd at the Eisteddfod. His translation of some the most famous Welsh short-stories in Glór ár ngaolta (1992) won him an award at the Oireachtais festival. He spoke Breton as well and had an interest in Manx and Cornish.
He was ordained as a priest after studying Theology at the Jesuit House of Studies, Milltown Park, Ranelagh, for four years. He spent the 1950s in charge of the juniors in the Rathfarnham House of Studies. From 1960-1962 he was Supervisor of Studies at Belevedere College. From 1962-77 he taught Irish in Gonzaga College. He earned a PhD in 1967 with his dissertation on the saints. In 1970 he began working as Editor of An Timire which continued for 25 years. He was also editor of Timire an Chroí Ró-Naofa, and edited Foilseacháin Ábhair Spioradálta (FÁS).
From the 1950s onwards he wrote on the subject of Irish Spirituality, in Irish and English, in Feasta, The Furrow, Capuchin Annual, Studies, Comhar, Irisleabhar Muighe Nuadhat. However his greatest body of work was published after 1972. Ár bpaidreacha dúchais, 1975 a collection of 500 prayers and 400 Irish blessings (which went to re-print 4 times) was probably what he was best known for. Other books of his include Cleachtaí spioradálta Naomh Iognáid, 1991; Mairtírigh na hÉireann, 1992; Díreach chun Dé, 1992. He was awarded Gradam an Phiarsaigh in 1992. He was injured in 1995 and suffered a mini-stroke the following year. He died on 21 July 2001.
Ó Laoighre was an inspiration to those who wanted to draw attention to the heritage of faith in Ireland; he ranks among Donnchadh Ó Floinn and other priests who recognised the key importance the Irish language had on Christianity here. An article entitled ‘Risteárd Ó Glaisne ag comhrá le Diarmuid Ó Laoghaire’ was published in the Irish language newspaper Inniu on 16 February 1972. Richard also wrote a long essay on his life in Cothú an dúchais: aistí in ómós don Athair Diarmuid Ó Laoghaire S.J., 1997 and an account of his life was published in the Irish Times on 4 August 2001 (p16) .More details on his life and works can be accessed here http://dib.cambridge.org/ »
|Date of Birth||1st Aug 1915||VIEW SOURCE|
|Date of Death||1st Jul 2001||VIEW SOURCE|
|Father (First Name/s and Surname)||Michael O'Leary of Doneraile, Co. Cork. He worked as a manager for one of Dublin's largest department stores – McBirney’s.|
|Mother (First Name/s and Maiden)||Mary Flood from Co. Meath.|