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Seán Mac Mathúna (1876 - 1949), of Luogh, Doolin, Co. Clare, collected folklore during the 1930s and 1940s. 

Seán was also known as Johnny (Mháirtín) McMahon to his neighbours and friends. He was a meticulous collector who assembled one of the finest regional archives held in the National Folklore Collection. 

I hope to publish a selection of the folklore Seán collected from and about women in north-west Clare. 

I am editing this for publication online at I am a PhD student in the School of Irish, Fiontar & Scoil na Gaeilge (FSG) at Dublin City University (DCU). 

Dr. Úna Bhreathnach (FSG, DCU) and Dr. Críostóir Mac Cárthaigh (National Folklore Collection, University College Dublin) are supervising the research. 

I am writing to you to introduce my research project to your readers in the hope that they may be able to assist me. 

I am conducting interviews with people who knew Seán or who grew up in the 1930s and the 1940s in north-west Co. Clare. I had the opportunity to meet with some local people recently and it was wonderful to hear the stories and memories of the period they shared with me. 

I would like to speak to more women, however, who can tell me what life was like for them and/or their mothers or grandmothers during those decades. 

Anyone who is willing to be interviewed or who might recommend other people interested in participating can contact me here or at or at the postal address below. 

Please don't hesitate to get in touch with any queries regarding the interview process. 

Go raibh míle maith agaibh!

Le gach dea-ghuí,

Michelle Dunne M.A.

Fiontar & Scoil na Gaeilge,

DCU All Hallows Campus,


Dublin 9,

D09 N920.

Michelle Dunne

Thursday 4th Jul 2019, 08:03AM

Message Board Replies

  • Hi Michelle:


    Thank you for your post about your very interesting research on Sean MacMathuna from Doolin.  I'm sure that many of our members with Clare connections will be interested in the work that you have undertaken to study.  I'm going to pass this onto our office staff who may be able to create some interest on Social Media and with our membership about this.  

    If you wish to write me directly, please email me at:

    The very best of luck with your work!


    Jane Halloran Ryan

    Tuesday 9th Jul 2019, 02:20PM
  • Hi Jane,

    Thank you very much for your help! I really appreciate it! 

    Thank you for your kind wishes also,


    Michelle Dunne

    Wednesday 10th Jul 2019, 09:34AM
  • Hi everyone,

    I'm glad to report that my PhD research on Seán Mac Mathúna's (or John McMahon's) folklore collection is progressing well. 

    You can read more about the project (in English) here ( or in Irish here ( 

    Seán's ancestor profile is also available here:

    I wish to highlight the contribution of each and every storyteller that Seán (or Johnny Mháirtín as he was locally known!) collected songs, stories and other types of folklore from. This means that I will need your help to find out some biographical details about the storytellers and to identify some of the people not mentioned by name in his collection. 

    If any of you may be able to help, please do let me know.

    Go raibh maith agaibh!



    Michelle Dunne

    Monday 27th Jul 2020, 03:39PM
  • Hi Michelle:


    That sounds like a great idea.  If you contact IrelandXO directly, they may be able to put together a group.  You might also make contact with the North Clare Historical Society who would have a good bit of local information about the area.  Their contact details are here:

    If you have any difficulties contacting them, please email me at: as I know several members and I can push this forward for you.


    Happy New Year.

    All the best,


    Jane Halloran Ryan

    Thursday 31st Dec 2020, 11:58AM
  • Hi Jane,

    Happy New Year! I hope you are well.

    Thank you very much for your help. I will contact the Ireland XO team and will keep you posted. 

    I will email you soon re: the North Clare Historical Society.

    Talk soon!


    Michelle Dunne

    Monday 4th Jan 2021, 09:42AM

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