“I find him to be a kindred spirit, a sympathetic but shrewd enquirer, a companionable stroller, and a lover of anecdotes gathered by the wayside.”
So Tim Robinson described folklorist, revolutionary, and district justice Sean Mac Giollarnath, whose 1941 book Annala Beaga o Iorras Aithneach revealed his sheer delight in the rich language and stories of the people he encountered in Conamara, the Irish-speaking region in the south of Connemara.
From tales of smugglers, saints, and scholars to memories of food, work, and family, the stories gathered here provide invaluable insights into the lives and culture of the community. This faithful and lovingly crafted translation, complete with annotations, a biography, and thoughtful chapters that explore the importance of the language and region, is the final work of both Robinson and his collaborator, the renowned writer and Irish language expert Liam Mac Con Iomaire.
Translated into English for the first time, Conamara Chronicles: Tales from Iorras Aithneach preserves the art of storytellers in the West of Ireland and honors the inspiration they kindle even still.