The Joe Heaney Archives team

Ongoing development, editing ⁊ maintenance

Lillis Ó Laoire BA ADO MA PhD

Lillis is the Project Leader of The Joe Heaney Archives. It was he who initiated the project.

He is a senior Lecturer in Irish at National University of Ireland, Galway. He has published widely mainly in the area of Gaelic song, but also on modern poetry and regional literature. An English translation of his award-winning study of singing in Tory Island, Ar Chreag i Lár na Farraige (2002), was published in 2005 and 2007 by the title On a Rock in the Middle of the Ocean in a joint publication between Scarecrow Press and Cló Iar-Chonnachta. He is also well known as a singer in sean-nós style and has won the Corn Uí Riada prize twice (in 1991 and 1994). He has made one solo recording, Bláth Gach Géag Dá dTig with Cló Iar-Chonnachta, and is featured on a number of others. He was awarded a senior IRCHSS Scholarship in 2009–10 in order to complete the book Bright Star of the West: Joe Heaney, Irish Song Man, (Oxford University Press, 2011), co-written with Professor Sean Williams of The Evergreen State College, Olympia, Washington, and to work toward the creation of a website of digitised materials in the Joe Heaney Collection at the University of Washington. These archives are the result of that work.

Míċeál Ó Loċlainn ADTF MSc

Mícheál is the technical assistant for the Joe Heaney Archives. It was he who designed, and maintains, the current iteration of the Archives’ web site. He developed a number of custom WordPress plug-ins as part of this work

He gave several years working in industry as a computer engineer and systems administrator. He has worked as a Feidhmeannach Ríomhaireachta for Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge (the Irish language unit of National University of Ireland, Galway) since 2003 and is based in the Acadamh’s centre in Roisín na Mainiach, Áras Shorcha Ní Ghuairim.

Mícheál completed his master’s degree in 2008 at the University of Limerick, under the supervision of Gearóid Ó Néill. The two principal results of this research were the design of a multidialectical framework for Irish language speech synthesis and, based on this, the development of the first version of a multidialectical speech synthesis application, Sintéiseoir 1.0.

Research interests include computer user interface localisation in network and in multi-lingual environments (on which he has several articles written); speech synthesis and natural language processing; computer assisted language learning; linguistics and dialectics in the digital domain; Web and multimedia technologies; digital archiving; and the manipulation and delivery of folklore materials in electronic forms.

He is currently developing a digital realisation of An Músgraigheach for the Web.

Project founder-members

Virginia Stevens Blankenhorn BA MA PhD

Virginia was the original editor of The Joe Heaney Archives.

A native of California in the USA, she moved to Ireland in the 1970s after earning degrees in music and in Celtic Languages and Literature from Wellesley College and Harvard University. Following a year in Galway and two years as a scholar at the School of Celtic Studies, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, she was appointed to a temporary lectureship at the School of Scottish Studies, University of Edinburgh, and subsequently to a permanent lectureship in Irish at the University of Ulster, Coleraine. She earned her doctorate in Celtic Studies in 1987 from the University of Edinburgh; a book based on her doctoral dissertation, Irish Song-Craft and Metrical Practice Since 1600, was published in 2003. She has published on topics relating to linguistics as well as to Irish and Scottish Gaelic verse and song, and under the name ‘Virginia Stevens’ she recorded an LP of songs from the Connemara tradition, Tiocfaidh an Samhradh, for Mulligan Records in 1978. A CD, Ómós don Amhrán, is available from Shinywhistle Music. After a nineteen-year period working and raising a family in the United States, Virginia returned to Ireland in 2007.

From September 2009 until August 2010 she held an IRCHSS Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship, during which she prepared and edited material for the Joe Heaney Archives.

Séamas Ó Concheanainn BA ADTF

Séamas is the Administrator of Áras Shorcha Ní Ghuairim

A native of An Spidéal in the Conamara Gaeltacht, Séamas is a graduate of the National University of Ireland, Galway, and the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. He began working with the National University of Ireland, Galway in Áras Shorcha Ní Ghuairim in 1998. As Administrator of the Áras, Séamas has developed undergraduate and postgraduate courses that include the M.Sc. in Information Technology (Research) in conjunction with the Department of Information Technology, National University of Ireland, Galway. His agenda for the Carna unit seeks to prioritise the unique cultural amenities of the area through various activities, including:

  • The use of modern technology to preserve the valuable collection of folklore associated with the area.
  • The development, in collaboration with Roinn na Gaeilge, National University of Ireland, Galway, of folklore-based courses that will put this valuable local collection to practical modern use.
  • The support of local groups in organising festivals and cultural events.

Seathrún Ó Tuairisg PhD

Seathrún is the Administrator of the IT Unit, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge

He was awarded a B.Sc. in Physics from the National University of Ireland, Galway in 1997. He spent a year in Portugal and the Netherlands involved in research in the field of astronomy, before commencing a Ph.D. in that particular field in the Physics Department in the National University of Ireland, Galway. He spent three years working as a post-doctoral researcher in the Information Technology Department, where his research was based on the importance of high performance computing and new technology, with a particular emphasis on archiving.