The Cartlanna: Team

Former project (founder) members

Professor Lillis Ó Laoire BA ADO MA PhD

Lillis was the initiator of the Cartlanna, and the Project Leader until his retirement in September 2023. He was a senior Lecturer in Irish at University of 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.

Virginia Stevens Blankenhorn BA MA PhD

In 2009–10 Dr Virginia Blankenhorn was supported by an IRCHSS Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship that enabled her to fully explore the University of Washington’s Joe Heaney Collection, of which a copy had been digitally shared with NUI Galway. Working under the general supervision of Principal Investigator and Senior Research Fellow Dr Lillis Ó Laoire, she chose and edited recordings from the Collection, transcribed and edited Joe Heaney’s songs and commentary as well as interviews and other items, provided translations of Irish texts where needed, researched and wrote additional notes to individual items, and compiled the bibliography and discography included in these Archives.

A native of California, Dr Blankenhorn earned degrees in music and in Celtic Studies from Wellesley College, Harvard University and the University of Edinburgh. Beginning in 1975, she spent a year in Galway and two years at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies prior to being appointed to a three-year vacancy at the School of Scottish Studies, University of Edinburgh, and subsequently to a lectureship in Irish at the University of Ulster, where she remained until returning to the United States in 1988. A book based on her doctoral dissertation, Irish Song-Craft and Metrical Practice since 1600, was published in 2003. In 2007 she returned to Ireland and subsequently to Scotland, where she has lived since 2011. Her recent book, Tradition, Transmission, Transformation: Essays on Scottish Gaelic Poetry and Song, appeared in 2019, and she has also published work on topics relating to linguistics and Irish traditional song.

Séamas Ó Concheanainn BA ADTF

Séamas was the Administrator of Áras Shorcha Ní Ghuairim for over 20 years.

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 developed undergraduate and postgraduate courses that included 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 was 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; and 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.

Project maintenence

Míċeál Ó Loċlainn

Míċeál is the technical assistant to Cartlanna Joe Éinniú, and their curator. His interests include various technical and non-technical subjects. He has seen after the Cartlanna’s ongoing maintenance from the outset and has been responsible for web design since 2016. He is currently active developing a digital realisation of An Músgraigheach for the Web.