Caoineadh na dTrí Muire (Muintir Joe Éinniú)

Play recording: Caoineadh na dTrí Muire (Muintir Joe Éinniú)

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  • Teideal (Title): Caoineadh na dTrí Muire (Muintir Joe Éinniu).
  • Uimhir Chatalóige Ollscoil Washington (University of Washington Catalogue Number): none.
  • Uimhir Chnuasach Bhéaloideas Éireann (National Folklore of Ireland Number): none.
  • Uimhir Roud (Roud Number): none.
  • Uimhir Laws (Laws Number): none.
  • Uimhir Child (Child Number): none.
  • Cnuasach (Collection): none.
  • Teanga na Croímhíre (Core-Item Language): Irish.
  • Catagóir (Category): song.
  • Ainm an té a thug (Name of Informant): Bríd Ní Mhaoilchiaráin, Stephen Breathnach, Bairbre Éinniú Uí Mhaoilchiaráin, Ciarán Mac Craith and Máire Mhic Craith.
  • Ainm an té a thóg (Name of Collector): Míċeál Ó Loċlainn, Seán Breathnach.
  • Dáta an taifeadta (Recording Date): 26th August 2019.
  • Suíomh an taifeadta (Recording Location): Áras Shorcha Ní Ghuairim, Roisín na Maithneach, Contae na Gaillimhe, Éire.
  • Ocáid an taifeadta (Recording Occasion): private recording.
  • Daoine eile a bhí i láthair (Others present): none.
  • Eagarthóireacht (Editing): Seán Breathnach.
  • Athchóiriú digiteach fuaime (Digital audio restoration): Fionn Ó Sealbhaigh.
  • Stádas chóipcheart an taifeadta (Recording copyright status): Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh.
Graphic describing the timeline of new additions to the Cartlanna during 2019 — the centenary of Joe’s birth.


By Míċeál Ó Loċlainn

Joe Heaney one hundred years on and the Irish singing tradition in Carna

This item is one of two (the other being this recording of Connla) which were added to the Cartlanna on 1st October 2019; one hundred years to the day after Joe Éinniú’s birth.

To celebrate this unique occasion, we felt it important to look forward rather than back and to focus on the present-day vitality of the native tradition from which Joe emerged. In particular, we wanted to show that this tradition is still very much alive and is being transmitted to, and embraced by, young people in Carna and Iorras Aithneach. Joe’s family were very supportive and agreed to contribute songs to two new video recordings. These were then combined with archival footage of Joe himself to illustrate a continuity that currently spans four generations.

Joe Heaney and the caointe

In an interview with Joe in 1978, Esther Warkov asked him which songs he thought he sung best. He was adamant that these were the caointe — the laments — and named Amhrán na Páise (traditionally only sung during Holy Week) and Caoineadh na dTrí Muire (traditionally sung on Good Friday and on each Friday during Lent) especially.

So it wasn’t a bit surprising that Caoineadh na dTrí Muire was one of the two songs chosen by his family for these new recordings. This powerful lament is sung beautifully here by, from left to right, Bríd Ní Mhaoilchiaráin, Stephen Breathnach, Bairbre Éinniú Uí Mhaoilchiaráin, Ciarán Mac Craith and Máire Mhic Craith.

Other recordings of caointe in the Cartlanna

For recodings of Joe himself singing Caoineadh na dTrí Muire see:

Caoineadh na dTrí Muire (1)
Audio recording made by Esther Warkov in March 1978.
Caoineadh na dTrí Muire (2)
Video recording made by Fredric Lieberman in August 1978.

Readers may also be interested in:

Part of a Caoineadh in the Conamara Tradition
Audio recording made by Liam Clancy. Date unknown.


Thanks and credit are due to Seán Breathnach and Fionn Ó Sealbhaigh of Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge. Both were very generous with their time and skill: Seán behind the camera and in the editing suite and Fionn on the sound desk, where he delivered a superlative audio restoration.

And of course, very special thanks are due to Joe’s family.

Go bhfága Dia ’n tsláinte agaibh!