Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 23 N 10

Book of Ballycummin
  • s. xvi
  • composite manuscript
  • Irish manuscripts
  • miscellany
  • vellum + paper
23 N 10
Betham 145
Cat. no. 967
Book of Ballycummin
The manuscript has not been known by any title, at least in modern scholarship, until the conference organised at the Royal Irish Academy in 7-8 March, 2019, when it was given its new title, the Book of Ballycummin.
Provenance and related aspects
s. xvi
16th century
Hands, scribes
Ó Maoil Chonaire familyÓ Maoil Chonaire family – important learned family of poets, historians and scribes based in Connacht
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Scribes working for or belonging to the Ó Maoil Chonaire (Ó Maolconaire). The catalogue description distinguishes between three principal scribes, each of whom writes at least one colophon with his name: Aodh, Dubthach and Torna(e).
Hands indexed:
Aodh Aodh “wrote for his own amusement at Baile in Chuimine [Ballycummin] in the house of Seán Ó Maolchonaire (pp. 1, 48 i., 77 i.), circa 1575. This scribe was the owner of the book, as he is referred to by the other scribes” (RIA cat. descr.). Aodh [scribe of RIA MS 23 N 10]Aodh ... scribe of RIA MS 23 N 10
Entry reserved for but not yet available from the subject index.
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Dubthach “signs his name on p. 101 m., stating that he is finishing his part of the scribal work at Baile Tibhaird ar Bla Maige in the company of Sean Ó Maoilchonaire on the first Monday after the Feast of Saint John 1575 (p. 101 m.). Aedh, who resumes the transcription at this point, adds to Dubthach’s colophon a word of thanks” (RIA cat. descr.). Dubthach [scribe of RIA MS 23 N 10]Dubthach ... scribe of RIA MS 23 N 10
Entry reserved for but not yet available from the subject index.
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Tornae Signs his name at the end of the last line on p. 57: Messe Tornae ⁊ ni fetur ca fad o do-scriuhus oen-lini roime sin. Tornae [scribe of RIA MS 23 N 10]Tornae ... scribe of RIA MS 23 N 10
Entry reserved for but not yet available from the subject index.
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Anonymous A later section of the manuscript, pp. 131-142, containing a homily, maxims and verse, is without date and signature. Anonymous [scribe of RIA MS 23 N 10 (pp. 131-142)]Anonymous ... scribe of RIA MS 23 N 10 (pp. 131-142)
Entry reserved for but not yet available from the subject index.
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Codicological information
UnitCodicological unit. Indicates whether the entry describes a single leaf, a distinct or composite manuscript, etc.
composite manuscript
vellum + paper

The list below has been collated from the table of contents (if available on this page)Progress in this area is being made piecemeal. Full and partial tables of contents are available for a small number of manuscripts. and incoming annotations concerning individual texts (again, if available).Whenever catalogue entries about texts are annotated with information about particular manuscript witnesses, these manuscripts can be queried for the texts that are linked to them.


Primary sources This section typically includes references to diplomatic editions, facsimiles and photographic reproductions, notably digital image archives, of at least a major portion of the manuscript. For editions of individual texts, see their separate entries.

“Royal Irish Academy”, Ó Macháin, Pádraig (director), Irish Script on Screen – Meamrám Páipéar Ríomhaire, Online: School of Celtic Studies, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. URL: <>.
Best, R. I. [introduction], MS. 23 N 10 (formerly Betham 145) in the library of the Royal Irish Academy, Facsimiles in Collotype of Irish Manuscripts 6, Dublin: Stationery Office, 1954.

Secondary sources (select)

Mulchrone, Kathleen, Thomas F. O'Rahilly, Elizabeth Fitzpatrick, and A. I. Pearson (eds.), Catalogue of Irish manuscripts in the Royal Irish Academy, 8 vols, Dublin: Royal Irish Academy, 1926–1970.
Vol. 5, 2769–2780 [id. 967.]
Dennis Groenewegen
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