Dublin, University College, MS Franciscan A 21

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  • 1609
  • Irish manuscripts
Collection: Franciscan
A 21
Author manuscript of Tadhg Ó Cianáin's Turas na dTaoiseach nUltach as Éirinn.
Provenance and related aspects
Hands, scribes
Tadhg Ó CianáinÓ Cianáin (Tadhg)
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Codicological information
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 for 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.

[dig. img.] “University College Dublin”, Ó Macháin, Pádraig (director), Irish Script on Screen (ISOS) – Meamrám Páipéar Ríomhaire, Online: School of Celtic Studies, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. URL: <>.
[ed.] Ó Muraíle, Nollaig [ed.], Turas na dTaoiseach nUltach as Éirinn: from Ráth Maoláin to Rome. Tadhg O Cianain's contemporary narrative of the so-called Flight of the Earls, 1607-8, Rome: Pontifical Irish College; Four Courts Press, 2007.  
Contents include: introduction (17-45); Text and translation (48-399); Tomás Ó Fiaich and notes by Paul Walsh (403-600); Sample to compare (semi)diplomatic and modernised editions (603-609); Paul Walsh's preface (610-616); AFM's account (617-619); Prosopography of Earl's entourage (620-628); Index of persons mentioned in the text (629-630); Index of placenames (631-640), etc; Irish inscription of Loreto (653-656).
When the principal lords of Gaelic Ulster and their followers sailed from Lough Swilly in September 1607 on the faithful journey that would end in Rome nine months later, their company included one of the Irish learned class – Tadhg Ó Cianáin. This tantalisingly obscure figure has left us a most important primary source for a pivotal period in Irish history. Ó Cianáin’s careful record sheds valuable light on such things as the reaction of the Continental powers – France, Spain, Lorraine, and the Papacy – to the arrival on their territories of the inconvenient Irish exiles; the spread of Tridentine Catholic influence as far afield as Ireland; the role of such important Franciscan figures as Flaithrí Ó Maoil Chonaire and Roibeart Mac Artúir; the palpable Franciscan flavour that suffuses Ó Cianáin’s work; the sights and sounds of the great Baroque city of Rome, and the impressive sophistication and flexibility of the Irish language in accommodating itself to and borrowing from several other languages.

This new edition of Tadhg Ó Cianáin’s work owes much to the two previous editions, those of Paul Walsh (†1916) and Tomás Ó Fiaich and Pádraig de Barra (†1972); from the latter edition it furnishes, in translation, the late Cardinal Ó Fiaich’s invaluable commentary on the Earls’ journey, supplemented by Fr Walsh’s detailed annotation.
Edition based on this manuscript.
Dennis Groenewegen