Texts

Eachtra cheithearnaigh Uí Dhomhnaill‘The adventure of Ó Domhnaill’s kern’

  • Early Modern Irish
  • prose
  • Irish literature

Irish humorous romance set in the time of Aodh Dubh Ó Domhnaill and written perhaps in the 16th century. The story deals with a kern (ceithearnach, a kind of lightly armed foot-soldier) who appears to Ó Domhnaill and his men and is able to perform a series of magic tricks or spectacular illusions. In some of the MS copies, he is ultimately identified with Manannán mac Lir.

Title
Eachtra cheithearnaigh Uí Dhomhnaill
‘The adventure of Ó Domhnaill’s kern’
This is a mixed title. It is usually known as Ceithearnach Ui Dhomhnaill (‘Ó Domhnaill’s kern’) or Eachtra an cheithearnaigh chaoil-riabhaigh (‘The adventure of the narrow-striped(?) kern’).
Manuscripts
This list is not exhaustive and requires further investigation. In addition to the copies listed by O'Grady, Morris and Jubainville, O'Rahilly, in his review of Morris' book, lists many further copies produced between 16th and 19th centuries.
  • London, British Library, MS Additional 18747 [c. 1800]
    f. 64r ff
    Transcribed from a manuscript written by Pádraig Ó Pronntaigh. This copy was used by O'Grady for his edition.
  • (Unidentified)A second copy used by O'Grady is found in “a MS. written in the county Cavan in 1847 by Silvester M'Gibney, a country schoolmaster, and now owned in London by Norman Moore, M. D., who kindly placed it at my disposal.”
Different version
  • (Unidentified)Morris's copy is from “a MS. in my possession, written in the year 1733 by Pádraig Ó Pronntaigh Mhic Néill [who] appears to have been a professional scribe.”
  • (Unidentified)Morris collated the above version with a copy in a MS that was in the possession of Douglas Hyde, written in 1763, again by one Pádraig Ua Pronntaigh Mhic Néill.
Further copies
  • Edinburgh, National Library of Scotland, Adv. MS 72.2.5
  • Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 23 M 19
    Copy noted by Jubainville.
  • Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 23 N 25
    Another copy noted by Jubainville.
  • Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 23 I 7
  • Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 12 F 7
  • Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 23 L 31
  • Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 23 M 19
  • Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 24 P 19
  • Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 23 M 47 5
  • Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 23 M 51
  • Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 23 D 35
  • Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 24 A 13
  • Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS G iv 1
  • Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS G vi 1
  • Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 24 B 9
  • Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 24 B 22
  • Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 24 B 28
  • Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 24 L 4
  • Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 23 G 41
  • London, British Library, MS Egerton 156
  • London, British Library, MS Egerton 164
  • London, British Library, MS Egerton 166
  • Dublin, National Library of Ireland, MS G 35
  • Maynooth, Russell Library, MS M 53
  • Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 23 O 72 (1381) [s. xviii]
    pp. 3–24
    Manuscript written by Tadhg Ó Duinnín in 1705. First two pages missing.
  • Cambridge, University Library, MS Additional 3085
    ff. 52r–58v
  • Belfast, Queen's University Library, MS Gaelic 18
    To be verified.
  • Liverpool, University Library, MS 12095 M
    Fragment.
Language
  • Early Modern Irish
Form
prose (primary)

Classification

Irish literature

Subjects

Aodh Dubh mac Aodha Ruaidh Ó DomhnaillÓ Domhnaill (Aodh Dubh mac Aodha Ruaidh)
(d. 1537)
Ó Domhnaill (Aodh Dubh)
Aodh Dubh (mac Aodha Ruaidh) Ó Domhnaill, prince of Tír Conaill.
See more
Manannán mac LirManannán mac Lir
mythological figure in Irish literature, typically associated with the sea
See more

Sources

Primary sources Text editions and/or modern translations – in whole or in part – along with publications containing additions and corrections, if known. Diplomatic editions, facsimiles and digital image reproductions of the manuscripts are not always listed here but may be found in entries for the relevant manuscripts. For historical purposes, early editions, transcriptions and translations are not excluded, even if their reliability does not meet modern standards.

[ed.] O'Grady, Standish Hayes, Silva Gadelica (I–XXXI): a collection of tales in Irish, vol. 1: Irish text, London: Williams & Norgate, 1892.
Digitale-sammlungen.de: <link> Internet Archive: <link> Internet Archive – originally from Google Books: <link>, <link> CELT – various: <link>, <link>, <link>, <link>, <link>, <link>
276–289 Based on Additional 18747 and another copy
[tr.] O'Grady, Standish Hayes, Silva Gadelica (I–XXXI): a collection of tales in Irish, vol. 2: translation and notes, London: Williams & Norgate, 1892.
Digitale-sammlungen.de: <link> Internet Archive: <link> Internet Archive: <link>
311–324
[ed.] Morris, Henry [Énrí Ua Muirgheasa], Ceithearnach Uí Dhomhnaill, nó Eachtra an cheithearnaigh chaoil-riabhaigh do réir druinge, Dublin, 1912.
Internet Archive: <link> Internet Archive: <link> Corpas.ria.ie: <link>
Based on a northern MS

Secondary sources (select)

MacQuarrie, Charles, “Recognizing gods in guises: identity, performance, and performative reading in O’Donnell’s Kern”, in: Eska, Joseph F. [ed.], Narrative in Celtic tradition: essays in honor of Edgar M. Slotkin, CSANA Yearbook 8–9, New York: Colgate University Press, 2011. 147–156.
O'Rahilly, Thomas F., “[Review of: Morris, Henry [Énrí Ua Muirgheasa], Ceithearnach Uí Dhomhnaill, nó Eachtra an cheithearnaigh chaoil-riabhaigh do réir druinge, Dublin, 1912]”, Gadelica: A Journal of Modern-Irish Studies 1:3 (1913): 204–208.
O'Grady, Standish Hayes, Silva Gadelica (I–XXXI): a collection of tales in Irish, vol. 2: translation and notes, London: Williams & Norgate, 1892.
Digitale-sammlungen.de: <link> Internet Archive: <link> Internet Archive: <link>
xii–xiii direct link
Contributors
C. A.,Dennis Groenewegen