Contributions to journals
A body of literary material in Middle and Early Modern Irish has survived pertaining to two historical queens both named Gormlaith: Gormlaith (ob. 948), daughter of Flann Sinna, and Gormlaith (ob. 1030), daughter of Murchad mac Finn. In addition, the latter was confused at an early period with an earlier royal Gormlaith (ob. 861), daughter of Donnchad Midi, about whom passing references have also come down to us. As actual personages who have engendered a corpus of fictional material, our trio of regal Gormlaiths parallel the host of male rulers whose deeds are celebrated in what have come to be known as king-tales. By addressing aspects of the traditions that have come to be associated with these three queens, this article seeks to chronicle their development as distinct literary entities and to shed light on the process whereby an historical figure is transformed into a complex literary character.
Ní Mhaonaigh, Máire, “Caraid tairisi: literary links between Ireland and England in the eleventh century”, in: Harlos, Axel, and Neele Harlos (eds), Adapting texts and styles in a Celtic context: interdisciplinary perspectives on processes of literary transfer in the middle ages: studies in honour of Erich Poppe, Studien und Texte zur Keltologie 13, Münster: Nodus Publikationen, 2016. 265–288.
Ní Mhaonaigh, Máire, “Mongán’s metamorphosis: Compert Mongáin ocus Serce Duibe Lacha do Mongán, a later Mongán tale”, in: Edmonds, Fiona, and Paul Russell (eds.), Tome: studies in medieval Celtic history and law in honour of Thomas Charles-Edwards, Studies in Celtic History 31, Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2011. 207–216.
Compert Mongáin ocus Serc Duibe Lacha do Mongán (The Birth of Mongán and Mongán's Love for Dub Lacha – or Dub Lacha's Love for Mongán) belongs to the broad category of narrative Alan Bruford termed ‘Romantic Tales’, encompassing in his view ‘all the late medieval and later romances found in Irish manuscripts from the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries and the related folktales’. The earliest copy is contained in the Book of Fermoy, written for David Mór son of Maurice Roche in the middle of the fifteenth century, and it was in Bruford's view among the best of the Romantic tales produced at a time when ‘Irish poets and scribes enjoyed the patronage of a powerful Irish-speaking aristocracy of mixed Norman and Irish descent’. Notwithstanding this, unlike other contemporary compositions which enjoyed widespread popularity in the seventeenth century and later, as far as post-classical transmission is concerned, our tale survives in a solitary copy written in Munster about the year 1811 by Seághan Mac Mathghamhna and entitled Tóruigheacht Duibhe Lacha Láimhe Ghile ‘The Pursuit of Dub Lacha of the White Hand’.
(source: Introduction (publisher))