O’Conaire, Pádraic

Pádraic Ó Conaire was born in Galway City in 1882 and reared in Rosmuc in the Connemara Gaeltacht. After leaving school he went to work as a civil servant in the Ministry of Education in London. There he met Irish-language activists (he was a friend of Robert Lynd, Michael Collins and the historian PS O'Hegarty) and became a teacher of Irish for the Gaelic League. His works include the short-story collections Nora Mharcuis Bhig agus Scalte Eile (1909) and An Chéad Chloch (1914), and the novel Deoracht (1916). He returned to Ireland in 1914 and lived there until his death in 1928. MAsal Beag Dubh, one of the books for which he is best known, was published in 1944.