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City of Books

Dec 11, 2020

In her first podcast interview since winning the An Post Irish Book of the Year award for 2020, Doireann Ní Ghríofa describes how she shares her life with a famous 18th century widow – Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill.

When she began the literary detective work that resulted in A Ghost in the Throat, Doireann began to feel a strong sense of Eibhlín Dubh’s presence.

Her book is an original and compelling work which pays tribute to a passionate love affair that ended in tragedy. It traces the life of Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill, an Irish noblewoman and poet – composer of Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoghaire or The Lament For Art O’Leary, which she recited over her husband’s dead body.

Composed in Irish and translated later into English, it outlines how she eloped with a dashing cavalryman, murdered in 1773 by a tyrannical landowner.

Doireann tells the City of Books podcast that she was quite a lonesome child and young mother but since becoming immersed in the story “I haven’t felt so lonesome – I have the sense that she’s with me”.

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