Documentary on One

The lost world of Art Ó Laoghaire

A radio documentary inspired by the famous love poem Caoineadh Airt Ui Laoire written by Eibhlin Ni Chonaill.

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3.6/5 (14 ratings)

Documentary maker: Aidan Stanley

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The lost world of Art Ó Laoghaire

Sunday 14th February 2007

This documentary sets out to see if Art's death had less to do with being a show off and more to do with being one of the last efforts of a regressive Protestant Ascendancy in the summer of 1773.

Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoghaire or the Lament for Art Ó Laoghaire was written by his wife Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill.

The epic poem is one of the greatest laments ever written, and one of the greatest love poems of the Irish Language. Eibhlín composed it capturing the life and tragic death of her husband Art on May 4, 1773.

It details the murder at Carraig an Ime, County Cork, of Art, at the hands of British official Abraham Morris, and the aftermath. It is one of the key texts in Irish oral literature.

The poem follows the rhythmic and societal conventions associated with keening and the traditional Irish wake (ceremony) respectively. The caoineadh is divided into five parts composed in the main over the dead body of her husband at the time of the wake and later when Art was re-interred in Kilcrea.

Parts of the caoineadh take the form of a verbal duel between Eibhlín and Art's sister. The acrimonious dialogue between the two women shows the disharmony between the two prominent families concerned.

Produced by Aidan Stanley

An Irish radio documentary from RTÉ Radio 1, Ireland - Documentary on One - the home of Irish radio documentaries

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