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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Aindrias Ó Cathasaigh launches Pádraic Ó Conaire books

Although his statue no longer sits in Eyre Square, Galway is still rightly proud of the writer Pádraic Ó Conaire. But two books to be launched in the city put a very different complexion on Sean-Phádraic. We know him best as a storyteller, but according to Aindrias Ó Cathasaigh, that's only half the story: he was also a revolutionary political thinker. He illustrates this side of Ó Conaire's life in his new book Réabhlóid Phádraic Uí Chonaire.

Ó Conaire condemned the social and economic system for putting profit before the people's interests, and he wanted it changed completely. Influenced by the Russian revolution from 1917 on, he was an out-and-out socialist. Ó Cathasaigh has discovered many previously ignored articles by Ó Conaire, and deals in depth with the turbulent times he lived through. As well as writing Ó Conaire's political biography, he has edited a collection of his socialist writings entitled An tAthrú Mór. Both books are published by Coiscéim, who say they will change our understanding of Pádraic Ó Conaire altogether. They will be launched by Seosamh Ó Cuaig, a county councillor with a keen interest in Ó Conaire's work, in Charlie Byrne's bookshop in Middle Street at 6 pm on Friday 20 April.