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Having established a tenuous link with the aforesaid Eoghan Ruadh--we are both natives of Tir Conaill--both calling for Irish unity, one in poetry the other in prose--it may be of interest to note that existing translations of his work done by various scholars have been the subject of debate as to which translator hewed closer to the originals. Eugene O'Curry and John O'Donovan both supplied the poet, James Clarence Mangan, with literal versions of Eoghan's poems and Mangan, who knew little, if any, Irish, took the literal texts and rewrote them in English, creating in the process some of the finest poems existing in the English language. O'Curry was full of praise. O'Donovan questioned whether the result was "the shadow of the shade." The story is told by Robert Welch in his "A History of Verse Translation from the Irish1789-1897", published by Barnes and Noble Books, New Jersey, 1988.

Welch states, at p.105:

"O'Curry supplied the literal version of Eoghan Ruadh Mac an Bháird's "A bhean fuar faill ar an bhfeart' out of which Mangan shaped his 'Elegy on the Tironian and Tirconnellian Princes...."

"In a letter to Charles Gavan Duffy, at the time editor of the Belfast Vindicator, Mangan whimsically describes his translation of Mac an Bháird's poem as a 'transmagnificanbandancial elegy' and as a 'perversion from the Irish....which is admired by myself and some other impartial judges'."



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