O Direain - a craggy giant of Aran, and giant of Irish language poetry
Ahead of the 30th anniversary of his death, Mairtin O Direain is remembered by Declan Collinge
During the mid-1960s, while studying for my Inter Cert, there were many poems on the Irish course, most of which I found uninspiring. One short lyric poem, however, resonated: this was An tEarrach Thiar, or Spring in the West, a series of vignettes of Aran long ago.
Each verse described a particular activity: a man turning over soil, women harvesting seaweed, their red petticoats tucked up, a currach, brimming with fish, coming ashore.
The poet in question was Mairtin O Direain - and what was remarkable at that time was that he was still alive while most of our prescribed poets, both on the English and Irish course, were long dead.