Hundreds attend launch of new book celebrating Gaoth Dobhair man’s work

The launch of a collection of work by a respected Gaoth Dobhair historian and writer drew 500 people on Saturday during the annual Éigse Uladh.

The launch of a collection of work by a respected Gaoth Dobhair historian and writer drew 500 people on Saturday during the annual Éigse Uladh.

“Trasna an Ghaoith”, the new book that features the work of the late Johnny Sheáin Ó Gallchóir, was launched at An Chúirt, the Gweedore Court Hotel. The theme of this year’s Éigse, “Scríbhinní Johnny Sheáin”, celebrated the Gaoth Dobhair man’s writings.

Johnny Sheáin (1912-1984) was a respected teacher, scholar, historian, actor and journalist from Gaoth Dobhair. For many years he was a central figure in Cumann Staire agus Seanchais Ghaoth Dobhair and the Aisteoirí Ghaoth Dobhair.

The book features a selection taken from the broad range of Johnny Sheáin’s writing, compiled by his son Noel Ó Gallchóir, headmaster at Pobalscoil Ghaoth Dobhair. Noel also delivered a talk on his father’s work at the official opening of this year’s Éigse, held on Friday night at Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge.

Johnny Sheáin’s family attended the launch, coming from different parts of Ireland as well as from Switzerland and the United States. “We were all there,” Noel said

Another son of Johnny Sheáin, Father Seán Ó Gallchóir, parish priest of Gort an Choirce, officially launched the book on Saturday in an event that Máire Mhic Niallais chaired.

The new book also comes with two CDs and a DVD. The CDs include some of pieces that Johnny Sheáin recorded for Raidió na Gaeltachta -- some never before published -- two of Johnny Sheáin’s radio plays and some songs arranged and performed by An Crann Óg, the Derrybeg-based group of young traditional musicians. An Crann Óg also performed live at Friday’s and Saturday’s Éigse events.

The DVD accompanying the book features a slide show about Gaoth Dobhair, produced by Liam Ó Cochláin, that Johnny Sheáin narrated.