Having written a vast number of books on a number of different subjects, Pádraig Ó'Baoighill has created both a creative and academic archive of knowledge for scholars to delve from for years to come.
The Ranafast native is widely respected within writing circles in Ireland and has accomplished much since he began to write many years ago.
University College Dublin (UCD) Professor Regina Uí Chollatáin will launch his new compilation of short stories 'An Capall Dubh agus Scéaltaí eile' at the Mount Errigal Hotel, Letterkenny next Thursday, March 22nd.
Both Mr. Ó'Baoighill and Ms. Uí Chollatáin attended neighbouring secondary schools in Letterkenny, The latter having attended Loreto Convent and Mr. Ó'Baoighill attending St. Eunan's College.
Mr. Ó'Baoighill also studied at University College Dublin and that was when he began to write for Irish Language publications.
He was soon approached by Máirtín Ó’Cadhain who was keen to organise a strong Irish language group in Dublin.
“It was Máirtín who invited me to be part of that committee and I did become part of it,” Mr. Ó'Baoighill said.
“Huge work was being done at the time. Much of the work entailed communicating with deputies, writing transcripts and such.”
Mr. Ó’Cadhain came to Donegal with Pádraig and they began to collect folklore and stories that were indigenous to the area.
During his early days in Dublin, Mr. Ó'Baoighill wrote about sports, music, Irish language issues and the Gaeltacht for a number of different publications.
A keen sportsman, he wrote a column for around seven years for the ‘Hogan Stand’ through the medium of Irish.
His writing also graced the pages of the ‘Gaelic Weekly’ and the monthly ‘The Gaelic Sport.’ He spent around three decades with the latter publication.
The Irish language was undergoing a transitional period at the time and Mr. Ó’Baoighill was asked by the Irish language editor for the Irish Press, Seán Beaumont, to write a number of Gaeltacht-based articles for the ‘Irish Press.’
Through this work, the academic and intellectual young Gaeltacht man made connections with Gaeltacht areas that he would otherwise have been unfamiliar with at the time.
He also wrote for the Evening Press and wrote on a weekly basis for the Irish News.
Pen a book
Mr. Ó’Baoighill always wanted to pen a book. During his earlier days, he had written a number of short stories for publications. He had heard many speak of Niall Pluincéad Ó'Baoghaill during his formative years and he began to research the topic.
He was subsequently delighted when Pádraig Ó’Snodaigh of Coiscéim agreed to have the book published.
Research was a new venture for Mr. Ó’Baoighill and he found the work took time.
When speaking to Mr. Ó’Snodaigh on the next occasion, Pádraig told him that he had compiled a number of short stories and offered them to Ó’Snodaigh.
‘An Coileach Trodach’ was published therefore ahead of ‘Óglach na Rosann: Niall Pluincéad Ó Baoighill’ which came into print in 1994.
Mr. Ó'Baoighill spent a significant part of his life working with Gael Linn throughout the country.
Donal Ó Móráin approached him at the end of 1953 and said that Gael Linn were seeking a regional manager for the organisation in the northern region.
By this time, Pádraig had acquired experience in sales through trials with the national organisation.
He accepted the position and was delighted with his decision.
A diligent worker he worked hard and helped the organisation, one that stood to the fore in terms of linguistics and economics.
At one point, during Pádraig Ó'Baoighill's tenure, Gael Linn had 15 local managers throughout the country and abroad, such was their success.
The local manager also had sales people who worked on their behalf.
At one point, Gael Linn had between one thousand and two thousand employees throughout the country.
“There wasn’t a parish in the country that we weren’t in,” Pádraig said.
“I remember Donal Ó’Móráin speaking one night on occasion and he said that Gael Linn had more representatives in almost every parish in Ireland.
“We are in more parishes than the strongest political party in the country at this time.”
Pádraig enjoyed his work. He loved to see how the organisation was succeeding. They had branches in England and Scotland and owned cinemas in Dublin.
Pádraig was as content at work as he was with his growing family. He had married Gearóidín in 1959 and they had seven children.
He retired in 1990 but continued as marketing manager until 1993.
Many will await his latest work with anticipation. The Ranafast native has a command of the Irish language that is rare and beautiful.
His works will undoubtedly be the book that scholars will look to for understanding and knowledge in the years that are to come.