A Dark Day on the Blaskets
Micheál Ó Dubhshláine’s A Dark Day on the Blaskets
This book is one of the very few accounts of the life (and death) of Eibhlín Nic Niocaill, a brilliant, early 20th Century Irish language activist, writer and poet who was the love interest of the young Irish revolutionary, Pádraig Mac Piarais (Patrick Pearse). She was in the vanguard of the emergence of women into Irish society and politics on an equal footing with men and her early loss was not just a profound personal one to Mac Piarais (and may well have altered the course of his life leading to his own premature death) but also the Irish language and women’s movements in Ireland as a whole.
Beautifully written, this book is highly recommend for anyone wanting to understand the hard but timeless nature of rural society and life in the West of Ireland in the early 20th Century, the lead up to the Irish Revolution and the woman for whom Pádraig Mac Piarais wrote, many years after her death, one of his most impassioned poems.
If you wish to learn more about Pádraig Mac Piarais or An Piarsach please try the well received and widely read series of essays in The Life and After-life of P.H. Pearse: Padraig Mac Piarais: Saol Agus Oidhreacht.