Author and language enthusiast Ó Sé dies

The death has taken place of the author, poet, musician, and Irish language enthusiast, Maidhc Dainín Ó Sé.

 The late Maidhc Dainín Ó Sé with wife Kathleen, son Dáithí,  and daughter-in-law Rita Talty
The late Maidhc Dainín Ó Sé with wife Kathleen, son Dáithí, and daughter-in-law Rita Talty

From Carrachán near Baile na nGall in the west Kerry Gaeltacht, Mr Ó Sé died suddenly at his home yesterday morning. He was aged 71.

He was the father of television host and broadcaster, Dáithí Ó Sé. A former milk truck driver with Kerry Co-op, he lived and worked for many years in the US before returning to Kerry in 1969.

A prolific author, he wrote several Irish language books, including A Thig ná Tit Orm, which for many years was one of the core texts for the Leaving Certificate and which recounted his experiences growing up in west Kerry, as well as his exploits in the US.

A former Labour party activist, Mr Ó Sé was a board member of Raidio na Gaeltachta for many years.

Dingle publican Fergus Flaherty, a friend of Mr Ó Sé’s, said he was first and foremost a family man.

“We played music together here in the pub for years and he was great company,” said Mr Flaherty. “He was an excellent musician on the bosca ceoil and of course, a great writer.

“But he was always talking about his family and thinking about Cáit his wife. He was a family man at heart.”

The mayor of Kerry and Dingle area, councillor, Seamus Cosaí Fitzgerald, said Maidhc Dainín’s death was a great shock to the local community. He described him as one of the best ever exponents of the Irish language.

“It’s a huge shock,” said Mr Fitzgerald. “Maidhc Dainín was always so full of life. He was one of the best known characters from the Gaeltacht and was known all over the country.

“He was always present at the Oireachtas festival every year and there wasn’t a year went by that he didn’t publish a new book. He will be sadly missed.”

Arts Minister and local TD Jimmy Deenihan said Mr Ó Sé was one of the country’s foremost writers, in the tradition of Tomás Ó Criomhtain and Muiris Ó Suilleabháin.

Maidhc Dainín Ó Sé is survived by his wife Kathleen, his sons Kevin, Danny and Dáithí, daughter Mary Ellen and is pre-deceased by his daughter, Deirdre.

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