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Dr Séamas Ó Catháin

Seamas O CathainDr Séamas Ó Cathain, born in Drumquin County Tyrone and educated at Queen's University Belfast, has been Professor of Celtic at QUB, and Professor of Irish Folklore at University College Dublin, and Director of Ireland's National Folklore Collection.

Living in Dublin since 1973, Séamas Ó Catháin is married to Maj Magnusson, whom he met in the late 1960s while he was a Lecturer in Celtic Philology and Folklore at the University of Uppsala in Sweden. They have a son Pádraig and a daughter Sorcha.
Séamas is fluent in Irish and Swedish, proficient in Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, & Sámi languages, and hasbeen a distinguished folklorist over the course of a long academic career throughoutIreland and in Sweden.

QUBAcademic Career
Queen's University Belfast: BA (1960), MA (1966), and PhD (1977).

Academic Positions held 1966-2007:
UCD Folklore1966-1968 Research Assistant, Department of Celtic, Queen’s University Belfast
1968-1970 Lecturer in Celtic Philology and Folklore, University of Uppsala
1970-1974 Statutory Lecturer, Department of Modern Irish, University College Galway
1974-1990 Statutory Lecturer (with special responsibility for archives), University College Dublin
1980 Appointed Professor of Celtic, Queen’s University Belfast
1990 Associate Professor, University College Dublin
The Festival of Brigit1990-1996 Dean, Faculty of Celtic Studies, University College Dublin
1995-1996 Acting Head, Department of Archaeology, University College Dublin
1996-2000 Acting Head, Department of Irish Folklore
2000-2005 Professor of Irish Folklore, University College Dublin
2005-2006 Interim Head, School of Irish, Celtic Studies, Irish Folklore and Linguistics
2006-2007 Director, National Folklore Collection, University College Dublin


1.  Author of Numerous Books on Folklore, including

Uair a Chloig cois Teallaigh /An Hour by the Hearth (Comhairle Bhéaloideas Éireann: 1985);
The Festival of Brigit (first edition, DBA Dublin: 1995);
Formation of a Folklorist (Comhairle Bhéaloideas Éireann: 2008);
Gaelic Grace Notes (Novus Press, Oslo : 2014);

Jumping the Border2.  Autobiography and Books with Phaeton Publishing

Séamas Ó Catháin's autobiography Jumping the Border (Phaeton: 2018)
also published in Irish as De Léim thar Teorainn (Phaeton: 2020)
The Festival of Brigit - Celtic Goddess and Holy Woman (Phaeton: 2023) by Séamas Ó Catháin *

3.  Publications as Editor

Editor of Northern Lights : Following Folklore in North-Western Europe (UCD Press : 2001)
Joint Editor of Treasures of the National Folklore Collection /Seoda as Cnuasach Bhéaloideas Éireann (Four Courts Press : 2010).

4.  * Select Articles in Academic Journals
on the subject of Brigit / Brigid / Bridget / Bríd, Celtic Goddess and Saint/s

Book Translation (for Phaeton Publishing)

Phaeton Publishing's Gatsby Galánta - the first translation into Irish of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, with English and Irish on facing pages, translated by Séamas ÓCatháin (upcoming in 2023)

Gatsby Galanta - The Great GatsbyAcademic Affiliations and Awards:

Gael Linn Gold Medal, Northern Ireland (1960)
Postgraduate Scholarship, Ministry of Education, Northern Ireland (1964-1966)
Guest Scholarships – Swedish Institute; Finnish Ministry of Education (1981)
Knight (First Class) of the Order of the Lion of Finland (1986)
President’s Research Award, University College Dublin (1992 & 1993)
Dag Strömbäck Prize, Royal Gustavus Adolphus Akademi, Uppsala (1994)
Ruth Michaela-Jena Ratcliff Prize, Edinburgh (1995)

Jöran Sahlgren Award of the Royal Gustavus Adolphus Academy for contributions to Nordic-Celtic cultural connections (2022).

Membership of learned, professional and academic organisations:
Committee member, Folklore of Ireland Society (1972-)
Member, International Society for Folk Narrative Research (1975-)
Corresponding Member of the Finnish Literature Society (1981-)
Honorary Member of the Kalevala Society (1981-)
Dr Seamas O CathainMember, Folklore of Ireland Council (1987-1996, 2006-2009)
Invited full member, Folklore Fellows, Finnish Academy of Sciences, Helsinki (1990)
Council member, Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland (1995-2001)
Member, Advisory Board of the Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies, University of Aberdeen (1998-)
Member, International Advisory Board of the Academy of Irish Cultural Heritages, University of Ulster (2001-2004)
Editor of Béaloideas, the Journal of the Folklore of Ireland Society (1996-2005)
Member UCD Press Editorial Committee (1997-2005)
Dean, Faculty of Celtic Studies, UCD (1990-1996)
Elected member, Joint Faculties Management Committee, UCD (1996-2000)
Acting Head, Department of Archaeology, UCD (1996-1997)
Member, Board of Celtic-Nordic Studies, UCD (1997-)
Member, Bord na Gaeilge, UCD [1997- (Chairman 1997-2002)]
Member, UCD Press Management Committee (2002-2005)
Keynote speaker: Léacht Almqvist, Memorial Seminar UCD (2022).

Exceptional Books and Exceptional Authors !