Tomás Ó Criomhthain

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Tomás Ó Criomhthain

Tomás Ó Criomhthain (* December 12, 1856 on Great Blasket Island , † 1937 there ; also Thomás O'Crohan ) was a fisherman and chronicler of everyday life and one of the last people who spent almost their entire life on the Blasket Islands .

Ó Criomhthain was born on Great Blasket Island in 1856 and died there in 1937. From 1918 to 1923 he wrote his first book "Island Cross-Talk" (Irish original title: Allagar na hInise ), which was published in 1928. His second book "The boats don't go out anymore" (Irish original title: An tOileánach ) was also completed in 1923 and published in 1929. Both books have been translated into several languages, making them some of the most widely translated books in the Blasket Islands and some of the most important works of Gaelic literature . With the Norwegian Celtologist Carl Marstrander he worked out an inventory of the Irish language.

In 1957 a stamp was issued with the profile of Tomás Ó Criomhthain.


In his book An tOileánach , Tomás Ó Criomhthain describes one of his earliest memories of his mother and how he was weaned from breast milk at the age of four. His father came from the village of Dunquin on the nearby mainland. Ó Criomhthain had four significantly older sisters: Maura, Kate, Eileen and Nora, as well as a significantly older brother named Pats. His brother and two of his sisters immigrated to America. Tomás Ó Criomhthain and his family members who remained on the island or who later returned from America lived from fishing , sealing seals , collecting flotsam from sunken merchant ships, predominantly subsistence-oriented agriculture and cutting peat for their own needs. Ó Criomhthain stated that his father was also a stonemason. Since the population was on their own in almost all areas, he had to master all work. With Máire Ní Chatháin, whom he married in 1878, he had ten children. Most of them died before they reached adulthood.




Irene Lucchiti: The islandman: the hidden life of Tomás O'Crohan . Lang Published by Oxford, Frankfurt u. a. M. 2009, ISBN 978-3-03911-837-3 . (Not yet incorporated)

Anja Steinbuch, Michael Marek: lonely top. Islands The Blasket Islands are three miles off the Irish coast and have been deserted for over 60 years. But the residents have left a legacy. In: der Freitag , No. 20, May 18, 2017, p. 23

Web links

Commons : Tomás Ó Criomhthain  - collection of images, videos and audio files


  1. ^ List of persons on Irish postage stamps