Dublin City University

St Patrick’s Campus, Dublin City University

St Patrick’s Campus is a campus of Dublin City University since the changes that took place as part of the University restructuring in September, 2016. St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra was incorporated into the University at the end of that month and the title of the Campus was amended as part of the arrangements. St Patrick’s College was a College of Education and Humanities founded in 1875. It enjoyed a long and distinguished relationship with the world of arts and letters, and ranks among its alumni writers such as brothers Séamus Ó Grianna and Seosamh Mac Grianna, Máirtín Ó Cadhain, John McGahern and Patrick McCabe. Prior to incorporation, the Cregan Library at the Campus assembled and held a wide range of material in Irish and English from the 18th and 19th centuries including four Irish-language manuscripts. The principal collections were the Padraic Colum Collection, the Henry Morris Collection and the P.W. Joyce Collection. A description of the contents of the Irish-language manuscripts was compiled by Séamus P. Ó Mórdha and appeared in Studia Hibernica. [See Vol. I (1961), pp 172-94.]

The manuscripts are indexed as Lámhscríbhinní I, II, III and IV. They contain mostly religious or devotional material, although they also include other poems and prose texts. LS I contains an incomplete version of Aodh Mac Aingil’s Scáthán Shacramuinte na hAithridhe, a sermon concerning St Patrick entitled Seanmóir ar Bheatha Phádraig and the texts Agallamh an Anma agus an Chuirp andAn Teanga Bhithnua. Another version of Scáthán Shacramuinte na hAithridhe comprises the main part of LS II. A range of texts, among which are Iomarbháidh Oisín agus Phádraig, Pléaráca na Ruarcach, and Pléaráca an Stafordaigh, may be found in LS III. This manuscript is of particular interest in that it was written on the back of printed acts of the parliament in Dublin, which date from 1772. Two of these acts deal with bankruptcy, while a third contains proposals for dealing with unrest in mid- and north-east Ulster which was ongoing at the time of its compilation. LS IV comprises primarily a version of Geoffrey Keating’s Eochair-Sciath an Aifrinn and the text, Beatha Phádraig.

Prior to incorporation, staff in the Cregan Library at St Patrick’s College were involved in the digitisation of these holdings, thus playing a small but significant role in the ISOS initiative. The University is delighted that these manuscripts have now been preserved in digital format and are thus available to a wider readership, especially scholars of the Irish-language tradition. The original manuscripts, along with the other historical holdings collected at St Patrick's College, Drumcondra are now held at the O'Reilly Library on DCU's Glasnevin Campus.