Súil an Daill

Darach Ó Scolaí

18.00

Súil an Daill: 240 pp; hdbk; ISBN 978-1-913814-14-4

A Modern European Prince.

Tyrone 1539: Conn Bacach reigns supreme and his sons compete to gain his favour. This is the story of Conchúr Mac Ardail: clerk, senior councillor, and father. The modernisation of the lordship, is Conchúr’s dream, Many things stand between him and its fulfilment — a headstrong master, jealous nobles, empty coffers, and his own human failings.

On top of all that there’s the lord’s son, Feilimí Caoch, a charismatic warrior-prince who Conchúr wishes to remould as a modern European ruler.

A Vibrant Medieval Tapestry

From the thread of history, the author of An Cléireach and Táin Bó Cuailnge weaves a tapestry of the Irish Gaelic lordship, a vibrant picture of servants and gallowglasses, bishops and clergy, clerks and councillors, lords and ladies in the Medieval and Renaissance Gaeltacht.

An Important and Powerful Work

What the Oireachtas adjudicators had to say:

“Léitheoirí a chuireann spéis sna seanscéalta méithe snasta loinnreacha agus in imeachtaí, béascnaí agus laochas na bhfear troda, bhainfidís sásamh agus taitneamh as cumhacht shuntasach an tsaothair stairiúil seo.” — Breandán Ó Conaire

“Úrscéal thar a bheith soifisticiúil … Éacht taighde agus teanga déanta ag an údar a aimsíos ardréim liteartha de theanga an lae inniu lena scéal a inseacht. Tour de force stíle agus reacaireachta atá ann a fhágas blas na seanteanga ar theanga an lae inniu.” — Gearóid Denvir

A Tour de Force of Style and Narrative

The author manages to create a credible medieval Ulster by supplying detailed descriptions of the landscape, the dress, the castles and the way of life he deduces from the historical record … The language register he calls on to do this is rich and evocative of the time, remaining entirely understandable while, from time to time, echoing older literature in presenting us with unusual words that remind us that the events described were happening almost five hundred years ago…. Darach Ó Scolaí has become one of the most important Irish language writers of his generation and Súil an Daill will add to his growing reputation. It has already won a literary prize in Oireachtas na Gaeilge and it will be no surprise if others follow.” — Cathal Poirtéir, Books Ireland.

“Is iad flaitheas agus formad téamaí síoraí an úrscéil seo. Scagadh céadach ar cheisteanna comhaimseartha ceannais agus cultúir atá ann, faoi chló Chroinicí na nUltach sa 16ú céad. Amhail Hilary Mantel nó David Simon, cuirtear ardán gnímh agus fearann machnaimh os coinne an léitheora ina léirítear laige an duine, gliceas na mban agus fústar na bhfear. Agus Conn Bacach Ó Néill, Tiarna Thír Eoghain, ag obair i dtreo bhuanú na cumhachta i gcónaí, mar dhia, ceistítear brí agus feidhm na béascna, téad thréitheach sheasta i saothar Dharach Uí Scolaí. Tá an teannas scéalaíochta ar fheabhas agus cuidíonn éascaíocht stíle le rosc rua ropanta a dhéanamh den phrós. Togha úrscéil.” — Dónall Ó Braonáin, Tuairisc.ie

Léiriú drámatúil iontach ar an tréimhse seo i stair na hÉireann … saothar chomh fileata, chomh saibhir, saothar iontach luachmhar,” — An tOllamh Malachy Ó Néill, An Cúinne Dána RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta.

“Tá macallaí de Macbeth sa leabhar seo chomh maith, idir na tairngireachtaí a dhéantar agus an uaillmhian.” — Dr Charlie Dillon, An Cúinne Dána RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta.

Súil an Daill won the 2019 Oireachtas Prize.

Tuairisc.ie: Top Ten Books of 2021

Read the review in Books Ireland

View a map of Tír Eoghain 1539

Read the author’s entry in Wikipedia