Archive of prolific bilingual Ballinskelligs writer presented to University College Cork

The archive of a prolific bilingual writer from Ballinskelligs will today be presented to University College Cork.

Michael Kirby was born in 1906 and lived in Ballinskelligs for most of his life, bar a period spent in the United States.

The archive contains published books, newspaper and magazine articles, periodicals, audio recordings, hand-written copies, photographs and personal effects.


Micheál Ua Ciarmhaic saw the publication of his first book, ‘Cliathán na Sceilge’ when he was 78 years.

He continued to write for the next twenty years, publishing eleven books including ‘Íochtar Trá’ (Coiscéim 1985), ‘An Gabhar sa Teampall’  (Coiscéim 1986), ‘Barra Taoide’ (Coiscéim 1988) and ‘Guth ón Sceilg’  (Coiscéim 2000).

The bulk of the archive comprises of hand-written copies as he wrote everything in long hand.

Ceithre Dhán – a poem signed by President, Mary Robinson is also included along with programmes from Listowel Writers’ Week as many of Michael’s books were launched at the festival.

Monsignor Pádraig Ó Fiannachta’s talk at the launch of ‘Íochtar Trá’ in Listowel 1985 is included are as Mícheál’s poems including ‘Sean Sceilig Mhichíl’.

The archive also includes the Marriage Certificate of ‘Michael & Peggy Kirby’, dated 2 January, 1943.