The corncrake, the climate crisis and Irish-language poetry

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Ní Ghearbhuigh, Ailbhe
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Certain critics have posited a correlation between the environmental threats posed by humans and the decline of the Irish language (Denvir 2018; Ó Laoire 2018). In his dual-language book An Ghaeilge agus an Éiceolaíocht/ Irish and Ecology (2019), Michael Cronin contends that the language issue is fundamentally an ecological one. In considering the Gaeltacht as a fragile ecosystem, heightened by the precarity of Irish as a community language, this essay explores how contemporary Gaeltacht poets engage with the climate crisis at local and global levels. Taking the decline of the corncrake as its starting point, this chapter will discuss works by Pádhraic Ó Finneadha, Jackie Mac Donncha, Máire Dinny Wren, Proinsias Mac a’Bhaird, Bríd Ní Mhóráin, and Simon Ó Faoláin.
Corncrake , Ireland , Poetry , Irish , Climate crisis
Ní Ghearbhuigh, A. (2022) 'The corncrake, the climate crisis and Irish-language poetry', in Auge, A. J. and O'Brien, E. (eds.) Irish Poetry and the Climate Crisis. New York: Routledge, pp. 162-177. doi: 10.4324/9781003150725-10
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© 2022, the Author. All rights reserved. This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in Auge, A. J. and O'Brien, E. (eds.) Irish Poetry and the Climate Crisis on 30 November 2021, available online: