On this page, I will be posting whatever information I can gather about the 18th century Creggan Poet, Padraig Mac Giolla Fhiondain.
Research done by Mary Lee (McClendon) Becker
McClendon DNA Projecthttp://www.worldfamilies.net/surnames/mcclendon/
[Note: Regrettably, when writing in Gaelic, I cannot put in the important accent marks, so bear with me.]
I have found Padraig Mac Giolla Fhiondain's name spelled in different ways, both in the Gaelic, and in its anglicized version. This was not that unusual, for the times:
Padraig Mac Giolla Fhiondain
Pagraig Mac a' Liondain
Padraicc Mac an Lionnduinn
Padraig Mhac a Lionndain
Padraig Mac Gillionndoin
The modern spelling would be Patrick MacAlindon
I have also found this spelling of the name of his daughter, the poetess:
Maire Nic Giolla Fhiondain
The modern spelling would be Mary McAlindon.
Note that the 'Nic' designation replaces the 'Mac' designation in the Gaelic. 'Mac' denotes 'the son of.' 'Nic' denotes 'the daughter of.
Much of what I have found is written in Gaelic, including the information on the web. I will quote from those passages on Patrick Mac a' Liondain that are written in English.
From: "The Irish Language in County Down," by Ciaran O Duibhin, page 63:www.smo.uhi.ac.uk/~oduibhin/oirthear/down.doc
"Although south-eastern Ulster was a center of Gaelic literary activity in the eighteenth century, the nearest Down can come to claiming one of the major poets is the case of Padraig Mac a' Liondain (1665-1733. O'Reilly says he hailed from the Fews in County Armagh, but O Muirgheasa doubts this: 'There are no Mac Alindons in the Fews to-day, while they are plentiful in Co. Down around Hilltown, Raitfiland, and Mayorbridge, and Irish was spoken in this district until quite recently.' One of Mac a' Liondain's compositions is in praise of Sliabh Crub, and certainly the best known mountain of that name lies in County Down."
And on Padraig Mac a' Liondain's daughter:
"By the same token, County Down would seem to have lost its claim on Mac a' Liondain's daughter, Maire, who engaged in a poetic contest with the County Armagh poet, Peadar O Doirnin, and possibly Fergus Mac Bheathaigh (McVea), who wrote Mac a Liondain's grave-lay, though once again O Muirgheasa is correct in saying that McVeigh is a County Down surname."
I also found this reference to some of the works of Patraig Mac a' Liondain and his daughter Maire:
"Author/Textual Source Index"http://bill.celt.dias.ie/vol3/singleindexes.php?IndexTypeID=1&IndexID=3613
6293 O Tuathail (Eamonn) (ed.): 'Imchian failte dhuit im dhail'....Edinb. Db71, where it is prob. correctly, ascr. to Padraicc Mac an Lionnduinn.
6294 Mag Uidhir (Seosamh) (ed.): 'A Ri ler fuascladh as giomhal guaise'. By Padraig Mhac a Lionndainn.
6295 O Fiaich (Tomas) (ed.): 'Tabhair a laoi luinn leachta'. By Padraig Mac Giolla Fhiondain.
6296 Mhag Craith (Cuthbert) (ed.): 'Tabhair, a laoigh luinn leachta'. By Padraig Mhac Gillionndoin. http://bill.celt.dias.ie/vol3/singleindexes.php?IndexTypeID=1&indexID=3612
6292 O Tuathail (Eamonn) (ed.): 'A shean-chrioch Fail nach nair an sgeal duit.' By Maire Nic Alionnduinn.
On the web, there is also a site entitled, "The Eighteenth Century Creggan Poets" with a section on "Padraig Mac a Loindain 1665-1733."http://creggan.armagh.anglican.org/second.html
I have found passages on Patrick McAlindon in the excellent book, "The Cathiolics of Ulster," by Marianne Elliott, pub. Basic Books, 2001, in chapter 5, "The Merger of 'Irishness' and Catholicism in Early Modern Ulster." The passages are on pages 136-137, and deal with the "Transitional Poets."
Here are some quotes from the book:
"...and Patrick McAlindon (c.1665-1733, born in the fews, south Armagh...McAlindon appears to have been a prosperous farmer who gave hospitality and support to a host of lesser poets in the region. Both were accomplished harpists, ardent Jacobites and devout Catholics. McAlindon's home was regularly used for religious services and his most historically interesting works were often poems praising the clergy."
"McAlindon's praise-poem for Hugh McMahon, Catholic archbishop of Armagh, 1715-37), 'A Ri Ler fuasclaiodh...He points to MacMahon's noble lineage, suggesting that this head of the church in Ireland has inherited the mantle of the Gaelic princes of old. McAlindon's clear support for Armagh...reflects the strong provincial pride of these transitional poets."
"The metre of a number of McAlindon's poems suggests that they were consciously written for popular consumption. Politically they are firmly Jacobite, but pessimistic about Ireland's ability to help herself."
There is also a section on Padraig Mac a Liondain in the book, "The Oxford Companion to Irish Literature," edited by Robert Welsh, Clarendon Press, Oxford University Press,
"Mac a Liondain (or Mac Giolla Fhiondain), Padraig (c.1665-1773), poet.
He was born in the parish of Creggan in South Armagh and, like Art Mac Cumhaigh, he is buried in Creggan graveyard. He was acquainted with Seamus Dall Mac Cuarta and Toiirdhealbhach O Cearbhallan [Carolan] and seems to have been well educated and wealthy. Of a learned, aristocratic turn of mind, he wrote poetry that is elegant and formal, reflecting the repertoire of a transitional bardic poet: elegy, eulogy, satire, poetic disputation, and some graceful love poems.... he was also known as a harper. His lament for Owen Roe O'Neill (d. 1649). 'Nil staidbhean sheimh de Ghaela beo, monuar', was very popular with later scribes. See Seosamh Mag Uidhir (ed.), 'Padraig Mac a Londain: Danta' (1977)."
Mary (McClendon) Becker
McClendon DNA Project