Neili Ni Dhomhnaill (1907 - 1984):
Singer and story teller
Neili Ni Dhomhnaill was born in Ranafast, County Donegal, and she traced her ancestry to the O'Donnell poets of Donegal. As a child she had poor eyesight, and spent much time with the adults and this is how she acquired her vast wealth of traditional song and story. She was a singer and story teller, and for her the story which preceded the song was important. Eventually, she became completely blind. She remained active and took up knitting, working as a home knitter and producing two aran sweaters each week. She composed songs and for two consecutive years she won first prize in the Radio na Gaeltachta competition for new words to old airs.