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James Hamilton Delargy (1899 - 1980):
Folklorist


James Delargy was born in Cushendall, County Antrim. When he was two years old his father died, and a few years later his family moved to Glenariffe, County Antrim. In 1907 James was sent to a convent school in Kilcool, County Wicklow, after which he was educated at Castleknock College and University College, Dublin. At the age of sixteen he made his first trip to the Gaeltacht on Rathlin Island. He visited the Aran Islands, Donegal and the Hebrides and recorded his first tale in Antrim Irish at Waterfoot. His degree in Celtic Studies led him to become a lecturer in Irish Language and Literature, and in 1945 he gave the Sir John Rhys Memorial Lecture to the British Academy. He became Professor of Folklore in 1946. He was fluent in Celtic, French, German, Swedish and Icelandic. He was instrumental in establishing the Folklore of Ireland Society, and edited its journal Bealoideas, for forty-six years. The Irish Folklore Commission, under Delargy's directorship collected, recorded and transcribed stories and folklore of a dying oral tradition. His publications include The Gaelic Storyteller; Leabhar Sheain I Chonaill and Seanchas on Oilean Tiar. He received honorary doctorates from Scandinavia, Nova Scotia, Wales and three Irish universities and was decorated by the governments of Sweden and Iceland.

Born: 1899
Died: 1980
Kate Newmann