Tá cuntas ar an scoláire béaloidis seo (‘A Personal Tribute’) ag Séamus Ó Duilearga in Béaloideas 37-38, 1969-1970 (1973). Rugadh é 27 Eanáir 1886. Is mar chartlannaí san Institiúid Béaloidis i Leabharlann Náisiúnta na hIorua in Osló a tháinig sé go hÉirinn a chéad uair i 1920; sa saothar a bhí idir lámha aige (a d’fhoilseofaí faoin teideal The Vikings and the Viking Wars in Irish and Gaelic Tradition, 1931) ba chabhair dó Gaeilge a bheith aige, agus ba é Carl Marstrander a mhol dó dul go Baile an Fheirtéaraigh, Co. Chiarraí. Is trí sheans a casadh Ó Duilearga air i siopa leabhar i 1921. Deir Ó Duilearga: ‘During our talk I suggested that he should add Scottish Gaelic to his already formidable linguistic achievements—for, like so many of his Scandinavian colleagues, he knew a great number of languages, and was the only man I have ever known who was at home in Lappish, Finnish and Irish.’ Chaith sé tamall in Inbhear Nis agus bhailigh ábhar in Oileán Barra. Nuair a bhí i gceist An Cumann le Béaloideas Éireann a bhunú chuaigh Ó Duilearga i gcomhairle leis. ‘But for the never-failing encouragement of Reidar Christiansen, of Wilhelm von Sydow of Lund and Ake Campbell of Uppsala, the efforts of the few to collect the oral tradition of Ireland would have been of little avail.’

D’fhostaigh Coimisiún Béaloideasa Éireann é i 1935: ‘We were fortunate in persuading Reidar Christiansen, the most experienced cataloguer in this field, to join the Commission’s staff. Apart from being a competent scholar in Irish, he had an intimate knowledge of the material, and at one time had undertaken a preliminary survey of the Irish folktales then available to him.’ Foilsíodh an suirbhé sin in Béaloideas 1938 agus 1939. Bhí sé ina ollamh um an dtaca seo agus nuair a d’éirigh sé as a phost i 1957 chaith sé bliain ag ullmhú, i gcomhar le Seán Ó Súilleabháin, an tsaothair mhóir, The Types of the Irish Folktale, 1963.

Ba é an chéad leabhar a d’fhoilsigh sé Õen med de fem berg [Oileán na gCúig Sliabh], scéalta ón Mumhain. ‘I suspect here in the choice of sources the influence of Reidar’s friend, Professor Osborn Bergin, who was an admirer of the compiler, Pádraig Ó Laoghaire (1870-1896) and of Pádraig’s mother, from whom Bergin as a young man had learned Irish in Béara, West Cork.’ Foilsíodh Studies in Irish and Scandinavian Folk tales, 1959 i mBaile Átha Cliath agus i gCóbanhávan. Foilsíodh ailt leis in Béaloideas agus in Lochlann. Bhí saothar ar na sióga á ullmhú aige sular cailleadh é 22 Iúil 1971 in Osló. Scríobh Osborn Bergin dán dó sa bhliain 1920 (‘Do Ridire Mhac Giolla Chríost’) ag iarradh air filleadh ar Éirinn; foilsíodh é in An Reult. Irisleabhar na hOllscoile, Márta 1922 agus tá sé i gcló ag an Duileargach.

Diarmuid Breathnach

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