Chruinnigh Séamus Ó Casaide cibé giotaí fánacha a bhí i gcló ina thaobh (Irish Book Lover, Feabhra 1918). Seo í tuairisc a bháis in The Dublin Chronicle 5 Aibreán 1792: ‘Last week died at Kilkenny, Mr Philip Fitzgibbon, mathematician, aged 81 years. Mr Fitzgibbon was supposed to possess a more accurate and extensive knowledge of the Irish language than any other person living, and his latter years were employed in compiling an Irish Dictionary, which he has left completed except the letter S, and that he appears to have forgot. The Dictionary is contained in about 400 quarto pages and it is a remarkable instance of patient perseverance, that every word is written in Roman or italic characters, to imitate printing. This, with many other manuscripts, all in Irish, he has willed to the Rev. Mr O’Donnell.’ In Irish Magazine (Watty Cox’s), Iúil 1808 bhí litir ag L.P—Patrick Lynch a shíl an Casaideach—inar rinneadh athfhriotal ar a raibh in The Northern Star ina thaobh faoin teideal ‘Kilkenny’: ‘March 28, 1792.- Last week Mr Philip Fitzgerald, aged 81 years, died at his lodgings in Chapel Lane.’ Theastaigh ón scríbhneoir teagmháil leis an Mr O’Donnell úd i dtaobh na lámhscríbhinní agus an fhoclóra. Níor thug an sagart aon fhreagra ar an achainí. Luann Ó Casaide rud a dúirt duine de scríobhaithe Chill Chainnigh, Séamus Ó Scoireadh, in 1826, gurbh é sagart paróiste Naomh Eoin i gcathair Chill Chainnigh a bhí i gceist agus cuireann sé féin leis sin gur ar an sagart sin a bhí laoch úrscéal Michael Banim, Father Connell, 1842 bunaithe (tá iontráil i dtaobh an úrscéil in The Oxford Companion to Irish Literature, 1996).

In Irish Book Lover, Bealtaine-Meitheamh 1934 tá an fógra seo as Finn’s Leinster Journal i gcló ag Ó Casaide: ‘Philip Fitzgibbon, Kilkenny, Classic Teacher, and Professor of Book-keeping and Mathematics, those sixteen years past (with the approbation of his employers, in his private and public capacity) has opened school in John Street. He teaches English Grammar and Geography, the use of the Globe and Maps, both plain and spherical, and to find the Bearing and Distance of tabular Numbers, of his own Formation, in one Page. N.B.—He also teaches the Irish Language grammatically, with its Derivatives and Compounds.’

Ag tagairt do ‘Dán-mholadh na Gaeilge’ scríobh Seán Ó Dálaigh in Reliques of Jacobite Poetry, 1844 nuair a bhí sé ina chónaí i gCill Chainnigh: ‘The following beautiful ode to the language of our country—the language that is dear to the Irish heart—is the production of some unknown bard. I transcribed it from an Irish manuscript very neatly written by a man named Philip Fitzgibbon between the years 1750 and ’85 as it bears both dates respectively. Fitzgibbon must have been a Kilkenny scribe and no doubt has left other remains behind, besides the volume that came to my notice. Any person possessing such would confer a favour by forwarding the same; as the names of such men as Philip Fitzgibbon should not be allowed to remain unnoticed.’ In ‘Scríobhaithe Lámhscríbhinní Gaeilge i gCill Chainnigh 1700-1870’ (in Kilkenny: History and Society: interdisciplinary essays on the history of an Irish county . . ., 1990 in eagar ag William Nolan agus Kevin Whelan) deir Éamonn Ó hÓgáin nach bhfuil aon teacht ar an bhfoclóir inniu.

Diarmuid Breathnach

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