Áine Ní Cheanainn

Raifteiri Memorial by Sally Mc Kenna, Kiltimagh, Co. Mayo
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Kiltimagh, County Mayo, Ireland

Academic / Linguist

Áine Ní Cheanainn (Cannon) was born in Derryvea, Kiltimagh, Co. Mayo during 1907, daughter of a shopkeeper.  Her family were recalled according to one local as ‘Canon’s – where her parents extended amounts of credit – The family would never see anyone go without – They certainly kept people alive with their grocery stock.’ [i]

Education

Following national school in Kiltimagh; Áine Ní Cheanainnn attended St. Louis Girls Secondary School, Co. Mayo.  She was a student at Carysfort Teacher Training College in Dublin where she graduated at Primary Level during 1927.  She continued her studies then achieved an M A in Education from U. C. D.  Dublin. [ii]

Career

Her first teaching post was at Scoil Mhuire in Howth, Co. Dublin.  She was Head – Mistress at Scoil Eoin Baiste in Clontarf, Co. Dublin from 1941 to 1979.  Her dedication to the school ensured that by the 1950’s it was one of the most prestigious schools in Dublin. [iii]

Conferences

She travelled to Germany during 1934 plus 1952 to examine their Education System.  Áine Ní Cheanainn represented Ireland at the Irish Film Conferences in Chicago also in Luxembourg. [iv]

Achievements

Áine Ní Cheanainn pursued her interests outside of her teaching career as a member of the Irish – German Society.  She was a Member of the Irish Board of UENSO for the Department of Education.  She lectured at Irish Film Society events.  She provided Communication Courses for INTO Teachers. She organized the Eigse Raiftieri Summer School in Kiltimagh between 1972 & 1975.  She arranged Comoradh Mhic Eil in Castlebar. [v]  Áine Ní Cheanainn was actively involved in many areas of education.  She introduced audio-visual equipment, years before their official introduction as part of the curriculum in 1974.  She was involved with Corfheile na Scoileanna.  The only woman to be appointed to Radio Eireann: she served from 1960 to 1965.  It was at her insistence that the Authority’s name was changed to Raidió Teilifís Éireann during 1966. [vi]  This site states that Áine Ní Cheanainn was a co-founder of Cumann Scannán na nÓg, which later merged with the Irish Film Institute to form the Irish Film Centre.  She was also appointed to the Teilifís Éireann authority during the 1960’s.  When she left the Authority, she was pleased that the Irish language with educational programming would continue to have a role, (though perhaps it produced erratic quality) in Teilifis s schedules.[vii]  She was a member of the Irish Branch of UNESCO also the Irish – German Society in Ireland. [viii]

Publications

Áine Ní Cheanainn was the author of three books: ‘The Heritage of Mayo’, 1982 ‘Raiftieri an File’ 1983 plus ‘Leon an Iarthair’ 1983, a book on Archbishop Mc Hale. [ix]

Ní Cheanainn’s publication ‘The Heritage of Mayo’ is reviewed on this page.  First published during 1982 it was re – printed during 1991 & 1993. [x]

Demise

Her last years were spent at Grove Nursing Home, Killiney, Co. Dublin.  Her demise occurred during June 1999.  She was interred in Kiltimagh, Co. Mayo.  Reference; ‘Dictionary of Irish Biography’, pp. 911–12, Cambridge, 2010. [xi]  The death occurred of Áine Ní Cheanainn aged ninety – two during 1991. [xii]

Tributes

Cardinal Thomais O ‘Fiach referred to Áine Ní Cheanainn as ‘An sineadh fad ana Gaeilge.’   In an illusion to her imposing height plus her association to all thing ‘Gaielge.’

Her motto of life included her belief in people, she encouraged all to achieve their best.  She was remembered by a former colleague as ‘a real de Valera woman, she had a true love of Ireland, the Irish language & belief in what could be achieved with the use of the latest technology & methods.’  Another stated ‘Her expectations of life were high but simple really – work your hardest & achieve your best.’  A childhood fried recalled ‘she brought books with her when she visited homes with children, – never sweets, always a book!’  She has been referred to astremendously idealistic’ also with a ‘great vision for Ireland’.  ‘A devoted teacher who was far ahead of her time’ plus ‘If this formidable woman of Mayo appreciated anything, it was the value of education in general, and of audio and visual aids to the education process in particular.’ (Irish Times, 12 June 1999) [xiii]

Footnote

On this site it is stated that Áine Ní Cheanainn is mentioned in the ‘Dictionary for Irish Biography’ pps 911 -912 Cambridge 2010. [xiv]

Áine Ní Cheanainn is listed on this site: https://edwardbetts.com/find_link/%C3%81ine

Her story as Gailge (Diarmuid Breathnach & Máire Ní Mhurchú) is available at this link: https://www.ainm.ie/Bio.aspx?ID=1629

Áine Ní Cheanainn is listed on this site: https://edwardbetts.com/find_link/%C3%81ine

Bibliography

[i] Áine Ní Cheanainn (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/) [assessed 17th February 2020 ]

[ii] A Devoted Teacher (https://www.irishtimes.com/news/) [assessed 17th February 2020]

[iii] A Devoted Teacher (https://www.irishtimes.com/news/) [assessed 17th February 2020]

[iv] A Devoted Teacher (https://www.irishtimes.com/news/) [assessed 17th February 2020]

[v] A Devoted Teacher (https://www.irishtimes.com/news/) [assessed 17th February 2020]

[vi] Áine Ní Cheanainn (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/) [assessed 17th February 2020 ]

[vii] Mayo’s Heritage Lives on (https://www.mayo.ie/visit/culture/the-arts) [assessed 16th February 2020]

[viii] Áine Ní Cheanainn (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/) [assessed 17th February 2020 ]

[ix] A Devoted Teacher (https://www.irishtimes.com/news/) [assessed 17th February 2020]

[x] The Heritage of Mayo (https://www.mayobooks.ie/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=99) [assessed 17th February 2020]

[xi] Áine Ní Cheanainn (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/) [assessed 17th February 2020 ]

[xii] Mayo’s Heritage Lives on (https://www.mayo.ie/visit/culture/the-arts) [assessed 16th February 2020]

[xiii] A Devoted Teacher (https://www.irishtimes.com/news/) [assessed 17th February 2020]

[xiv] Áine Ní Cheanainn (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ ) [assessed 19th February 2020]

 

 

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