Earnan de Siunta, Ernest Joynt

Civil Engineer / Author / Academic

Newspaper copy.
Ballina Moy River.
Round Tower, Lillala.
Armoured Train at Inichore Works
Map of Eastern Europe
Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan, 1679
Illustration in Pilgrim's Progress by J.Flaxman 1799
Royal Avenue, Belfast

Earnan de Suinta or Earnest Edwin Joynt translated the “New Testament” also “Pilgrim’s Progress’ into the Irish language.  He used the pseudonym “An Buaichaill Buidhe” for many of his works.


His ancestors were reputed to have arrived in Ireland from France as the Huguenot “De Joyance” fled when the Edict of Nantes 1598 was abolished. To members of the family the belief is that (1), a branch of De Joyance settled in Mayo during the rebellion of 1641 as two brothers were gifted land as Captain’s in Cromwell’s army (2) that De Joynt family arrived with William of Orange then settled in Killala.   Joynt’s father was Richard Watson Joynt who was editor and proprietor of The Tyrawly Herald later re-named Ballina Herald, (Richard was the youngest son of seventeen children of Henry Joynt (born 14th October 1784 in Crossmolina, he died 20th March 1852 in Ballina) and Elearnor Johnson born 22nd October 1781/1791? in Moylough, she died about 1868 in Ballina. Their initial abode was Kinnard House until they moved to Ballina during 1834. Ernest’s mother was Charlotte Soresby daughter of a Presbyterian minister in Co. Clare. Ernest Edwin was an only son born on December 19th 1874. He had three sisters: Alice-Mary, Josephine and Madeline. Aged fourteen years he moved to Belfast to study at a Methodist College in Belfast.    [i]

Gaelic League

He arrived in Dublin very soon after the foundation of the Gaelic League. He began to study the Irish Language in their Gaelic League classes and attained remarkable fluency. He became a member of the Executive Committee also President of The Ring from 1925 to 1927. From 1929 he was Vice–President of The General Championship.


Joynt became a mechanical engineer and member of the Engineering and Scientific Association of Ireland. He was a chief draughtsman with Inchicore Southern Railway Company. He was employed as principle by Engineering Dept. of Bolton Street College of Technology from late 1919 to 1942.   [ii]   (He is listed in the Mechanical Engineering; Prospectus of Courses 1828 – 1829)    [iii]


Joyce’s first Irish essay “An Cliaheamh Soluis,” documenting Ballina life was published in 1910. He contributed articles under the pseudonym of “An Biachaill Buidhe” to Gaelic League publications from 1st April 1904 until 1911.  He also contributed to the Feile na Gaeilge’s annual Almanac and Diary. During 1928 he published “Industrial Education”, a book pertaining to Scientific and Engineering work. 1929 saw him producing a Translation into Irish of Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress.”  He also translated the whole of “The New Testament.”    During August 1947 he wrote (Translation!) ” I would like. Be safe with me, an account of my own writing life, telling how I was born, I am a foreigner and I got to be in my enthusiastic Geal.” In Rennes in 1935 the “Histoire de L’Ireland des arigines a  L’Elat Libre” was produced.  Again during 1944 he published “Wars”, from several Greek Myths. [iv]   He was the author of papers “Toothed Gearings” and “Automatic Breaks” that he presented to the Inchicore Engineering Society.  [v]

He travelled throughout Europe during 1896.  He was in Moscow during Emperor Nicholas II’s reign.  Joynt attended The Passion Play at Ober Ammergau during 1901. Earnan de Siunta was married twice; his first wife Ethel Bray died in childbirth. They had a son Eiver born in 1906 and daughter Maire born in 1909.  His second wife Frances Young, (daughter of John Young and Mary Wright) was born on the 12th November 1878. She died in Dublin about 1953. They had a daughter Charlotte born 1915. Earnan de Suinta’s death occurred on October 13th 1949. He is buried in Mount Jerome Cemetery, Dublin.   [vi]


His name is amongst others listed in a study of the Irish Language.  [vii]  He is mentioned in “The Prose Literature of Gaelic Revival 1881 – 1921; Ideology and Innovation” by Philip O’Leary 2005 Penn State Press.   His translation of “The New Testament” was published during 1951 in the Hibernian Bible Society.  [viii]


[i]   “Dear old Ballina”, Terry Reilly, 1993, Western People Printing, Ballina.

[ii]  “Dear old Ballina”, Terry Reilly, 1993, Western People Printing, Ballina.

[iii]    DIT – Prospectus of Courses – 1928-29 – Pg 5

[iv]  “Dear old Ballina”, Terry Reilly, 1993, Western People Printing, Ballina.

[v]   www.gracesguide.co.uk

[vi]  “Dear old Ballina”, Terry Reilly, 1993, Western People Printing, Ballina.

[vii]  www.irrs.ie

[viii] www.wikipedia.org

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