1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/O'Curry, Eugene
O’CURRY, EUGENE (1796–1862), Irish scholar, was born at Dunaha, county Clare, in 1796, the son of a farmer who was a man of unusual intelligence. After being employed for some time in the topographical and historical section of the Irish ordnance survey, O’Curry earned his living by translating and copying Irish manuscripts. The catalogue of Irish manuscripts in the British Museum was compiled by him. On the founding of the Roman Catholic University of Ireland (1854) he was appointed professor of Irish history and archaeology. His lectures were published by the university in 1860, and give a better knowledge of Irish medieval literature than can be obtained from any other one source. Three other volumes of lectures were published posthumously, under the title On the Manners and Customs of the Ancient Irish (1873). His voluminous manuscripts, notably eight huge volumes of ancient Irish law, testify to his unremitting industry. The Celtic Society, of the council of which he was a member, published two of his translations of medieval tales. He died in Dublin in 1862.