This is to introduce you to a great friend and mentor of mine Ian Adamson, former Mayor, former High Sheriff of Belfast and current champion of all things Ulster Gaelic and Ulster-Scots.
Ian was the person who introduced me to Joseph Campbell and his work and of course without that first introduction, we wouldn’t be in the position now of being able to make a doc on his life for TG4.
Ian also was responsible for having Joseph’s East Belfast home marked with a heritage plaque.
Ian and Joseph are both polymaths — Ian speaks many, many languages and uniquely over the 16 years of the Aisling Awards was the only person to give his acceptance speech entirely in Ulster Gaidhlig (he was our Person of the Year).
Joseph Campbell (July 15, 1879 – June 1944) was an Irish poet and lyricist. He wrote under the Gaelicised version of his name Seosamh Mac Cathmhaoil.The son of a Parnellite family from Co Down, Campbell took an early interest in Irish music and folklore. He was educated at St Malachy’s College, Belfast and worked in his father’s building business before becoming a teacher of English. As a young man he collaborated with the composer Herbert Hughes on English-language versions of Irish folk songs; the first volume of these was published as Songs of Uladh in 1904. In the same year he helped found the Ulster Literary Theatre; his own play the Little Cowherd Of Slainge was performed in 1905.For a time before the First World War Campbell lived in London, where he was Secretary of the Irish Literary Society.
In 1911 he moved to Dublin and took part in the Easter rising as an Intelligence Officer. He became a Sinn Fein councillor in 1921. In the civil war he sided with the Republicans, and was interned for seventeen months by the Free State forces. In 1925 he set up the first ever School of Irish Studies in the U.S.A., at Fordham University, New York, returning in 1939 to Ireland, where he lived in seclusion at a farmstead in Glencree, Co Wicklow, until his death.
He is now remembered best for words he supplied to traditional airs, such as My Lagan Love and Gartan Mother’s Lullaby; his verse was also set to music by Arnold Bax and Ivor Gurney.But Ian’s favourite poem of his in Ullans with Ulster Gaelic placenames is ‘Tis pretty tae be in Baile-Liosan from The Mountainy Singer .1909 , republished in the incomparable The Ulster Anthology edited by Ian’s friend Patricia Craig, published by Blackstaff Press ,Belfast 2006.
My Lagan Love was also rcorded by Van Morrison and the Chieftains in Irish Heartbeat
Location of plaque
At the site of the birth house, 32 Castlereagh Road, Belfast.
See Also: http://www.pgil-eirdata.org/html/pgil_datasets/authors/c/Campbell,Joseph/life.htm