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Museum of Literature Ireland
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Behind the words

Spreading the Words


Professor Margaret Kelleher speaks to Máire Ní Mhaonaigh and Sharon Arbuthnot, creators of RadioMoLI’s Spreading the Words series, asking about the motivation for the series, the rich body of research behind Ní Mhaonaigh and Arbuthnot’s work, and some of their favourite words in the series.

Máire Ní Mhaonaigh is Professor of Celtic and Medieval Studies at the University of Cambridge, and Sharon Arbuthnot is a Senior Researcher at Queen’s University Belfast and an expert on lexicography and medieval glossaries. Professor Margaret Kelleher is Chair of Anglo-Irish Literature and Drama at University College Dublin, and is author of The Maamtrasna Murders.

Ní Mhaonaigh and Arbuthnot’s book with Gregory Toner and Joe McLaren, A history of Ireland in 100 words, was shortlisted for the An Post Irish Book Awards in 2019. For more about the electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language project, visit

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