(1779–1835), poet; born in Cill Liadáin (Killedan) near Kiltimagh, Co. Mayo. Blinded by smallpox in childhood, Raiftearaí became a wandering minstrel, spending most of his time in south Co. Galway. According to an enemy, Peatsaí Ó Callanáin, he ‘went with’ a woman, Siobhán, and they had two children. He is buried in Killeenin near Craughwell in Co. Galway. His poetry and song deal with contemporary events, many of them reflecting his radical political views. His virulent attitude towards the Protestant religion was influenced by the writings of the Catholic propagandist Pastorini. ‘Cill Liadáin’ is an evocation of his native place. ‘Eanach Dhúin’ is a lament for about twenty people who were drowned in Lough Corrib in 1828. Pre-Famine Ireland, densely populated, unruly, dangerous, but energetic, is vividly portrayed in his verse.
From The Concise Oxford Companion to Irish Literature in Oxford Reference.