DIAS Headquarters, 10 Burlington Road - D04C932 contact@dias.ie 00353 (0) 16140100

Professor Fergus Kelly

phone: +353-1-6140175
e-mail: fkelly@celt.dias.ie

Research Interests

Early Irish law-texts and wisdom-texts; at present working on an edition of a thirteenth-century legal treatise attributed to Giolla na Naomh mac Duinn Shléibhe Mheic Aodhagáin. Editions of the Legal Heptads and the Old Irish Triads are also planned. Other research interests include the fragmentary law-text ‘Osbretha‘ (‘deer-judgements’).


Audacht Morainn (Dublin 1976)

A guide to early Irish law (Dublin 1988, reprinted 1991, 1995)

Early Irish farming: the evidence of the law-texts (Dublin 1997, reprinted 1998)

ed. (with David Greene) Osborn Bergin : Irish bardic poetry (Dublin 1970)

ed. (with David Greene) The Irish Adam and Eve story I (Dublin 1976)

ed. (with Thomas Charles-Edwards) Bechbretha: an Old Irish law-tract on beekeeping (Dublin 1983)

‘Old Irish ad-claid; Old Irish claideb and its cognates’, Ériu 22 (1971) 190-6

‘A poem in praise of Columb Cille’, Ériu 24 (1973) 1-34

‘Tiughraind Bhécáin’, Ériu 26 (1975) 66-98

‘The Old Irish tree list’, Celtica 11 (1976) 107-24

‘Notes on the Irish words’, Patrician texts in the Book of Armagh (ed. Ludwig Bieler, Dublin 1979) 242-8

‘Old Irish creccaire, Scottish Gaelic kreahkir‘, Ériu 37 (1986) 185-6

‘Two notes on final-verb constructions’, Celtica 18 (1986) 1-12

‘An Old Irish text on court procedure’, Peritia 5 (1986) 74-106

‘A note on Old Irish círmaire‘, Celtica 21 (1990) 231-3

‘Celtic law’, The Celts (Bompiani, Milan 1991) 657-8

‘Early Irish law: the present state of research’, Proceedings of the ninth international Celtic Congress (ed. Pierre-Yves Lambert, 1994) 15-23

(with James B. Fox) ‘Capercaillie in Ireland’, Irish birdwatching 4/2 (1995) 21-3

Entries on ‘triads’, and ‘Tecosca Cormaic‘ in The Oxford companion to Irish literature (ed. Robert Welch 1996)

Entries on ‘law-tracts’ and ‘Law, early Ireland (pre-1169)’, The Oxford companion to Irish history (ed. S. J. Connolly 1998)

‘Medicine and Early Irish Law’, 2000 years of Irish medicine (ed. J. B. Lyons, Dublin 1999) 15-19. Reprinted in Irish Journal of Medical Science vol. 170 no. 1 (January-March 2001) 73-6

Entries on ‘Cormac mac Airt’, ‘Níall Noígíallach’ and ‘Eugene O’Curry’, The New Dictionary of National Biography (at press)

‘Trees in early Ireland’, Augustine Henry Memorial Lecture, 11th March, 1999, Royal Dublin Society, in Irish forestry: Journal of the Society of Irish Foresters 56 (1999) 39-57

‘The Brehon Laws’, The World of Hibernia vol. 6 no. 3 (Winter 2000) 60-62

‘The beliefs and mythology of the early Irish, with special reference to the Cosmos’, in Astronomy, Cosmology and Landscape: Proceedings of the Société Européenne pour l’Astronomie dans la Culture 98 Meeting, Dublin, September 1998 (ed. Clive Ruggles, with Frank Prendergast and Tom Ray, Bognor Regis 2001) 167-72

Giolla na Naomh Mac Aodhagáin: a thirteenth-century legal innovator’ in Mysteries and solutions in Irish legal history (ed. Desmond Greer and Norma Dawson, Dublin 2001) 1-14

‘Texts and transmissions: the law-texts’ in Ireland and Europe in the Early Middle Ages: texts and transmissions (ed. Próinséas Ní Chatháin and Michael Richter, Dublin 2002) 230-42

‘The evil eye in early Irish law’, Celtica 24 (2003) 34-9

Sir John Rhŷs Memorial Lecture ‘Thinking in threes: the triad in early Irish literature’, Proceedings of the British Academy 125 (December 2004) 1-18

‘The horse in early Irish society’, in The Irish draught horse: a history (ed. Mary McGrath and Joan C. Griffith, The Collins Press, Cork, 2005) 30-39.

‘The use of Ireland’s woodland in medieval times’, in Ireland’s Native Woodlands (Conference Proceedings, Galway, 8-11 September 2004, ed. Cara Doyle) 54-59 (CD-Rom issued in August 2005 by Woodlands of Ireland, Cabinteely House, The Park, Cabinteely, Dublin 18)