Brian Friel

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Daniel O’Connell

A nineteen-century Irish nationalist and political leader known as “The Liberator.” Maire invokes his name when demanding that Hugh teach his students English, saying that O’Connell declared the Irish language “a barrier to modern progress.” read analysis of Daniel O’Connell

Hedge school

The name given to rural schools in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Ireland, often held in barns and run by local educated men. The schools typically taught reading, writing, and arithmetic, and often included lessons in Greek… read analysis of Hedge school


A traditional Irish alcohol distilled from potatoes or grain. Hugh frequently remarks on the power of a local woman’s poteen, which Yolland becomes drunk on while working with Owen on the Name Book. read analysis of Poteen


A soldier who performs military engineering duties such as constructing and repairing roads, laying and clearing minefields, and other tasks that support troop movement and defense. Characters throughout Translations frequently refer to Lancey, Yollandread analysis of Sapper