Dymphna Lonergan was born in Dublin, Ireland, where she studied the Irish language in school. She immigrated to Australia in 1972. In 1994 she was awarded a Masters degree by Flinders University for her study of Irish language words in Anglo-Irish writing. She was awarded a PhD from Flinders in 2002 for her thesis on ‘The Irish language in Australia’. Currently teaching in the English department at Flinders University, she continues to research the Irish influence on Australian English. Other interests include teaching and conversing in Irish in Adelaide, and attending annual daonscoileanna (folkschools) in Melbourne and Sydney.

Recent Submissions

  • Australia's Irish place names 

    Lonergan, Dymphna (Irish Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand, 2009)
    The study on which this article is based has found over 500 different Irish names in use in Australia, many appearing more than once. The names of 25 of the 32 counties of Ireland are represented.
  • Place names: a tool for finding the Irish in South Australia 

    Lonergan, Dymphna (Historical Society of South Australia Inc., 2009)
    Little of the Irish South Australian story has been available in the public domain. Even in historical circles, research into Irish South Australia has been sparse, and mostly concentrated on post-Famine times: especially ...
  • The Irish in South Australia: names and naming. [abstract]. 

    Lonergan, Dymphna (2006)
    In celebrating its centennial in an Irish way, despite having little Irish background, The Dublin Progress Association chose to exploit what Pierre Bourdieu would call the ‘economic’, ‘cultural’ and ‘social capital’ ...
  • Fionán Mac Cártha: Gaelic poet in Queensland 

    Lonergan, Dymphna (2003-06)
    Fionán Mac Cártha was born in Roscommon, in the West of Ireland in 1886. As a young man he took an interest in the Irish language. Self-taught, he gained fluency in Irish through conversing with the old people in the ...
  • Ned's Irish accent 

    Lonergan, Dymphna (2004-09)
    In 1879 the illiterate Ned Kelly dictated a letter to his friend, Joe Byrne before the gang held up a bank in the town of Jerilderie. Kelly expected the letter to be published and it was dictated to Byrne so that the ...
  • The Pioneering Shiralee 

    Lonergan, Dymphna (2004-10)
    In his introduction to the 2002 reprint of D’Arcy Niland’s book, "The Shiralee" (originally published in 1955), Les Murray comments that when the book was first issued the word shiralee had little currency in Australia and ...
  • Humping a Grouse Cobber 

    Lonergan, Dymphna (2005-10)
    When I arrived in Adelaide in the 1970s, they were called 'cobbers'. Those small, chocolate covered squares of hard caramel now go by the name 'mates'. The word 'mate' has nudged ahead of 'cobber' in popularity, probably ...