Réaltán Ní Leannáin was born and bred in Belfast. She has lived and worked in many parts of Ireland and Spain. She takes great interest in the languages and culture of Spain, as well as spending far too much time on Twitter. She is now living in Dublin.
Though a fictional work, Cití na gCártaí is rooted in Réaltán’s family memories. Her grandfather joined the British Army in 1914 to fight in The First World War. While stationed on Malta during the war he arranged marriage to a young island woman there: Réaltán’s grandmother. In a gesture of courage and hope she left her island home – the sun, lemon trees and bleached limestone – and joined him in Belfast after the war. She may have anticipated the cold, the wet, and the grey skies, but other aspects of Belfast in the troublesome years following 1918 didn’t turn out as she expected…
Cití na gCártaí is Réaltán’s third book. Her first is a poetry collection, Turas Ailse (Coiscéim, 2011), a record of a life-changing experience. After many years of teaching and lecturing in Dublin and in Belfast, Réaltán was diagnosed with cancer. As a result of treatment and after-effects, getting to grips with the craft of writing replaced the classroom.
Turas Ailse was followed by a collection of short stories, Dílis (Cló Iar-Chonnacht, 2015), brimming with tales rooted in the memories of her teenage years, growing up in Belfast during the Troubles and in particular the seventies.
Réaltán Ní Leannáin is the 2019 Irish Language Writer-in-Residence in Dublin City University.
In addition to her printed work she also has various pieces online and these can be accessed via her blog: http://turasailse.blogspot.com/