Séamus Ó Fianghusa, known as ‘Séamus na Gaeilge’ in the west Donegal Gaeltacht, is a US Army soldier who recently returned from a year-long combat deployment in Afghanistan.
He has been named in the prestigious Irish Echo ’40 under 40′ – recognition of 4o people under the age of 40 who have made a significant contribution to Irish American and Irish life.
Séamus is currently serving with the legendary ‘Fighting 69th’ which leads the New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade every year.
This unit is not only the most combat credited regiment in the American armed forces, but the direct descendant of the ‘Wild Geese’ Irish Brigades of France and Spain. In March of 2006, he started learning Irish.
He achieved recognition within the Irish language movement after attaining fluency in the tongue within a short space of time and with no fromal instruction.
He came to Donegal for the first time in the summer of 2008 and currently spends his time between Ireland and the United States, at least when he’s not off fighting a war.
Says the nomination: “He is a passionate advocate of all aspects of traditional Celtic culture and one of the relatively few practitioners of the ancient Gaelic art of song known as ‘sean-nós’. In Ireland, he is a frequent contributor to Irish language media, with numerous appearances on national televsion and radio.”
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