Peggy Cloherty was born in Lough Conneera in the heart of the Connemara Gaeltacht in Galway. She received her basic education in the National and Vocational schools before attending Saint Ann’s College in Clifden. She received her nursing degree after coming to Boston. She worked as a nurse for renowned cardiologist Dr. Paul Zoll, the inventor of the pacemaker and defibrillator. After his death in 1999, Peggy was asked to write of her relationship with this great doctor and his work, and gladly did so. 

Peggy taught Irish for Cumann na Gaeilge for over twenty years and also served as its Uachtarán for many years. The Irish Echo granted her “The Golden Bridges”award in 2008, presented to her by Liam Ó Cuinneagáin of Oideas Gael.

In 2012 Peggy and some other like-minded individuals decided to form a new organization and Ár dTeanga Dhúchais was born. She currently serves as its Uachtarán.

Jim Murphy was born in Bere Island which is situated in Bantry Bay in West Cork. There were British soldiers still stationed on the Island at that time, maybe that had something to do with the love he developed for the Irish language.

After finishing national school he was recruited by the Presentation Brothers. Those Brothers were a teaching order but in order to get into a teaching college at that time one had to have passed the Intermediate exam and the leaving cert and have had honors in Irish. Jim accomplished all of that but then decided he didn’t have a vocation and left the Brothers.

He came to the U.S.A. in 1949, got drafted into the Army in 1951, and served in Germany for two years. He returned to Boston, went to school nights to learn electricity, became a master electrician, and worked for a contractor for a while before opening his own business. After retiring he decided to refresh his Irish and joined Cumann na Gaeilge. In 2012 he joined Peggy in forming Ár dTeanga Dhúchais and was subsequently elected its Leas-Uachtarán.

Brian Frykenberg learned Irish in Boston, in Lochán Beag Co. Galway, and at Harvard, where he earned his Celtic doctorate specializing in early Irish language, culture, and history. He is fond of the tale of “Mad Sweeney,” a character whose story is enjoyed widely beyond the shelves of academe thanks to modern Irish writers.

A professional librarian and freelance scholar interested in book history and book arts, Brian has a background in music, and naturally enjoys learning songs in Irish.

He has taught Irish language workshops in the Boston area, as well as at Elms College in Chicopee, Mass. He and his wife are parents of three young men, ages 23, 20, and 14.


© Ár dTeanga Dhúchais i mBoston 2012