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Celia de Fréine is a poet, playwright and screenwriter who writes in Irish and English.

She was born in Newtownards, County Down and moved to Dublin as a child. Retaining strong links with Northern Ireland, she spent most of her summers with her extended family in Donaghadee.

She now divides her time between Dublin and Connemara.


Celia has published eight collections of poetry. In 2014, Scotus Press published her most recent collections, A lesson in Can't, and Blood Debts. Also in 2014, cuir amach seo dom : riddle me this, was published by Arlen House. Her other collections are: Aibítir Aoise : Alphabet of an Age (Arlen House 2011); imram : odyssey (Arlen House 2010); Scarecrows at Newtownards (Scotus Press, 2005); Fiacha Fola (Cló Iar-Chonnachta 2004); and Faoi Chabáistí is Ríonacha (Cló Iar-Chonnachta 2001).

Her poetry has been widely anthologised and translated and has won many awards, including the Patrick Kavanagh Award, the British Comparative Literature Association Translation Award and the Gradam Litríochta Chló Iar-Chonnachta.


Celia's plays have been widely produced and won many awards. Four of her plays have been awarded Duais an Oireachtais for best full-length play: Anraith Neantóige; Cóirín na dTonn; Tearmann; and Meanmarc. The first three of these plays were published in a collection, entitled Mná Dána, by Arlen House in 2009. In 2012 Arlen House published a further three of Celia's plays, Desire : Meanmarc, Cúirt an Mheán Oíche : The Midnight Court, and Plight: Cruachás.

In 2013 Beholden was given a rehearsed reading at the National Gallery of Ireland and the Pavilion Theatre, Dún Laoghaire, and in 2012 Present was given a rehearsed reading at the Pavilion Theatre – both as part of Pavilion Playwrights 8 X 10. In 2009 the Abbey Theatre commissioned her short play Casadh. In 2004 Anraith Neantóige was produced by Aisling Ghéar. Another play Nára Turas é in Aistear was produced in 2000 by Amharclann de hÍde. In 2007 the Dublin Shakespeare Society produced a revised version of Celia's 1982 translation and dramatisation of Brian Merriman's The Midnight Court as part of their centenary celebrations.

Film and Television

Celia has also worked in film and television. She was a scriptwriter for the TG4 series Ros na Rún between 1997 and 1999. The first script which she wrote was shortlisted for the Celtic Film and Television Festival in 1998. Celia worked with filmmaker Biju Viswanath to develop a series of short films based on her poems. Her screenplay for the film Marathon was given the award for best screenplay at the New York International Film Festival in 2009. The short film Rian : Trace which she conceived and wrote was given the award for best international narrative short at the same festival in 2010.


Celia wrote the libretto for the opera, The Earl of Kildare (music composed by Fergus Johnston). In 2009 Living Opera, in association with Opera Ireland, presented a showcase performance of the opera at the Mermaid Arts Centre in Bray.


Film and Televison

2011 Duais an Oireachtais (script teilifíse, Cuir  i gCás)
2010 Best international short (with Biju Viswanath) New York
       International Film Festival (Rian : Trace)
2009 Best screenplay (with Biju Viswanath) New York
       International Film Festival (Marathon)


2013 Arts Council Bursary
2004 Gradam Litríochta Chló Iar-Chonnachta (Fiacha Fola)
2003 Smurfit/Lá International Poetry Award Samhain Festival
1999 Duais Aitheantais Ghradam Litríochta Chló Iar-Chonnachta
       (Faoi Chabáistí is Ríonacha)
1997 Arts Council Bursary
1996 Comórtas Filíochta Dhún Laoghaire Rath an Dúin (Dán)
1994 Patrick Kavanagh Award


2010 Duais an Oireachtais (dráma ilghníomh, Meanmarc)
2006 Duais an Oireachtais (dráma ilghníomh, Tearmann)
2006 Duais Fhoras na Gaeilge Listowel Writers’ Week
2005 Duais an Oireachtais (dráma ilghníomh Cóirín na dTonn)
2003 Duais an Oireachtais (dráma ilghníomh, Anraith
2000 Arts Council Bursary


1999 British Comparative Literature Association Translation