Ó Callanáin, Peatsaí (Patrick Callanan) (1791–1865), poet, was born in Carheendiveane, Craughwell, Co. Galway, in 1791, younger brother of Marcas Ó Callanáin (qv). Of his parents little has come down but that Peatsaí came by his farm of twenty acres through a will in 1852. His compositions chiefly deal with contemporary subjects and are intended primarily for recitation, although six songs are to be found transcribed in ‘English character’ in various manuscripts. He also composed and rendered other folk-songs into English. ‘An tSlis’ (1845) and ‘Na fataí bána’ (1846) would be regarded as typical essays and display a measured tone and a sincerity absent from the work of his brother Marcas, whose approach was more earthy and lacks the evenness of Peatsaí's compositions.
It seems clear that Peatsaí received some formal education, possibly in Esker near Athenry, as he had a good knowledge of religious and devotional material. He is most famous for reciting his brother's biting song, ‘An sciolladh’, in the presence of the subject's satire, Antaine Raiftearaí (qv). This literary dispute exemplified a well-founded aspect of Irish poetic performance: the contention. Peatsaí married Bríd Ní Fhíne (Bridget Feeney) of Ring, Clarinbridge, Co. Galway, and subsequently had eight children, some of whom were noted for their eloquence. Marcas, who died in 1846, aged fifty-seven, pre-deceased his brother by nineteen years. Peatsaí died in 1865 and is buried in the graveyard at Killineen, Craughwell, Co. Galway. The brothers were often confused as one figure, being known as ‘Calnan’ in oral tradition. They are of minor importance in literary history but typical of the genre, and in the context of nineteenth-century folk-poetry and Connacht poetry in particular, Peatsaí's compositions are noteworthy.