Ó Creag, Séamus (Craig, James Patrick) (1863–1934), Irish–language teacher, writer, and scholar, was born into the large Irish-speaking family of Pádraig Ó Creag, small farmer of Droim na Soileach in the Glenties, Co. Donegal, and Ann (or Máire) Gildea, from nearby Mín na Tine townland. The family had been evicted from a holding in Ros Beag a few years previously. He attended various national schools: first the school at Gort na Muclach, then Muileann Mór (from 23 March 1874), and then Doire Locháin (March–July 1876) near his maternal grandmother's house. Probably at this point, he became an apprentice in the drapery trade in Derry. (His brother Denis would later own the prosperous D. G. Craig drapers in William Street, Derry, in which his brother John was also involved.) His father, then his mother, died c.1879. He returned to school at Doire Locháin in May 1882, remaining there until November 1882; entered (1884) a religious novitiate in Blackrock, Co. Dublin, and later studied in Séminaire de Chevill in France.
He left the religious life after a few years, probably because of ill health, and his name as teacher is found on the roll of his old national school in 1890, when he was about twenty-seven. He then taught Irish in the Christian Brothers’ secondary school at Thurles, Co. Tipperary (1891–4), and in St Columb's college, Derry (1894–7). In 1897 he was appointed to the teaching staff of what is now Coláiste Adhamhnáin in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, where he taught Irish and singing until 1921. He received high praise for his work there from the college president, Canon Edward Maguire, in the latter's Letterkenny past and present. During these years he became active in Crann Eithne, an organisation that fostered the use of Irish in the home; he was the first editor of the movement's journal, An Crann. From Letterkenny he went to teach in the Jesuits’ school at Clongowes Wood, Co. Kildare (1921). In 1924 he went to Derry to help in running his deceased brother's business. During this period he held an examinership under the Northern Ireland board of intermediate education. In September 1926 he was reappointed to his old post in Letterkenny, where he worked until retirement (August 1929).
He will be remembered principally because of his many widely acclaimed books on Irish grammar and composition: Modern Irish (1896), Modern Irish grammar (1900) (a grammar of the Donegal dialect), Modern Irish composition (1901), etc. He produced modern Irish versions of several old tales such as Clann Lir (1901) and Clann Uisnigh (1902). His Iasgaireacht Shéamuis Bhig (1904) and the four songs he composed were inspired by his love for his native district. His An ceoltóir (1901) will also be remembered. Many of his books were published at his own expense. He never married; he died 15 September 1934 in his sister-in-law's house in Rathgar, Dublin, and was buried in Mount Jerome cemetery.
More information on this entry is available at the National Database of Irish-language biographies (Ainm.ie).