Ó Foghludha, Risteard (Richard Foley) (1871–1957), teacher, journalist and editor, was born 5 March 1871 in Knockmonlea between Youghal and Killeagh, Co. Cork, son of farmer Richard Ó Foghludha and his wife, Peg Long. He was the eldest of seven girls and five boys and attended the CBS, Youghal.
Ó Foghludha moved to Dublin around 1888 and may have spent two years working in the RDS, based in Leinster House. By the early 1890s he was a reporter with the Freeman's Journal. Amongst the highlights of his journalistic career was reporting the final public speech of Charles Stewart Parnell (qv) in Creaga, Co. Galway, on 27 September 1891. For some time Ó Foghludha lived in Coventry, Birmingham, London, Leeds, and Hull and while in England worked in Dunlops and also possibly for a newspaper. He then began selling typewriters for the Underwood Typewriter Co. At the turn of the century the firm sent him to Ireland and he spent a number of years in Belfast, returning to Dublin every weekend as the company did not have a Dublin office until 1905. Shorthand played an important role in his life, both as a journalist and also as a clerk at the first meeting of Dáil Éireann on 21 January 1919. He was also involved in the establishment of the Dublin Institute of Shorthand Writers and is said to have had a brief correspondence with Sir Isaac Pitman who developed his own shorthand system.
Ó Foghludha was an active member of Conradh na Gaeilge and in 1901 founded Craobh an Chéitinnigh along with Torna (qv), Shan Ó Cuív (qv) and Sceilg (qv); he acted as secretary for the society for the following eight years until he resigned in November 1909. The following year, June 1910, he married Eily Barnes from Ranelagh, Dublin, and they had one son, Gearóid.
He was a friend of Patrick Dinneen (Pádraig Ó Duinnín) (qv) who was a regular visitor to his home in Cabra. Ó Duinnín acknowledged Ó Foghludha's assistance in his Foclóir Gaeilge agus Béarla (1904) but the relationship soured and there is no reference to his assistance in the 1927 edition of the dictionary. Ó Foghludha had a reputation for being particularly harsh on those who published Irish that was not of a high standard, a stance which earned him numerous enemies. This was a factor in ending his friendship with Ó Duinnín. When Piaras Béaslaí (qv) borrowed a copy of Ó Foghludha's edition of Ó Duinnín's Eoghan Rua Ó Súilleabháin, it is said to have been full of corrections by Ó Foghludha. This may have been brought to the attention of Ó Duinnín.
His first prose articles appeared in An Claidheamh Soluis on 17 August 1901 under the pen-name ‘An Corcaigheach Macánta’. Two years later in November 1903 he used the name ‘Fiachra Éilgeach’ for the first time in Loch Léin. He edited collections of the Munster poets: Piaras Mac Gearailt (1905), Donncha Rua Mac Conmara (1908, 1933), Brian Merriman (1912, 1949), Tadhg Gaelach Ó Súilleabháin (1929), Pádraig Phiarais Cúndún (1932), Seán Clárach Mac Domhnaill (1932), Eoghan Rua Ó Súilleabháin (1937), Liam Inglis (1937), Liam Rua Mac Coitir (1937), Eoghan an Mhéirín Mac Carrthaigh (1938), An tAthair Conchubhair Ó Briain (1938), Liam Dall Ó hIfearnáin (1939), Pádraig Denn (1942), Éamonn de bhFál (1946) and Filí na Máighe (1952). He also published duanairí (collections of poetry) in Duanaire do mheadhon-teastas (1943) and Mil na hÉigse (1945). He edited collections of the prize winning Oireachtas na Gaeilge entries and translated dramas and stories from English and French. Other publications include translations of Chekhov and Tolstoy into Irish. Tiarnaí deireanacha Urmhún (1956), a translation of The last lords of Ormond (1938) by Dermot F. Gleeson (1896–1962) was his final publication.
He was a manager with the Underwood Typewriter Company until 1936 when he transferred to An Gúm. He also worked for a time as an editor with Browne & Nolan (Brún agus Ó Nualláin), the publishing company, until a disagreement arose. As a reader there in 1941 he rejected An béal bocht by Flann O'Brien (qv). According to Cronin, Ó Foghludha edited certain parts of the manuscript and the publishers returned the novel to O'Brien stating that their reader Richard Foley did not understand it and did not recommend its publication. After the National Press published it in December 1941, Ó Foghludha reviewed the work unfavourably in the Irish Literary Bulletin (Mar.–Apr. 1942).
He had a particular interest in place names and is said to have collected 40,000 himself. He published Logainmneach i. Dictionary of Irish Placenames (7,000), English-Gaelic (1935). Éamon de Valera (qv) appointed him to Coimisiún na Logainmneacha (Place names commission) in 1946 and he became its first director. He contributed a discussion of the place name, Terenure, to the Dublin Hist. Rec. (1952) and is also quoted in George Little's (qv) Dublin before the vikings (1957) on the origin of the name Wood Quay. The NUI awarded him a D.Litt. in 1939.
Ó Foghludha died in Dublin 20 August 1957.