Tomás Ó h-Íde (Ihde)
Associate Professor of Irish
Department of Languages and Literatures, Chair
Lehman College, Bronx, NY
City University of New York

Tomás Ó h-Íde (Ihde)
Comhollamh le Gaeilge
Roinn Theangacha agus Litríochtaí, Cathaoirleach
Coláiste Lehman, Bronx, NY
Ollscoil Chathair Nua-Eabhrac


Tomás Ó h-Íde (Thomas Ihde), is a professor of Irish language and literature at Lehman College, the City University of New York. He is co-founder of the North American Association of Celtic Language Teachers (NAACLT) and has developed university level courses at a number of third level institutions in the United States.


After attending St. Mary's University in San Antonio, Texas, for his Bachelor of Arts degree, Ó h-Íde read linguistics at Trinity College Dublin, gaining a Master's of Philosophy in Applied Linguistics in 1992 and a Doctorate degree in Applied Linguistics in 1998.


Tomás Ó h-Íde began teaching secondary school in County Dublin while completing his master's degree. He taught the English and Irish languages at Bergen Community College (NJ) while completing research for his Ph.D. Since 2000, he has been employed at Lehman College of the City University of New York (CUNY) where he became the first professor in the CUNY system to be appointed as full-time instructor of the Irish language. [1] In addition to being co-founder of the North American Association of Celtic Language Teachers (NAACLT) [2], he was elected to several terms as the Irish Language Representative on the executive board of the American Conference for Irish Studies (ACIS). He also served for seven years as Director of the CUNY Institute for Irish-American Studies. During his tenure as director, the Institute hosted both the Mid-Atlantic Region Meeting of ACIS at Lehman College and the National Annual Conference of ACIS at the CUNY Graduate Center with more than 400 participants in attendance. For the past six years, he has served as Chair of the Department of Languages and Literatures at Lehman College.


Colloquial Irish (with Máire Ní Neachtain, Roslyn Blyn-LaDrew, and John Gillen). New York: Routledge 2008

The Irish Language in the United States: a historical, sociolinguistic, and applied linguistic survey. Westport, CT: Bergin & Garvey 1994.

Selected Articles

"Robert Flaherty's Oidhche Sheanchais: The First Film in Irish." New Hibernia Review, 18 (2014), 68-86.
"Emancipation through exile: Irish speakers in the Americas" In Michael Newton (ed.), Celts in the Americas. Sydney, NS: Cape Breton University Press, 2013, 56-75.
"Cén chaoi a bhFoghlaimíonn Duine Fásta Teanga Nua?" An tÚll Mór. 1 (2012).
"Irish American Identity and the Irish Language." In P. Kirwan, J. Byrne & M. O'Sullivan (eds.), Affecting Irishness. New York: Peter Lang, 2008.
"Irish Language Learning Textbooks Published in the United States: 1873-1904." New Hibernia Review, Vol. 9, 2005. 137-151.
"Teacher and Student Roles in Multimedia Language Learning." Teanga: The Irish Yearbook of Applied Linguistics, Vol. 20, 2001-2002, 69-87.
“Curriculum Development and Textbook Design for North American Learners of Irish.” Language, Culture, & Curriculum, Vol. 13, No. 1, 2000, 1-12.
"Issues in the design of credited Irish courses" Journal of Celtic Language Learning, Vol. 5, 2000, 5-19.


Prof. Ó h-Íde presents two papers each academic year. Among the keynote lectures he has given is the Inaugural Barra Ó Donnabháin Lecture at NYU in 2006.

Recent Papers

"Robert Flaherty and Seán Ó Direáin: Lights, Camera, and (not too much) Action", Irish Studies Seminar, Columbia University, 2/6/15.
"Translating the Tales of Seáinín Tom Sheáin", Harvard Celtic Colloquium, Cambridge, MA. 10/11/2014
"Oidhche Sheanchais: Scannán caillte, scannán aimsithe", Symposium on Literature and Irish Language Broadcast Media, Lehman College, CUNY, 2/21/14.
"Irish Language Film: The American Connection", The 2013 New England Regional Meeting of the American Conference for Irish Studies, Community College of Rhose Island, 11/2/13.
"West Galway Irish: Providing Pronunciation Models", Harvard Celtic Colloquium, Cambridge, MA. 10/5/2012.

Personal Life

He is named after his maternal grandfather Thomas Joseph O'Malley (Tomás Seosamh Ó Máille), who was a native Irish speaker who imigrated to New Jersey from Galway.[3] He is also nephew of Irish-American aerospace engineer T.J. O'Malley.

Peter Malley (Peadar Máille), Ó h-Íde's great-grandfather, was a monolingual Irish speaker. [3] His wife, Winifred (Úna), was schooled in English and their children including Thomas spoke Irish at home and learned English at school.


Born Thomas Ihde, he was given the Irish version of his surname, Tomás Ó h-Íde, by his first Irish language teacher John Egan (Seán Mac Aogáin) of Curramór, Co. Galway.

The German surname Ihde is of Viking (Old Norse) origin. It is a variant of the surname Ide from the Old Norse for "zealous, hard working". Note that this surname does not appear to be related to the English surname Hyde which has its origin in the old British measurement of land, a "hide".



2. Stenson, Nancy. "Retrospective: NAACLT - the first decade" Journal of Celtic Language Learning, Vol. 10, 2005, p. 43.

3. "Emancipation through exile: Irish speakers in the Americas" In Michael Newton (ed.), Celts in the Americas. Sydney, NS: Cape Breton University Press, 2013, pp. 58-59. See also