Ar Thóir na Gàidhlig

In ionad siamsaíochta agus pobail atá lonnaithe idir siopaí Morrisons, Lidl, agus an McDonalds áitiúil, tá cúig phóstaer crochta ó shíléar an halla. Tá “D’Alba” deartha amach i litreacha móra ar an bpóstaer atá thar an bhfáiltiú, fógra ar son an chainéil Ghàidhlig, BBC Alba. Ar na póstaeir eile, táthar ag iarraidh daoine na háite a mhealladh chun an teanga dúchais a fhoghlaim, bíodh ar son a gcuid páistí í, nó ar a son féin. Níl an fhógraíocht Ghàidhlig seo ina n-aonar, mar tá roinnt mhaith fógra le feiceáil timpeall an cheantair. Is cosúil, de réir an méid atá thart, go bhfuil teanga na nGael beo go fóill in Albain. Continue reading “Ar Thóir na Gàidhlig”

Publishing (and Performing) Poetry

“Are you excited,” my mother asks me, clearly excited herself. I was, I guess, but I hadn’t yet seen them for myself.

The first box of the paperback version of Fás | Growth had been delivered to my family home in Dublin, but between living in Cork, to going on holidays to Portugal, I hadn’t yet seen a physical book, or had a chance to feel it.

When I did, it was a surreal experience. Continue reading “Publishing (and Performing) Poetry”

Let the ‘Irish Is Dead’ Argument Die Instead

“It is not in the interests of our community for Irish (which our ancestors shunned as they would rocky crags) to be spoken widely and freely.”

So wrote Richard Stanyhurt, a Dublin-born alchemist and Latin translator, in 1587.

Four hundred and thirty years later, such opinions are still being voiced against the language, and despite the words of Stanyhurt then, to the likes of Kevin Myers et al. today, the language continues to be spoken. For over four centuries (and counting) the Anglo-Irish and Anglo-centric Irish have hoped for a day when, as Sir John Davies wrote in 1612, “…the next generation will in tongue […] become English; so as there will be no difference or distinction but the Irish sea betwixt us”. Continue reading “Let the ‘Irish Is Dead’ Argument Die Instead”

Bank of English? Bank of Ireland Reveals a Costly Truth About Irish

Like the vast majority of people in the western world, I use my bank card often enough, from contactless payments, to ATM withdrawals. As an Irish speaker, I’ve used the Irish language option on Bank of Ireland ATMs (and more recently, the ATMs available at Dublin Airport) for as long as I can remember. I use English only when I don’t have Irish available to me, which is admittedly much more common.

At this point, and for the sake of those unfamiliar with my views on the language, I take what I would see as a Nordic view on languages; I speak my own language (i.e. Irish) with anyone who can or wants to speak it, and for anyone else, I’ll speak English without complaint. I don’t ever expect people to speak Irish with me, but while I accept that it’s a minority language, I will make the most of it being an official language of the Republic and the EU. Continue reading “Bank of English? Bank of Ireland Reveals a Costly Truth About Irish”

Árasán (Splancfhicsean)

Tic. Tic. Tic. Tic. Tic. 

Bhí clog nua na cistine, crochta taobh leis an doras, le cloisteáil sa seomra suí fosta. Beagán ar bheagán, laghdaíodh solas an lae lasmuigh, mar a d’éirigh neart an dorchais istigh. Thosaigh sé ón halla, ag sleamhnú isteach ó achan chóirnéal, go dtí nach raibh ach an bord dinnéir fágtha sa chlapsholas.

Bhí an aimsir lasmuigh meirbh, le scamaill liatha ag clúdach na spéire, gan ann ach ríocht beag gorm ó dheas. Bhí na cnoic ó dheas le fheiceáil ón bhfuinneog, ach fiú le linn an tsamhraidh, bhí cuma fhuar ar an taobh eile, i bhfad rófhada ó bheith in ann siúl chuige. Ní raibh ann ach ciúnas timpeall na háite. Ciúnas reilige. Ciúnas a chloisfeá le linn nóiméid chuimhneacháin, ar nós gur cailleadh duine.

Bhí éadaí ag triomú i gcóirnéal an tseomra suí, carn mór éadach le heaspa datha. Fobhrístí gorma, liatha, agus stocaí bána. Geansaí dúghorm. T-léine dubh. Lár Iúil a bhí ann, agus in ainneoin teas na Gréine, b’fhada an chuma a bhí air ó fhear Spáinneach. Mar sin féin, athraíodh an aimsir san oíche, ag éirí níos fuaire, níos éiginnte, níos ceomhara.

Líon sé gloine fíona dó féin. Gloine amháin. D’aimsigh sé lasaire do na coinnle beaga a cheannaigh a thuistí dó, ionas go mbeadh atmaisféar deas ann san árasán nua s’aige. Chuardaigh sé trí na seinnliostaí acústaice ar Spotify lena chur ar an gcallaire beag bán a cheannaigh sé. Chun an ciúnas a bhriseadh, le linn na hoíche ar fad.

 


Splancfhicsean: Seánra litríochta, le gearrscéil nach mbíonn níos faide ná 300-500 focal. An téarma Gaeilge do ‘flash fiction’ an Bhéarla.