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What Irish means to me

Irish conjures up different things to different people. Some think of it as a dying language, some think of Peig Sayers and wince at the misery of leaving cert, 30 years later. For me, it’s so much more than that. It harks all the way back to the Tuatha De Danann, a proud supernatural race of gods that called Ireland home. Do you know of Brehon Law, one of the most progressive legal systems of the medieval world? That began here. It makes me think of the Islanders on the Blaskets, working hard every day of their lives to keep the old ways alive. It’s my connection to a rich and varied culture, one we have fought for time and again, and one that is universally popular across the world. For that, I am proud to have a cupla focail still.
– Mary Collins, Features Editor

 

Níl mé liofa sa Ghaeilge ach tá grá mór agam don teanga. I have a great appreciation for the Irish language thanks to my parents, especially my mother. Irish wasn’t my best language at school, in fact I was far better at French until about 4th Year, when I won a scholarship from UCC to go to the Gaeltacht on the Dingle Peninsula. Somewhere I got in trouble a fair bit for speaking in English but ended up good at the sports and the céilí. After that, my relationship changed with Irish, and I try to use it where I can. Especially when abroad with friends or at work to ask “Conás atá tu?” or if I’m feeling mischievous I’ll ask “Cén chaoi a bhfuil tú?” and confuse everyone. At the end of it all, it’s our national language, and while I’m not a fan of how it is taught or the compulsory nature of the subject, I think it is something we should treasure and enjoy – not shove down the throat of students!
– Stephen Spillane, Staff Writer

 

An Ghaeilge. Pian sa tóin ina teannta, pian sa chroí gan í. Mar teangeolaí iltheangach, seasann sí ar faidh coincheap i bhfad Éireann níos substaintiúla ‘is níos tromchiallaí ná foirm cummarsáide. Nuair a thagann an Ghaeilge chun cuimhne chugham, samhlaím rud éigin draíochta, ársa, focail atá i mbun cliúsaíochta leat. Leiríonn sí peirspictíocht eagsúil, ina bhfuil an phribhléid acu siúd atá an Ghaeilge ar a dtoil acu, a úsáid chun dearcadh uathúil a fháil ar an domhan agus ar ár tsochaí. Dom féin, ba agus is bealach éalaithe í ón saol agus ó na rudaí a bhíonn ag cur as dom, i’m cheann agus i’m thimpeallacht. Muna bainim amach faic seachas líofacht inti le linn mo shaol, bheinn níos mó ná sásta
– Aoife Nic Gearailt, Eagarthóir Gaeilge