Sé Léas Dóchais do Phobal na Gaeilge

Sé Léas Dóchais do Phobal na Gaeilge

Ní raibh sé chomh hiontach a bheith i do Ghael in Éirinn le cúpla seachtain anuas. Tháinig neart scéalta chun solais in achar beag ama de neamart an stáit is lucht cumhachta i leith na teanga agus lucht a labhartha; gach scéal ina chloichín ghortach ar charn mór na bhfeall a tógadh le breis is ceithre chéad bliain anuas. Ní gá ach cás an Dr. Fangzhe Qiu a lua, ar diúltaíodh dá iarratas saorántachta de bharr é a bheith déanta i nGaelainn, nó an litir a seoladh, go hearráideach a deirtear, chuig fostaithe i gcomhlacht Gaeltachta ag ordú dóibh Béarla amháin a labhairt. Ach éist, a léitheoir dhil, tá mo sháith faighte agam de scéalta éagóra is den gclamhsán. Ba mhaith liomsa inniu solas a chaitheamh ar na gnéithe sin a ardaíonn mo chroí, a thugann dóchas is misneach dom is a spreagann mé mar bhall de shaol agus de phobal na Gaelainne. 

 1) Turas Bóthair TG4

Táimse beannaithe gur fhás mé aníos le TG4. Mana seasamhach na múinteoirí scoile ar feadh mo shaoil ná féachaint ar an teilfís mar obair bhaile (cé gur beag de sin a dheininn is mé im’ dhalta!). Ach tuigim anois go bhfuil ádh mór orainn in Éirinn go bhfuil stáisiún teilifíse inár dteanga féin againn, rud nach fíor do theangacha Ceilteacha nó teangacha mionlaithe eile. Seoid de chuid TG4 is ea an clár iontach Turas Bóthair a chraoltar ar an Déardaoin ag 21:30. Gogglebox na nGael atá ann ina gcímid gnáthdhaoine, idir chairde agus ghaolta, ag cur nithe an tsaoil trí chéile agus iad ag tiomáint leo ina gcarranna. Le comhráite spraíúla, daoine ilchineálacha agus caint bhreá chraicneach á labhairt go nádúrtha, níl a shárú le fáil. 



 
2) Bainne

Cé go bhfuil pobal bríomhar Gael ag tvuíteáil is ag féasbúcáil leo le bliantaibh, bhraith mé ar feadh tamaill go raibh easpa éigin ann de YouTubairí Gaelacha. Ardaíonn a leithéidí Ciara Ní É, Eoin P. Ó Murchú agus Úna-Minh Caomhánach mo chroí leis na físeáin Ghaelainne is dhátheangacha a chuireann siad amach, ach tá cainéal greannmhar nua tagtha ar an bhfód le déanaí darb ainm Bainne a líonann nideog speisialta. Cuireann Bainne seirbhís thábhachtach ar fáil as Gaelainn agus é ag tabhairt aghaidh ar chruacheisteanna an tsaoil; ag múineadh dúinn conas doirse is fuinneoga a oscailt agus conas an diabhal damanta de lasc solais a úsáid. Fágann a chuid físeán sna tríthí mé i gcónaí agus is fearr an tseirbhís a chuireann sé ar fáil do phobal na Gaelainne ná cuid mhaith de ranna rialtais an stáit!


 
3) MOLSCÉAL agus Seán Mac an tSíthigh
 
Ós ag trácht ar fhíseáin atáim, caithfear na físeáin a dhéanann Seán Mac an tSíthigh do Nuacht TG4 agus na físeáin a dhéanann MOLSCÉAL a lua. Scéalta áitiúla agus gnáthdhaoine ón bpobal atá i gcuid mhaith de na físeáin seo ach tá cruthaitheacht agus nádúrthacht agus speisialtacht thar na bearta ag baint leo. Tá sárchumas eagarthóireachta agus scannánaíochta le feiscint iontu freisin agus cuireann pearsantacht chroíúil Mhic an tSíthigh go mór mór leo. Fág uainn na drochscéalta a bhaineann meáin an Bhéarla amach - tá croí-scéalta na Gaelainne agus na nGael ar fáil sna físeáin seo.
 
 
 
© MOLSCÉAL

 
4) A Shoilse, Micheál D. Ó hUiginn
 
Tá neart daoine a thugann misneach agus dóchas dom i bpobal na Gaelainne ach níl ardán chomh hard ag éinne acu is atá ag Uachtarán na hÉireann, Micheál D. Ó hUiginn. Tá an t-ádh dearg orainn in Éirinn go bhfuil Gael díograiseach a thuigeann mianta agus cearta ár bpobail san Áras. Leis an státchóras in Éirinn ag déanamh gach iarrachta an Ghaelainn a imeallú agus a chur faoi chois agus lucht cumhachta agus polaitíochta dall, caoch agus ar nós cuma liom faoin leatrom seo den chuid is mó, seasann Micheal D amach ón daoscarshlua. Is cúis ionsparáide é domsa go pearsanta, agus do dhaoine eile freisin, mar a léirigh an clár a craoladh in ómós don Uachtarán le déanaí ar TG4. Is féidir féachaint siar air anseo.
 
© Áras an Uachtaráin
 
 5) Club Chonradh na Gaeilge

Croílár Ghaeltaichtín chathair Bhaile Átha Cliath, dar liomsa, is ea Club Chonradh na Gaeilge, teach tábhairne beag suite fén dtalamh ar Shráid Fhearchair. Ní mhaireann teanga gan phobal agus ní mhaireann pobal gan daoine ná gan spás do na daoine sin teacht agus cruinniú le chéile. Tearmann teangan ó uileghabháltacht agus ó phlúchtacht an Bhéarla is ea An Club. Tá idir chuimhní iontacha agus dhíchuimhní níos iontaí agam ó oícheanta craiceáilte agus draíochtúla ann. Seisiúin amhránaíochta sa snug a líonfadh le haoibhneas thú agus oícheanta mire go maidin ag damhsa agus ag ól le buíon beomhar Gaelach. Is mór an méala é go bhfuil doirse an Chlub dúnta le os cionn bliana anois de bharr an víris chorónaigh ach beidh oícheanta arís ann, le cúnamh na ndéithe, agus ardófar piontaí, gloiní is croí na nGael in athuair. Tá Club Chonradh na Gaeilge ag tiomsú airgid faoi láthair chuige sin agus is féidir ballraíocht a ghlacadh nó airgead a dheonú anseo.
 
© Club Chonradh na Gaeilge
 
6) Ealaín na nGael
 
D’fhág mé an ceann seo go dtí an deireadh mar tá an iliomad rudaí le háireamh ann. Tá beocht agus cruthaitheacht dhochreidte ag lucht na Gaelainne agus ní fhéadfainn gach saothar nó duine a lua, ach spreagann ceol, scéalaíocht agus filíocht an phobail go mór mé. Táim lán den tuairim gur thosaigh REIC, a bhunaigh an file Ciara Ní É, ré nua i bhfilíocht na Gaelainne agus táim cinnte go labhrófar ar fhilí REIC mar a labhraítear faoi fhilí INNTI. Thug REIC an deis domsa i dtosach aimsire mo chuid dánta is scéalta féin a roinnt agus is cinnte nach mbeinn ag cumadh liom sa Ghaelainn gan an deis sin. Caithfear freisin an grúpa Aerach.Aiteach.Gaelach a lua; aitigh bhródúla chruthaitheacha atá ag sárú gach réamhthuairime a shamhlaítí tráth leis an teanga. Lasfadh filíocht, cosúil le ‘Mise Aerach’ Sham Uí Fhearraigh, agus ceol, cosúil le hamhráin Lauren Ní Chasaide, Deoraí agus Tadhg, léas dóchais i gcroí an duine is soiniciúla faoi thodhchaí na Gaelainne. Gan amhras, glonn is ainbheart ceart a bheadh ann gan aintiún nua na nGael, ‘Seo mo Spás’, le hEoin Ildánach Mc Evoy, a lua. Rosc catha phobal na teanga atá in ‘Seo mo Spás’, a fhógraíonn go neamhbhalbh gurb ann dúinn mar Ghaeil agus go bhfuil ár spás féin á athghabháil againn. Thar aon duine eile, is é Eoin Mc an té a thugann dóchas agus misneach dom. Éist le ‘Seo mo Spás’ anseo agus can amach in ard do chinn é!
 
 


Léasacha eile ar mhaith liom iad a lua le hómós anseo ná An Queercal Comhrá agus Club Leabhar Chlub Chonradh na Gaeilge, a líonann le taitneamh is le gáire mé gach mí. D’fhéadfainn na céadta is na mílte dea-rud eile a chur leis an liosta seo ach is mithid dom teacht chun críche.

Sin é, a léitheoir dhil, sé léas dóchais is ábhar misnigh a léiríonn nach scéalta gruama amháin atá againn i bpobal na Gaelainne. Gan amhras, tá trodanna le troid agus cearta le héileamh agus clampar is raic le tógaint chun na cearta sin a bhaint amach, ach tá an pobal beo bríomhar seo in ann chuige, dar liom. Mar a dúirt an saoi a dúirt: Dia duit, seo ár spás, nílimid ag gabháil aon áit.
 
© The Irish Times


Six Rays of Hope for the Irish-language Community 
 
It wasn’t great being an Irish-speaker in Ireland in recent weeks. Several stories surfaced in a short time of state and official neglect of the language and its speakers; each story another painful stone added to the cairn of failures that has been built in the past four hundred years or so. I only need to mention the case of Dr. Fangzhe Qiu, whose citizenship application was rejected due to it being filled out in Irish, or the letter sent, in error they say, to employees in a Gaeltacht company ordering them to speak only in English. But listen, dear reader, I’ve had my share of tales of injustice and of complaining. I want to shed some light today on that which lifts my heart, which fills me with hope and which encourages me as a part of the Irish-language community.

1) Turas Bóthair TG4

I’m blessed that I grew up with TG4. The common refrain of all my school teachers was to watch TV as homework (although I didn’t often follow their advice!). But I now know that we are extremely lucky in Ireland to have a television station in our language, something that other Celtic and minoritised languages don’t have. A jewel in the TG4 crown is the terrific show Turas Bóthair which airs every Thursday at 21:30. It’s the Irish language’s answer to Gogglebox in which we see ordinary people, friends and relatives, talking about life while driving in their cars. With entertaining conversations, diverse people and beautiful Irish spoken naturally, there isn’t anything that matches it. 




2) Bainne

Although there has been a vibrant Irish-language community tweeting and Facebooking for years, I’ve always felt that there was a lack of Irish-language YouTubers. The likes of Ciara Ní É, Eoin P. Ó Murchú and Úna-Minh Caomhánach are excellent with their Irish and bilingual videos, but a hilarious new channel known as Bainne has popped up recently which fills a very special niche. Bainne provides an important service in Irish as he tackles life’s tough questions; teaching us how to open doors and windows and how to use that damned thing known as a light-switch. His videos always leave me in stitches and he provides a better service for the Irish-language community than a good number of Irish government departments!



 
3) MOLSCÉAL agus Seán Mac an tSíthigh

Since I’m discussing videos, I must mention the videos that Seán Mac an tSíthigh does for Nuacht TG4 and those created by MOLSCÉAL. Most of these videos contain local stories featuring local people and they have a remarkable creative, natural and special quality to them. The excellent editing and film-making that goes into them is clear to see and Mac an tSíthigh’s warm personality adds greatly to them. Forget the depressing stories that reach the English-language media - the stories at the heart of the Irish language and Irish-language life are in these videos.
 

4) Micheal D. Higgins

Many people in the Irish-language community give me hope but none of them have as high a platform as the President of Ireland, Micheal D. Higgins. We are incredibly lucky in Ireland to have a committed Irish-speaker who understands the desires and rights of our community in Áras an Uachtaráin. With the state system doing its best to marginalise and suppress the Irish language and those in power blind and indifferent to this for the most part, Michael D stands out from the political rabble. He inspires me personally, and inspires others as well, as the programme in honour of his 80th birthday which aired on TG4 recently showed. You can watch it here.


5) Club Chonradh na Gaeilge

Club Chonradh na Gaeilge, a small pub situated in a basement on Harcourt Street, for me, is the heart of the little Gaeltacht in Dublin city. A language can’t survive without a community and a community can’t survive without people or without a space for those people to gather together. The Club is an Irish-language haven away from the all-encompassing smothering presence of the English language. I have wonderful memories and even more wonderful things forgotten from crazy, magical nights there. Singing sessions in the snug that would fill you with joy and wild nights that lasted until morning, dancing and drinking with a lively gang of Gaels. It breaks my heart that the doors of the Club have been closed for more than a year now due to COVID-19 but we will have nights there again, I’m sure, and pints, glasses and our spirits will be raised once more. Club Chonradh na Gaeilge is currently raising money to ensure this and you can become a member or donate here.


6) Irish-langauge Art

I left this one until the end because of the many things which I could include. Irish-speakers have an incredible vibrancy and creativity and I won’t be able to mention every artist or artistic creation, but the music, storytelling and poetry of the community astounds me. I am convinced that REIC, the bilingual poetry night founded by Ciara Ní É, started a new era of Irish-language poetry and I’m sure that REIC poets will be discussed in the future like how INNTI poets are discussed now. REIC gave me my very first opportunity to share my own poems and stories and I know that I would not be creating in the Irish language today without it. I must also mention the arts collective known as Aerach.Aiteach.Gaelach; a group of proud queer creatives who are breaking every stereotype once associated with the Irish language. Poetry, like Sam Ó Fearraigh’s ‘Mise Aerach’, and music, like the songs of Lauren Ní Chasaide, Deoraí and Tadhg, would light a ray of hope in the heart of the biggest cynic about the future of the language. Without a doubt, it would be unforgivable to fail to mention our new Irish-language anthem, ‘Seo mo Spás’, by Eoin the multi-talented Mc Evoy. ‘Seo mo Spás’ is our community’s battle-cry, which announces proudly that Irish-speakers are here and that we’re marking out our place in Irish society. More than anyone, Eoin Mc gives me the most hope for our future. Listen to ‘Seo mo Spás’ here and sing it at the top of your lungs!



Honourable mentions that I would like to include are the Queercal Comhrá and the Club Chonradh na Gaeilge Book Club, which fill me with happiness and laughter every month. I could add a hundred thousand more examples to this list but it’s about time I bring this blog post to a close.

So there you have it, dear reader, six rays of hope and cheerful reasons that show that there’s more than just doom and gloom in the Irish-language community. Without a doubt, there are still fights to fight and rights to demand and a whole lot of noise required to achieve those rights, but I believe that a community as alive and vibrant as the Irish-language community is well up for it. As a wise man once said, Dia duit, seo ár spás, nílimid ag gabháil aon áit (Hello, this is our space, we’re not going anywhere).


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