Wednesday, July 30, 2008

News to an 30ú lá Mí Iúil

EU promotes Irish language (July 26, 2008)

“The European Commission is actively and increasingly promoting Irish as a working EU language.”

Law shorts: End of Irish exam for law trainees (July 28, 2008)

“Those seeking entry to the Law Society's law school and to the King's Inns will no longer have to pass a compulsory examination in Irish following the enactment, in the last moments of the latest Dáil session, of the Legal Practitioners (Irish Language) Act.”

Search site aims to rival Google (July 28, 2008)

“Former workers at the web giant Google have launched a rival search engine.
“Called Cuil, from the Gaelic for knowledge and hazel, its founders claim it does a better and more comprehensive job of indexing information online.”
See also:
Irish myths behind engine name

Lúnasa Celtic Harvest Celebration in Brussels, Belgium (July 28, 2008)

“Lúnasa Celtic harvest celebration, organized by Pobal Gaeilge na Bruiseile, Anam Beo and Claddagh Toastmasters, has been organised for the holiday weekend of Friday 1st August.”

Achill’s ‘Plean Gaeilge’ aims for all-island Gaeltacht status (July 29, 2008)

“The need for the whole of the island of Achill to have Gaeltacht status is paramount to the future development of the island, according to the Cathaoirleach of Comhlacht Forbartha Áitiúil Acla, Tomas Mac Sheáin.
“Last week, CFÁA launched ‘Plean Gaeilge’, in which they outlined their aims in increasing the use of the Irish language in everyday life in the community, and in looking to having the whole island categorised as a Gaeltacht area by 2011.”

Settings add a sense of history to Friel magic (July 29, 2008)

“'It is not the literal past, the 'facts' of history that shape us," says the school master Hugh in Brian Friel's 1980 play Translations. It is "images of the past embodied in language". For Ouroboros Theatre Company, however, the past is embodied in physical surroundings, our architecture, as much as in our language, and their ambitious new site-specific production of Translations seeks to bring Friel's play directly into conversation with the history of cultural decline that the play documents.”

Camp puts kids in touch with their Irish heritage (July 30, 2008)

“Along with the traditional music, dancing and food, this year’s Irish Festival will offer a taste of the Emerald Isle for the wee ones.
“The 27th annual Buffalo Irish Festival will provide a sampling of Irish culture geared toward youngsters ages 8 to 12. The festival’s first “Irish Kids’ Camp” will feature brief sessions on the Irish language, sports such as Gaelic football and hurling, Book-of-Kells-style artwork, storytelling, both step-and set-dancing, genealogy and playing the tin whistle and bodhran, or Irish drum.”

Celebration of Irish links to Liverpool (July 30, 2008)
“A new exhibition described as a celebration of Irish culture and an exploration of the links between Ireland and Liverpool is now on in the city.

...“There are two special events this weekend – on Saturday (August 2), Nead an Dreolín, a collection of short films exploring the poetry of six living Irish language poets, and 1920 Irish classic In the Days of Saint Patrick will be shown back to back – the latter accompanied by renowned Irish harpist Cormac de Barra who will play music specially composed for the silent film.”

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Wes's Words

A treasure trove of goofy and seldom used words is Harry Potter and the Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone, available in Irish at 

...wand, goblin, spell, wizard, talons, cauldron... Not exactly everyday words.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Friday, July 25, 2008

News through an 25ú lá Mí Iúil

Friel: the repossession man (July 20, 2008)

“Friel’s case is very interesting. From the 19th century onwards, writers in Ireland were frequently agitators: revolutionary, polemicist and propagandist. Throughout that century, as the demand for Irish self-determination grew, political and literary movements became symbiotic. In short, to be a writer was also to be a subversive.
...“Of course, in 19th century Ireland, this situation was further complicated by the Irish language crisis. How long would it be before the struggle for linguistic emancipation turned into a struggle for political emancipation? It is remarkable how quickly many Gaelic Leaguers moved from grammars to guns.”

Irish Famine victims to be commemorated (July 22, 2008)

“An expert group set up to consider ways to commemorate the Irish Famine will hold its inaugural meeting today.
...“The Famine resulted in large Irish communities settling in countries like the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and was also blamed for the decline of the Irish language.”
See also:
Famine commemoration body holds inaugural meeting
Writer joins Famine memorial group

Shining a northern light (July 23, 2008)

...“For Una Campbell and the others behind Féile Soilsí Thoraí, being part of the wider festival is vitally important. ‘In times past, maybe the islanders felt they were neglected,’ says Campbell. ‘Now they're part of the Earagail Arts Festival and they're showcasing their own culture.’ That culture is a living culture conducted in the Irish language.”

Eurolink - Irish language newspaper 'a badge of pride' in Brussels (July 23, 2008)

“A new Irish language newspaper has been launched in Brussels. 'Anam Beo' is aimed at some 15,000 Irish people living in Belgium, and will give an overview of activities of the Irish community there.”

ILBF Seeks Irish Speaking Trainee Producers (July 24, 2008)

“The ILBF is seeking fluent Irish speakers with at least one year’s experience in television production for its Trainee Producer Scheme.”

An Irishman's Diary for July 24, 2008

“It has taken a while: almost 37 years in fact. But on the weekend after next, the village of Cúil Aodha in West Cork will finally get around to unveiling a statue in honour of Seán Ó Riada, its most famous resident, who spent his later years there before dying in 1971, aged only 40, writes Frank McNally.”

In the name of the fada: parents face RTE's Gaeltacht challenge (July 25, 2008)

“A group of Irish adults are set to be put through their paces 'as gaeilge' as part of a new RTE show.”

Dance, history, culture learned at Irish camp (July 25, 2008)

...“The campers also showed off some of their newly honed language skills for their parents by speaking Gaelic for the crowd and counting to 20 in the Irish language.”

Not strictly about the Irish language, but:

1,000 new jobs created by Udaras — report states (July 24, 2008)

“A total of 1,038 new jobs were created and 928 new jobs approved in 2007 in Gaeltacht areas, according to their annual report launch this yesterday.”

Údarás drive to fill 235 new jobs in Donegal (July 25, 2008)

“Údarás na Gaeltachta yesterday (Thursday) confirmed it has embarked on a major recruitment drive to bring 235 jobs into the Donegal Gaeltacht.”

Woman's body dumped in drain (July 21, 2008)

...“The news has shocked the quiet, Irish-speaking area which is just 12 miles from Galway city.
...“The majority of people in the area converse through Irish and as a result the number of immigrant workers is reasonably small.”
See also:
Silent prayers and sorrow in stunned village

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Wes's Fools

leibide noun m4
- slob

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Shetland Dialect

We often speak of the different and various dialects of Irish, and how they may be mutually unintelligible. Well... English is not off the hook in this area! Try to figure out what Lorcan is saying in this YouTube video. He gives a couple good examples of Shetland English.

Background: The Shetland accent is not just an accent. It is a separate and distinct sub-dialect of Scots English. It contains many words, and even grammar characteristics, from the extinct Scandinavian language called Norn, which was a variety of Norse spoken in the Shetlands and Orkneys before the islands were pawned to Scotland. The last speaker of Norn was said to have died in the 1850s. On top of the already diverse Scots dialect, the Norn influence places the Shetland dialect a few steps away from the Queen's English.

You can see more of Lorcan and his Shetland adventures here:
Thanks, Lorcan!

P.S.F.Y.I A skorie is a Shetland dialect word for a young seagull. 

Monday, July 21, 2008

Wes's Words

gallóglach noun m1
- gallowglass 

modification of the Irish word, from gall foreigner + óglach young man, warrior
1: a mercenary or retainer of an Irish chief
2: an armed Irish foot soldier

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Fan go Fóill

Wes's Fools

gamal noun m1
- lout

News to an 19ú lá Mí Iúil

Offaly company launches mobile translation service (July 16, 2008)

“Maithú, a Shannonbridge Based IT company and Foras na Gaeilge yesterday launched 'Get the Focal', a mobile phone application which provides over 12,000 English-Irish translations for off-line use.”

Irish team launches quarterly surf glossy called 'Tonnta' (July 16, 2008)

“Surfers in Ireland will finally have their own dedicated surfing magazine when Tonnta launches next week. Tonnta, Irish for waves, is the first magazine in Ireland totally devoted to surfing and the surfing lifestyle. It will be published quarterly as a full-colour glossy magazine.
...“Editor Wayne Murphy, an enthusiastic Irish speaker, explains the dedicated Foghlaim Gaeilge section....”

From Galway to Gaza: Donal Lunny to play Galway for Palestine (July 17, 2008)

...“On the night he will be accompanied by accordion great Máirtín Ó Connor, Conamara sean nós dancers Patrick and Gearóid Devaney; traditional singers the El Safty sisters, folk singer Mary McPartlan; Rís, a band which fuses ultra modern sounds with the Irish language; Raidio na Gaeltachta’s Neansai Ní Choisdealbha; piper Eanna Ó Cróinín; and musicians Brian McGrath, Paudie Breathnach, and Feargal Ó Beara.”

Brussels gets Irish language paper (July 17, 2008)

“A new Irish language newspaper has been launched in Brussels.”

Conradh na Gaeilge seeks new approach to Irish teaching (July 17, 2008)

“Conradh na Gaeilge is seeking an meeting with the Minister for Education to discuss a new approach to teaching Irish in the classroom.”

Republic seeks new approach for pupils learning Irish (July 18, 2008)

“A new approach to teaching Irish in the classroom is needed to raise standards, according to Irish language promotion organisation Conradh na Gaeilge.”

Colin and Neil making a big 'Splash' in Castletownbere! (July 19, 2008)

...“He maintains Beara is an ideal place for filming. He said the Irish language movie, The Dentist's Daughter, was filmed locally, as was The Purple Taxi, and just recently two episodes of The Royal were filmed in the village of Eyeries.”

Campbell issues equal cultural funding promise (July 19, 2008)

“The Minister for Culture Arts and Leisure, Gregory Campbell, has vowed that Ulster Scots and Irish cultural outlooks will receive parity of funding while he is in office - whether people like it or not.”

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

News through an 16ú lá Mí Iúil

Minister Ó Cuív launches new Connemara tourism campaign (July 10, 2008)

“A new tourism marketing campaign aimed to heighten awareness of the Connemara region in Ireland and on the continent was launched last night (Monday) by Minister Éamon Ó Cuív at the Station House Theatre in Clifden.”

Comhaltas’s half-century is honoured (July 10, 2008)

...“Cllr Martin Keane, Cathaoirleach of Westport Town Council, congratulated the Comhaltas branch members and in particular its current chairman, Cormac Ó Cionnaith, for their commitment to the promotion of Irish music, heritage and cultural activities in the town and for hosting the Fleadh.”

Galway Arts Festival set to pull in €25m (July 13, 2008)

...“The theatre and dance programme includes performances from BJ Jones’s European premier of Better Late to the Irish language performance of Stair na hÉireann – Cinnail, or The Complete History of Ireland, a fast-paced comic presentation of 11,000 years of Irish history, performed in 45 minutes.”

Aran Island gets €150,000 boost (July 13, 2008)

“A grant of over €150,040 has been sanctioned for the development of Caladh Mór Quay, Inis Meáin and Inis Oírr Quay in Co Galway. Minister Éamon Ó Cuív made the announcement today for Galway County Council to appoint RPS group as consultant engineers on this project.”

Arts fans head west for festival (July 14, 2008)

“Thousands of tourists are expected to arrive in the west today for the start of the annual Galway Arts Festival.
...“The theatre and dance programme includes the Irish language performance of 'Stair na hEireann -- Cinnail' or 'The Complete History of Ireland' -- a comic presentation of 11,000 years of Irish history in less than 45 minutes.”

An Irishman's Diary (July 15, 2008)

“The Belfast of 200 years ago was a town of 20,000 souls. In 1808 it had yet to develop the linen and ship-building industries that would make it a major industrial city, writes Paul Clements.
“But that year saw the birth of a remarkable figure who was to establish a reputation, not only as a businessman of repute, but as a noted figure in Irish-language circles and as a legendary antiquarian.”

Weaknesses highlighted in teaching Irish (July 15, 2008)

“An examination of the Irish language in primary schools has found significant weaknesses in the way it is taught and learned.”

DUP refuses to budge on Irish language Act (July 16, 2008)

“The DUP has again insisted that it will block any attempt by Sinn Féin to introduce an Irish language Act in the Northern Assembly, although it is prepared to countenance a ‘strategy’ for the language.”

The Insider: 16/07/2008

“Funnyman Des Bishop was down in the City of Tribes this week for the official premiere of Kila's new concert DVD 'Once Upon a Time.'”

Friday, July 11, 2008

News through an 11ú lá Mí Iúil

Udaras na Gaeltachta proposes tax haven status for Irish islands (July 6, 2008)

“Ireland’s islands could be transformed into tax havens for businesses and residents under proposals drawn up by Udaras na Gaeltachta.”
Also see:
Islands could become tax havens
Plan for Aran Islands to become tax free

The award-winning Féilte is back! (July 6, 2008)

“This summer, the award-winning series Féilte is back with three new presenters. TG4 presenter Sinéad Ni Loideain from Carraroe heads to major music festivals around the country, giving us coverage of the various music acts.”

Letters: Our psyche (July 7, 2008)

...“That one cannot, in the first official language, get a plain 'Yes' or 'No' to a question, says something about the Irish psyche.”

Ace ratings for TG4 as it serves up tennis final (July 7, 2008)

“Irish language channel TG4 scored a winner with its coverage of last night's gripping Wimbledon men's final.”

Doubt over Ulster-Scots Academy (July 8, 2008)

“In 2003, the government pledged £15m for an Ulster-Scots Academy after the Weston Park negotiations.
“The cash was seen as reciprocal funding for Ulster-Scots after the same amount was pledged for a new Irish Language Broadcast Fund.”

Irish Fest Summer School Registration is Now! (July 8, 2008)

“If you’re Irish—or if you’ve ever wanted to learn more about the Irish culture—an unforgettable experience awaits you at the Milwaukee Irish Fest Summer School, August 11 – 15. Registration has already begun and adults and children alike are encouraged to enroll early to guarantee entry!”

Taoiseach launches Offaly Ordnance Survey Letters (July 9, 2008)

...“This is part of a series of letters, written mainly by the renowned Celtic scholar, John O'Donovan, during the first Ordnance Survey of Ireland. The Survey was carried out to update land valuations for taxation purposes and was completed in 1842. The maps are regarded as among the finest ever produced.
“Mr O'Donovan was employed to sort out problems which had arisen during the mapping process due to difficulties in interpreting Irish placenames.”

Derry director's film features on stamp (July 9, 2008)

“'Kings', directed and written by Derry man Tom Collins, is one of four films featured on a set of postage stamps issued by An Post.”

Music Diploma 'as Gaeilge' at NUI Galway (July 10, 2008)

“A unique new Irish language diploma course in traditional music being offered by NUIG and Cuan Studios in Spiddal will give participants the skills and confidence to make a living in a fast changing world, according to the director of the renowned Willie Clancy Summer School Muiris Ó Rócháin.”

Marketing Initiative Launched for Connemara (July 10, 2008)

“In a joint funding partnership between Fáilte Ireland, the Department of Community, Rural & Gaeltacht Affairs and tourism interests in Connemara, the new campaign – lauched at the Station House Theatre in Clifden on Monday evening - includes a new brochure in English, French and as Gaeilge, a new web site...and a radio and press advertising campaign in the Irish market.”

Colm Mac Con Iomaire releases solo album (July 10, 2008)

‘“The phrase ‘The Hare’s Corner’ comes from the ancient Irish custom of at harvest time leaving a corner of a field uncut for the hare to escape to,” he explains. “I first heard my father Liam, mention the phrase in a conversation we had about the famous writer and Irish language activist Máirtín Ó Cadhain. Ó Cadhain identified the Gaeltachtaí as being like the Hare's Corner of Ireland.
‘“Thankfully the linguistic uniqueness of the Gaeltacht endures, but our language is still in jeopardy.”’

Director Paul Mercier on ‘Aifric’ (July 10, 2008)

“The third and final series of IFTA winning Irish language teenage drama ‘Aifric’ goes into production on Monday 14th July. IFTN caught up with ‘Aifric’ director Paul Mercier to talk about what’s in store for Aifric this time around and he reveals plans for ‘Aifric: The Movie’.”

Gabriel Byrne, the next Hollywood star to call? (July 11, 2008)

“The ever-growing list of Hollywood stars making a beeline for Belfast is set to swell further this year when top Irish actor Gabriel Byrne pays a visit to the city.
“The star of hit films such as The Usual Suspects and Miller’s Crossing has been announced as the new patron of Aisling Ghear, an Irish language theatre company based in west Belfast.”

Landmark CD launch at Magee (July 11, 2008)

“A CD featuring the original compositions of one of Derry's best-known traditional musicians has been launched at the Foyle Arts building on the Magee campus of the University of Ulster.”
...“Paddy O’Mianain is also well-known as a teacher and vice-principal at St Brecan’s secondary school for many years, and for his involvement with the Irish language.”

Friday, July 4, 2008

News through an 4ú lá Mí Iúil

Clare FM’s Gaeilge award (June 29, 2008)

“Clare FM has received the 2008 Gradam Gaeilge an Chláir award at a ceremony held by An Clár as Gaeilge Teo, the language promotion group.”

Letters: Flawed views on Gaelic (June 30, 2008)

“Councillor Samuel Cole's understanding of the Irish language and its community is flawed and outdated (Write Back, June 23).”

For 10th season, Stanford Summer Theater presents works by Irish playwright Brian Friel (June 30, 2008)

“In a small town in rural Ireland, Maire falls in love with George, a shy British soldier enchanted with all things Irish, not just Maire, but also the local pub's fiery poteen, the land, the people and the language—even the place names he has been ordered to wipe off its maps.”

Best Director Award for ‘Imeacht na nÍarlaí’ (July 1, 2008)

“Director Paul Larkin picked up the award for Best International Documentary Director for his Irish language docu-drama ‘Imeacht na nÍarlaí’ at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival (NYIIFVF) awards ceremony in NYC on Wednesday 27th June.”

Not at all about Irish, but:
RTÉ's Fáilte Towers now taking bookings (July 1, 2008)

“Fancy being waited on hand and foot by a brigade of hassled celebrities?
“The new RTÉ One series 'Fáilte Towers' is set to offer members of the public the chance to be just that.
“'Fáilte Towers' will be a real, fully functioning hotel run by 12 celebrities.”

Campbell rejects Irish language criticism (July 2, 2008)

“Northern Ireland's Culture Minister has hit back at criticism in Londonderry of the DUP's position on the Irish language.”

Letters: Why Irish isn't a political football (July 2, 2008)

“It’s unfortunate that again the Irish language is being used as a political football (Write Back, June 23). Surely we can appreciate culture and beauty and learning for their own sakes.”

Belfast Irish-medium school to close (July 2, 2008)

“The end of this school year will see the closure of an Irish-medium school in Belfast, it has been announced.”

A Canadian Professor with storytelling gift (July 2, 2008)

“Keynote speaker at the Thursday session of the 17th Biennial Ulster-American Heritage Symposium this year was Honourary Research Professor at New Brunswick, Peter M Toner.
...“Interestingly, Professor Toner's lecture was entitled 'Confusing Identities: The Gaeltachta in New Brunswick, 1901' and charted the use of the Irish language by Protestant and Catholic migrant families in settled pockets of New Brunswick.
‘They shared the language. They also shared a lot of cultural things. The people of Londonderry and Derry have more in common than they have dividing them.’”

Letters: Get it right, ta (July 3, 2008)

“The Lisbon Referendum can be challenged and made invalid due to the meaningless use of the Irish language, supposedly the first official language of this state.”

Richie to promote the Irish language (July 2, 2008)

“County Wexford has its first Irish language development officer.
“Richie Ó hEadhra (26) has been appointed to the post with the voluntary group Na Macallaí' in County Wexford after they recently received funding from Forás na Gaeilge.
“Mr. Ó hEadhra, who is a native of An Cheathrœ Rua in the Galway Gaeltacht is also TG4's anchor for their live soccer coverage and can be seen regularly on the Irish language channel.”

Gaelscoil’s location limbo (July 2, 2008)

“Twelve years after it first opened its doors to educate national school children as gaeilge, Gaelscoil Bhreifne is still teaching out of four pre-fab buildings on a site rented from the local Scout’s Den.”

A new chapter for Kenny’s (July 3, 2008)

“When Kenny’s closed its bookshop on High Street it was the end of an era, not only in Galway business life, but also in Galway literature and bookselling.”

ILBF Announces 2008 Funding Decisions (July 3, 2008)

“Animations and documentaries from companies including LTL Productions, Stirling TV, DoubleBand Films and Lugh Film have all received a cash injection from Irish Language Broadcast Fund in its latest funding round.”

IFTA Calls for Submissions for US Academy Foreign Language Film Award (July 3, 2008)

“The Irish Film & Television Academy (IFTA), the organisation responsible for the selection of Ireland’s submission for consideration for the Foreign Language Film Award at the American Academy Awards, is calling for Irish filmmakers to submit their feature films for consideration.”

Actors to grace new stamps (July 3, 2008)

...“Actor Cillian Murphy, who thrilled audiences in The Wind that Shakes the Barley and actress Brid Ni Neachtain of Irish language drama Cre na Cille, will also be featured.”

Brothers take the reigns of Kilkenny and Waterford councils (July 4, 2008)

...“She welcomed Cllr Breathnach’s love of the Irish language, as did Cllr Michael O’Brien in recalling an occasion when Cllr Breathnach’s parish once hosted a group of French visitors. ‘When Tomas got up to speak, he said what he had to say, and then he said it again as gaeilge; and then he came out with a different language altogether, which turned out to be a language spoken in France called Breton – and then he finished off in French.’”

Are you Ireland's bilingual business champions? (July 4, 2008)

“Mentor Gaeilge, leading promoter of the Irish language in Business, has announced the launch of a proactive and exciting new award for Irish businesses across the 32 counties.”

Churches launch hopeful green resources (July 4, 2008)

“The Churches are not burying their heads in the sand, and they recognise the need to deal with and pray about the ecological problems that face humankind. To help people to do this, Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI) has put together a programme of resources for use in what is being called 'Creation Time', which runs from the beginning of September until the feast day of St Francis on 4 October.
“A Welsh language version of the sermon resources will be available by the end of July, and an Irish language version shortly afterwards.”

Top comedian Des Bishop gearing up for Royal Theatre show tonight (July 4, 2007)

“Having spent the past 12 months in intense study and immersion in Connemara's Gaeltact in an effort to speak as Gaeilge, Des Bishop is back on the road again. Drawing from his experiences, the star of the revolutionary RTE show In the Name of the Fada, comes to the Royal Theatre, Castlebar, with his live stand up show Tongues.”