Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Spirited Mylesday gathering would make 'the brother' proud

...And through that blog post (the one before this one), I found out about this event that I can't believe I didn't hear about before now!

Spirited Mylesday gathering would make 'the brother' proud (April 2, 2011)

by Frank McNally

The Irish literary calendar acquired a new holiday yesterday when an event to honour writer Brian O’Nolan – better known as Flann O’Brien and Myles na Gopaleen – drew a capacity attendance to its main venue: the back room of a Dublin pub.

There was standing room only in the Palace bar, at least for the many who did not get in early enough to occupy the few available seats. So the inaugural “Mylesday” was deemed an instant success. In fact the organisers were quick to remind us that the first Bloomsday – the event Mylesday deliberately echoes – was attended by only five people, including O’Nolan himself.

Mylesday was the brainchild of engineer John Clarke, who had been thinking about it for years “until I went with a friend to a rugby match a month ago and we got talking about it and I woke up next day organising a festival”.

He was motivated partly by disappointment that “most people under the age of 35” seemed never to have heard of Myles, and partly by what he thinks is the excess attention given to Joyce.

Introducing the event, he noted that the original Bloomsday appeared to have been a pretext for those involved to spend the day drinking. Then, surveying the packed attendance and the pints arrayed before them, he added: “How things have changed.” Drinking apart, the afternoon comprised readings by invited guests and volunteers, including actors Val O’Donnell and Jack Lynch and writers Carol Taaffe and Ed O’Loughlin. Most chose extracts from O’Nolan’s long-running Irish Times column, Cruiskeen Lawn, although O’Donnell’s readings also included an extract from the 1943 play Faustus Kelly, which features a diatribe about Irish banks.

Non-reading guests included O’Nolan’s only surviving sibling, Micheal Ó Nualláin, who was in time to hear a piece about one of Cruiskeen Lawn’s many stock characters, “the brother”.

It was hard to say whether the subject of the celebrations was present in spirit. Even when present physically, O’Nolan is remembered as someone who always stayed on the edge of the company, speaking little and barely visible.

Brendan Behan said of him: “You had to look twice to see if he was there at all.” If he was there yesterday, being a stickler for correct usage, he will have frowned at the commemorative T-shirts worn by the chief organisers. These quoted a verse from his deliberately bad poem about the pint of plain, The Workman’s Friend. But instead of “in time of trouble and lousy strife”, they had “lonely strife”. A chastened Clarke blamed the “spell-checker”.

Mylesday commemorates O’Nolan’s death which, with tragicomic timing, occurred on April 1st, 1966. But it is only the first of a series of events that will mark this, his centenary year, culminating with conferences in UCD and Trinity College, planned to coincide with his 100th birthday in October.

Muine Gall (Moneygall) agus Muineacha Eile

Roslyn's been doing a series of articles on the noun declensions on her blog for Transparent Language, and this one touches on Moneygall and related place names:

Muine Gall (Moneygall) agus Muineacha Eile (May 15, 2011)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

VIDEO: Barack Obama ag caint as Gaeilge in Éirinn

I was thinking of looking for a video clip, but one dropped in my lap! GRMA a Nancy and those who sent it to you.


Barack Obama ag caint as Gaeilge in Éirinn / Barack Obama speaking in Irish language in Ireland
3 min, 10 sec
("Embedding disabled by request")

Galway businesses support a bilingual city

Seems pretty well set that there will be an "Irish for Tourists" short course in late Fall (mostly issues and tidbits and pleasantries, little if any conversational stuff), so over the next few months I may be throwing a few things up here to consider using....

Galway businesses support a bilingual city (May 26, 2011)

Galway has in recent years witnessed an increase in the use of bilingual signage in the city. This is largely due to the work of Gaillimh le Gaeilge in partnership with Galway City Council and the business community through the Galway Chamber and other groups, to develop Galway’s unique Irish image and to gain bilingual status for the city.

Gaillimh le Gaeilge is delighted to see local businesses continue to incorporate the Irish language into the overall image of their business. They believe that this is particularly important for businesses in the hospitality sector as the use of the Irish language helps them to deliver on the ‘unique experience’ and the ‘céad míle fáilte’ our visitors wish to experience when they visit our cultural city.

Cupán Tae is a tea shop which has recently opened its doors in the Spanish Arch in Galway city. The Irish name ensures that the language is an integral feature of the coffee shop with external bilingual signage welcoming people in. Manager of the tea shop Alison McArdle said that she was “overwhelmed by the response to the Irish signage and name of the shop. This has inspired us to move forward and introduce bilingualism into the tea-shop beyond the signage. We believe the name matches the concept which we would like to portray and creates a sense of nostalgia”.

Food 4 Thought is a family-run café on Lower Abbeygate Street that has been serving home made quality food to the people of Galway for the past 26 years. They were finalists in the Gradam Sheosaimh Uí Ógartaigh award and have revamped their shop front to incorporate the Irish language into the name of the café. Bilingual signage is also evident inside the café and the seanfhocal have become a talking point in the café.

The manager of Food 4 Thought Ken Walsh said, “We have received fantastic feedback and encouragement since including both visual and vocal Irish into our business, and have found people are interested and excited to use their ‘cúpla focal’. Galway is fortunate to be renowned both nationally and internationally for nurturing the Irish language and its culture and Food 4 Thought / Bia don Smaointeoireacht is delighted to play its part in this."

Eyre Square Shopping Centre incorporates over 70 international, national and local shopping and is currently celebrating 20 years in business. Over the last year or so, Eyre Square Shopping Centre has incorporated the use of the Irish language into its newly installed bilingual mall signage, floor directories and promotional material. They have also included some Irish in their 20 year birthday celebrations.

Gaillimh le Gaeilge’s role is to encourage business to use Irish in their visual material, such as signage, stationery, menus, marketing and in social media, so that both residents and visitors alike will feel like they are in a unique place as they wander the medieval streets of our city. They also impresses on business people that the Irish language is an irreplaceable element of the city’s identity.

Speaking on behalf of Gaillimh le Gaeilge, Gearóidín Ní Ghioballáin said; The Irish language is worth over €136 million to Galway City and to the Galway Gaeltacht anually. It’s important that Galway businesses continue to increase their use of the Irish language at every given opportunity so that both Irish itself and the benefit derived from it are maintained and strengthened in the city. We are delighted that businesses such as the Cupán Tae, Eyre Square Centre, and Food 4 Thought are using the Irish language in their signage. The Irish language is our ‘unique selling point’ and it also attracts ‘positive attention’ towards the company using it. The efforts of these businesses today will strengthen and further support Galway’s case for bilingual status.” she concluded.

If you would like to reap the benefits and advantages of using the Irish Language in your business, please contact Gaillimh le Gaeilge on 091 568876 or send an email eolas@gleg.ie. Gaillimh le Gaeilge works in association with Galway City Council, Galway Chamber and other groups in Galway city in promoting Galway as a bilingual city.

Ba mhaith le Gaillimh le Gaeilge gach rath a ghuí ar Cupán Tae, Eyre Square Centre agus Food 4 Thought don todhchaí. Go fada buan iad!

Galway Advertiser, May 26, 2011

Tributes to writer Tomás Mac Anna

As long as I'm still in the mental neighborhood, let me catch a couple more items....

Tributes to writer Tomás Mac Anna (May 18, 2011)

Tributes were paid last night to playwright, actor and director Tomás Mac Anna, who died yesterday.

Mr Mac Anna (87) died peacefully at St Michael’s Hospital, Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin, after an illness of some five weeks.

Abbey Theatre director Fiach Mac Conghail last night said Mr Mac Anna had “lived for the Abbey”. He was a great believer in Irish heritage, language and folklore, Mr Mac Conghail added.

Pat Moylan, chairman of the Arts Council said he was a “ giant of Irish theatre” who was woven into the Abbey’s fabric and history.

Minister for the Arts Jimmy Deenihan said: “As a writer, director and actor, [he] played a key role in modernising Irish theatre in both the Irish and the English language. He will be sadly missed and fondly remembered,” he said.

More at irishtimes.com.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Gaeilge ónár n-Uachtarán

Part two of the excitement:

Obama charms crowd with ‘cupla focal’ (May 23, 2011)

Obama in Ireland: president searches for 'missing apostrophe' (May 24, 2011)

Almost any other visitor who mauled the Irish language so severely might expect a reception as cold as the waters of the Liffey.
I thought that was a bit harsh, frankly. I wondered if that sub-heading might have been cooked up by the copy editors -- it's a British news org, after all -- but in the story that followed the reporter stated that Obama said "Ta athas orm le bheith in Eireann" [sic] and honestly there's no way I heard 'le' there. Nothing at all, maybe, but no 'le'. Granted, he said a chairde pretty darn clearly where there was no call for the vocative case, but, ahem, he's not a student of Irish! I'm willing to cut him some slack. End of rant. -- Ed.

Obama's hotel warm-up ensured good reception for cúpla focal (May 25, 2011)

More details on the parts of the speech referring to/using Irish:
Hours of waiting a distant memory in presence of hero - May 24, 2011

And, to wrap up this tour of the news, a lighthearted comparison of the two visits:
The Queen Style versus The President (May 25, 2011)

I disagree with their verdict on the language issue, but they have a right to their opinion. I say the Queen's pronunciation may perhaps have been better, but Obama said more!

Gaeilge ó Bhanríon Shasana

["ón mBanríon Shasana"? But it's a genitive phrase with a specific referent, so it feels weird....]

Sorry this has taken a while, I was doing some traveling when the news broke. (Plus, I couldn't imagine anyone was waiting with bated breath for a post on this site.) I'll start with the stuff that happened first.

Queen's conciliatory message and use of Irish draws widespread praise from many quarters (May 20, 2011)

Memories of a historic royal visit (May 21, 2011)

Item: "Her majesty’s lovely cúpla focal at the start of her speech at Dublin Castle. The word from palace sources is that they were included at Queen Elizabeth’s suggestion."

Letters to the editor: The Queen's speech (May 20, 2011)
The first is the simplest and my favorite:

"An Elizabethan conquest of Ireland through the medium of the Queen’s Irish?"

Text of the Queen's speech (May 19, 2011)

Poll shows how Queen was taken to Irish hearts - Sunday May 22 2011

"'It was a great moment for this country when the Queen addressed our nation in Irish at the opening of her speech, really wonderful,' one female respondent said."