Tomhas na Teanga

Táim i mo eagarthóir ar an leagan nua den tseaniris cháiliúil An Gael. I am the editor of the new version of the famous old publication An Gael. Ag deireadh an naoíú aois déag, bhí a bunaitheoir, Mícheál Ó Lócháin, fós ina eagarthóir uirthi.  At the end of the 19th century, its founder, Michael Logan, was still the editor. Duine an-suimiúil ab ea é, agus an-díograiseach i leith na teanga agus i leith saoirse d’Éirinn.  He was a very interesting person, and very enthusiastic about the language and about freedom for Ireland. Radacach ab ea é, le fírinne.  In truth, he was a radical. Agus ní raibh sé sásta ná foighneach le daoine nach n-aontaigh leis maidir le cúrsaí polaitiúla nó cúrsaí teangan.  And he was not happy about or patient with people who didn’t agree with him concerning politics or the language.

Rinne mé taighde ar an tseaniris le déanaí, agus fuair mé an tagairt seo, a scríobh MÓL in 1891, d’Ord Ársa seo na nGael:  A while ago, I did research on the old magazine, and I found this reference, which MÓL wrote in 1891, to this Ancient Order of Hibernians:

“In last Gael we asked our Hibernian and other Irish-society friends what they had done during their existence to preserve Irish nationality.  We have received no answer yet—nor never shall!”

Bhuel, a Mhícheáil, seo duit do fhreagra.  Well, Michael, here’s your answer.

Cheap Ó Lócháin nach rabhamar ar a thaobh maidir leis an teanga.  Logan thought we were not on the language’s side. Pé tuairim ia bhí aige agus pé dearcadh a bhíodh ag an ord san aois sin, is léir nach amhlaidh an scéal sa lá atá inniu ann (buíochas le Dia).  Whatever opinion he had and whatever outlook the order had at that time, it’s clear that that’s not the case nowadays (thank God). Ní mise an chéad cholúnaí Gaeilge ar an nuachtán seo, agus tá colún rialta agamsa ó Bhealtaine 2002.  I’m not the first Irish language columninst in this paper, and I’ve had a regular column since May of 2002. Tá a fhios agam go mbíonn ranganna Gaeilge ag an AOH in áiteanna éagsúla, agus tá taithí pearsanta agam ar Scoil Ghaeilge Ghearóid Tóibín, atá lonnaithe ag rannóg a dó sa Bhablóin ar Inis Fada, i Nua-Eabhrac.  I know that the AOH has Irish language classes in various places, and I’m personally familiar with the Gerry Tobin Irish Language School, which is located at division 2 in Babylon on Long Island. Tá SGGT ar an bhfód le breis is fiche bliain, le tacaíocht ón AOH.  The GTILS has been around for more than 20 years, with the support of the AOH. Agus roimh an scoil, bhíodh Gearóid Tóibin féin (ar dheis Dé go raibh sé) ag múineadh sa halla céanna.  And before the school, Gerry Tobin himself (may he be at God’s right hand) teaching in the same hall.

Bhí agus tá ranganna ag rannáin eile ar Inis Fada, r.8 in Selden agus r.7 in Islip Thoir, mar shampla.  There were and are classes at other divisions on Long Island, i.e. div.8 in Selden and div. 7 in East Islip. Nuair a bhí Vic Vogel (ag a bhfuil teastas gur chríochnaigh sé féin cúrsa sa Ghaeilge) ina uachtarán ar Bhord Chontae Suffolk, chruthaigh sé post Oifigeach na Gaeilge, agus tá an post sin ag Cathal Gaoidh.  When VV (who has a diploma saying he himself finished an Irish language course) was president of the Suffolk County Board, he created the position of Irish Language Officer, and Charlie Gee has that job. Insíonn sé don bhord faoin a mbíonn ar siúl a bhaineann leis an teanga, agus foghlaimíonn an bord roinnt paidreacha as Gaeilge, freisin. He tells the board about all that is going on with the language and the board learns some prayers in Irish, too.

Bhí Gaeilge ag an bhFeis Nassau le blianta fada, le Seosamh Ó hAllagáin á heagrú, ar dheis Dé go raibh sé. There was Irish at the Nassau Feis for years, organized by Joe Halligan (God bless him). Tá fós ag an bhFeis Suffolk le Bernard De Brún á eagrú.  Bernard Bruen still does this at the Suffolk Feis. Sa chomórtas amhránaíochta ar an sean nós a bhíonn ag an bhFeis Nassau, is iomaí duine a chanann as Gaeilge.  In the traditional singing contest at the Nassau Feis, lots of people sing in Irish.

Níl mórán eolais agam faoin nGaeilge ag rannáin ar fud na tíre, ach rinne mé scagadh ar an idirlíon, agus feicim go bhfuil cúpla focal agus cúpla nasc ar a suímh idirlín.  I don’t have a lot of information about Irish at divisions throughout the country, but I did a little checking on the internet, and see a few words and a few links on their websites. Tá daoine ag foghlaim na cúpla focal.  People are learning a few words. Molaim go dtabharfar níos mó aire don litriú agus do na hacmhainn nua atá ar fáil, fiú don colún seo, atá sa chartlann anseo:  I recommend that more attention be paid to spelling, to the new resources that are available, even this column, here is in this archive: http://www.scoilgaeilge.org/t_na_t/

Is iomaí ball den AOH ag a bhfuil Gaeilge. Lots of AOH members speak Irish. Ní bhfuair mé riamh, agus mé i mo bhall, go raibh aon duine diúltach maidir leis an nGaeilge. I’ve never found, since I’ve been a member, that anyone was negative about the language. Ceapaim go raibh Mícheál glan mícheart in 1891.  I think that Michael was totally wrong  in 1891. Gabhaim leithscéal don AOH ar son An Gael as an rud a dúirt ár n-eagarthóir fadó.  On behalf of An Gael, I apologize to the AOH for what our editor said so long ago.

Má tá eolas agat faoi stair na Gaeilge san AOH, scríobh chugam, le do thoil, ag JamusN@aol.com.  If you have information about the history of the language in the AOH, please write to me, at JamusN@aol.com