Tomhas na Teanga

Bíonn an aimsir go breá an t-am seo bliana, agus is breá liom a bheith amuigh faoin spéir ag spaisteoireacht.  The weather is fine this time of year and I love to be outdoors walking around. Tamall ó shin, fuair mé comharsanacht an-suimiúil in Brooklyn agus mé ag siúlóid.  A while ago, I found a very interesting neighbourhood in Brooklyn while I was on a walk. Vinegar Hill a thugtar uirthi.  It’s called… Tá sí taobh leis na Brooklyn Navy Yards.  It’s next to… Tá cúpla alt suimiúil ann faoi ag www.forgotten-ny.com, faoi “na comharsanachtaí.” There are a couple of interesting articles about it at…under “neighborhoods.” Ainmníodh an áit in ómós do Chnoc Fíodh na gCaor lasmuigh d’Inis Córthaidh i gContae Loch Garman, mar a raibh cath tábhacht ar 21 Meitheamh, 1798.  The place was named in honor of …outside of Enniscorthy in Wexford, where there was an important battle on June 21st, 1798. Ár agus slad uafásach ar na Gaeil sin, fiú ar mhná is páistí, agus is iomaí uafás a rinne arm Shasana ar na Gaeil ina dhiaidh mar gheall air.  A slaughter and massacre of the Irish that, even of women and children, and many a horror was done by the English army to the Irish afterwards because of it. Tubaiste d’Éirinn ab ea an cath seo (tá alt maith faoi ag ga.wikipedia.org). This battle was a disaster for Ireland. Nach aisteach go mbaisteadh an t-ainm sin ar an gcomharsanacht seo?  Isn’t it odd that this neighborhood was given that name? Ach rinne an duine a thóg na tithe seo amhlaidh chun na hÉireannaigh a mhealladh chuici.  But the person who built these houses did so in order to attract the Irish to it. Is dócha go mbíodh Éireannaigh ina gcónaí ann, ach ina dhiaidh sin tháinig gach saghas duine, agus ní raibh dea-chlú ar an áit i gcónaí.  I suppose there used to be Irish living there, but afterwards every kind of person came, and the place didn’t always have a good reputation. Ba í seo an chéad áit a raibh Al Capone ina chónaí!  This was the first place where AC resided!

Chuaigh Capone go Cicero agus Siceágo Illinois, áiteanna a maraigh sé a lán coirpeach de shliocht na hÉireann, mar a tharla. Capone went to …and Chicago…, places in which he killed a lot of criminals of Irish descent, as it happened. Ar dtús, ghlac sé seilbh ar rialtas Cicero ó choirpigh le hainmneacha mar Myles O’Donnell, agus mharaigh sé daoine le hainmneacha mar Bill McSwiggins.   First he took over Cicero from criminals with names like…, and he killed people with names like… Ansin, in Siceágó féin, bhí cogadh ann idir drong Capone ó dheisceart na cathrach agus drong thuaisceart na cathrach, Bugs Moran i measc a cheannairí.  Then, in Chicago itself, there was a war between Capone’s gang from the south side and the north side gang, …among its leaders. Ba é dúnmhárú duine darb ainm Dion O’Banion a thosaigh an cath a chríochnaíodh le Sléach Lá ‘le Valaintín. It was the murder of a person named… that started the battle which ended with the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. Deirtear uaireanta go bhfuil droch-chlú ar shliocht na hIodáile mar gheall ar na coirpigh, ach ní lú ná iad líon na gcoirpeach ab ea de shliocht na hÉireann, is oth liom a rá!  Sometimes people say that the Italians have a bad reputation because of the criminals, but there were no fewer criminals who had an Irish background, I regret to say!

I Nua-Eabhrac ag an am céanna sin a bhí drong i gCistín Ifrinn darb ainm an Gopher Gang, agus ba de shliocht na hÉireann a bhaill uile.  In New York at that same time there was a gang in Hell’s Kitchen called the…,, and all its members were Irish. An duine ba mhó díobhsan ná Owney “The Killer” Madden. The biggest of them was… Sea, is dócha go bhfaca a lán daoine an scannán The Gangs of New York.  Yeah, I guess a lot of people have seen the movie… Ba iad na hÉireannaigh sna Cúig Phointe a bhí i gceist, agus cé nach raibh an scannán sin cruinn go huile is go hiomlán, is iomaí drong Éireannach a bhí ann gan aon agó, agus bhí droch-chlú ar an gcomharsanacht sin.  The Irish in the Five Points were the subject, and although that film wasn’t perfectly accurate, there were a lot of Irish gangs, without question, and that neighborhood had a bad reputation. Théadh na daoine saibhre go dtí na Cúig Phointe chun na bochtáin a fheiscint agus sin as a bhfuaireamar an téarma ‘slumming.’  The rich people used to go to the Five Points to see the poor people and that’s where we get the term… Bhí na daoine sin thíos leis an mbochtannas agus leis an gcoireacht ina dtimpeall.  Those people suffered from poverty and the crime all around them.

Bhí mo shinsir féin ina gcónaí sa chomharsanacht sin, mar a tharlaíonn, agus níorbh coirpigh iadsan.  My own ancestors lived in that neighborhood, as it happens, and they weren’t criminals. Agus ní gá dom a lua an méad Éireannach a bhí agus atá ina bpóilíní, srl.  And I don’t need to mention how many Irish were and are policemen, etc. Ní mór dúinn a bheith bródúil as ár sinsir agus as na hÉireannaigh a rinne mórán rudaí maithe sa tír seo.  We need to be proud of our ancestors and of the Irish who did a lot of good things in this country. Ach leis sin, ní mór go n-admhaímid nach raibh gach mac máthar díobh go maith!  But along with that, we need to admit that every mother’s son of them wasn’t good! Tarlaíonn a leithéid…  These things happen…