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Focail Eile

2017-07-04 14:00 —

A busy start for Gregor in Belfast

A busy Monday for Gregor. First of all, he called into Foras na Gaeilge offices, where he met members of staff. He was delighted to meet Séamus Mac Conmidhe, our translation officer, who will be working with him translating his poetry. 

Dr Gearóid Trimble, also gave him an introduction into the history of the Irish language as a Celtic language as well as some interesting facts about the language. The oldest examples of written Ancient Irish that we have are inscriptions on ogham stones from the 4th century. Old Irish emerged from Ancient Irish and was being written in the Roman alphabet around the beginning of the 7th century. Irish, is therefore, the oldest written language north of the Alps. The oldest examples of Irish date back to the 8th century manuscripts. Irish monks transcribed the bible in Latin during the Medieval period but also wrote old Irish in the margins. These are called glosses. Gregor was shown the exhibition Amra Choluim Cille, the Elegy of Saint Columba, an example of these texts along with modern art depictions of the Elegy. Gregor has a particular interest in Medieval literature and we hope he will be able to see some manuscripts during his stay. 

Off we ventured up the Falls Road, stopping briefly at the Peace Wall.

We called into Raidió Fáilte, an Irish language radio station for the greater Belfast area. Fergus O hIr, the station manager, gave us a tour and we then met one of the journalists, Eoghan O Néill. Eoghan has being working in Irish language media for quite some time now as a writer and presenter of programmes. He gave his opinions on living his life through the language. A very interesting conversation indeed. We hope Gregor will learn enough Irish to be able to do a short interview in Irish by the end of his stay. (http://www.raidiofailte.com/)

Our next stop was a visit to an Chultúrlann, a hub for Gaelic Arts that  showcases and develops cultural Irish Gaelic traditions including drama, music and song, dance and an art gallery. At the moment, in the art gallery, there is a life-size depiction of Gerard Dillon's 'Yellow Bungalow'. The art gallery in an Chultúrlann is named after this well-known Irish artist, who came from off the Falls Road. The room is set up for children to get creative. His easel and palette are also on view in an Chultúrlann. This is the first visit to an Chultúrlann and we will be back!! (http://www.culturlann.ie/en/welcome/).

An end to a long day!