Learning Irish and hillwalking in Dingle

Irish Examiner Saturday, November 19, 2016

Pet O’Connell goes hill walking in Dingle, and brushes up on her Irish language skills while she’s there.

Béal Bán beach, Learning Irish and Hillwalking

LEARNING the Irish language has much in common with hill- climbing. Plenty of stamina is required; there may be obstacles waiting to trip you up; but the sense of achievement will hopefully be worth the sweat.

Learning the Irish language while simultaneously hill- climbing presents another challenge entirely.

For those of us who have never felt the inclination to buy a pair of hiking boots, much less use them, it may be hard to decide which is the more daunting — the thought of exposing one’s shameful lack of fitness in public, or the possible mortification caused by an inappropriately-placed séimhiú.

As it turns out, both fears prove groundless on the courses for adults provided by Oidhreacht Chorca Dhuibhne on Kerry’s Dingle Peninsula.

A four-day course in Gaeilge agus Siúlóidí Oidhreachta, or language and heritage walks, did exactly what it said on the tin and was certainly not for couch potatoes.

But participants’ proficiency levels in Gaeilge or hiking, however low, were far less significant than their willingness to give it their best shot.

Students and senior citizens, teachers, lawyers, vets, and bikers arrived in Baile an Fheirtéaraigh from Canada, America, and all corners of Ireland, some first-time students; others reuniting with old friends for an annual social.

Those more fluent in the language offered every assistance and encouragement to anyone stuttering over the tuiseal ainmneach or its much-maligned cousin the tuiseal ginideach, and learning to laugh at one’s own mistakes soon became an intrinsic part of the fun.

If there’s one thing every student in Caitríona Ní Chathail’s lively classes will remember, it’s that Baile an Fheirtéaraigh (Ballyferriter) is indeed “i lar an aonaigh”, at the centre of things.

Its tiny resident population numbers are regularly swelled by an influx of droves of students, in particular trainee teachers.

They come to raise their fluency levels in the bright environs of the Lárionad Forbartha Gaeilge agus Gaeltachta, a well-equipped €3.5m language and enterprise centre which opened last year.

Add in the buzz created by this summer’s arrival of the Star Wars film crew, associated entourage, and even some of the actors, and the village was fit to burst at the seams.

Aside from the importance of being able to distinguish a newly-constructed Jedi temple from your original sixth-century beehive hut, there was much to be learned about the area’s heritage from the course’s informative guided walks.

We explored part of the pilgrim path, Cosán na Naomh, taking in Gallarus Oratory and inscribed pillars at Teampall na Cluanach.

On the Dingle Way we drank in views along sandy beaches at Béal Bán and Trá an Fhíona, taking a bus tour as far as Ceann Trá and Dún Chaoin in the company of archaeologist Isabel Bennett.

Her inexhaustible supply of information encompassed topics ranging from Islandman Tomás Ó Criomhtháin’s gravestone — made by Cork sculptor Seamus Murphy — to the Second World War rescue of the crew of Greek cargo ship Diamantis in Ceann Trá by the German U-boat sailors who had sunk it.

Isabel is curator of Músaem Chorca Dhuibhne in Baile an Fheirtéaraigh, well worth a visit for its ancient-to-modern display including Neolithic stone axes, local ogham stones, plus artefacts from the filming of Ryan’s Daughter.

Stone Cross on Cosán na Naomh West Kerry, Corca Dhuibhne
Old Cross on Irish Language walking tour of West Kerry

They will soon be joined, one suspects, by exhibits from the latest chapter in the village’s history — the coming of Star Wars.

It was during one of the heritage walks that the ‘learning to laugh at your own mistakes’ plan began to unravel.

Mossie Ó Scanláin of Baile an Lochaigh, having treated us to an impassioned performance of sean-nós singing the previous night, was delivering an insightful talk on some of the more turbulent moments in the history of his native mountains and valleys.

Being English and a late starter in learning Irish, I was priding myself on following every word Mossie said.

Except one, the meaning of which, for reasons which still elude me, I felt compelled to ask.

Of all the words for an English native to get stuck on, it had to be this one: Cromail.

Not, as I had conjectured, a word for crooked or bent, though that could have been applicable too. Nope. Cromail (pronounced crumel) translates as Cromwell.

Oliver, to be precise.

Centuries of Anglo-Irish discord distilled in one word, and the anticipated moment of mortification had arrived.

The wrongs of my forefathers carried on my shoulders all the way back down that mountainy path were nearly as heavy as the weight of grammatical ignominy.

Walking soon begets hunger, though experience as a vegetarian has instilled in me a deep-seated sense of trepidation when asking for the menu in any restaurant that could be described as off the beaten track.

There’s still a large element of lottery involved, even in 2016.

You could get a gourmet feast, or if your luck’s out it’ll be the helpful waitress assuring you that vegetarians are fully catered for, only to return triumphantly with a plate of chips.

The sea views alone are something to savour at Bistro Borradh na Mara at Tigh Uí Ghormáin, perched on the cliffs at Baile na nGall, a stone’s throw from my impeccable accommodation at Hurleys’ farm, An Dooneen.

Watching the waves crash onto the rocks, sun streaming through the windows, with my first child-free weekend in 17 years stretching before me… I’d nearly have been happy with chips.

But I’d won the lottery this time.

An aubergine, sweet red pepper and cashew nut tagliatelle, with pasta and vegetables cooked lightly to perfection, was followed by a wickedly dark but not over-sweet gluten-free chocolate and hazelnut torte. Go haoibhinn!

There was no danger of forgetting my Gaeilge mission while filling my bolg.

It is a complaint sometimes levelled at native speakers that they automatically switch to Béarla on hearing a learner’s jarring efforts at their language.

But cleachtadh a dhéanann máistreacht, or practice makes perfect, and in Tigh Uí Ghormáin, as well as in local shops and pubs, even the slowest, most stilted attempts at conversation were met with patience, and courteous replies — which for the learner’s confidence, is as important as any formal class.

Gaeilge agus Siúlóidí Oidhreachta is just one of the short courses for adults run by Oidhreacht Chorca Dhuibhne.

For those who don’t wish to climb every mountain or ford every stream in pursuit of their dream of fluency, there’s the choice of learning Gaeilge through yoga, art, poetry, history, or food- tasting, with prices starting at €135 excluding accommodation, or week-long courses for all levels.

New programme for 2017, see www.oidhreacht.ie.

Tigh Uí Ghormáin Bistro: www.gormans-clifftophouse.com .

An Dooneen farmhouse: www.hurleysbandb.com.

Anso is Ansúd 14ú Márta 2017

Céilithe Móra na Scol 2017

Éacht déanta ag Christy Mac Gearailt le leanaí na dúichí le cúpla seachtain anuas agus a rian ar an dtaispeántas breá rince a bhí againn i Halla Cheann Trá agus Halla Lios Póil le déanaí. Buíochas leis na scoileanna go léir a bhí páirteach. Is le maoiniú ó Roinn na Gaeltachta a eagraítear Rince na Scol.

Rannsach á bhaint as an urlár i Halla Cheann Trá Déardaoin 9 Márta ag leanaí ó Scoil Cheann Trá; Scoil Chaitlíona Naofa, Cill Mhic a’Domhnaigh, Scoil an Fheirtéaraigh, Scoil Chill Maoilchéadair, Scoil Naomh Eirc agus Scoil an Ghleanna. Buíochas le Pádraig Ó Sé as an gceol breá a sheinn sé dúinn.

Smúit á bhaint as na fraitheacha i Halla Lios Póil Dé hAoine 10 Márta mar a raibh leanaí Scoil Lios Póil, Scoil Iognáid Rís agus Scoil an Chlochair ag rince. Buíochas leis na Ceoltóirí ó Phobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne as an gceol a sholáthar: Máirtín Ó Cathasaigh, Tríona Ní Shúilleabháin, Orna Ní Bheaglaoí agus Ciarán Mac Gearailt.

Shúilleabháin, Orna Ní Bheaglaoí agus Ciarán Mac Gearailt.


Ionad Tacaíochta Teaghlaigh an Bhuailtín

Ba mhaith le Coiste an Ionaid Tacaíochta Teaghlaigh buíochas ó chroí a ghabháil le foireann Scoil Cheoil an Earraigh as an gceol agus as an gcuideachta iontach ag ócáid na Sinsear le déanaí.  Ba mhaith linn buíochas a ghabháil chomh maith le Susan Feirtéar, Neasa Ruiséal agus Christy Mac Gearailt a dhein cístí aoibhne dúinn le deanaí – is mór againn bhur bhféile!

Bhí ana-spórt ag na leanaí ag Scléip an tSathairn le déanaí agus na leanaí i mbun ceoil a chumadh le Séamus Barra Ó Súilleabháin agus Slavek! Tá ceol ins na haon rud ach a bheith ag éisteacht…

Beidh maidin chaifé sa Mhúsaem maidin Lá le Pádraig tar éis na Paráide ar mhaithe leis an Ionad Tacaíochta Teaghlaigh i mBaile an Fheirtéaraigh agus leis an mbus nua.

Fáiltímid leis an mbus nua atá díreach tagtha chomh fada leis an Ionad Tacaíochta Teaghlaigh. Deontas ón Roinn Ealaíon, Oidhreachta, Gnóthaí Réigiúnacha, Tuaithe & Gaeltachta a chabhraigh leis an mbus a cheannach ach beidh go leor airgid le bailiú chun go gcuirfear chun bóthair. Bheimíst fíor-bhuíoch as bhur dtacaíocht arís leis an mbácáil agus eile i mbliana.

Beidh Seisiún Amhránaíochta le Páidí Mhárthain Mac Gearailt á reáchtáil tar éis scoile ag 3.15 ar an nDéardaoin, 23ú Márta. Do leanaí bunscoile óna 8-12 na seisiúin seo.

Breis Eolais: Áine ag 066 9156987 nó 087 6483170


Ceardlanna Cumadóireachta: Agallamh Beirte & Lúibín

Buail isteach ag an Lárionad Gaeilge & Gaeltachta i mBaile an Fheirtéaraigh ag 7.30 p.m. tráthnóna Dé hAoine agus óna 9.30 a.m.-5.00 maidin Dé Sathairn, 24-25ú Márta 2017, áit a mbeidh rannpháirtithe ag obair i ngrúpaí beaga chun ábhar nua a chumadh sa stíl thraidisiúnta. Déanfaidh daoine a rogha idir Agallamh Beirte agus Lúibín. Aodh Ó Domhnaill agus Breandán Mac Gearailt a dhéanfaidh na ceardlanna a stiúradh. Áirithintí go dtí Máire Ní Scannláin (066 9156100/ m.niscannlain@cfcd.ie) nó Eibhlín de Paor (026 45366 / e.depaor@udaras.ie) roimh 10ú Márta.


Gearrchúrsa i Litríocht na Gaeilge

Beidh an cúigiú léacht sa tsraith seo ar siúl sa Lárionad Gaeilge agus Gaeltachta i mBaile an Fheirtéaraigh óna 7.00 ar an Aoine, 24ú Márta 2017. Is é an Dr Tadhg Ó Dúshláine a thabharfaidh caint na hoíche ar Próslitríocht Chorca Dhuibhne: Rogha ó Céad Bliain Fáilte roimh chách. €20 táille na hoíche. Arna eagrú ag Oidhreacht Chorca Dhuibhne i gcomhar le Coláiste na hOllscoile, Corcaigh. Breis Eolais: c.budhlaeir@ucc.ie nó (066) 9156136 nó eolas@cfcd.ie nó (066) 9156100


Cúrsaí Gaeilge & Oidhreachta do Dhaoine Fásta 2017

An bhfuil fhios agat cérbh é Dáire Donn?

An bhfuil fhios agat cathain a cheiliúrtar Lá Naomh Caitlíona?

An bhfuil cur amach agat ar na nósanna ar fad a bhaineann leis na Toibreacha Beannaithe i gCorca Dhuibhne?

Beidh na freagraí go léir le fáil ar chúrsa de chuid Oidhreacht Chorca Dhuibhne. Nósanna is béasa a thagann anuas chugainn ó ghlúin go glúin, agus atá fós á gcruthú againn, atá sa bhéaloideas. Oideas is ea iad ar conas maireachtáil. Is de bhéal a roinneadh na nósanna is na hoidis seo linn. Chinnibh na Gaeil mórán de nósanna is de bhéasa a muintire beo mar gur cleachtadh iad anuas trísna glúnta agus cleachtaímid cuid acu fós sa lá atá inniu ann.

Beidh cúrsa 3 lá sa Ghaeilge, sa Stair Áitiúil & sa Bhéaloideas ar siúl ag Oidhreacht Chorca Dhuibhne, ón 19ú – 21ú Aibreán i mBaile an Fheirtéaraigh, i gceartlár Ghaeltacht Chorca Dhuibhne. €185 costas an chúrsa. Ní mór líofacht éigin sa Ghaeilge a bheith ag rannpháirtithe. Reáchtálfar ranganna/seisiúin chainte sa Ghaeilge ar maidin agus cainteanna/léachtaí san iarnóin ar ghnéithe de stair ársa áitiúil agus de mhórscéalta béaloideasa Chorca Dhuibhne.  Tabharfar turas ar chuid desna láithreacha staire is seandálaíochta is ársa agus is mó sa cheantar chomh maith le Músaem Chorca Dhuibhne i rith an chúrsa.  Cuirfear an-fháilte roimis rannpháirtithe. Cúrsaí eile atá ar na bioráin: Gaeilge & Siúlóidí Oidhreachta: 28 Aibreán – 1 Bealtaine 2017. Costas €185: Gaeilge, Sláinte Coirp is AnamaYoga weekend, as Gaeilge. Costas: €145 Tuilleadh Eolais ar an gCúrsa seo agus ar chúrsaí eile Oidhreacht Chorca Dhuibhne, Baile an Fheirtéaraigh ag:

www.oidhreacht.ie / eolas@cfcd.ie / 066 91 56100.


Lóistín i gCorca Dhuibhne 2017

Má tá tigh le ligean ar cíos agat, má tá seomra singil ar fáil id thigh nó má tá suim agat Leaba & Bricfeasta a chur ar fáil sna seachtainí seo a leanas: 10-15ú Iúil agus /nó 14 – 19ú Lúnasa 2017, i gceantar Bhaile an Fheirtéaraigh/Cheann Trá/Dhún Chaoin, tar i dteagmháil linn anseo in oifig Oidhreacht Chorca Dhuibhne ag 066 9156100 nó ag eolas@cfcd.ie Fáilte ach go háirithe roimh thithe le Gaelainn.


Maidean Chaife & Cíoradh Focal

Cupa tae/caife agus seisiún cainte bríomhar arís maideanacha Dé hAoine, ag Díseart, An Daingean óna 11.30 – 1.00. Bhí plé againn istigh ní rófhada ó shin ar an bhfocal fód. Tuigimid ar fad a bhfuil i gceist le teacht ar an bhfód! Déarfaí a leithéid fé eagras nó cumann, mar shampla. Tugtar fód an bhaic nó an barrfhód ar an gcéad fhód a chastar agus an talamh bán á threabhadh. Baintear an scraithín ag barra. Tugtar béal gearrtha chomh maith ar an gcéad ghearradh a deintear sa chré. Baineann dromfhód, caolfhód agus camfhód le codanna éagsúla den iomaire treafa. Fód an bháis an áit ina chailltear duine agus fód an ghinte & fód an dúchais an áit ina ghintear agus ina shaolaítear duine. Agus ní mór dúinn ar fad an fód a sheasamh uair éigin i rith an tsaoil sa chás go mbíonn éagóir á dhéanamh ar dhuine nó in argóint nó achrann. Buíochas as an méid sin aríst Toose! Treise leat!

Comharchumann Forbartha Chorca Dhuibhne
Oidhreacht Chorca Dhuibhne
066 9156100 nó eolas@cfcd.ie
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