Thursday, July 19, 2012
When Padraig Pearse read out Poblacht na hEireann and declared a new Republic the spoken language of the new nation would as it is today be English but the use of the Irish language had grown with Irish nationalism in the early part of the 20th century. The rebels had used the language to pass messages that their oppressors could not understand but the strength of the language has not grown since independence despite the best efforts of successive Governments, educators and organisations such as Conradh na Gaelige. The majority of Irish people remark that they would love to speak their native mother tongue but the language suffers as a minority language with Polish spoken more widely in Ireland than Irish. It is surprising what various campaigns have done to increase the usage of the language and ask people to use the school Irish they had learned but we use the language every day and Irish words we now take for granted have integrated with our use of English. The most recent example of this is ‘luas’, translated as light which is now used every day since the re-introduction of a tram transportation system to Dublin. There are many Irish words in everyday use which indicates that it should not be too difficult to create sentences and therefore conversations. Here are some of the words we all have in our vocabulary today hat often we forget that they are our native tongue and we should be proud. Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Taniste (Deputy Prime Minister) Gardai or Garda Siochana (The Irish police) Aer Lingus (the national airline, translated as ‘air fleet’) Political parties such as Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Sinn Fein are all Irish words Dail Eireann (Irish Parliament) Seanad (The lower house of Parliament) Nuacht (translated as News as it appears on TV daily) Radio Telifis Eireann (the national broadcaster, Radio Television Ireland))
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
For many when you mention the United States and the Easter Rising the first association is with Eamon DeValera. DeValera was the Commandant of the Boland’s Mill garrison and when court martialled by the British Crown was sentenced to death. It is assumed by most historians that this death sentence was commuted to life in prison due to the fact that DeValera had been born in 1882 in New York. But DeValera was not the only US citizen involved in the Easter Rising. Jeremiah Lynch also known as Diarmuid Lynch was born in County Cork in 1878 but moved to the United States in 1897 after a stint working for the British Civil Service in London eventually becoming a naturalised US citizen. In 1908 he retuned to Ireland and became involved in the nationalist movement. During the Easter Rising he was Aide de Camp to James Connolly in the GPO. He was arrested after the rising and was sentenced to death for his part. Following the direct intervention of US President Woodrow Wilson his death sentence was commuted and he was released with most of the other combatants of the Rising in 1917.