Posted in Gaeilge, Polaitíocht | Politics, Saol | Life

Léiríonn focail Foster nár fhoghlaim sí tada

Níl ach cúpla mí imithe ó a chaith Arlene Foster amach an frása ‘crogaill’ agus í ag caint faoi phobal na Gaeilge.  Fosta, bhí sé thart ar an am ceánna go ndearna sí liomhaintí in aghaidh na meán agus polaiteoirí eile go raibh gnéasachas i gceist leis na dúshláin a bhí á gcur roimpi maidir leis an scannal RHI.  Ón agallamh a thug Arlene Foster leis an Sunday Independent a foilsíodh inniu, tá dhá rud i ndiaidh teacht chun solais: 

  1. Níor fhoghlaim sí faic faoi na focail a roghnaíonn sí agus í ag labhairt ar dhaoine eile
  2. Is cuma léi faoi ghnéachas sa chóras polaitíochta 

Nuair a cuireadh ceist uirthi cén focal a thagann chun cinn agus í ag smaoineamh faoi cheannaire Sinn Féin sna sé chontae, Michelle Uí Néill, dúirt sí ‘blonde.’ 

‘Blonde’ an t-aon fhocal a bhí aici do cheannaire polaitíochta eile, duine a bhíonn sí ag obair go dlúth leo agus atá lárnach sna cainteanna maidir leis na hinstitiúidí a chur ag obair arís ar Chnoc an Anfa.  Cé gur bhean chliste, chumasach í Uí Néill a léiríonn ceannasaíocht arís agus arís eile sa ról atá aici anois agus le linn a saol polaitíochta, ní féidir le Foster aon rud a fhecieáil inti ach an cuma atá ar a cuid gruaige agus a smuideadh.  Dúirt sí,

“Michelle is very attractive. She presents herself very well and she always is, you know, her appearance is always very ‘the same. You never see her without her make-up. You never see her without her hair (looking) perfect.”

An íoróin is mó a bhí ann, áfach, ná go ndearna Foster gearán faoin chleachtadh seo go díreach san agallamh céanna.  Móthaíonn sí nach bhfuil sé cothrom go ndéantar breithiúnas uirthi mar gheall ar an chuma atá uirthi féin nuair a deir sí 

“Of course when you are a female politician your appearance is always under scrutiny.”

Dár ndóigh, tá an ceart aici ansin, ach nach bhfeiceann sí go bhfuil sí ag déanamh an rud céanna dá comhghleachaí? Go bhfuil sí mar chuid den fhadhb seo atá ag crúthú deacrachtaí do mhná agus iad ag obair i réimse polaitíochta?  

Níos measa ná seo arís, sílim, ná gur lean sí ar aghaidh le rá gur roghnaíodh í ag Gerry Adams amháin le bheith mar cheannaire ar an pháirtí ó thuaidh, mar gheall go mbeadh sé in ann smacht a choinneáil ar an pháirtí. Cé go raibh an-rath ar Uí Néill mar Aire Talmhaíochta agus mar Aire Sláinte (i measc na róil is dúshlánaí san Fheidhmeannas) síleann Foster go bhfuil Uí Néill anois sa ról seo in ainneoinn an easpa tionchair atá aici.  

Is docha go léiríonn sé seo i bhfad níos mó faoi Arlene Foster ná faoi dhuine ar bith eile, ach is cúis frustrachas ollmhór é nuair a thiteann an leibhéal dioscúrsa polaitíochta chuig an leibhéal seo arís agus muid i mbéal toghcháin.  Go fóill, níl meas bunúsach á léiriú ag Foster do dhaoine eile cé go bhfuil sí ag éileamh amhlaidh. 

Thall sna Stait Aontaithe, nuair a thosaigh Ivanka Trump agus obair hathair sa Teach Bán, dúradh go raibh sí ‘comhpháirteach’ i bpolasaithe a chur i bhfeidhm a bhí dubh in éadan na luachanna a bhíonn sí ag caint faoi.  Cé go mbíonn Trump ag rá nach n-aontaíonn sí le rudaí atá ag tarlú, tá sí fós compórdach bheith mar chuid den rialtas seo.  An ceacht do Foster atá sa scéal sin ná gur chuma le daoine mura n-aontaíonn tú le rud éigin más rud go bhfuil tú compórdach bheith ag cur leis na deacrachtaí siúd ag an am céanna.  

Ar an drochuair, táimid i dtáithí ar an DUP ag maslú aon duine nach n-aontaíonn leo, ach nuair a labhraíonn mná faoi mhná eile i dtearmaí mar seo, léirítear cé comh domhain agus a ritheann na deacrachtaí seo fud fad an tsochaí.  Tá sé brónach agus díomach agus cuireann sé i gcuimhne dúinn go bhfuil bóthar fada le taisteal againn sula mbeidh comhionannas ag mná sa saol polaitíochta.  Mura dtosaíonn Foster, agus a macasamhail, ag amharc ar na mná timpeall orthu agus na scileanna atá acu in áit an chuma atá orthu, is fada an lá go dtí go mbeidh siad in ann caidrimh oibre a thógáil le aon duine, gan a bheith ag caint fiú ar dhul chun cinn a dhéanamh.   

Posted in English Language, Gaeilge, Polaitíocht | Politics

Who are an Dream Dearg?

On Friday night, it started.  My Facebook and Twitter feeds turned red as a defiant sense of solidarity shone from the screen.  Some people wondered what this new yet still familiar symbol filling up their screens meant – it means that Irish speakers have decided it’s time for a change in the conversation.

Describing itself as an “open network of Irish language activists from all corners and backgrounds,”  An Dream Dearg is a group who have come together to voice their disgust and outrage at the treatment of the Irish language and the denial of the rights of Irish speakers.  Using the widely recognised symbol, the fáinne, and the colour to show their anger, social media reflected what has been felt in the Irish language community for a long time.  Enough is enough and it is time for change.

I’m not sure if it was the straw that broke the camel’s back, it’s more likely that this was inevitable given how the language has been treated over the past number of years, but when Minister for Communities Paul Givan announced the aburpt end of the Líofa Gaeltacht Scholarship Scheme an invisible line had been crossed.  The scheme had an annual cost of £50,000, a tiny amount in the Minister’s budget,  was a means tested programme which assisted children from disadvantaged backgrounds to attend summer Gaeltacht courses.  I could fill many articles discussing the benefits of the scheme, the importance of social education or the wonderful memories of the Gaeltacht that I and thousands of others have from our young lives, but suffice to say that this was a very worthwhile scheme with a positive impact on disadvantaged young people’s lives.

As disgusting an act as the withdrawel of this fudning was, it’s simply a drop in the ocean of DUP sabatoge towards the Irish language.  The DUP has never made any secret of its hatred of the Irish language, with Nelson McCausland’s incoherent ramblings in his newspaper columns, Greogorty Campbells publicity stunts in the Assembly and the committment to fight against the growth of Irish-medium education.  This, in addition to the refusal to adopt an Irish language strategy or to introduce and Irish Language Bill in spite of previous committements all show that the Irish language community, and the community in general, are not dealing with reasonable people when it comes to their treatment of minority rights.  Their actions are saddening and angering, but no longer even nearly surprising.

In 2015 a consultation was carried out on an Irish Language Bill.  This result of this consultation was overwhelmingly in support of the implementation of an Act, with 95% of over 13,000 respondents agreeing that there should be protective legislation for the language.  Minoirty language rights have been protected in the Republic of Ireland, Scotland and Wales for many years, and it is something which is done right across the globe.  The introduction of an Irish Language Act was guarenteed in the St. Andrew’s Agreement in 2006, meaning that the Act itself should never have been in question, only the extent of its contents.  However, like many other questions surrounding minority rights, the conversations during the consultation process started in an unusual place.  Rather than the media and some politicians focusing on the detail of what should be included in such an Act, the question was still asked whether there should be an Act at all, an argument which had been settled ten years before.

An Dream Dearg has come together to show the strength of the Irish language community and to take action to ensure that the committments that have been made are fulfilled and that language rights are respected and protected.  The group asks for nothing which hasn’t already been agreed to.  In fact, the failures to make the changes that An Dream Dearg is demanding have been consistently and repeatedly criticised by international monitoring bodies.  As on so many issues, the prortection of minority language rights in the north are an embarrassment.

In many ways, An Dream Dearg isn’t just about the language.  It’s about the recognition of rights, a refusal to accept bigotry and sectarianism in our political institutions and overwhelmingly the agreement that the status quo is no longer acceptable.  There are many other examples of minorities having their rights trampled on for the simple reason that they are different to the DUP and their narrow outlook on life.  LGBT groups, ethnic minorities, religious groups and women have all been ostricised, belittled and prejudiced against by the DUP and its policies.

During the referndum on equal marriage in the south, thousands of those who had previously felt that the question of equal marriage did not relate to them because they didn’t see how it impacted their own lives.  During the weeks that led up to the debate the country heard stories of why this issue mattered so much and why change was not only desirable, but necessary.  A minority whose rights are being denied needs more than the help of its own community.  The fact that they are a minorty means that it is harder for them to have their voices heard and that those with an agenda to deny those rights can shout all the louder with the priveleged position they hold.

Already, many politicians have shown their support for An Dream Dearg online from rights across the political spectrum.  I would encourage everyone to show their support to An Dream Dearg, both online and offline to ensure that words are followed by actions and promises followed by change.  Language rights are human rights, and human rights affect us all.

“We are an Dream Dearg, you are an Dream Dearg.  Anyone who believes in rights, respect and recognition for all is An Dream Dearg.”

#DeargleFearg

You can follow An Dream Dearg on Facebook or ón Twitter @DreamDearg

Posted in Gaeilge

TG4xx – 20 Bliain ar an fhód

Ar Oíche Shamhna, bhí TG4 20 Bliain ar an fhód.  Le comóradh a dhéanamh ar an éacht seo, eagraíodh imeacht mhór speisialta, TG4XX le amharc siar ar stair an stáisiúin agus le ceiliúradh a dhéanamh ar ghach rud atá os comhair an stáisiúin sa fiche bliain agus eile atá amach romhainn.

Mar chuid de na himeachtaí seo, reáchtáil siad comórtas le láithreoir Snapchat nua a fháil ar Oíche Shamhna agus an phríomh-chéiliúradh ag titim amach in Ollscoil Náisiúnta na hÉireann Gaillimhe.  Baineann TG4 úsáid rialta as Snapchat (is féidir iad a leanúint @tg4tv) agus tá níos mó ná 274,000 radharc ag scéalta Snapchta de chuid TG4 le mí anuas!  Bím féin ag súgradh thart le Snapchat anois agus arís, agus bhí áthas an domhain orm nuair a fuair mé scéal gur éirigh liom leis an chomórtas agus go mbeinn féin i mbun Snapchat ar an oíche sin.

Mar chuid den duais iontach seo, d’fhán mé féin agus cara liom sa G Hotel i nGaillimh ar feadh dhá oíche, agus thiocfadh liom alt iomlán a scríobh faoin áit sin ann féin! Óstán glam galánta atá ann agus bhain muid beirt an oiread sin sult as bheith ag stopadh ann – mholfainn é go mór dá mbeadh an deis ag éinne.

Sula cuireadh tús leis an cheiliúradh ar Oíche Shamhna, chuaigh muid ar chuairt thart ar TG4 .  Bhuail muid le láithreoir TG4 Mícheál Ó Ciarraidh agus Caitlín Nic Aoidh.  Cuireadh fáilte mhór romhainn agus bhí deis againn bualadh le daoine eile atá ag obair ag an stáisiúin agus beagáinín cleachtadh a dhéanamh ar an chuntas Snapchat fosta.

Ar oíche Shamhna féin, bhí ceolchoirmeacha ag titim amach i nGaillimh, i dTír Chonaill agus i gCiarraí, craoladh beo á dhéanamh orthu idir na suíomhanna éagsúla agus cuma iontach orthu uilig.  Idir na láithreoirí, na ceoltóirí, na rinceoirí agus eile a bhí ann ar an oíche, bhí siamsaíocht den scoth le feiceáil agus le cloisteáil ar an ardán agus an-oíche acu siúd a bhí i láthair ann. Ba é an rud is deacra faoi bheith i mbun Snapchat don oíche ná gan éirí comh tógtha le gach rud a bhí ag tarlú go ndéanfainn dearmad pictiúir a thógáil!

Thug an tUachtarán Micheál D. Ó hUigínn óráid spreagúil speisialta mar chuid den hoíche.  Bhí sé nádúrtha go mbeadh sé i láthair ar an oíche agus i lár an aonaigh, mar bhí seisean ina Aire Ealaíon, Cultúir agus Gaeltachta nuair a bunaíodh an stáisiúin agus a chuidiú go mór leis an fhís seo a fhíorú.  Deir sé:

Ba chóir dúinn dea-scéal TG4 a bheith ina spreagadh dúinn brú ar aghaidh agus dul chun cinn níos fearr a dhéanamh leis an teanga i réimsí eile an tsaoil.”

Dár ndóigh, bhí an ceart ar fad aige.  Tá cuimhní iontacha agam ó bheith ag amharc ar TG4 i m’óige, ach ní raibh mé ag amharc ar Teenage Kicks, Aifric, Underdogs, Paisean Faisean agus go leor cláracha eile mar gheall ar an Ghaeilge, d’amharc mé orthu mar gheall ar an siamsaíocht agus ar an sult a bhain mé astu.  Níor athraigh sin riamh.  Tá caighdeán na gcláracha faisnéise, na ndrámaí, na gcláracha ceoil nó nuachta agus eile ar an staisiún comh ard sin go bhfuil siad aitheanta go hidirnáisiúnta – acu siúd a bhfuil Gaeilge acu agus acu siúd nach bhfuil.  Is dóigh liomsa gur sin an rud atá speisialta faoi TG4 agus cén fáth go bhfuil sé ina spreagadh dúinn mar a dúirt Ó hUigínn, bíonn sé céim chun tosaigh go minic (an chéad áit a craoladh neart drámaí móra agus an stáisiúin a dhéanann clúdach spóirt as cuimse, i measc rudaí eile).

Oíche spreagúil, sultmhar speisialta a bhí ann.  Siamsaíocht den scoth agus comhluadar iontach.  Tá mé an-bhuíoch do ghach duine ag TG4 a d’eagraigh an comórtas agus a chuir fáilte mhór romhainn le linn an turais.  Tá mé fíor-bhuíoch as an duais seo, ba phléisiúir agus phribhléid é bheith páirteach san oíche agus sa cheiliúradh stairiúil seo.

Ursula xx

Posted in English Language, Gaeilge, Polaitíocht | Politics

Commentators should do their Irish language homework

Over the past few months it seems as though every week there is another negative article being published about the Irish language and/or those who speak it.  These articles have varied focus such as the way it is taught in schools, the money spent providing services through Irish, whether or not the Irish language should be on a road sign etc, but all of these articles have one common theme: The author doesn’t speak the language and they don’t want anyone else to either.

The authors of these articles have a relentlessly negative outlook towards the Irish language which is founded on nothing but personal prejudice as far as I can tell.  The most recent of these articles was Declan Lynch’s article in the Irish Independent.

Recent research by Millward Brown and Conradh na Gaeilge show that 63% of people believe that all services should be made available through Irish in Gaeltacht areas, which is a considerable majority considering how big a commitment that is and how far the government currently is from doing just that.  What is more significant is that this research showed that only 10% of people disagreed with this – and of this, only 4% strongly disagreed.

With this in mind, when I read articles such or watch Eoin Butler’s video on the Irish language, I find it hard to believe that they can happily put their name to these poorly researched, unsubstantiated opinion pieces and call them fact.

Research published in 2015 shows that 72% of people in the south and 64% of people in the north believe that Irish-medium education should be available for those who wish to avail of it.  One third of people in the south and one fifth of people in the north have said that they would like to learn more Irish.  Statistics like this never factor into the articles written about the terrible state of the Irish language because it doesn’t suit their narrative.  Those who take this line on the language seem determined to ignore facts and figures.  They speak for the 4% with such certainty that I can’t help but admire their self-confidence.  It’s not enough for them that they don’t take anything to do with the language, they want to ensure that nobody else can either.

I could write here about the importance of the Irish language to national identity, I could write about the proven benefits of bilingualism, or I could discuss how minority language initiatives encourage community cohesion.  I could provide facts and statistics on this too, if they were interested.  That said, this shouldn’t be necessary.  The protection of minority rights should not be contingent on preferences or opinions.

What some people refer to ‘language life support’ is in fact incredibly worthwhile investment in community initiatives.  Aside from the cultural benefits associated with protecting such an integral part of our culture (which are also completely disregarded in the discourse of these commentators)  the schemes run to assist Irish language community include youth work, support for families, parent and toddler groups, community events, raising cultural awareness and the list goes on.  What is needed now is further investment in these programmes which provide demonstrable benefits to the areas in which they are based.  Instead, while this work suffers from savage cuts there are still those standing on the side line complaining that it hasn’t been cut off entirely.

It’s too much to expect that these commentators to see the light and sign up for their nearest Irish classes, but it is time that they showed respect.  There is a vibrant and growing Irish language community in Ireland which should be cherished and protected.  The rights which Irish language speakers have cannot and should not be diminished by those who don’t feel as though the language is part of their lives.

It makes me angry to think that the Irish language community must continually justify its right to exist in this way.  No other minority group would be treated in such a way without being properly challenged to back up their arguments.  I can’t imagine it ever being acceptable for individuals to focus on any other minority group and to use their position of influence in the media to belittle and insult that group and to then call it ‘debate’ or ‘discussion.’  Put simply, these articles are attacks on a vulnerable community, under a poor guise of journalism.

In his article, Declan Lynch refers to the Irish language as “a failure only for the vast majority.”  What he either doesn’t realise or is determined not to recognise is that he is, in fact, in the minority.  Research, statistics and facts all show that the protection of the Irish language is something desired and demanded by the vast majority of people on this island.

Posted in Aclaí, Gaeilge

Aclaí: Thuas Seal Thíos Seal

Tá mé ag obair le Aclaí anois ar feadh cúpla mí agus mé ag iarraidh saol níos sláintiúla a bheith agam amach anseo.  Is athrú mór é seo dom cinnte agus cé go bhfuil mé ag baint sult agus an-tairbhe as gach rud go dtí seo, tá sé fós deacair orm bheith tiomónta i gcónaí leis an chur chuige nua é seo.

In amanna bíonn sé fíor-dheacair cloí eis na dea-nósanna atá mé ag iarraidh a chúthú, caithfidh mé smaoineamh faoi ghach rud anois!  Bia, codhladh, aclaíocht, meabharshláinte srl… liosta mór fada atá ann.  Dár ndóigh, seo rudaí a dhéanann cuid mhór daoine gan stró agus déantar mar is ceart iad, ach i ndiaidh tamall fada a chaitheamh ag déanamh neamhaird ar na rudaí seo, tá sé deacair gach rud a athrú thar oíche.

Sin ráite, nuair a thosaigh mé ag obair le Aclaí cúpla mí ó shin, iarradh orm roinnt spriocanna a leagadh síos dom féin le dul chun cinn a mheas.  Leag mé síos roinnt spriocanna gearrthéarma agus meánthéarma le cuidiú liom an mórsprioc atá agam a bhaint amach, agus is breá liom an cur chuige seo mar feicim an difear ionam féin fiú nuair nach mothaím go bhfuil an oiread sin á dhéanamh agam.  Ar an seachtain seo cháite, ní amháin gur bhain mé sprioc amháin amach, ach dhá sprioc!

Dhreap mé Sliabh Donard ar an Satharn seo cháite le feasacht a ardú ar meabharshláinte le Aware.  Rinne mé féin agus mo dheirfiúr é, agus é seo an chéad uair a dhreap ceachtar againn an sliabh seo.  Bhí a fhios agam go mbeadh sé dúshlánach go leor, agus is é sin an fáth go raibh sé leagtha síos mar sprioc agam i dtús báire.  Mura raibh sé don siúlóid seo a bhí eagraithe ag Aware, agus go raibh mo dheirfiúr in éineacht liom, níl a fhios agam cén uair a mbeadh sé déanta agam i ndáiríre.  Ba é an imeacht seo a spreagadh a bhí de dhíth orm leis seo a dhéanamh faoi dheireadh.

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Ar mhaidin Domhnaigh, bhí 10km na Ceathrún Gaeltachta ar siúl.  Seo an chéad uair a bhí an rith seo ar shiúl sa cheantar, agus mar sin cé gur mhuscail mé maidin Dhomhnaigh iomlán scriosta ón lá roimh ré, ní raibh mé ag iarraidh an lá seo a cháiliúint.  Sprioc eile a bhí agam ná 10km a dhéanamh roimh am Nollag, agus seo seans foirfe chun é seo a dhéanamh.  Dearfainn go mbeadh sé i bhad níos fusa orm más rud nach raibh am sliabh déanta orm an lá roimhe (nó más rud nach raibh mé amuigh mar chuid d’Fhéile na Carraige ar oíche Shathairn – ach sin scéal eile!) Ach fós féin, bhí mé sásta leis an am a fuair mé, bhí mé sásta gur chríochnaigh mé an rith agus iontach sásta gur bhain mé sprioc eile ón liosta!

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Bhí mé comh scriosta i ndiaidh an deireadh seachtaine seo gur ghlac sé seachtain orm blag a scríobh faoi fiú! Bhí mo mhatáin tean agus mo chosa imithe uaim ar feadh cúpla lá ina dhiaidh, ach b’fhiú go mór é cibé!  Mothaím spreagtha anois i ndiaidh na rudaí seo a bhaint amach, agus ba mhaith liom díriú isteach arís ar na spriocanna eile ar an liosta.  Léirigh an tseachtain seo cháite domsa gur féidir liom na spriocanna atá agam a bhaint amach, agus mothaíonn sé sin ar fheabhas.  Chaith mé beagainín ama ag streachailt leis an chlár nua – thuas seal, thíos seal – mar a deirtear.  Ach, tá mé ag dul sa treo ceart anois sílim agus réidh leis na spriocanna eile a shocrú go luath!

Ursula xx

Posted in Gaeilge, Polaitíocht | Politics

#HeforShe

I 2014, sheol Emma Watson feachtas nua de chuid UN Women darbh ainm He for She.  Thug sí óráid ionsporáideach ag an ócáid sin a spreag comhrá agus díospóireacht faoi ról na bhfear i ngluaiseacht na mban.

Tá an feachtas bunaithe ar an choincheap gur dhaoine muid uilig ar dtús agus go dtagann inscne ina dhiaidh sin.  Mar sin, is é an smaoineamh atá leis seo ná go mbíonn gach duine sa sochaí thíos leis mura bhfuil cothromas ag mná, agus go bhfuil sé de dhualgas ar ghach duine sa sochaí é seo a athrú.

Go dtí seo, shínigh níos mó ná miliúin duine suas le tacaíocht a thabhairt don ghluaiseacht seo.  Dá mbeifeá ag smaoineamh faoi shíniú suas don fheachtas, bheifeá i gcomhluadar maith.  I measc na n-ainmneacha móra eile a rinne coimitmint le obair i dtreo domhain níos cothroma, tá Uasain Bolt, Tom Hanks agus Príomh Aire Ceanada Justin Trudeau.  Mar gheall ar He for She, tá athrú á dhéanamh ar an díospóireacht maidir le comhionannas na mban agus an tábhacht a bhaineann leis do ghach duine againn.

justin

Díríonn an feachtas ar sé ghnéithe oibre éagsúil: oideachas, sláinte, saol oibre, féiniúlacht, foiréigean agus polaitíocht.  Leis an fheachtas a cheiliúradh, rinne Emma Watson óráid eile ar an obair a rinneadh le dhá bhliain anuas.   Labhair sí faoin tionchar a imríonn eiseamláir ar dhaoine óga, idir chailíní agus bhuachaillí.

“While women still only make up such a small percentage of political leadership, to quote the awesome Michelle Obama, “because of these women, girls and boys all over the world will have real-life examples that women are leaders.” In the last two years if I have learned anything, if they have shown me anything, it is that nothing—nothing—is impossible.”

emma

Cé go bhfuil fócas an fheachtais dírithe go príomha ar ról na bhfear, caitear spotshola ar na dúshláin atá ag imirt droch-thionchar ar shaol na mban go fóil fud fad an domhain.  Déantar seo trí shuile difirúil agus leathnaítear amach an dioscúrsa maidir le réitigh na bhfadhbanna seo mar gheall air.

Aithníonn Watson go bhfuil bóthar fada le dul ag mná go fóil sula mbeidh comhionannas bainte amach, ach go bhfuil muid in áit níos fearr anois ná mar a bhí roimhe seo.  Is céim chun tosaigh é gur féidir tógáil air amach anseo, go háirithe má dhéanann tuilleadh daoine, fir agus mná, iarracht athruithe a dhéanamh leis an chothromas a oibriú isteach inár saol.  Deir Watson:

“I genuinely feel that we are closer to a gender equal world, certainly closer than we were two years ago, and I know that each and every HeForShe has played such a huge part in that.”

Ní neart go cur le chéile!

http://www.heforshe.org/ 

Posted in Aclaí, Gaeilge

Aclaí – mo chéad mí déanta!

Thart fá mí ó shin, thosaigh mé ar chúrsa tranála le Aclaí.

Is iomaí cúis a bhí taobh thiar de seo agus scríobh mé faoi sa bhlag deireanach ar an ábhar seo.  Thosaigh mé ag obair go lán-aimseartha thart fá ceithre bliain ó shin, agus sa tréimhse sin thóg mé neart droch-nósanna nach bhfuil maith dom.  Bhí a fhios agam i gcónaí gur chóir dom é seo a athrú agus iarracht níos fearr a dhéanamh saol sláintiúil a bheith agam, ach cé gur thuig mé sin go teoiriciúil, ní dhéarna sin mórán difear dom in am ar bith in ndáiríre.

Cinneadh déanta agam anois seo uilig a athrú!

Mar a dúirt mé, thosaigh mé ag obair le Ainle ó Aclaí thart fá mí ó shin agus  ba é an chéad rud a bhí orm a dhéanamh ná spriocanna a leagadh síos bunaithe ar cad é atá mé ag iarraidh bhaint amach ón chúrsa seo.  Bhí orm neart macnaimh a dhéanamh faoi seo mar cé go raibh a fhios agam go raibh mé ag iarraidh mo chuid droch-nósanna a athrú, ní ionann sin agus spriocanna a leagadh síos dom féin.  Is cúrsa aclaíochta é seo, ach ní chiallaíonn sé sin gur mhaith liom meachán a chailiúint go díreach nó go bhfuil aon mór-rud fisiciúil os mo chomhair amach anseo, ach tá spriocanna eile i gceist agam leis seo.

Ba mhaith liom bheith níos aclaíochta.  Ba mhaith liom bheith níos fuinniúla.  Ba mhaith liom bheith níos láidre ar ghach bealach agus ábalta níos mó a dhéanamh le mo chorp agus le mo chuid ama.  Rinne muid neart plé ar na rudaí atá mé ag iarraidh a bhaint amach socraíodh roinnt spriocanna dá réir.

Comh mhaith leis seo, le mí anuas bhí mé ag déanamh iarracht ollmhór mo nósanna bia a athrú.  Le cúpla bliain anuas d’éirigh mé falsa leis an chur chuige a bhí agam do chúrsa bia agus níor bhain mé sult as é a ullmhú nó in amanna é a ithe fiú (seachas cócaireacht mo Mhamaí, bainim i gcónaí sult as sin).  Le cúpla seachtain anuas, le cuidiú agus treoir, tá mé ag obair ar nósanna nua a chrúthú ó thaobh bia de agus tá sé anois mar cheann de na spriocanna atá agam ná 10 n-aiste bia blásta a fhoghlaim de ghlanmheabhair (mar sin má tá moltaí ar bith agaibh, cuirígí chugam iad le bhur dtoil!)

Ó thaobh aclaíochta de fosta tá iarracht nua déanta agam tús a chur le rudaí nua agus níos mó a dhéanamh.  Rinne mé iarracht anois is arís thar na blianta é seo a dhéanamh ach níor chloí mé le rud ar bith i ndáiríre in am ar bith.  Gan aon amhras, is é an fáth go bhfuil rudaí difriúil dom an uair seo ná mar gheall go bhfuil tacaíocht agus treoir agam.  Mar gheall ar an oiliúint phearsanta, tá a fhios agam cad é gur chóir dom bheith ag déanamh.  Déanann sé gach difear go bhfuil plean agam agus go bhfaighim comhairle ar ghach céim.

Seans maith go bhfuil sé i bhfad ró-luath rud ar bith a rá go fóill ach mothaím go bhfuil i bhfad níos mó fuinnimh agam anois ná mar a bhí le tamall agus mothaím níos láidre cheánna féin.  Mar sin, tá mo chéad mórsprioc leagtha síos agam.  Beidh mé ag glacadh páirte i 10km na Ceathrún Gaeltachta ar an 9ú Deireadh Fómhair!  Is fada an lá ó a rinne mé reathaíocht ar bith, agus, domsa, is mór an sprioc é seo.  Ach tá mé go fóil ag dúil go mór leis an mhéid atá romham, idir an sprioc seo agus na spriocanna eile atá agam.  Tá a fhios agam go mbeidh sé deacair agus tuigim níos fearr de réir a chéile go mbeidh sé níos deacra ná mar a shíl mé riamh, ach is maith liom an dúshlán.  Táim ag dúil go mór leis an mhéid atá romham!

(Is féidir an chéad alt a scríobh mé faoin chúrsa Aclaí a léamh anseo.)

Posted in English Language, Gaeilge

Pardon my language

Since I started this blog, and even before it, I’ve been self conscious about my Irish when writing it online.  I’ve had quite a few conversations with people lately saying the same thing, people have said that they are reluctant to use their Irish online (whether on Facebook, Twitter or in a blog post) because they’re not confident enough that their grammar is accurate or that the syntax is correct.  I think it’s a problem that affects a lot of people, and I wonder how often it holds people back from using their Irish in the way that they want.

Before I started working with Irish every day, I was always afraid that my Irish wasn’t good enough to send to other people or to use professionally.  Those nerves don’t go away, but gradually I realized that if I let that get in my way too much, then I wouldn’t be using any Irish at all.  On the other hand, if I did start using as much Irish as I had and working on it as I went, things could only improve.

In the work that I do, I need to write in Irish all the time.  Emails, reports, to do lists, all of it is in Irish, but that doesn’t for a minute that I’m not concerned about my Irish or how it comes across to those reading it.  Any time I start into a new topic at work it takes me a while to become comfortable with the new vocabulary and phrases which go with it, that’s only natural.  When I started working in Dublin it took (and takes) me a while to listen to and read other dialects of Irish without feeling that there’s a barrier there.  Fortunately, I work with colleagues who are well used to fielding my questions and make getting over those obstacles much easier.  The more time spent around Irish speakers and the more advice sought from my lecturers all helped me become more confident in what I was doing.

I’ve had plenty of conversations with people lately talking about Irish and how they were always so cautious about using their Irish.  Whether that’s speaking with people or in writing things online, people put in so much thought into how their Irish is going to come across to others.  It goes further than just being cautious about what you’re writing, but it sometimes prevents people from using their Irish because their so worried about how whether other people will notice their mistakes.

Last week, I was speaking to someone studying Irish at university, she told me about how she’d love to use more of her Irish but that she gets nervous that people would correct her while she speaks to them, so she often switches to English to avoid the hassle.  All I could think was ‘Who are these people who do things like that in a casual conversation?’  Unless in a classroom situation or as part of a job, people generally don’t do things like that.  Unsolicited advice or corrections aren’t something that happens in everyday conversation in my experience, that’s not something people generally do.

I know that it’s important to keep learning.  Grammar and structure are the foundations of the language and it’s very important to establish good habits while learning a language, but I still think that it’s better that people use the Irish that they instead of fretting over whether or not something is perfect before putting it out there.  Anyone reading my Irish language posts will now that my own Irish language grammar leaves a lot to be desired, but it’s a work in progress.  It’s getting better over time.  Sometimes I look back at things I’ve written months ago and instead of becoming embarrassed about the mistakes that I’ve made, I can be pleased that I’ve learnt enough to be able to recognize where I went wrong so I’ll know for the next time.

At the end of the day, when you’re speaking to someone or writing something online and you’re not sure if you have everything 100% correct, the worst thing it can be is wrong.  That’s not the end of the world.  Beatha teanga í a labhairt, the way to keep a language alive is to speak it and it’s so much better to use your Irish, flawed as it may be, rather than to hide it away because you’re afraid of what someone might think of it.

Labhair cibé Gaeilge atá agat – Speak whatever Irish you have, the rest will fall into place.

Posted in Gaeilge, Leabhair | Books

Harry Potter agus an Bhean ag Smaoineamh Siar

Níl aon sceithire ná milleadh scéil san alt seo

Cuireadh tús le dráma úr de chuid na sraithe Harry Potter ar na mallaibh ar ardán i Londain.

Foilsíodh an script do ‘Harry Potter agus an Páiste Mallachta’ ar an lá ceánna agus bhí lucht leanúna Harry agus a chuid cairde ag dúil go mór le feiceáil cad é a bhí in ann dóibh anois.

Cé gur chum J.K. Rowling, údar na seacht leabhair sa tsraith, an scéal seo, níorbh í féin amháin a scríobh an script.

Script dráma atá ann, scríofa aici, ag Jack Thorne agus ag John Tiffany.

Bhí mé féin fós ar scoil nuair a foilsíodh na leabhair don chéad uair.

Is cuimhin liom go maith bheith ag fanacht ar an chéad leabhar eile teacht amach, ar bís faoi cad é a bhí chun tarlú sa chéad bhliain eile ar Hogwarts.

A luaithe agus a fuair mé greim ar an leabhar nua, ní bhogfainn don lá ar fad go dtí go raibh an t-iomlán léite agam.

Níor lig an leabhar síos riamh mé, bhí gach leabhar chomh maith leis an leabhar a tháinig roimhe agus d’éirigh siad níos fearr le linn an ama.

Ag an am sin, bhí mé a bheag nó a mhór ar comhaois leis na príomh-charachtair sna scéalta agus sílim gur chuir sin leis na scéalta domsa, cé nach raibh mo chuid laethanta scoile chomh heachtrúil ceánna agus a bhí siad ag Harry, Ron agus Hermione.

Tosaíonn an dráma seo san áit ar chríochnaigh an leabhar deireanach, naoi mbliana déag i ndiaidh gur imigh Harry agus a chuid cairde ó Hogwarts agus páistí Harry agus Ginny, Ron agus Hermione uilig ag freastal anois ar an scoil chlúiteach.

Díríonn an scéal ar mhac óg Harry, Albus Severus Potter, agus ar na heachtraí atá idir lámha aige agus ag a dhlúthchara Scorpius Malfoy, mac le Draco (ní raibh duine ar bith ag dúil leis sin, an raibh?).

Mar a fhorbraíonn an scéal, buailimid le cuid mhór de na sean-charachtair a raibh aithne againn orthu sa tsraith leabhar, agus do dhuine ar bith a bhain sult as na leabhair, is cinnte go mbainfidh siad sult as an uasdátú ar cad é atá ar bun acu 20 bliain anonn.

Déantar cuid mhór nascanna le rudaí a tharla sna luath-leabhair fosta, rud a chuireann go mór leis an scéal agus a bhí ina meabhrachán deas don duine nár léigh siar orthu le tamall anuas.

An t-aon rud a bhain den chaighdeán domsa ná go bhfuil poll nó dhó sa scéal, corr rud anseo is ansiúd nach bhfuil iomlán ciall ag baint leis agus tá sé soiléir nach raibh an bhaint cheánna ag Rowling leis an script seo agus a bhí leis na scéalta a tháinig roimhe.

Dar liomsa, ní hé seo an t-ochtú leabhar sa tsraith agus ní shílim gur féidir é sin a dhéanamh.

Tá an tsraith sin críochnaithe ag Rowling agus ba chóir é a fhágáil mar atá.

An rud a bhí speisialta faoi na leabhair eile ná an bealach a chuir gach leabhar leis an cheann a tháinig roimhe agus mhothaigh tú go raibh cuimhne agat ar rud a tharla in áit ar rud a léigh tú.

Tá sin in easnamh sa leabhar seo ach ní nach ionadh, ní raibh seo riamh le bheith mar chuid den scéal sin.

Is rud ann féin é an leabhar seo atá suite sa domhain ceánna, sin é.

Is léamh maith é, is scéal suimiúil é, ach cé gur féidir sult a bhaint as, sílim go bhfuil mé féin anois thar aois le bheith meallta ar ais chuig an domhan draíochtúil sin.

Beidh sé i gcónaí deacair do rud ar bith a bhfuil ainm ‘Harry Potter’ luaite leis an méid a bhfuil daoine ag dúil leis a shásamh, leag Rowling caighdeán ró-ard ag an tús.

Sin ráite, thaitin an leabhar seo liom agus bheadh dúil agam an seó a fheiceáil dá mbeadh an deis agam.

Deis eile smaoineamh siar ar an domhan iontach úd agus na scéalta istigh ann.

Diabhlaíocht déanta.

Foilsíodh an t-alt seo ar dtús ar Meon Eile i Lúnasa 2016.