Níos Gaelaí ná muintir na nGaeltachtaí sna sé chontae is fiche

EXHIBITION : PROINSIAS Ó CONLUAIN

About this Item

Míníonn John Carolan mar a tharlaíonn sé go bhfuil Gaeilge ó dhúchas aige féin.

John Carolan explains how he happens to be a native speaker of Irish.

  • Title
    Na cainteoirí ó dhuchás deireannacha i gCo Thír Eoghain
  • Production Year
    1951
  • Contributor
    Proinsias Ó Conluain
  • Clip Duration
    00:02:22
  • Material Type
    Audio
  • Clip title
    Níos Gaelaí ná muintir na nGaeltachtaí sna sé chontae is fiche
  • Extended description

    B'é John Carolan an cainteoir ba líofa Gaeilge a bhí fágtha sa cheantar seo sna Spéiríní i gCo Thír Eoghain thart ar Ghleann Choll in aice leis An Chaisleán Glas, ag tús na gcaogadaí. Míníonn sé gur tógadh é lena mhamaí mhór agus nár labhair sise ach Gaeilge. Ní raibh mórán seanchais ná scéalta ag John i gcomparáid le cuid de na cainteoirí eile. Bhain Gaeilge Thír Eoghain leis an chanúint sin  a bhí á labhairt in Oir-Dheisceart Uladh i gContaetha Lú,  deisceart Ard Mhacha, tuaisceart Cho na Mí agus Oileán Mhanainn agus chomh fada ó thuaidh le hInis Eoghain i nDún na nGall cé go raibh focail agus eile sna Spéiríní acu a bhain leis an cheantar sin amháin.

    John Carolan was the most fluent of all the Irish speakers remaining in this area around Glenhull near Greencastle in the Sperrin Mountains, Co. Tyrone. His grandmother who reared him spoke only Irish. Other speakers had more folklore, stories and local history. The Irish in the Sperrins was part of a dialect spoken in South East Ulster including south Armagh, north Co Louth, north Co Meath the Isle of Man and as far north as Inishowen in Donegal.

    Dúirt An Dr Heinrich Wagner ar Radio Éireann sa bhliain 1951 "tá siad níos Gaelaí ina spiorad ná tá muintir na nGaeltachtaí sna sé chontae is fiche". B'as an Eilvéis don Dr Wagner agus bhí sé ina Ollamh le Ceiltis in Ollscoil na Banríona i mBéal Feirste ina dhiaidh sin agus ina údar ar "The Linguistic atlas and survey of Irish Dialects" (1958-1964 Institiúid Ard-Léinn Bhaile Átha Cliath). Is léir go ndeachaigh na cainteoirí seo i gCo Thír Eoghain go mór i bhfeidhm air. I dtús an naoú aoise déag bhí suas le leath na ndaoine i gCo Thír Eoghain ina gcaointeoirí dúchasacha Gaeilge agus thit sin go dtí an líon beag a bhí fágtha ag tús na gcaogadaí.

    The quotation in translation from Irish "they are more Irish in their spirit than Gaeltacht people in the South of Ireland" is from Swiss born Dr Heinrich Wagner, who was later Professor of Celtic Studies in Queen's University Belfast and author of 'The Linguistic Atlas and Survey of Irish Dialects'. Wagner surveyed the last native speakers of Tyrone Irish and was very taken with their enthusiasm and spirit. Around the beginning of the 19th century about half the inhabitants in Co Tyrone were thought to be Irish speakers and that reduced dramatically to the twenty or so left in 1951. 

  • Information

    Proinsias Ó Conluain got a tip off from Michael J Murphy of the Irish Folklore Commission, who was collecting in the area at the time, that there were Irish speakers in this area of the Sperrins around Glenhull near Greencastle. Michael J. didn't speak Irish - but he did collect people's anecdotes and memories of the language in English - and so Radio Éireann and its mobile recording unit travelled to the Sperrins in snowy weather in February 1951 to make the recordings.

    This is the original recording cut on disc, and later transferred to 1/4 tape. No audio exists from the broadcasts made based on this material but the field recordings are still extant. Dermot Maguire was the Sound Engineer on the Mobile Recording Unit when it visited Co Tyrone.

    The accompanying image from a handwritten script by Dr Heinrich Wagner.

  • Local keywords
    John Carolan, Proinsias Ó Conluain, Glenhull, Greencastle, Sperrin, Tyrone, Donegal, Gaeltacht, Heinrich Wagner, Queen's University Belfast,
  • Geographical coverage
    Ireland, Tyrone
  • Topic
    The Media
  • Publisher Broadcaster
    RTÉ
  • Country of production
    Ireland
  • Original identifier
    AA1665
  • IPR restrictions
    Rights Reserved - Free Access
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  • Item type
    part/extract
  • Item sound
    Mono
  • Original language
    Irish (gle)
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