Ar ais arís anois (back again now)
Tháinig mé ar ais chuig Brighton areir i ndhiaidh turas fada go maith – d’fhág mé Gleann Cholm Cille ag a haon déag ar maidin agus chuaigh mé ar a bus go Baile Dún na nGall, cá bhualadh mé le ceann de na scoláire a bhí ar an cúrsa in Oideas Gael, agus rinne mé comhrá léi as Gaeilge agus Béarla ar an bus go Baile Átha Cliatha.
I got back to Brighton last night after quite a long journey – I left Glencolmcille at eleven in the morning and went by bus to Donegal City, where I bumped into one of the other students who was on the course at Oideas Gael and I chatted to her in Irish and English on the bus to Dublin.
Nuair a tháinig mé chuig Gleann Cholm Cille Dé Sathairn seo caite, d’inis daoine liom go raibh féile ann an deireadh seachtaine sin, agus an tráthóna sin chuaigh mé chuig seisiún ar fheabhas in ostán Gleann Cholm Cille le ceoltóirí as Gleann, Oileán Mhanann agus Oileán Leodhais. Bhí cailín ann ag canadh as Manainnis, agus amhránaí eile ag canadh as Gaeilge na hAlban freisin. An lá dar gcionn, bhí cór as Leodhais agus cór áitiúl ag canadh Salm as Gaeilge na hÉireann agus Gaeilge na hAlban in Oideas Gael. Bhí fuaim an cór as Leodhais an chumhachtach agus corraitheach.
When I arrived in Glencolmcille last Saturday, I was told that there was a festival that weekend, and that evening I went to an excellent session at the Hotel Glencolmcille with musicians from the Glen, the Isle of Man and Lewis. There were a lass there who sang in Manx and other people singing in Scottish Gaelic. The next day, a local group and a group from Lewis sang some psalms in Irish and Scottish Gaelic at Oideas Gael.
The group from Lewis sang in very unusual way – they took it in turns to lead the singing, and the others improvised each line. It’s a unique style of singing and the sound they made was very powerful, moving and almost unearthly. There were only ten or them in the group, so the sound of a whole church full of people singing in this way must be incredible.
Bhain mé an sult as an fuílleach an seachtain. Níl ach seachtdeig daoine bhí ann ag foghlaim Gaeilge, triúr i rang a haon, beirt i rang a dó agus dháréag i rang a trí. Bhí go leor daoine ann i mbliana a bhí ann anuraidh, agus bhí sé deas iad a fheiceáil. Ar dtús, bhí ár múinteoir, Gráinne as Béal Feirste, giota beag moillitheach, ach i ndhiaidh tamallín bhí sí ag teacht i gcleachtadh ar chúrsai.
The rest of the week was very enjoyable. There was only seventeen of us studying Irish, three in level one, two in level two and twelve, including myself, in level three. Quite a few were there last year and it was nice to see them again. Our teacher, Gráinne from Belfast, was a bit hesitant at first, but soon got into the swing of things.
This year I stayed in a house in Cashel, over the road from one of the pubs and close to the shops. Two other students were staying there – a retired teacher from Austria and a lad from Roscommon who plays a mean flute. Our host fed us well and made us feel very welcome.
Most nights, after the activities at Oideas Gael, most of us ended up in Biddys, one of the local pubs. There were some good sessions, though not every night. We also watched quite a few football matches.
I learnt a lot during me stay in Gleann Cholm Cille and am now able to understand more Irish, and to speak it with more confidence and fluency. I’ll definitely be going back to Oideas Gael in the not too distant future.