Oireachtas na Gaeilge 2008 (Leagan Béarla)
CHUALA MÉ RÁFLA – leis an nGliomach Rua
Oireachtas na Gaeilge 2008
A group of us from Daltaí had the times of our lives recently in Cork City. We set off together towards the Rochestown Park Hotel where the annual Oireachtas na Gaeilge was being held. Liam Guidry, Hilary Sweeney, Úna McGillicuddy and I, Eileen Zurell, were there for the Irish launching of Barra Ó Donovan’s book, Súil Siar.
Súil Siar is a book of articles written by Barra. It’s a bi-lingual book in which Barra’s original articles have been translated and edited by Hilary Sweeney and Eileen Zurell.
The book was published by Daltaí na Gaeilge and can be easily ordered.
When we entered the Exhibition Room of the hotel, we were delighted to be greeted by many of our dear friends – old and new – Molly and Junior McKinney, Mark and Kathleen Conneran, Liam Ó Cuinneagáin, Dermot Saunders, Mícheál de Mórdha, Maidhc Dainín Ó Sé, Antain Mac Lochlainn, Siuán Ní Mhaonaigh, Harold Kenney, Dave McLoughlin, Cormac Mac Fhionnlaoich and Abigail Mitchell among them.
Barra’s family was represented by his wife, Delia, his son Brendan and his fiancée, Anni, and Brian Donovan, Barra’s brother.
After a few words to us, Mícheál de Mórdha, the Manager of The Great Blasket Centre in Dunquin introduced Donnchadh Ó hAodha, the President of the Oireachtas. Mr. Ó hAodha is a friendly engaging man who said that he was going through Súil Siar in order to be able to speak about it at the launching. Before he knew it, he had the entire book read – it was so interesting and lively. We were delighted of course. And then Maidhc Dainín treated us to some of his great music to remember his friend. We then spent some time signing books and enjoying tea and scones and the company of our friends.
When we had that pleasant bit of work done, we had nothing else to do but to enjoy the Oireachtas. There was every sort of competition going – singing – sean nós and modern, dancing ar an sean nós was a big hit with us, and agallaimh beirte and lúibíní – always beyond clever – and of course meeting up with and catching up with old friends.
On Saturday, we finally had a chance to meet Michelle Duffy. She and our old friend, Cormac Mac Fhionnlaoich, will be marrying soon and we are delighted for the both of them. Sliocht sleachta ar shliocht bhur sleachta.
Liam Guidry was especially enchanted with the sean nós competition, especially when he heard our friend Caitlín Ní Chualáin competing. Caitlín, the wife of Greg Brennan, won first place, Corn Phádraig Mhic an Rí, in the competition of sean nós for women. Both she and Greg were at our Teachers’ Workshop a few years ago teaching us.
You would think we were attending a Reunion of Past Daltaí Teachers when we met up with eight of our former teachers at the Oireachtas – Antain Mac Lochlainn, Siuán Ní Mhaonaigh, Ray Mac Mánais, Caitlín Ní Chualáin Bn. Uí Bhréanainn, Liam Ó Cuinneagáin, Éamonn Ó Dónaill, Aoife Ní Chonchúir and Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh.
Every night we did our best to relax at Club na Féile. Well relax is probably not the exact word to use here. While it was immense fun, we really weren’t relaxing much but out on the floor doing our version of rince ar an sean nós. It’s a pity the judges were off duty. I think they’d have been really impressed by us – if not our dancing at least our enthusiasm. But then again it would be hard not to dance well to the music of Clann Uí Mhaonaigh – Mairéad, Gearóid, Anna & Ciarán. And no living creature could stand still while listening to Páidí Ó Sé whipping us up to a fever pitch with his music.
Listening to the amazing music of Cóir Chúil Aodha, led by Peadar Ó Riada, with the likes of Iarla Ó Lionáird agus Seán Ó Sé among the singers, raised us back to our saintly selves on Sunday when we attended the Oireachtas Mass at St. Patrick’s Chapel, in Rochestown.
It was just a flying visit we made to Cork but we did our utmost to enjoy it to the max. And we more than managed that.