Historical Irish Corpus
1600 - 1926

Irish in County Antrim.

Title
Irish in County Antrim.
Author(s)
Mac Néill, Eoin,
Compiler/Editor
Mac Néill, Eoin
Composition Date
1895
Publisher
Connradh na Gaedhilge

Search Texts

Poetry/Prose
1600 1926

IRISH IN COUNTY ANTRIM


L. 140


The following sentences may serve to illustrate the
dialect:—



Goidé mar tá ú? Bha mé thall annseo. Thana'
mé air tír (landed). C'áit a bhfuil ú dul? Ta sinn le
chéile dul. Tá íse dul. Goidé t'ainm? (pron. airm).
Bhfuil ú do mo thuigeal? Do you understand me?
Tá'n cladach ag brísigh(breeshy or breeshiy), breaking.
Tig aníos anns an teineidh agus téag ú héin, worm yourself.
Tá mí dul Dia hAoine má théid an bata, it the boat goes.



Tá mo shoilsin go deachaidh é (dya hay) a suas
an t-sliabh, I think he went up the mountain. Tá píos
mór ón-a-seo go Croc an Tairbh, ag good piece from here
to the Bull. Tá'n bealach fada go nuig' an Tarbh.
Riamh, pronounced nearly ramhach. An d'fhuair ú
do shuipeir? Cha d'fhuair. Ta í 'g-obair leis an im.
Usce antrom annsan Chaolas, a great sea iin the
channel.



Nan tigeadh tú asteach 'na bhuailidh, beidh an deoch
de bhainne blath gan truaillidheacht (sweet milk without
stint).



Sé Domhnall a's Mórag (or Máire)
A raibh 'na bainis riamhach;
Domhnall a's Máire
A raibh n-a bainis ainmheil;
Bha cearcan ann, a's gé ann,
Agus thar súsan scarbh ann
Agus a mhéid 'sa bh'ann(vetsavan)de chearcan —
B'iad cearcan Eoin a b'fhearr a bh'ann.



Na bainis = a mbainis. Riamhach = fine. Ainmheil
(pron. ermal) = famous. Thar, explained as meaning
"nearly." * Scarbh = cormorant.



Rose M. Young.



Galgorm Castle, Co. Antrim.



II.
Rev. J. C. MacErlean, S.J., Clongowes Wood
College, contributes the following phrases, &c. which he
noted in Rathlin eight years ago:-



1. Maidin mhaith, good morning.
Coinfheasgar maith duit, good evening.
Cad é mar tá thú? Tá go breaghdha.
Lá math! pron. laa-a(=latha)mah.
Tar isteach agus suidhe annso(pr. sei ah-sho)
'bhfuil thú 'dul go hEirinn an-diu?(pr. vill oo gul
go haerin an dóo.)
Chan fhuil (haa nill). Tá(taa).
Cadé do chlog atá?
Cúig miinite 's fichead(cooig meenités feehat).
Tabhair damh(thor dhoo), give me.
Tá an taigh deanamh toite(thaa an thei dennu tote),
the house is smoking.
Tá an soitheach mór ar an trághadh(thaa soh-heb mawr
er an thraa.)



2. bhí abhrán no luinneóg ann mar so-
"Gabhmuid an ród mór"(fá thrí)-
(gauumud an rawd mawr).
B'í ciall an ceathramhadh líne "má's olc leis na
daoinibh eile," nó a shamhail sin.



3. An tráth bhí Séarlas Og Maor fá choill agus tóir 'na
dhiaidh, tharla nach raibh de bhiadh aca acht beagán mine
eórna. Rinneadar arán di i mbróig, agus adubhairt
Séarlas:-



"Aran eórna(arran yarn')
As beul mo bhróige(as bael mo vrawga)
Arán is fearr fuair mé riamh(ree-ve)



4. Am do bhí Gaedheal bocht ag dul go hAimeirioca,
agus ba mhian leis a aisdear do shaothrughadh. D'fhiarfhuigh
an caiptín de, an bhfeudfadh se a háirde do rádh.
"D'fheudfann a ráidh i nGaeghilg," ar seisean. "Abair
iad," ars' an caiptín. Do thosuigh an Gaedheal mar
so:-
"M'athair, mo mháthair,
Mo shean-athair, mo sheamháthair
Mo shinsean-athair, mo shinsean-mháthair,
mo shinsinsean-athair, mo shinsinsean-mháthair,"



agus mar sin leo, ag cur "sin" eile 'na gceann i
gcomhnuidhe. (Pr. maher, mo vaaher, mo hanaher, mo
hanavaaher, mo hisdhanah'er, mo shinshanavaaher, etc.)



In 2, 3, and 4, only the portions in quotation marks are
given in Rathlin Irish.



5. Proper names: (1) Of places: Uaimh na Lomaire
(le bun aille); Coire Bhreacain(idir Reachrainn agus
Beann Mhór; Sloc na morran(morran .i. iasg
beag. Surnames: Mac Cúirtigh, Englishe "Mc Curdy;"
Mhac Giolla-Dhuibh, Englished "Black".



6. Pronunciation: In addition to what may be
gathere from the foregoing, the following points may be
noted:-



The digraph ea varies in sound: ceathar=kyaer,
deas=dyaes, breaghdha=brae, meur meadhóin=maer
vaen. But fear=fyar, sgian peann= skeen pyan.
Ao like ae occasionally : aol =ael.
Broad mh and bh often live v: arbhar=ar'avar.



7. Súil bhuidhe, ainm luibhe buidhe fhása go fairsing
ins na gortaibh.



8. Teampull Comhghail(tyampull cooil) sean-
teamull an oileáin.



Many songs and tales exist among the people. Though
I stayed only a few days on the island, I heard a tale of
Fair Head(Beann Mhór), another of Loch Silín, another
of Séarlas Ó Maor, etc.



An account of the decay of the Irish language in the
Antrim Glens may be found in the "History of Down
an Connor," by the Rev. James O'Laverty, P.P.,
M.R.I.A.; and much information about the Rathlin
dialect in the first volume of the "Celtic Society."



III.



Note by Mr. J. H. LLoyd:-



"Mr John Mc Neill has proved satisfactorily that the
dialect of the Glens of Antrim is a local variety of Ulster
Irish, and not Scotch Gaelic. I would like to point out
agreements with the Irish of other parts of Ulster, expe-
cially with dialect of Orighialla or Oriel(N. Louth
and South Armagh).



"1. 'a commonly in Ulster for dá, though the letter is
often heard, too, especially in poetry. 2. I heard is
iomdha pronounced ioma in Armagh. 3. Liom péin,
agam péin, &c., are heard also in other parts of Ulster,
and even in Connaught. 4. Dórn is the form in use in
Oirghialla also. Similar instances of the lengthening of
the vowel in that dialect are cóirneál= coirneál,
deárnait=deargnait, córn=corn, &c. 5. Air'im for
airghim; this shortening is general in Ulster Irish. 6.
'mbeith, in Louth(Omeath), I heard dá or 'a mbéith


L. 141


(e long). 7. Cota; in other parts of Ulster I heard
coite. 8. Cha pósann; in other Northern districts,
cha phósann is said. 9. Idir; in Oirghialla eadar
is the form. 10. Fáoi ná tháire linn = fúinn nó
tharrainn. This is a locution precisely similar to roimhe
liom = romham, roimhe leat= romhat, &c., which I met
with in Oirghialla. A Louth man Irished 'Look before
you leap' as follows: 'Dearc roimhe leat só ma
léimidh tú." 11. Ca chas liom. This is also the phrase
in use in Meath, Louth, and Armagh. [I have heard gá
also in the latter, as in gá leis é? Whose is it? gárbh
as duit? Where are you from?] In Armagh I have
heard órm agus damh also used in this idiom. Char a
máithrín ins a' ród damh. Ca hé chas ins a' ród orm
acht stór mo chroidhe? Thus we have three forms, chas
sé liom, chas sé orm, and chas sé dhamh = casadh orm é
(Donegal agus Munster), casadh dham é (Donegal -
with damh- and Galway). It is curious that the
active has taken the place of the passive voice in this
idiom in eastern Ulster. 12. Nach ndeanat sí a léit;
precisely the same pronunciation in Oighialla. 13. Bhí
mé 'ga teannadh isteach le mo chroidhe; cf. the following
line from an Armagh song: Theannas léi-se chomh dluth
a's d'fhéadas, in which the same verb is used intransitively.
14. A-siar; a-soir and an-soir occur in a poem I wrote
down in Armagh in these lines: Macnaidh subhailce a
chuaidh a-soir ar sail, ... An buinne buan-lasta an-
soir ó'n Spáinn. 15. leabaidh; I have always heard
this word pronounced liobaidh or liubaidh in Meath and
Oirghialla. 16. Boil' á Cliath; this is also the pro-
nunciation of Oirghialla and Tyrone 17. I have never
met an Ulsterman yet who could Irish 'Belfast'. A
native of Omeath told me that he heard the Tyrone
people call it Sgamhan do sgaoin. This, of course, is
mereley an nickname, perhaps for sgamhan d'easgaoin, the
lung(or wry-mouth), or the wrong side. 17. Go dtillinn;
till is also the form in Armagh.



Seosamh Laoide.



Measann cuid d'ar gcáirdibh go mbíonn a dóthain
slighe agus tuilleadh san Irisleabhar ag canamhaint. Ní
misde do dhaoinibh comhairle charad d'fhagháil ó am go
ham. Acht dar ndóigh ní gan fáth do bheirthear an
oiread sain slighe do chanamhaint.



1. Is fearr an rud atá 'ná an rud nach fuil.



2. Ní mhaireann iomláine na Gaedhilge beo i n-áit
aonair ar bith, agus ní féidir a fagháil munab as iomláine
na gcanamhaint.



3. Canamhaint is mó atá ar eolas ag an ceudtaibh
de lucht léighte na Gaedhilge. Is amhlaidh is fearr
bheidheas ceart na Gaedhilge ar eolas aca sain ag
deunamh coimhmeasa i gcomhnuidhe idir an ceart agus an
chanamhaint. Bíonn an coimhmeas sain dá dheunamh i
gcomhnuidhe ins na nótaidhibh etc, san Irisleabhar.



4. Má's mian le duine an Ghaedhealg do bheith mar
theanga bheo (.i. mar chaint) aige, ní mór dó bheith dhá
labhairt le lucht a labhartha agus bheith dhá cloisteacht uatha.
Ní lughaide an tairbhe do gheabha sé de bharr a chlois-
teachta eolas do bheith aige roimh-re ar chanamhaint na
ndaoine.



'Na dhiaidh sin, beidh áit agus míle fáilte ag an
Irisleabhar roimh alt foghainteach ceart-Ghaedhilge,
'pé uair thiocfas sé, agus ní lugha do bhí riamh. Caidé an
nídh ceart na Gaedhilge? Ní fuláir trí cailidheachta
do bheith ann. An cheud chailidheacht díobh, gan aon ghnás
cainte nach fíor-Ghaedhealach do bheith ann. An dara
cailidheacht, gan focla coigcríche do thabhairt isteach
ann gan fáth. An treas chailidheacht, gan riaghlacha
ceart-ghraiméir na Gaedhilge do bhriseadh. An cheud
chailidheacht úd is mo dhligheas faire agus fór-choiméad
uainn. Ní bhfuighmíd acht feoil agus cnámha na Gaedhilge
'san bhfoclóir agus 'san ngraimeur. 'Sé an ceart-ghnás
glan Gaedhealach anam na Gaedhilge, agus ní bheidh breith
ag sgoláire iasachda ar an ngrás sain go mbeidh sé i
gcumas a smuainte do thabhairt as Gaedhilg de dhruim
taithighe.




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