Friday 26 May 2017

An teanga bheo: Irish language at the Fringe

Our native tongue kept spirits up in Frongoch - and it's alive and kicking today, says Graham Clifford

Countess Markiewicz returns to Dublin from Frongoch
Countess Markiewicz returns to Dublin from Frongoch
Conradh na Gaeilge’s newspaper An Claidheamh Soluis
DIARMUID DE FAOITE
Musician Rónan Ó Snodaigh

In the Frongoch POW camp in Wales the sound of Gaelic speaking men from the west of Ireland filled the damp air. In the wake of 1916 hundreds of men from Galway, both city and county, were rounded up and shipped to the remote Welsh hillside. Some, from Gaeltacht areas, had been involved in the Easter Rising but most were imprisoned for simply sympathising with the rebels - and, of course, some were neither militant nor sympathiser - but were deemed guilty by association.

On dark freezing nights in Frongoch, and indeed in other British detention centres and prisons post 1916, it was their native tongue and traditional music which kept the men going. And so it's fitting that so many events have been planned as part of The Centenary Conversations Fringe Festival are to be delivered through Irish. Here we look at some of the events which are sure to add much to the Centenary Conversations series of historic events.

Mac Piarais i bPictiúr

Pearse in Pictures

Written and devised by journalist Harry McGee and artist Dara McGee this Fibín production combines live art, music, and skilled storytelling. The performance focuses on five leading figures of the Rising with a dramatic unexpected twist at the end. It has played to sell-out crowds from Rosmuc to New York and from Belmullet to Toronto. This must-see performance takes place in NUIG's Áras na Gaeilge on Saturday, November 12.

Todhchaí Na Físe

Frongoch Prison Camp in Wales
Frongoch Prison Camp in Wales

The Future of the Vision

The vision encapsulated in the 1916 Proclamation of Independence was ambitious - but how much of it has been achieved? On Thursday, November 10, special guest speakers will reflect on the future of that vision in an open Irish-language discussion to be held at Áras na Gaeilge in NUIG. Speakers will include Pádraig Ó Snodaigh - the historian, author, former Assistant Keeper in the National Museum and former President of Conradh Na Gaeilge. Also, there will be Fionnbara Ó Brolcháin - Former Professor of Finance at DCU and the founding director of the Irish-medium centre Fiontar.

Seacht mBua an Eíri Amach

The Seven Gifts of the Rising

Patrick Pearse with his siblings.
Patrick Pearse with his siblings.

A real treat this - Diarmuid de Faoite is joined by acclaimed violinist and singer Nuala Ní Channain to present a bilingual performance of Diarmuid's adaptation of Pádraic Ó Conaire's powerful stories The Seven Gifts of the Rising. This unique event, to be held in NUIG, will take place on the afternoon of Friday, November 11 and is not to be missed.

Tóraíocht Dhiarmada agus Ghráinne

The Pursuit of Diarmuid and Grainne

Prepare to be dazzled as the renowned theatre company Fíbín, from Connemara, brings to Galway a bilingual re-enactment of one of Ireland's best-loved mythological tales Toraíocht Dhiarmada agus Gráinne. English subtitles are available and the event will take place in the Black Box theatre on Dyke Road and runs daily from November 10 to 12.

Eoghainín na Néan

Had Padraig Pearse been told this short story would be adapted and performed 100 years later in Galway it would surely have given him huge satisfaction. And what an adaptation this promises to be. Director Pádraig Ó Flaithearta and Connemara Gaeltacht secondary school pupils will perform Pearse's beautiful and powerful short story, Eoghainín na nÉan on Friday, November 11 at the Seanscoil Sailearna, Indreabhán (Inverin), Co. na Gaillimhe. A truly special event in a special setting.

Éire Aontaithe

United Ireland

Guest speakers such as Éamon Ó Cuív, local TD and, of course, grandson of 1916 rebel Éamon de Valera and Sinn Féin TD Peadar Tóibín will join others for an open discussion and debate around the concept of a united Ireland. This event will take place in NUIG and will be chaired by Raidió na Gaeltachta's Gormfhlaith Ní Thuairisg.

Club Féile Na Comhdhála

Fringe Festival Club

And when the feet are sore from visiting all those live performances, debates, screenings and unique events, pull up a chair and visit the Fringe Festival club at Áras na nGael on Dominick Street in Galway to listen to an array of superb musicians doing their stuff. The line-up for the week is available on the Centenary Conversations website but watch out for the three-piece Inis Mór band Lasrach as they deliver their distinctive fusion of Irish and traditional tunes with contemporary beats on Friday night. And for traditional musicians Rónan Ó Snodaigh, Donnchadha Mac Con Iomaire and Marcus Deaslámhach who'll have Galway hopping on Saturday.

 

Clár iontach  do chách

Ós rud é go bhfuil an Ghaeilge mar theanga bheo bhríomhar i saol na Gaillimhe agus na hOllscoile araon, ní aon iontas é mar sin go mbeidh áit faoi leith aici in imeachtaí na comhdhála. Mar chuid den chlár imeallach tá raon leathan d'imeachtaí Gaeilge beartaithe a luíonn isteach le téama na comhdhála féin; is cineál Trom agus Éadrom don ghlúin reatha atá ann.  Le seisiúin plé, díospóireachtaí, drámaí, taispeántais ealaíne, scannán agus ceol san áireamh ar champas na hollscoile agus ar fud na cathrach tá ábhar spraoi, spreagtha agus machnaimh ann do chách.  

Mar léargas ar a bhfuil ar bun:

Taispeántais, scannán agus amharc-ealaín

* Sa taispeántas Súil Charad/A Friend's Eye tugtar léargas ar 200 bliain de nuachtáin agus d'irisí Gaeilge.

* Le Athbheochan na Gaeilge - tugtar chun suntais i dtaispeántas dátheangach, na dlúthcheangail idir gluaiseacht na Gaeilge agus pearsantachtaí agus imeachtaí Éirí Amach 1916.

* Athinsint iontach is ea Mac Piarais i bPictiúir ar Éirí Amach na Cásca.

* Sa taispeántas seo dar teideal Comóradh, atá faoi stiúir Tom Kenny, cuireann ealaíontóirí atá bunaithe sa Ghaeltacht a saothair iontacha ealaíne bunaithe ar an Éirí Amach i láthair.

* Léiriú speisialta is ea an drama Éirí Amach Amú de chuid TG4 a bhreathnaíonn ar thriúr fear de chuid na linne seo as Baile Átha Cliath agus iad á dtabhairt siar sna blianta go 1916, sula dtosaíonn an tÉirí Amach.

* Dráma iontach de chuid an chompántais drámaíochta Fíbín is ea Tóraíocht Dhiarmada agus Ghráinne ceann de scéalta miotaseolaíocha móra na hÉireann.

* Cuireann Diarmuid de Faoite, in éineacht leis an veidhleadóir agus ceoltóir ardmholta, Nuala Ní Channáin, léiriú dátheangach d'athchóiriú Dhiarmuda ar scéalta cumhachtacha Phádraic Uí Chonaire, Seacht mBua an Éirí Amach, i láthair.

Léachtaí, seisiúin plé, drámaí agus ceol

* Tionólfaidh an Ceann Comhairle, Hector Ó hEochagáin suí speisialta de Parlaimint Dhá Mhíle, Céad a Sé Déag.

* Athchóiriú álainn de ghearrscéal an Phiarsaigh is é an dráma Eoghainín na nÉan.

* Faoi chathaoirleacht an chraoltóra Gormfhlaith Ní Thuairisg ó Raidió na Gaeltachta, pléifear coincheap Éire Aontaithe

* Le Todhchaí na Físe déanfaidh aoichainteoirí machnamh agus plé faoina bhfuil i ndán don fhís uaillmhianach d'Éirinn ag sínitheoirí Fhorógra 1916.

* Le meascán mearaí ceoil beo agus seiteanna DJ, ní bheidh aon cheal siamsaíochta ag Club Féile na Comhdhála a bheidh lonnaithe in Árus na nGael.

Tá gach eolas ar fáil ar www.ireland.ie. Mar go mbeidh an-éileamh ar na himeachtaí seo is fiú d'áit a chur in áirithint.

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