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Go deimhin deir saineolaithe agus scoláire Gaeilge Wagner ina measc gur Ghaeilge Thír Chonaill atá inti dáiríre, go dtáinig claochchló uirthi i ngeall thioncar na Gaeilge a bhí dhá labhairt sa chuid eile de Mhuigheo i dtuaisceart Chonnachta.
Ní mór dúinn dul siar sa stair go dtí lár an17ú aois leis an ábhar a thuigbhéail. De réir na gCeithre Máistrí tháinig Conallach darbh ainm Rairí Ó Domhnaill agus slua mór dhá mhuintir féin leis aduaidh agus lonnaigh siad i mBaile Cruaigh ar dtús agus ina dhiaidh tháinig siad isteach go hAcaill. Chomh maith le sin caithfidh muid smaoineamh ar an tionchar a bhí ag Plandáil Chromaill ó 1652 –1657 an méid duine a dísealbhaíodh ag an am sin agus a tháinig go hAcaill. Scríobhann staraí eile Knight i 1836
“ This colony of Ulstermen, at whatever time they settled in this county still retain the ancient dialect of language used in the North”
So many surnames in Achill such as , Boyle, Campbell, Cafferkey , Cleary, Duggan O’Donnell, Dever, Gallagher, Mc Ginty, Mc Manamon, Mc Nulty, Sweeney, to name but a few, are of Donegal extraction due to the fact that many families settled in Achill following the resettlement of the O’ Donnells and families who were loyal to him in the 17th century. Coupled with this was the displacement of Irish people during the Cromwellian political campaign who brought with them their language and culture to Achill. It is the combination of the Ulster Gaeilg’ and the influence of the Connaught dialect which gave rise to Achill Irish . Agents working on behalf of the Ordnance Survey in 1824 noted that it was common to have two names for the same place indicating the existence of two dialects in the area at that time. How ironic that the community and the language which evolved due to a forced political exile, in mid 17th century, would once again be reinforced on bonding with descendents of their forefathers on the potato fields and in the bothys of Scotland due to economic exile up until the late 1960s
Even though you might have thought it strange when the Muinteoir in rang na naíonán would do the unthinkable and take a biro and proceed to scribble out words and replace freisin with chomh maith, madra with madadh, uaine with glas maybe you just assumed that whoever wrote the stories of Niamh, Pól and Ludó was only human, and had been careless with their spelling. The explanation was simple; this is what we say in Achill.
Some examples of Gaeilg’ Acla pronunciation are: or as we were told this is how we say it :
Déan as Jawn and not Jane ,
Dubh was always dú and not dove
Gheobhfaidh was yuffhee not yoohe
Tháinig was Hanik not Hawnik
Riamh was Reeou not Reev
Tine was Chinu not Chinea
Madra was mawdu not mawdra
Gnó was Grow not Gnoh
Cnoc was Kruck not Knuck
Éirí was AyeRee not EyeRee
Dul was gull not dull
Rinne was Rinn not Rinea
It would be remiss not to refer to the Achill raibh, which has been the centre of many debates
Raibh pronounced ru (short vowel sound) not row (an argument)
Ar an bhóthar and not Ar an mbóthar
This was the Gaeilg’ that had been passed down to these teachers It is only now that we can appreciate the lengths they went to to ensure that Gaeilg’ native to Achill was promoted even if this was not Department of Education policy at the time which was in favour of establishing a Caighdeán or standardised Irish. These muinteoirí were definitely thinking outside the box and knew and appreciated that what they were preserving was a “Seod”.
Ba mhór againn chomh maith na daoine a bhailigh an saibhreas sin agus a chuir é i gcló Ina measc bhí:
- Pádraig Ó Móráin Ó Mhala Raithní a chuaigh thart ag bailiú scéalta, seanchais, amhrán do Roinn an Bhéaloidis An Dochtúir R Ó Donghaile
- Séamus Mac Guidhir a scríobh an leabhar “Fánaíocht i gCo Mhuigheo”
- Gearóid Stockman ollamh sa Rannóg Staidéar Ceilteach, in Ollscoil na Ríona,Béal Feirste a scríobh “The Irish of Achill”. Leabhrán Scoil Acla
- Pádraig Seoighthe A scríobh cnuasach gearrscéalta “Diabhail Smid Bréíge ann”, agus cnuasach eile dá scéalta “Oidhreacht Acla”
- Tony Ó Caithlín a bhailigh an cnuasach “Seanfhocail as Acaill“, agus “A Chomhairle Féin do Mhac Anna”
- Seán Ó hÉalaí iar chraoltóir den scoth a raibh clár raidió “Seo Mhuigh Eo” aige ar radio na Gaeltachta
- Tomás Mac Sheáin a bhfuil cnuasach drámaí scríofa aige do dhaltaí bunscoile, agus a chloistear gach Déardaoin ar an chlár “Na Cuíg Cuigí” agus a chloistí ar “Chamcuairt” i sceideal an tsamhraidh.
Along with the scéalta and seanachas , the native songs of Achill contain other examples of the richness and uniqueness of Gaeilg’ Acla, such as the Anthem of Achill Cúl na Binn , Uaisle Acla, agus Slán Leat Acaill. We are also privileged to have song writers such as Peadar Mac Giollabháin and Seán Seoightheach who are writing and recording amhráin as Gaeilg’. It is a great source of pride to all to hear speakers of Gaeilg’ Acla , on our national media, RnaG and TG4. They are great ambassadors for our language, our culture and our heritage.
Deirtear go minic nach bhfuil aon Ghaeilge in Acaill, ach ní aontaím leis an tuairim sin. Níl Gaeilg’ Acla ach in Acaill amháin , Gaeilg’ nach bhfuil le fáil in áit ar bith eile. B’fhhéidir nach bhfuil sé chomh laidir le Gaeilge i gceantracha eile ach is féidir a rá mar sin féin go bhfuil borradh sa pharóiste le cúplá bliain anuas , nach raibh ann le fada.
Tá naíonra den scoth againn i mBun a’ Chorraigh, (atá tar éis aistriú as seomra stóir ar an Chaiseal mar a raibh siad ag feidhmiú ó 1989) atá ag tabhairt deis do pháistí réamhscolaíocht a fháil trí mheán na Gaeilge.
- Clubanna Óige
- Biorán Acla/ Fáinne Acla
- Tá ranganna Gaeilge do dhaoine fásta ar fail, ag freastal ar gach léibhéal Coláiste Acla.
- Raidió na Gaeltachta agus TG4.
- Ranganna ceoil agus amhránaíochta.
- Bailiúcháin Logainmneacha Acla.
- Tá plean Gaeilge curtha le chéile chun díriú ar fhorbairt na Gaeilge i measc an phobail agus na ngnóthaí áitiúla.
The establishment of Scoil Acla in 1910 but more importantly the revival of Scoil Acla has served as a catalyst for the revival of Gaeilg’ Acla. The central role which it has given to Gaeilg’ Acla in the Summer and Winter schools each year not only reminds us of our unique language and culture but also impresses on us a duty to preserve this seod. I mentioned earlier that the Anthem of Achill is “Cúl an Binn”, but the anthem of Scoil Acla and the revival of Gaeilg’ Acla is undoubtedly “Teanga Bhinn ár Máthar” . Labhraigí í le bród.
Bunaithe ar an leacht a thug Tomás Mac Shéain “ Seod Acla” i dTeach Ted 2001
During Scoil Acla week, Gaeilg’ Acla classes will be held for beginner, intermediate and advanced level of students in Irish.