Scéal na Gaeilge i gCeatharlach The Story of the Irish Language in Carlow (2014)

Scéal na Gaeilge i gCeatharlach

I 2014, chuir Músaem Contae Cheatharlach i gcomhar le Glór Cheatharlach an taispeántas “Scéal na Gaeilge i gCeatharlach, The Story of the Irish Language in Carlow” i láthair. Dhírigh an taispeántas ar an tréimhse ó 1899 go 2014. Tá an taispeántas sealadach seo curtha i gcrích.

Ó bhunú Conradh na Gaeilge in 1899 le Mícheál Ó hAnracháin, a cuireadh chun báis níos déanaí dá pháirt in Éirí Amach 1916, go dtí Féilte Pan-Cheilteacha 2012 agus ’13 tá an Ghaeilge tar éis dul ó neart go neart i gCeatharlach. Le dhá bhua náisiúnta i nGlór na nGael agus 35 bliain d’Fhéile Ealaíon Éigse Cheatharlach, bunscoileanna agus meánscoileanna móra a bhfuil an-tóir orthu, tá an Ghaeilge mar dhlúthchuid de shaol laethúil Cheatharlach.

Tá an íomhá © cóipcheart Mhúsaem Contae Cheatharlach.

Bhí tuiscint ar an stair agus bród le feiceáil i Músaem Contae Cheatharlach ar Déardaoin, an 5ú Meitheamh 2014 nuair a bhí an craoltóir clúiteach Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh sa Mhúsaem chun an taispeántas a sheoladh. Cé nach bhfuil sé le cloisteáil go rialta ar na haerthonnta níos mó, tá Ó Muircheartaigh fós chomh coitianta agus dáimhiúil is a bhí riamh. Bhí an áit lán go béal le go leor mórphearsan spóirt chomh maith le neart díograiseoirí Gaeilge de gach aois chun fáilte a chur roimh Mhícheál, chun a ghuth sainiúil a chloisteáil arís. 

Chuir Mícheál in iúl gasta go maith go mbaineann an taispeántas le tréimhse trí chéad bliain mar go rianaíonn sé scéal iontach na Gaeilge i gCeatharlach ó bhunaigh Mícheál Ó hAnracháin an chéad bhrainse de Chonradh na Gaeilge i gClub an Lucht Oibre ag deireadh na naoú haoise déag in 1899, agus garspriocanna éagsúla ina dhiaidh sin le linn na fichiú haoise ar fad agus ceiliúradh na tréimhse is glórmhaire sa teanga i gCeatharlach san aonú haois is fiche le fíordhéanaí.

Dóchasach go deo, labhair Mícheál faoin tábhacht a bhaineann le dóchas a bheith agat agus fanacht dearfach i ngach gné den chultúr, den spórt agus den saol. Chun a chuairteanna iomadúla a cheiliúradh chun roinnt garspriocanna i saol na Gaeilge agus an chultúir i gCeatharlach a cheiliúradh thar na blianta, bronnadh montáis frámaithe ar Mhícheál de ghrianghraif a tógadh ar ócáidí dá leithéid.

An craoltóir cáiliúil Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh ag gearradh ribín Cheatharlach chun an taispeántas a sheoladh. (Ó chlé go deas) Emma Whitmore, Príomhfheidhmeannach, Glór Cheatharlach; Bride de Roiste, Cathaoirleach Glór Cheatharlach; Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh agus Dermot Mulligan, Coimeádaí an Mhúsaeim. Tá an íomhá © cóipcheart Mhúsaem Contae Cheatharlach.

I láthair chomh maith ag an seoladh bhí Nora Welby, bainisteoir náisiúnta Glór na nGael, a thug chun cuimhne dul chun cinn ollmhór agus rath iontach Cheatharlach i gcur chun cinn na Gaeilge sa phobal agus ar an gcaoi sin ag déanamh an teanga níos coitianta agus níos inrochtana do chách, beag beann ar inniúlacht nó líofacht. Luaigh sí rath bliantúil an bhaile ó 1970 nuair a fuair Ceatharlach a céad theastas ardmholta chomh maith le gradam náisiúnta Glór na nGael a bhuachan ar dhá ócáid. Ansin bhronn sí an gradam is déanaí ar Ghlór Cheatharlach ag cur Ceatharlach ar an triú háit ar an iomlán sa tír i 2013 sa chuid do phobail i gceantair neamhghaeltachta. Bhronn sí Teastas Aitheantais chomh maith ar an ngrianghrafadóir foirne Karl McDonough thar ceann an ‘Carlow Nationalist’, ag tabhairt aitheantais do thacaíocht leanúnach an nuachtáin agus úsáid na Gaeilge sna meáin chlóite. 

Achoimre ar an taispeántas le John McDarby, Oifigeach Foirne, Músaem Contae Cheatharlach.

Le foinn thraidisiúnta an aintiúin áitiúil Follow Me Up to Carlow sa chúlra, á sheinnt ag ceoltóirí óga ón nGaelscoil, ghearr Mícheál na ribíní dearga, buí agus glasa chun an taispeántas a sheoladh.

The Story of the Irish Language in Carlow

In 2014, Carlow County Museum in association with Glór Cheatharlach presented the exhibition “Scéal na Gaeilge i gCeatharlach, The Story of the Irish Language in Carlow”. The exhibition concentrated on the period from 1899 to 2014. This temporary exhibition has concluded.

From the foundation of the Gaelic League in 1899 by Michael O’Hanrahan, later executed for his part in the 1916 Easter Rising, to the Pan Celtic Festivals of 2012 and ’13 the Irish language has grown from strength to strength in Carlow. Boasting two national Glór na nGael wins and 35 years of Eigse – the Carlow Arts Festival, large and popular primary and secondary schools, the Irish language is increasingly part of Carlow daily life.

Legendary broadcaster Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh speaking at the launch. Image is © copyright of Carlow County Museum.

A sense of history and pride was palpable in Carlow County Museum on Thursday, 5th June 2014 when the legendary broadcaster Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh was in the Museum to launch the exhibition. Although no longer a regular on the airwaves Ó Muircheartaigh still maintains his popularity and charismatic appeal. A capacity crowd including many from various sporting circles as well as a host of Irish language enthusiasts of all ages turned out to welcome Mícheál, to hear once again his distinctive voice.

Mícheál was quick to point out that the exhibition in fact spans three centuries tracing as it does the remarkable story of Irish in Carlow from the establishment of the first branch of the Gaelic League in the Workman’s Club by Mícheál Ó hAnracháin at the end of the nineteenth century in 1899, followed by various milestones throughout the entire twentieth century and right up to date celebrating the language’s most glorious period in Carlow in this the twenty first century.

Forever the optimist, Mícheál spoke of the importance of having hope and remaining positive in all aspects of culture, sport and life. To mark his many visits to celebrate several milestones in the life of the Irish language and culture in Carlow over the years, Mícheál was presented with a framed montage of photographs taken on such occasions.

Image is © copyright of Carlow County Museum.

Also in attendance at the launch was Nora Welby, national manager of Glór na nGael, who recalled Carlow’s great strides and huge success in the promotion of Irish in the community and thus making the language more popular and more accessible to all regardless of competency or fluency. She noted the town’s annual success since 1970 when Carlow received its first certificate of commendation as well as landing the Glór na nGael national award on two occasions. She then presented the latest award to Glór Cheatharlach placing Carlow in third position overall in the country in 2013 in the section for communities in non-Gaeltacht regions. She also presented a Certificate of Recognition to staff photographer Karl McDonough on behalf of the Carlow Nationalist marking the newspaper’s continued support and use of Irish in the print media.

To the traditional strains of the local anthem Follow Me Up to Carlow, played by young musicians from the Gaelscoil, Mícheál cut the red, yellow and green ribbons to launch the exhibition.

Óráid Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh agus é ag gearradh an ribín chun an taispeántas a sheoladh
Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh’s speech and him cutting the ribbon to the launch the exhibition. Tá an íomhá © cóipcheart Mhúsaem Contae Cheatharlach / Image is © copyright of Carlow County Museum.

Íoslódáil an bróisiúr Taispeántais thíos / Download the Exhibition brochure below:

Unless otherwise stated, all images are © copyright of Carlow County Museum.