Paraic Donoghue: Your Tutor Múinteoir Gaeilge
My life with the Irish Language
"Walking. I am listening to a deeper way. Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. Be still, they say. Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands.” ― Linda Hogan
My family spoke Irish and only Irish at home and in the community. I am blessed to have come from a long line of native irish speakers.
I was born and raised in the heart of the Gaeltacht on the West Coast of Ireland. My first language is Irish Gaelic and I am deeply rooted in the traditions of my upbringing in Connemara, one of the most pristine areas in Ireland.
The Irish language "Gaeilge" is the daily spoken language by the people who live and work in Connemara.
I believe that language is based on human connection.Therefore, I strive to make all of my classes interesting and engaging. I focus my classes primarily on pronunciation, conversational capacity and the need of the specific student.
I really believe that enjoyment is a key to learning. My classes are designed to have you speaking confidently from day one.
Irish was always spoken at home and everywhere we went in the Gaeltacht. Growing up with my parents and grandparents, we had great conversations when family and friends came to visit the house.
The stories were usually about life in the Gaeltacht. English was never spoken except for people who were visiting and had no word of Irish. Three generations of Irish speakers living together under one roof, the Irish langauge was alive and well.
A place of natural beauty
“I am a reflection of my ancestors and values. I keep them close and continue to learn, to pass on those values to future generations. My name is all I truly have. Let it be a legacy of honour. “– Old Viking Saying
The Irish spoken was natural and effortless and portrayed a world very different from today’s world. Activities like going to the bog to cut turf, planting potatoes to cutting the hay, conversations were always in Irish. Bhi an Gaeilge an-bhlasta agus bhi go leor gáire.
It was beautiful Irish being spoken and lots of laughs. Now and then a phrase would be said about the weather, the seasons and the people working. I remember my grandfather always complimenting my father on his work outside ‘Bail ó Dhia ar an obair ‘he would say and stand over the wall talking away in Irish. It was obvious that the language and the landscape shaped the people and their mannerisms in Connemara.
The Irish language is not a dying language, the language will thrive because there is a yearning in people from all over the world and within Ireland to learn the langauge. Anyone can be an Irish speaker, the language belongs to everyone who wants to express themselves in Irish.
Every Gaeltacht in Ireland will offer its unique blend of Irish and that is great about the language. Because of my upbringing in Connemara, I offer a rich linguistic experience to the language that was imbued into me from a young age.
My ancestors hold an important place in my life.
They shared insight and wisdom about life and death and everything in between. These traditional values were handed down to me by my ancestors.
Through reverence for them I recognize my origins and ensure their traditions and language for future generations. I would love to help you communicate confidently and authentically.
The Gaeltacht has a rugged beauty 'an áilleacht gharbh'.It can shape a person's feelings, behaviors and even sense of identity, 'réabhlóid an anam' a revolution of the spirit.
We are all custodians of the land,'caomhnóirí don nádúr' caretakers, you might say for a lifetime. My, ancestors, Great grandparents, grandparents, my father and neighbours maintained a tradition and relationship with the land and the sea. Their stories are the stories of rural Ireland and the Gaeltacht. The physical work from their labour on the land transpired into their storytelling and music. Humor and laughter was used to get through the hardest times. I witnessed firsthand, my kin had this beautiful dance with nature and how it inspired these people’s imagination. Living a long life entails being part of active community.
The wake 'an tóramh' was the last respect given to the people of the place, muintir na háite when they lived a good life, a final celebration before they go to 'an saol eile' the afterlife.
I like to believe, The Irish Language through tradition 'béaloideas' mouth learning can connect us to a mythic landscape that embodies a people’s view of the land and their relationship with it.
Neadaithe sna anam, embedded into their soul's forever, saíocht na ndaoine , was this folk wisdom Saibhreas iontach ón na daoine as an Ghaeltacht.
Eoin Mac Neill
“There can be no greater delusion than to imagine that a language can be kept alive alone by teaching. A language can have no real life unless it lives in the lives of the people.” Eoin Mac Neill
“The eternal world and the mortal world are not parallel, rather they are fused.”