The Paedophile Panic in England

The Paedophile Panic in England

I don’t have any interest in drawings of children being raped, but I know of no legitimate law where people could be imprisoned for drawing such a scene. However, this is apparently illegal in the UK today, and the first prosecution was brought recently under this law. See this article in the Daily Mail.

I have no objection to throwing the book at real paedophiles—people who sexually attack children—and would consider penalties much, much stiffer than any contemplated by our leading political parties—including the death penalty in many cases. Ironically, the police and the judicial establishment involved in the prosecution for drawings of sex with children are the very same criminal establishment who are opposed to the death penalty in the UK. In my book, the judges abet paedophilia by the judgments they hand down to serious paedophiles. A future conservative state could well retrospectively punish those judges involved.

Look at how strangely we are governed! We read a while back of how a young adult who raped a 6 year old was not given a detentionary sentence, because the “Christian” parents “forgave” him (but real forgiveness relates to forgiving something done to yourself: it was simply evil—Pharisaical sanctimony—for the parents to forgive him “vicariously” on behalf of their child), only for him to then rape a 7 year old. I would argue those parents, by their opposition to proper punishment for the rape of their child, are complicit in the rape of the 7 year old, and, if members of the Church of England, should be denied the sacrament until they have done penance for that. Nearly everything done in the name of Christianity today is contrary to the 2000 year old teachings of the church: those parents could indeed raise their child to try to forgive the perpetrator and leave punishment to the state and to God (as Romans 13 makes clear that the Christian church does see a God-given role in public punishment for crime), but to go out of their way to ensure such a paedophile remained on the streets is something else entirely. So it seems real cases of paedophilia don’t necessarily get condign punishment, whereas on the other hand, these drawings, which do not include any violent act on any child, are subject to punishment. Does anyone understand this?

The definition of paedophilia has become wider and wider. We have seen:

1. viewing pictures on the Internet equated with actual child rape (in a free society the police would have to have a good reason to believe you had actually engaged in sex with a minor before viewing anything on your computer anyway, and the possession of an easily copiable computer image should not be actionable at all, no matter how repugnant it makes the person downloading it);

2. the judicial insistence that all child nudity, including nudity where there is no sexual component, is pornographic, including pictures of children wearing no clothes at the seaside, whereas, no matter what the motivation of the adult taking the photographs (e.g., a paedophile could be using a camera on the beach), the image is simply not pornographic—it could only be held to be so where the judge himself were a paedophile… (actually…. I could believe that);

3. female teachers in their early twenties engaged in sexual relationships with pupils only five or six years younger than themselves are now held to be predatory paedophiles (they don’t exactly fit the profile for paedophiles jumping out of bushes to kidnap, rape and murder 5 year old children…); and

4. the drawing of imaginary pictures depicting paedophile scenes is now equated with physically raping a child.

It is worth asking (I don’t know from the Daily Mail article) the presumed age of the children in the drawings: there are “children” above the age of sexual maturity simply because the law says they are children (e.g., the age of consent varies from country to country), and then there is the real hardcore paedophilia of people who target those who are actually children.

I’m not suggesting, for example, that 15 year olds should be subject to predatory behaviour, but that there is a difference between the rape of a 7 year old (too young to know what is happening) and apparently consensual sex with someone a week before his/her 16th birthday, who is biologically mature, old enough to know what is happening, and only a “child” because we choose to keep young people in education until they are 16. Now, if I had a 15 year old child, I would be livid if some 45 year old were behaving lasciviously towards him or her—in social terms, 15 year oldd are not fully street-wise, and, owing to not having their own money yet, could be easily lured by a much older person. But physically, biologically, there is nothing strange about sexual attraction to a 15 year old. I defy ANYONE to show me that someone attracted to someone 16 years and 1 day old would not be attracted to someone 15 years and 364 days old. You could argue there must be a cut-off point (and the same argument would apply whatever the cut-off point), but 16 years of age is simply well above the age of sexual maturity.

In fact, I will go further: the policemen who, according to the very Act of Parliament we are discussing, are entitled to possess “pornographic images” for the purpose of cracking down on vice, are probably turned on by them. Tell me what heterosexual policeman working in the anti-paedo unit is not going to appreciate pictures of 15 year old girls he comes into contact with at work? And if there are any homosexual policemen in those units coming into contact with pictures of 15 year old boys, I think the number who will not enjoy the pictures (if the pictures are of attractive people) is going to be zero. So according to their own theory—the policemen themselves in those anti-paedo units are paedophiles themselves! In fact, I would say that every single policeman working in the anti-paedo unit is a paedophile, according to their own definition.

Now, I think taking advantage of a 15 year old should be some kind of offence, but it is not paedophilia as such. And it is not at all the same thing as the people who kidnap and force themselves on 7 year olds. My guess is that the number of people who are interested in actual children (pre-pubescent children) is extremely low—they are severely disturbed (lthough I would still argue for the death penalty for any of those who acted on their desire for pre-pubescent children), and there are probably no more than 100 of these (maybe much less) in the country as a whole, all very well known to the police and monitored in some way. Now, as for arrests for paedophilia—my guess is that in nearly all cases, we are dealing with people attracted to 15 year olds, or maybe 14 year olds (as, after all, these are also post-pubescent). Real paedophilia is very very rare indeed.

I could understand paedomania if we were not trying to sexualise children at a younger and younger age—but to go out of our way in the media, the education system and the wider culture to sexualise even pre-pubescent children (as well as sexualising post-pubescent 14 and 15 year olds, who would in the 1950s have still been pretty innocent even if biologically mature) and then suddenly claim that paedophilia is rife is a contradiction in terms. Let us not forget that the sexualisation of school pupils from the ages of 6 to 16 is the official policy of the Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Labour Parties in the UK. Where teachers teach sex education to 14 and 15 year olds, I cannot believe there is no sexual tension in the class. Any red-blooded male who taught sex education to a class of people many of whom he objectively must be attracted to is going to be getting off on the whole experience.

I looked up this 2009 law on “drawings” (the Coroners and Justice Act 2009), and funnily enough it did say that the drawing was illegal even if some features appeared not to be of a child, i.e., where “the predominant impression conveyed is that the person shown is a child despite the fact that some of the physical characteristics shown are not those of a child.” You could even see the humour in this—what they are talking about is a drawing of a child with an outsized penis! Even though the penis would be bigger than that expected of a child, if the overall image appeared to be of a child, it would be illegal. In fact,that law states that the relevant age for illegal drawings is not 16 but 18. Where do I start on this? It is legal to have sex with a 16 year old, but not to draw that same person nude? Young people aged 16 are serving in the army, but are children for the purposes of photographs and drawings? So it is not paedophilia if you just want to have sex with a 16 year old, but the moment you get your camera out, you are a paedophile? And the police claim to be able to distinguish a drawing of a 17 year old from a drawing of an 18 year old—what nonsense is this?

It is easy to go down the kneejerk route and say that people who are sexually interested in those under the age of 16 (or 18, in the case of images) should have no rights—but we should think of how close the state is moving into all our lives. When the state can monitor your drawings, there is really no private sphere left. You will notice that the case in that Daily Mail article is described as a “landmark” case—in other words, a case making new case law that will begin to be more widely applied. While it is true that the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 does say “references to an image of a child include references to an image of an imaginary child”—so this is not one of the many cases where new laws are being made by judges—statute laws that are an abuse of power are also of great concern to me. Moreover, while there is a statute law promoting the paedophile panic, we need to bear in mind that judicial interpretation still plays the key role. (It will largely be a matter of interpretation where a judge decides that a drawing is  of a 17 year old and not of an 18 year old). We are a grossly overgoverned country, not least because we allow ourselves to be taken in by these moral panics.

Quo Vadis?

Cathain ’ Bheam Saor?

This poem was by Pádraig Ó Laghaire (not PUL), but was included at the back of PUL’s Sliabh na mBan bhFionn. There were two Pádraig Ó Laoghaires, one who lived 1853-1932 and wrote Cainnt na nDaoine, and the other, a Republican activist in the IRB who lived 1871-1896 and reportedly died from exertions for the Republican cause. I think this is probably the latter, as PUL says that this Pádraig Ó Laoghaire came from Béarra, and the second Pádraig did indeed come from Inches, Eyeries, in the Bearra peninsula. Pádraig Ó Laoghaire also wrote seven volumes of folktales in Munster Irish.

Cathain ’ bheam saor?

Cathain ’ bheam saor?
Cathain ’ bheam saor?
Cathain ’ bheam saor ón nasc?
Cathain ’ bheam saor
Mar cheiliúradh éin
Amu’ i’ san spéir
Ó cathain ’ bheam saor ar fad.

Ní bheimídna saor,
Ní bheimídna saor,
Ní bheimídna saor ón nasc,
Ní bheimídna saor
Go n-ainteóm sinn féin
Idir pór agus préamh
’S go gcuirfam le chéile i gceart.

Conas is féid,
Conas is féid,
Ár n-aithne féin gan stad?
Le teagasc is céill
’ Bheith ag an bpobal go léir
Is le fuath agus daod
Do dhíbirt dá chéile ar fad.

Conas is féid,
Conas is féid,
Cuir lena chéile i gceart?
Seasam mar aon,
Le dó’ asainn féin,
Is gearram ó phréimh
An daoirse go léir amach.

Pádraig Ó Laeire ó Bhéarra do cheap.


aintím: I can’t find this word in any dictionaries, but PUL glosses go n-ainteóm as “till we know”. Possibly a Béarra peninsular form of aithním?
ceiliúradh: “chirping, warbling (of birds)”.
céill: “sense”. Pádraig Ó Laoghaire uses the dative for the nominative here, where PUL would normally have ciall.
cuirim, cur: “to put”. The verbal noun, spelt cuir in the original above, is retained in the original spelling, as cur is sometimes pronounced cuir. Cur le chéile, “to co-operate”.
daod: “hatred, spite, envy”, or taghd in the CO. Taghd is glossed as “fit, impulse” in Ó Dónaill’s dictionary, but Dinneen, under daod and taod, shows that this is the same word.
daoirse: “slavery, bondage”.
dó’: “hope, trust, confidence”, or dóigh in the CO. This was also spelt dóigh in the original, but the correct pronunciation has been used in the editing here. Le dó’ asainn féin, “with confidence in ourselves”.
féid: “possible”, a variant of féidir. Conas is féid ár n-aithne féin gan stad? “how can we come without delay to a knowledge of ourselves?”
nasc: “bond, fetter, link”. PUL has naisc in the dative singular for this word, but I haven’t found it in the nominative yet in PUL’s works. Amhlaoibh Ó Loinsigh (see Cnósach Focal ó Bhaile Bhúirne) had neasc in the nominative and neaisc in the dative (and neascacha /nʹis’kɑxə/ in the plural).
pór: “seed, stock, race”.
préamh: “root”, or fréamh in the CO. The dative préimh is also used here.
táim, bheith: “to be”. Bheam is a variant of bheimíd.

An tAthair Nímhe agus an Portán

11. An tAthair Nímhe agus an Portán.

Do thárla portán agus athair nímhe in aontíos. Bhí an portán macánta díreach ’na mheón agus ’na chroí. Níor mhar sin don athair nímhe. Bhí sé ’na lúbaire cham chealgach. Níor thaithn an lúbaireacht agus an camastaíol leis an bportán. Thug sé cómhairle a leasa go minic don athair nímhe ach ní raibh aon mhaith dho ann. Bhí an cam agus an cheilg san athair nímhe de réir dúchais agus ní chuirfeadh an saol ’ fhiachaibh air iad do chaitheamh uaidh. Fé dheireadh tháinig eagla ar an bportán roimis. Tháinig drochamhras aige air, agus drochiúntaoibh aige as. “Maróidh sé me oíche éigin agus me im chodladh!” ar seisean. “Tá sé chómh maith agam tosach do bheith agam air,” ar seisean. Do mhairbh sé an t-athair nímhe an oíche sin.

Nuair a bhí an t-athair nímhe marbh do bhí sé sínte amach, chómh díreach le riail, ar an úrlár, agus gan cor ná lúb anonn ná anall ann.

D’fhéach an portán air ar feadh tamaill. Fé dheire duairt sé, as a mhachnamh,—“Dá mbeadh do bheó chómh díreach led mharbh ba shia de do shaol é.”

An Múineadh

An rógaire is caime deineann an bás fear díreach de.

“Seachain gleacaí milis sleamhain.”

Ná dein coidreamh le feall nú déanfar an feall ort.

“Is mairg a bhíonn thíos ar an gcéad bheárnain.”


aontíos: “cohabitation”.
beárna: “gap, hurdle”, with the dative here beárnain, where bearna would be found in the CO.
beó: normally an adjective, “living”, but here a noun, “life, living being”.
cam: “crooked”, with the comparative caime. As a noun, “bend; crookedness”.
camastaíol: “crookedness”, or camastaíl in the CO.
cealgach: “treacherous, wily”, probably with an epenthetic vowel, /kʹaləgəx/.
ceilg: “deceit, treachery”, or cealg in the CO. The historic dative has replaced the nominative in PUL’s works.
coidreamh: “intercourse, association”, or caidreamh in the CO. Spelt caidreamh in the original, but both Dinneen’s dictionary and The Irish of West Muskerry confirm the pronouncation is /kodʹirʹəv/. Coidreamh a dhéanamh le rud, “to associate with, be on intimate terms with something (or someone)”.
cor: “throw, cast”. Cor a chur díot, “to budge”. Cor agus lúb i rud, “twists and turns in something”.
díreach: “straight”, or here, “straightforward”. An rógaire is caime deineann an bás fear díreach de, “death makes an honest man even of the most crooked rogue”.
drochiúntaoibh: “distrust”, or drochiontaoibh in the CO.
fiach: cur ’ fhiachaibh, “to force or compel someone”. This would be cur d’fhiacha in the CO. PUL uses this phrase without an intervening de, but the phrase generally occurs in traditional Munster Irish as cur d’fhiachaibh ar dhuine rud a dhéanamh. Fiacha literally means “debts”, and the use of fiacha reflects some kind of confusion with the related phrase cur d’fhéachaint. PUL claimed in his Notes on Irish Words and Usages (p135) that there was a “manifest difference” between d’fhiachaibh and fhéachaint, withe the former meaning “bound” to do something, and the latter “made” to do something.
gleacaí: “trickster”. Seachain gleacaí milis sleamhain, “beware of plausible but crafty tricksters”.
lúbaire: “crafty person”.
lúbaireacht: “craftiness”.
machnamh: “reflection, contemption”. As a mhachnamh, “after thinking about it”.
mairg: “woe”. Is mairg a bhíonn…, “woe to him who…” Is mairg a bhíonn thíos ar an gcéad bheárnain, “woe to him who falls at the first hurdle”.
maraím, marú: “to kill, slay”. Note the preterite is do mhairbh sé, /vɑrʹivʹ/, where mharaigh sé would be found in the CO.
marbh: normally an adjective, “dead”, but here a noun, “death, dead person”.
meón: “mind, disposition, temperament”.
portán: “crab”.
riail: “rule”, or, as here, “ruler” (a piece of stationery). Note: the foclóirín to the 1903 edition gives rial as the nominative, but riail is attested in Mo Sgéal Féin in the nominative.
sia de: “the longer, all the longer”. Ba shia de do shaol é, “your life would have been all the longer for it”.
tosach: “beginning”. Tosach a bheith agat ar dhuine, “to get a head start over someone; to get in first”.

Sliabh na mBan bhFionn 14


“Oscail an doras, a bhean an bhréidín,” arsan bhean amu’, “go gcríochnóimíd an obair duit.”

“Ní osclód,” ar sise, “mar do curfí sa chorcán me!”

“Oscail, oscail, a eochair an ghlais!” arsan bhean amu’.

“Ní fhéadfainn é,” arsan eochair. “Táim anso sáite sa ghlas, agus táim fé gheasaibh crua an doras a chimeád dúnta.”

“Oscail, oscail, a ursal na lorgan bhfada!” arsan bhean amu’.

“Ní fhéadfainn é,” arsan ursal. “Táim anso im sheasamh im áit féin in aice na tine, agus mo cheann leis an iarta, agus na geasa crua orm gan corraí as an áit seo.”

“Oscail, oscail, a thua!” arsan bhean amu’.

“Ní fhéadfainn é,” arsan tua. “Táim anso im áit féin, agus mo bhéal sáite san adhmad, agus na geasa crua orm gan corraí as an áit ’na bhfuilim.”

“Oscail, oscail, a cheirthlín!” arsan bhean amu’.

“Ní fhéadfainn é,” arsan cheirthlín. “Táim anso san áit ’nar fhágais me, agus na geasa crua orm gan corraí as go dtógfar díom na geasa úd a chuiris féin orm nuair a chaithis uait me.”

“Oscail, oscail, a roth an turainn!” arsan bhean amu’.

“Ní fhéadfainn é,” arsa roth an turainn. “Tá an tsrang orm, agus ní féidir dom corraí can cead ón sraing.”

“Oscail, oscail, a shrang!” arsan bhean amu’.

“Ní fhéadfainn é,” arsan tsrang. “Táim ar an roth, agus ní féidir dom a dhéanamh ach an tromán do chasadh.”

“Oscail, oscail, a thromán!” arsan bhean amu’.

“Ní fhéadfainn é,” arsan tromán. “Tá na geasa crua orm gan a dhéanamh ach an fhearsad so do chasadh.”

Chomáineadar leó ar an gcuma san ag glaoch ar na nithibh a bhí istigh, agus á iarraidh ar gach ní dhíobh an doras a dh’oscailt dóibh, ach do theip gach aon rud orthu, mar bhí gach aon rud fé gheasaibh in’ áit féin. Fé dheireadh chuímníodar ar rud nár cuireadh fé gheasaibh riamh, agus nárbh fhéidir a chur fé gheasaibh an fhaid a fágfí istigh é, mar ní raibh aon gnó le déanamh istigh aige. Ach bhí an bhean abhrais róghasta dhóibh. Bhí ’ fhios aici ná féadfadh sí aon gheasa do chur ar rud ná raibh aon tairbhe aige le déanamh. B’é rud é ná uisce na gcos. Nuair nárbh fhéidir na geasa do chur air, is é rud a dhein sí leis ná é ’ chaitheamh an doras amach sarar dhún sí an doras.

“Oscail, oscail, a uisce na gcos!” arsan bhean amu’.

“Ní fhéadfainn é,” arsa uisce na gcos. “Táim anso féd chosaibh san aoileach.”

Nuair a fuaradar an freagra san ó uisce na gcos, bhí ’ fhios acu go raibh buaite orthu. D’imíodar go feargach. Táid siad thuas in áit éigin sa chnuc ó shin, agus níor airíos gur thánadar anuas fós.


aoileach: “manure”.
béal: “mouth”, but also “edge of a sword, axe, etc.”
fearsad: “spindle”, or fearsaid in the CO, where the dative has replaced the nominative.
lorga: “shin, shank”, with the genitive plural here lorgan. Pronounced /lorəgə, lorəgən/.
roth: “wheel”.
tromán: “whorl; the weight attached to a spindle in a spinning-wheel”.
turann: “spinning-wheel”, or tuirne in the CO. The genitive, as shown here, is turainn.
uisce na gcos: “the water the feet of the people in the house had been washed in”. Uisce na gcos occurs frequently in traditional Irish, reflecting the social conditions of Ireland up till the modern age.

Sliabh na mBan bhFionn 13


Nuair ’ airigh an bhean abhrais an focal san, do shleamhnaigh sí thar n-ais chun na háite ’nar fhág sí an crúsca agus na bróga. Chuir sí uímpi na bróga, agus do rith sí tímpall go dtí an taobh eile den tigh. Ansan d’oscail sí a bhéal agus a cliabh, agus chuir sí liú aisti go hárd agus go bínn, liú a hairíodh breis agus míle mórthímpall ón áit ’na raibh sí ’na seasamh.

“A chómharsain, a pú-ú-ú-ú-ú-ú!” ar sise, “rithidh, rithidh, rithidh! Tá Sliabh na mBan bhFionn trí thine! Sliabh na mBan bhFionn trí thine!! Sliabh na mBan bhFionn trí thine!!!”

D’airigh na trí naonúir a bhí istigh an liú agus an ghlao agus an fógra. Chaitheadar an obair as a lámhaibh, agus siúd amach iad, agus iad ag baint an dorais dá chéile, agus siúd suas an cnuc iad chómh mear agus ’ bhí sé ’na gcosaibh. Chaith an bhean abhrais ar an dtalamh í féin go dtí go rabhadar imithe ón ndoras. Ansan do rith sí isteach, agus dhún sí an doras, agus chas sí an eochair sa ghlas, agus chuir sí geasa ar an eochair an doras a chimeád dúnta. Chuir sí an ursal ’na seasamh ag an iarta, agus chuir sí de gheasaibh uirthi gan corraí as an áit sin. Bhuail sí buille den tuaigh i mbloc adhmaid, agus chuir sí de gheasaibh ar an dtuaigh gan corraí as an áit sin. Chuir sí gach aon rud eile in’ áit féin ar an gcuma san, agus chuir sí iad go léir fé gheasaibh crua gan corraí as a n-áiteannaibh go dtí go bhfuasclódh sí féin iad ó sna geasaibh. Ar éigin a bhí an rud deirineach curtha daingean fé sna geasaibh aici, nuair ’ airigh sí na mná uaisle ag teacht chun an dorais. Thug duine acu iarracht ar an laiste ’ dh’árdú. Ní raibh aon mhaith ann. Bhí an glas ar an ndoras.


bloc adhmaid: “block of wood”.
cliabh: “chest”. Do chliabh d’oscailt here would probably be better translated as “to open your lungs” in English.
cómharsa: “neighbour”. The vocative a chómharsain here is worthy of note. PUL has cómharsain in both the nominative plural and vocative plural of this word, where the CO has cómharsana for both. Yet the traditional presentation of the fifth declension would argue for cómharsain in the nominative plural and cómharsana in the vocative plural.
corraím, corraí: “to move, stir”.
doras: “door”. Ag baint an dorais dá cheile, “taking the door from each other, i.e. pushing to get out the door first”.
fuasclaím, fuascailt: “to release”.
geas: “solemn injunction, spell”, or géis in the CO, where the historic dative has replaced the nominative. Usually found in the plural, as here, but the 1914 edition of Sliabh na mBan bhFionn stated the singular was geas.
glao: “call”, feminine in Cork Irish.
glas: “lock”.
iarta: “the hob of a fireplace”.
liú: “shout”. Feminine in Cork Irish.
mear: “quick, fast, nimble”.
pú: a cry of distress here, not given as an interjection in dictionaries, but Dinneen has puililiú as a hunting cry or cry or distress (equivalent to fuilibiú in the CO).
tine: “fire”. Tine a chur síos, “to set or light a fire”. Trí thine, “on fire”.
tua: “axe”, with the dative tuaigh, pronounced /tuəgʹ/.
ursal: “firetongs”. Feminine here, but masculine in the CO.

Sliabh na mBan bhFionn 12


Nuair a bhí an corcán ar an dtine do labhair an bhean airís.

“Imigh,” ar sise, “agus tabhair leat uisce, agus cuir sa chorcán san é, nú brisfear é. Tá an tine róthe.”

Thug an bhean abhrais fé ndeara iad go léir ag bagairt ar a chéile agus ag gáirí féna n-anál. Níor leog sí aon ní uirthi. Do thóg sí crúsca léi, agus chuaigh sí amach chun an tobair, agus thug sí crúsca uisce isteach léi, agus chaith sí an t-uisce isteach sa chorcán. Ní líonfadh fiche crúsca an corcán. Do leog sí uirthi ana-dhithneas a bheith uirthi ag rith chun an tobair agus ag teacht, a d’iarraidh an chorcáin do líonadh chómh luath agus dob fhéidir é. Nuair ’ chonacadar ag déanamh an dithnis í, bhí ana-bhagairt acu ar a chéile agus ana-gháiri ar siúl acu féna n-anál. Ní raibh aon choinne acu go raibh aon drochamhras aici orthu.

Nuair a bhí roinnt mhaith de sna crúscaíbh uisce tabhartha léi aici ón dtobar, do rith sí amach chun ceann eile ’ thabhairt léi, agus duairt sí, ag gabháil amach di: “Ní mór dom breis dithnis a dhéanamh, a uaisle, nú beidh sibh marbh ag an dtart agus ag an ocras sara mbeidh an corcán san lán agam.”

Bí sí ag rith ag gabháil amach di, agus do lean sí ag rith go dtí go raibh sí rófhada ón ndoras chun iad a dh’aireachtaint fothraim a cos. Ansan do stad sí, agus caith sí dhi a bróga, agus tháinig sí thar n-ais gan aon fhothram a dhéanamh. Nuair a bhí sí in aice an dorais, i leataoibh, chuir sí cluas uirthi féin féachaint an aireódh sí iad ag déanamh aon chainnte. D’airigh.

“Ní fada go mbeidh sé lán a dhóthain,” arsan bhean a labhradh i gcónaí.

“Cad a dhéanfaimíd ansan, a ríogan?” arsa bean eile acu.

“Cuirfimíd isteach ann í, agus beireóimíd ’na beathaidh í. Cuirfimíd biorán suain inti ná bainfear aisti go ceann tamaill,” arsan chéad bhean.


anál: “breath”, or anáil in the CO, where the dative has replaced the nominative. T’anál a dh’fháil, “to get your breath back”. Note in the passage above féna n-anál, “under their breath”, fails to use the dative form, anáil. However, dative usage was not always consistent.
bagraím, bagairt: “to nod, wink, beckon, make signs to someone”.
cluas: “ear”. Cluas a chur ort féin, “to prick up your ears”.
crúsca: “jug, jar”.
drochamhras: “suspicion”.
fé ndeár, fé ndeara: thug sé fé ndeara, “he noticed”. This would be thug sé faoi deara in the CO. Pronounced /fʹe: nʹa:r~fʹe: nʹarə/. Fé ndeara also has a additional meaning, “cause, reason”.
i leataoibh: “to one side; out of sight”, or i leataobh in the CO. Pronounced /i lʹa-‘ti:vʹ/.
ríogan: “queen”, or ríon in the CO.
te: “hot”. Traditionally spelt teith, PUL is on record in his Notes on Irish Words and Usages (p127) as insisting this word has a “most distinct” final h in the pronunciation. However, this is likely to be apparent only before a following vowel. Pronunciation /tʹe~tʹeh/.

Sliabh na mBan bhFionn 11


Bhí dhá bhliain imithe. Bhí sí ag obair agus ana-chruach olla aici le cíoradh agus le slámadh agus le sníomh. Bhí an oíche tar éis titim, agus bhí an choinneal áirneáin ar lasadh aici, agus í dhá socrú féin chun na hoíche ’ chaitheamh ag obair. Do tógadh an laiste agus do hoscladh an doras, agus bhuail chúithi isteach an chéad bhean úd, agus caipín a clóca ar a ceann aici chómh fada san amach nár fhéad an bhean abhrais a dh’fheiscint ach an dá shúil,—ach bhí an dá shúil sin ar lasadh go géar agus go haibidh. Dhein sí suas ar an olann agus sháigh sí a dhá láimh ann, agus duairt sí:

“A bhean an bhréidín, más bréidín seo ar siúl agat,

Cíoram é, slámam é; ach is feárrde sinn cúnamh ’ fháil,”

Is ar éigin a bhí an focal deirineach ráite aici nuair siúd isteach an tarna bean, agus caipín a clóca amach ar a ceann aici agus a dhá súil ar dearglasadh fén gcaipín. Siúd chun na holla í, agus sháigh sí a dhá láimh ann, agus duairt sí an chainnt chéanna. Bhíodar ag teacht ar an gcuma san go dtí go raibh trí naonúir acu istigh agus iad ag obair go dian.

Bhí scannradh ag teacht ar an mnaoi abhrais, ach níor leog sí uirthi go raibh. Bhí ’ fhios aici go raibh drochfhuadar éigin fúthu, ach bhí sí ag faire chúithi. Fé dheireadh do labhair bean acu, an chéad bean úd do labhradh i gcónaí.

“Éirigh, a bhean an tí,” ar sise, “agus cuir síos tuilleadh tine dhúinn. Tá an oíche fuar.”

Ní raibh an oíche fuar. Agus bhí tine mhaith sa tínteán cheana. Ach d’éirigh sí agus chuir sí tuilleadh móna ar an dtine. Do leog sí uirthi go raibh áthas ana-mhór uirthi mar gheall ar an obair a bheith acu á dhéanamh chómh tiubh.

“Cuir an corcán mór san thall ar an dtine, a bhean an tí,” arsan bhean a labhradh; “tá tart agus ocras ag teacht orainn.”

Corcán ana-mhór ab ea é. D’fhéadfí duine do chur isteach ann agus é ’ bheiriú ’na bheathaidh ann.


aibidh: “ripe”, or here “keen”, aibí in the CO.
beatha: “life”, with the dative beathaidh found in the phrase ’na bheathaidh, “alive”, pronounced /nə vʹahigʹ/. Other than in this phrase, the dative is generally beatha.
beirím, beiriú: “to boil”.
corcán: “cooking pot”. Note that Ó Dónaill’s dictionary seems to imply that corcán and crocán are different words, but it seems crocán was the original, later giving way to the WM form corcán.
dearglasadh: “blazing”, especially of the eyes. Usually found in the adverbal phrase ar dearglasadh.
drochfhuadar: “evil activity, mischievous intent”. Drochfhuadar a bheith fút, “to be up to no good”.
laiste: “latch”.
móin: “turf”, with the genitive móna.
naonúr: “nine people”. Trí naonúir was once a common way of saying “twenty-seven people”.
tarna: “second”, or dara in the CO.
tine: “fire”. Tine a chur síos, “to set or light a fire”.

Sliabh na mBan bhFionn 10


Tháinig an lá. Chómh luath agus ’ bhí sé ’na lá gheal do thairrig an bhean abhrais an biorán suain a ceann an chailín. Tháinig a meabhair don chailín láithreach, agus a ciall, agus d’éirigh sí. D’aithin sí an bhean abhrais. D’innis sí don mhnaoi abhrais conas mar a tugadh deoch éigin di a bhain a meabhair di agus ná feidir sí cá raibh sí as san amach, go dtí go dtáinig an meabhair di agus í ar a leabaidh ag an mnaoi abhrais.

Thug an bhean abhrais rud le n-ithe agus le n-ól di. Ansan, chómh luath agus ’ bhí an bia agus an deoch caite aici, agus í láidir a dóthain chun gluaiste, chuir sí clóca léi féin uirthi, agus chuir sí caipín an chlóca amach ar a ceann, i dtreó ná féadfadh éinne a haghaidh a dh’fheiscint. Ansan do bhuail an bheirt amach agus thánadar go tigh muíntire an chailín. D’innis an bhean abhrais don athair agus don mháthair an scéal go léir tríd síos. Thuigeadar é go maith. Bhí áthas ana-mhór orthu, ní nárbh iúnadh. Bhíodar ana-bhaoch den mhnaoi abhrais, agus dúradar léi airís agus airís eile go ndéanfaidís an bheart a bhí déanta aici dhóibh do chúiteamh léi.

Tháinig sí abhaile, agus bhí sí ag cur agus ag cúiteamh ’na haigne, féachaint cad é an freagra ’ thabharfadh sí ar na mnáibh uaisle úd nuair a thiocfaidís. Níor mheas sí go raibh aon fhreagra ab fheárr a thabhairt orthu ná a rá leó go dtáinig an cailín chúithi féin as an bhfanntais agus gur imigh sí. Nuair a tháinig an oíche bhí sí ag faire chúithi agus ag feitheamh. D’imigh tosach na hoíche, agus níor thánadar. Bhí lár na hoíche ann agus iad gan teacht. Thit a codladh uirthi ar an dtínteán, ach níor thánadar. Tháinig an lá agus níor thánadar. Tháinig an oíche airís agus níor thánadar. D’imigh lá, agus dhá lá, agus seachtain, agus mí, agus níor thánadar ’na gaire. D’imigh an bhliain. Duairt sí léi féin ná tiocfaidís a thuilleadh.


a: “from”, or as in the CO. In traditional Irish, the s of as only appeared with the article (as an), with the possessive (as mo) and with gach (as gach).
baoch: “grateful”, or buíoch in the CO.
cúitím, cúiteamh: “to requite, compensate, repay”. The idiom here is rud a chúiteamh le duine, “to repay something to someone, make recompense for something to someone”, but cúiteamh a dhéanamh/thabhairt do dhuine i rud is also found. Ag cur agus ag cúiteamh, “to deliberate, argue, weigh up the pros and cons”.
faire: “watching, keeping a lookout”. The use of faire with chun is not well explained in either Dinneen’s or Ó Dónaill’s dictionary, but ag faire chuige means “watching out, keeping an eye out for whatever might happen”. (Compared ag faire ar dhuine, “to watch or observe someone.”)
féachaim, féachaint: “to look at”, but often more in the sense of “trying to work out” as in féachaint cad é an freagra ’ thabharfadh sí, “trying to work out what answer she could give”.
feadar: “know, wonder”, usually used in the negative. While this verb is spelt ní fheadair sé in both the present  and past tense meanings in the CO, there was traditionally a distinction between ní fheadair sé, present tense, and ní fheidir sé, past tense, pronounced /nʹi: edʹirʹ ʃe:/.
gaire: “nearness, proximity”, pronounced /girʹi/. ’Na gaire, “near her”.
ínsim, ínsint: “to tell”. Note that the preterite (and imperative) is found as both inis and innis in West Muskerry Irish, and both forms are found in PUL’s works. Pronounced /inʹiʃ~iŋʹiʃ/.
ithim, ithe: “to eat”. Note that ithe and ól take n-prefixation after le in WM Irish, where h-prefixation is found in other forms of Irish: le n-ithe, le n-ól.
ólaim, ól: “to drink”. See note under ithim.
tínteán: “fireplace, hearth”.
tosach na hoíche: “the evening”.