Gníomhartha na nAspal, Caibideal a Dó

An Sprid Naomh dá ghlacadh ag na deisceabalaibh. An tseanmóin a thug Peadar uaidh don phobal. Cráifeacht na ndaoine do ghlac an creideamh ar dtúis.

 Agus nuair a críochnaíodh laethanta na Cíncíse bhíodar go léir in éineacht in aon áit amháin, Agus tháinig go hobann fuaim ó neamh mar ’ bheadh fuaim gaoithe móire ag teacht agus do líon sé ar fad an tigh ’na rabhadar ’na suí. Agus do taispeánadh dóibh mar ’ bheadh teangthacha tine agus iad deighilte, agus do shuigh sé ar gach duine acu, Agus do líonadh iad go léir den Sprid Naomh agus chromadar ar labhairt i dteangthachaibh iolartha, fé mar a thug an Sprid Naomh dóibh labhairt.

Agus bhí ’na gcónaí in Ierúsalem Iúdaígh, daoine diaga as gach náisiún fén spéir. Agus nuair a leath an scéal san do chruinnigh na daoine agus bhí mearathall aigne orthu, mar d’airigh gach duine acu a theanga féin acu san dá labhairt. Agus bhí uathás orthu go léir agus iad ag déanamh iúnadh, agus deiridís: Féach, nách Gaililiaigh iad san go léir atá ag cainnt? Agus conas a thárla gur airigh gach duine againne theanga dhúchais féin ’nar tógadh é? Párthaigh agus Médaigh agus Elamítigh, agus lucht cónaithe Mhesopotámia, Iúdaéa agus Chapadócia, Phontuis agus Ásia, Phrigia agus Pamphilia, na hÉigipte agus na gcríoch san Libia atá tímpall ar Chiréné, agus daoine iasachta ón Róimh, Iúdaígh leis agus proseilítigh, Créiteacha agus Arabaigh; d’airíomair iad ag leabhart ’nár dteangthachaibh féin ar oibreachaibh iúntacha Dé. Agus bhí uathás orthu go léir agus iad ag déanamh iúnadh agus deiridís lena chéile: Cad é seo mar obair? Agus bhí tuilleadh acu ag déanamh magaidh agus deiridís: Lán d’fhíon nua atáid siad san.

Ansan d’éirigh Peadar ’na sheasamh, agus an t-éinne déag taoibh leis, agus d’árdaigh sé a ghlór agus do labhair sé leó: A fheara Iúdacha agus sibhse go léir, a lucht cónaithe Ierúsalem, bíodh ’ fhios agaibh an méid seo, agus glacaidh in úr gcluasaibh mo chainnt! Mar ní har meisce atáid said so, mar is dó’ libhse, óir níl tagaithe ach an tríú tráth den lá. Ach sid é an ní adúradh ó bhéal an fháidh Ióél: “Agus tiocfaidh in sna laethibh déanacha, adeir an Tiarna, doirtfead as mo Sprid ar gach feóil, agus déanfaidh úr gclann mhac agus úr gclann iníon targaireacht, agus chífidh úr bhfir óga aislingí, agus déanfar taibhrithe dúr seanóiríbh. Agus doirtfead amach as mo Sprid, in sna laethibh sin, ar mo bhuachaillíbh agus ar mo chailíníbh, agus déanfaid siad targaireacht; Agus taispeánfad nithe iúntacha sa spéir thuas agus ar an dtalamh thíos, fuil agus tine agus gal deataigh. Iompófar an ghrian ’na doircheacht agus an ghealach ’na fuil, roimh theacht do lá an Tiarna, an lá mór, sofheicse. Agus is ea ’ bheidh, an uile dhuine do ghlaofaidh ar ainm an Tiarna saorfar é.” A fheara Israéil, éistidh leis na bréithribh seo. Íosa Nasareit, duine a shoillsigh Dia in úr meascsa leis na cómhachtaibh, agus leis na hiúnaíbh agus leis na solaoidíbh a dhein Dia tríd in úr lár, mar is eól díbh féin, Do tugadh an duine sin a cómhairle chínnte agus a roimheólas Dé, agus do dheineabhairse é ’ chéasadh chun báis le lámhaibh na gcuirpeach. Ach do thóg Dia é tar éis dubrón ifrinn do chur ar neamhní, de bhrí nárbh fhéidir go gcimeádfí eisean féna chumas. Óir deir Dáibhid ’na thaobh: Do chínn roim ré an Thiarna im fhianaise de ghnáth, óir tá sé ar mo dheis, ionas ná corrófí me. Uime seo do ghlac mo chroí áthas agus dhein mo theanga gáirdeachas, agus ’na theannta san gheóbhaidh mo chuid feóla suaimhneas i ndóchas. De bhrí ná fágfair m’anam in ifreann agus ná leogfair do t’Aon Naofa truailliú a dh’fheiscint. Thugais eólas dom ar bhóithribh na beatha agus lionfair me lán d’áthas led ghnúis.” A fheara, a bhráithe, ní miste labhairt go dána libh i dtaobh an phátriáirc Dáibhid, go bhfuil sé marbh, curtha, agus go bhfuil a uaigh ’nár measc go dtí an lá atá inniu ann. Fáidh ab ea é agus bhí ’ fhios aige gur dhearbhaigh Dia dho go suidhfeadh aon de shíol a árann ’na chathaoir, Agus do chonaic sé roim ré aiséirí Chríost agus do labhair sé air, nár fágadh in ifreann é agus ná feacaigh a chuid feóla truailliú. Do thóg Dia suas arís an tÍosa so, agus is fínnithe sinne go léir air sin. Do tógadh suas é, dá bhrí sin, ar deasláimh Dé agus de réir mar a fuair sé ón Athair an gheallúint i dtaobh an Sprid Naoimh, do dhoirt sé amach é seo, agus chíonn sibhse é agus airíonn sibh é. Óir níor chuaigh Dáibhid suas ar neamh; ach deir sé féin: “Duairt an Tiarna lem Thiarna: Suigh ar mo dheis, Go gcuiread do namhaid mar thaca féd chosaibh”. Bíodh ’ fhios dá bhrí sin, go dearfa ag gach teaghlach in Israél, Íosa so a dheineabhairse a thárnáil ar chrois, gur dhein Dia Tiarna dhe agus Críost.

Nuair ’ airíodar an méid sin tháinig aithreachas orthu agus dúradar le Peadar agus leis na haspail eile: A fheara, a bhráithre, cad ’tá le déanamh againn? Agus duairt Peadar leó: Deinidh, ar seisean, aithrí, agus glacadh gach duine agaibh baiste in ainm Íosa Críost, ionas go maithfí úr bpeacaí dhíbh, agus ansan glacfaidh sibh tabharthas an Sprid Naoimh. Óir is díbhse agus dúr sliocht an gheallúint, agus do sna daoine go léir atá i gcéin, pé air go nglaofaidh ár dTiarna Dia. Agus le mórán eile focal bhí sé ag deimhniú dhóibh agus ag tathant orthu, agus deireadh sé: Cimeádaidh sibh féin saor ón sliocht aimhleasta so. Ansan, an mhuíntir a ghlac a chómhrá do baisteadh iad, agus do glacadh an lá san tímpall trí mhíle duine.

Agus bhíodar seasmach do theagasc na nAspal, agus i gcumann an aráin do bhriseadh, agus in sna húrnaithe. Agus do cuireadh eagla ar an uile dhuine; agus do deineadh mórán eile míorúiltí agus solaoidí trí sna hAspail in Ierúsalem, agus bhí eagla mór ar na daoine go léir. Agus gach ar chreid bhíodar i bhfochair a chéile agus gach ní coitian acu. Do dhíolaidís amach a sealbhas agus a maoin agus do roinnidís é ar an mbuín go léir fé mar a bhíodh gá ag éinne leis. Agus d’fhanaidís do thoil a chéile sa teampall gach lá, agus ag briseadh aráin ó thigh go tigh, do chaithidís a gcuid bíd in áthas agus in aoine croí, Agus iad ag moladh Dé agus báidh ag an daoine go léir leó. Agus bhí an Tiarna, in aghaidh an lae, ag méadú na buíne a bhí le sábháil.

Séadna chapter 17

Caibideal a Seachtdéag.

Ghluaiseadar orthu suas, Séadna agus Diarmuid Liath, cos ar chois, go tigh Dhiarmuda.

Ní raibh rómpu ann ach cruinniú ban agus leanbh agus seandaoine, agus an tíncéir mór dhá léiriú dhóibh cad a bhí tar éis titim amach.

“Cad é sin adeir sé?” arsa Diarmuid le duine acu.

“Deir sé,” arsan duine, “gurb amhlaidh atá Sadhbh fuadaithe ag muíntir an rí, agus go bhfuil Cormac an Chaíncín agus a mhuíntir imithe ’na ndiaidh ar cos’ in áirde chun í ’bhaint díobh, agus í ’thabhairt leó abhaile, mar go raibh sí féin agus Cormac réidh chun a bpósta.”

Chuadar isteach. Ní raibh éinne rómpu istigh. Chuireadar lámh ar dhoras an tseómra. Bhí sé daingean ón dtaobh istigh. D’fhéachadar ar a chéile.

“Oscail an doras, pé duine atá ansan!” arsa Diarmuid.

“Dúnsa doras an tí ar dtúis,” arsa Sadhbh — is í a bhí ann. Do dhún.

D’oscail sí an doras agus thaispeáin sí dhóibh í féin, agus an clóca dearg uirthi, agus sceón inti.

“Cad é an donas é seo,” ar sise, “atá ag éirí do sna daoine go léir, nú an ag imeacht as a meabhair atáid? Bhíos im shuí sa chathaoir sin ansan. Bhí Síogaí imithe amach féachaint an bhfeicfeadh sé thusa. Ní raibh sé ach ar éigin imithe a’ radharc an dorais nuair ’ airíos an choisíocht agus an gleó agus an t-éirleach amu’. D’fhéachas amach, agus cad do chífinn ach an t-aonach ag déanamh ar an ndoras in aon tslua amháin. An báille ar tosach agus a chlaíomh ar tarrac aige ’na láimh dheis agus a bhata draighin ’na láimh chlé, bior ar a dhá shúil agus fáscadh ’na bhéal. Do léimeas chun an dorais a dhúnadh, ach bhí sé róthapaidh dhom. ‘Ní baol duit, a Shadhbh,’ ar seisean, agus siúd siar sa tseómra é, agus beirt nú triúr in éineacht leis. Do rop sé na leapacha agus do rop sé fúthu. An fhaid a bheithá ag dúnadh do shúl bhí sé féin agus iad san amu’ arís. D’iompaigh sé ar na fearaibh. ‘D’imíodar,’ ar seisean. ‘Leanam iad!’ Ansan do cuireadh an liú suas go mb’éigin dom mo mhéireanna do shá im chluasaibh.”

“Féach,” arsa Séadna. “Tá cuid den airgead agamsa. Fuaras é i ndíol na mbróg.”

Agus do thairrig sé aníos as a phóca cúpla píosa óir. Do rug sé ar cheann acu agus chimil sé de mhuinichle a chasóige é ar feadh tamaill. Ba gheárr gur imigh an dath breá buí, agus gur tháinig in’ inead dath glas luadha. Dá bhfeicfá an dá shúil a tháinig do Shadhbh nuair a chonaic sí an méid sin!

“Cá bhfuaradh é sin?” ar sise.

“Do fuaradh,” arsa Séadna, “sa bhosca úd a tugadh dhuitse le cur i gcimeád. Dá mb’áil leó tuilleadh den dath a chur suas ní móide go bhfaighfí amach chómh luath an gnó a bhí ar siúl acu. Is trua ná raibh Cormac cúpla neómat níos túisce. B’fhéidir go dtiocfadh sé suas leó fós.”

“Ní thuigim cad ’tá ar siúl agat,” arsa Sadhbh.

“Is é atá ar siúl agam,” arsa Séadna, “go raibh ceathrar bithiúnach ar lóistín anso agat. Gur airgead bréagach a bhí sa bhosca. Gach ar ceannaíodh de chapaillibh ar an aonach inniu, gur airgead bréagach a díoladh astu. Gur don rí a ceannaíodh formhór ar ceannaíodh de chapaillibh inniu, agus go bhfuil an dúthaigh creachta. Sin é atá ar siúl agam.”

D’iompaigh sí uaidh. Thugadar fé ndeara a cosa ag imeacht uaithi. Do rug a hathair idir a dhá láimh uirthi. Mura mbeadh san do bhí sí ar an úrlár acu ’na cnaipe.

Síle. An cailín bocht! Trí chéad púnt imithe! Ba mhór a’ scrupall é!

Nóra. Ar chuaigh sí i laige, a Pheig?

Peig. Imbriathar gur chuaigh, agus go raibh a hathair tamall maith ag greadadh a bas agus ag caitheamh uisce uirthi sula dtáinig sí chúithi féin. Agus nuair a tháinig, is é céad fhocal a labhair sí, “Airiú, greadadh chút!” ar sise, “cad is gá dhuit me ’bhascadh agus me ’bhá? Cad dob áil leatsa anso?” ar sise le Séadna. “Imigh leat abhaile,” ar sise. “Níl aon ghnó anso agat.”

Níor leog seisean air gur labhair sí.

“Tá eagal orm,” ar seisean le Diarmuid, “má beirtear orthu, gurb olc a raghaid siad as. Tá fearg ar Chormac. Is dó’ liom nách foláir nú go bhfuil rud éigin fónta beirthe uaidh acu. Ní fheaca riamh ag dul chun gnótha é le hoiread binibe. Bhí sórt eagla ar a ghárda féin roimis. Geallaim dhuit gurb iad a bhí go tugtha agus go hollamh agus go himníoch, agus nách baol gur thug éinne acu gach re ’sea dho. Ní bheinn i gcás an fhir mhóir úd ar rud ná déarfainn, má tagtar suas leis.”

“Níor bhuail a leithéid de mhí-ádh riamh me,” arsa Diarmuid. “Ar an áit seo do rugadh agus do tógadh me, agus m’athair rómham, agus mo sheanathair. Ní raibh luach feóirlinge riamh le cur im leith, ná i leith éinne de sna seacht sínsearaibh a tháinig rómham. Ó! Ó! Ó! A bheith de chrann agus de phláinéid orm iad a bhualadh chúm an doras isteach gan chuireadh gan iarraidh! Iad do thabhairt a n-aghaidh ar an dtigh seo seochas aon tigh eile sa tsráid ná i gcóngar na sráide! Cad ’déarfaid na cómharsain ach gurb amhlaidh a bhí rún a ndrochbheart agam, agus gurb amhlaidh a bhíos ag cabhrú leó? Má theipeann ar Chormac teacht suas leó, — an mhuíntir go bhfuil a gcuid caillte acu tar éis an lae, más filleadh anso dhóibh agus a gcuaird in aistear acu, déarfaidh gach éinne gur mise fé ndeár é, mura mbeadh gur thugas rabhadh dhóibh ná beidís imithe chómh tapaidh. Ní fágfar cleith os cionn mo chínn, ná aon chnámh slán im chorp. Aililiú! Cad é mar mhífhoirtiún! Cad é mar thubaist! Cad ’tá le déanamh agam in aon chor, in aon chor? Is cruaidh an scéal é i ndeireadh mo shaeil! Ó! A chreach láidir é! A chreach láidir é! Cad a dhéanfad? Cad a dhéanfad?”

“Do bhéal ’dh’éisteacht agus gan bheith dhár mbodhrú is é a dhéanfair,” arsa Sadhbh. “Ní thu atá caillte leis, ach mise. Má gheibhim fám lámhaibh é, stracfad an dá shúil amach as a cheann. Agus dáltha an scéil, cad é an srangán a bhí fád theangainse,” ar sise le Séadna, “nár labhair agus sinn ag gabháil thort páirc an aonaigh síos? Mar dhea nár thugais fé ndeara sinn! Thugais go dianmhaith. Dá fheabhas a leogais ort gan féachaint orainn, do chonacsa do shúil mhíllteach orainn. Cad ’na thaobh nár labhrais an uair sin? Ní raibh mo chuid airgid tabhartha agamsa dho an uair sin. Cad a chimeád do bhéal dúnta? Bhí do theanga bog go leór agat nuair a bhí sé ródhéanach. Bhí sé chómh saor agat labhairt an uair sin agus ’ bhí sé agat labhairt ’na dhiaidh san. Pé donas greama atá agat ar Chormac nách beag duit cogar a thabhairt do chun é ’chomáint as a mheabhair, bhí sé chómh maith agat an cogar a thugais ’na dhiaidh san do a thabhairt an uair sin do, dá mba mhaith leat an gnó a dhéanamh sa cheart. Níor dheinis. Do scaoilis thort an aimsir go dtí go raibh mo chuid airgid tabhartha uaim agam, agus an cladhaire imithe. Ní fhéadfadh duine dá aicme féin an scéal a shocrú dho níos deise ná ’ shocraís do é. Pé ball ’na bhfuil sé anois, ní foláir nú tá sé baoch díot. Daoine dhá mhaíomh gur bhuais-se ar an saol mór le géarchúis! ’Sea go díreach!”

An fhaid a bhí an méid sin cainnte ar siúl, bhí Séadna ’na sheasamh ar aghaidh na beirte amach. A dhá láimh laistiar dá dhrom. É ag féachaint anonn ar an bhfalla, agus gur dhó’ leat go raibh radharc tríd an bhfalla aige ar rud éigin a bhí laistiar de. A dhá shúil ar dianleathadh, agus gur dhó’ leat orthu gurb amhlaidh a chídís radharc éigin ná feiceadh súile aon duine eile. Gan cor aige dhá chur dá cheannachaibh. Gan cor aige dhá chur d’aon bhall dá bhallaibh beatha, ach chómh beag agus dá mbeadh sé gan anam gan anál.

Nuair a chíodh daoine sa mhachnamh san é, bhíodh sórt scáth agus eagla orthu roimis. D’fhéach Sadhbh air. D’éist sí, dá mhéid buinne ’ bhí fúithi. D’fhéach sí arís air, agus imbriathar gur dhruid sí uaidh anonn tamall.

Níor dhó’ leat air sin gur airigh sé focal uaithi an fhaid a bhí sí ag cainnt, ná gur thug sé fé ndeara gur stad sí, ná gur dhruid sí uaidh.

Bhi titim na hoíche ann. Bhí Cormac agus a mhuíntir gan filleadh. Bhí cuid de na daoinibh d’imigh leó agus nár fhéad cimeád suas leó, ag teacht tar n-ais i ndiaidh ’ chéile. Cuid acu dhá rá go raibh beirthe ar na bithiúnaigh agus cuid acu dhá rá ná raibh. Bhí gasra acu bailithe ar lár an bhóthair ar aghaidh tí Dhiarmuda amach. Iad ag aighneas agus ag áiteamh ar a chéile. An tíncéir mór eatarthu istigh agus é dhá gceistiú.

Phreab Séadna as a mhachnamh.

“A Dhiarmuid,” ar seisean, “dún an doras so im dhiaidh agus daingnigh go maith é;” agus siúd amach é agus isteach i lár na muíntire a bhí ag cainnt.

“Ar rugadh orthu?” ar seisean.

“Do rugadh,” arsa duine.

“Níor rugadh,” arsa duine eile.

“’S dó’, deirimse gur rugadh,” arsan chéad duine.

“Ná feacaigh mo dhá shúil lámh Chormaic ar scórnaigh an fhir mhóir úd a bhí ag siúl an aonaigh inniu i dteannta Shadhbh Dhiarmuda? An é radharc mo shúl do mheasfá ’bhaint díom?”

“Dáltha an scéil,” arsan tríú duine, “ní fheadar cad do bheir Sadhbh Dhiarmuda ag siúl an aonaigh ’na theannta.”

“Ní fheadarsa ach chómh beag leat,” arsan ceathrú duine, “ná ní fheadar cad do bheir ag tigh Dhiarmuda in aon chor iad, isteach ’s amach ann, gur dhó’ leat gur leó an áit. Sin é ’dhall me, agus daoine nách me. Nuair ’chonac iad chómh dána i dtigh Dhiarmuda ní raibh blúire drochiontaoibhe agam astu. Do rugadar bramach breá uaim. Bheinn lántsásta dá bhfaighinn deich bpúint fhichid air. Nuair ’airíos an t-éirleach go léir dá dhéanamh, agus an t-airgead mór thar na beartaibh dá thabhairt ar aon rud i bhfuirm capaill, bhí iúnadh mo chroí orm. D’airíos na daoine dhá rá ná raibh iontu ach ceannaithe. Go raibh airgead an rí acu. Go bhfuaradar go bog é agus ná raibh d’fhonn orthu ach é ’leogaint uathu go bog. Duart liom féin, ní nárbh iúnadh, go raibh sé chómh maith agam mo tharrac do bheith agam as ó tharla an chaoi agam. D’iarras trí fichid. Fuaras é láithreach. Lán mo phóca de phláitíníbh luadha! Táim creachta acu! Mo bhramach breá calma gur chaitheas an bhliain dhá chothú! Mura mbeadh me dhá bhfeiscint ag déanamh chómh dána ar thigh Dhiarmuda Léith ní bhuailfidís an bob san orm.”

“Sin í an chainnt!” arsa duine eile, agus fearg ’na ghlór. “Do buaileadh an bob céanna ormsa, agus mura mbeadh Diarmuid Liath agus Sadhbh ní buailfí!”

“Tuilleadh ’n donas chun Diarmuda,” arsa Séadna, “nár fhéach roimis. D’fhágadar beó bocht é féin agus Sadhbh.” Agus d’inis sé dhóibh tríd síos, ó thosach go deireadh, an scéal, díreach fé mar ’thit sé amach.

“Is é crích an scéil é,” ar seisean, “go bhfuil eagal orm go n-éireóidh a chroí ar Dhiarmuid mura bhfuil éirithe cheana aige air, agus go n-imeóidh Sadhbh bhocht le craobhachaibh. Trí chéad púnt imithe! Ar chnósaigh an bheirt riamh! Ní cuímhin liom a leithéid de scrios. Ní fheadar ó thalamh an domhain cad ’dhéanfaid siad.”

“Dar fia!” arsa fear an bhramaigh, “dá olcas atá an scéal againne is measa acu san é. Mura mbeadh tu dhá rá ní chreidfinn focal de. Ach dar ndó’ ní foláir go bhfuil an fhírinne agat. Cad eile ’bhéarfadh amach í ’na gaosadán siúl an aonaigh leis agus an clóca dearg úd uirthi, ach gur cheap sí lom dáiríribh go raibh an cleamhnas déanta?”

“In san mbaile mór is ea ’bhí an pósadh le déanamh,” arsan tíncéir mór. “Ní dhéanfadh aon áit ba chóngaraí an gnó. Olagón ó! Is fada me ar an saol agus is mó bob glic do buaileadh orm lem ré, ach a leithéid sin de bhob ní fheaca riamh fós dá bhualadh go dtí inniu, agus ní dócha go bhfeicfead arís.”

“Ceoca is mó na bobanna a buaileadh ort nú na bobanna a bhuailis?” arsa fear an bhramaigh.

“Fágaim le huacht,” arsan tíncéir, “nách cuímhin liom gur bhuaileas aon bhob ar éinne riamh. Ní cuímhin go deimhin.”

Duairt sé an chainnt chómh leanbaí sin gur scairt a raibh láithreach ar gháiríbh. D’airigh Sadhbh na gáirí agus má airigh cheap sí de phreib gur fúithi féin a bhí an magadh, óir bhí sí d’éis cainnte Shéadna do chloisint agus é ag ínsint chúrsaí an chleamhnais. Bhí náire agus fearg a dóthain uirthi an fhaid a bhí sí ag éisteacht leis, ach nuair ’airigh sí an scairteadh gáire óna raibh ar an mbóthar d’éirigh sí ar buile. Siúd amach í agus dhírigh sí orthu. Thug sí aghaidh na muc is na madraí ar Shéadna arís mar nár labhair sé in am, sula raibh a cuid airgid imithe ag an “Síogaí” úd. Ansan thug sí aghaidh na muc is na madraí ar an dtíncéir, mar gheall ar bheith ag magadh fúithi.

“A phlobaire na gcorcán mbriste!” ar sise, “níor tháinig sé chun baile dhuit féin ná d’éinne a bhain leat in sna seacht sínsearaibh a rá go mbeithá ag magadh fúmsa.” Ansan do thug sí aghaidh ar fhear an bhramaigh mar do scairt sé ar gháiríbh nuair ’chonaic sé an íde a tugadh ar an dtíncéir. “Is róbheag an scéal,” ar sise, “é ’dh’imeacht ortsa mar ’dh’imigh, agus dá n-imíodh sé níosa seacht measa ort. B’fhuiriste dhuit a aithint, nuair ’tairgeadh trí fichid púnt duit ar do bhraimín gioblach, gorta, drochmhianaigh, nár dhuine mhacánta ’thairg riamh air a leithéid d’airgead. Ní raibh leigheas agat air. Bhí an tsainnt róláidir istigh id chroí. Trí fichid púnt ar stothairín bramaigh gan crot air, gan blúire folaíochta ann, ach oiread le seanachaíora! Greadadh chút, a spreallairín! Murab ort atá an chainnt!”

“Éist, a Shadhbh!” arsa fear an bhramaigh. “Ná bíodh ceist ort. Tá sé buailte isteach im aigne, agus a raibh de dhaoinibh gan chiall ar an aonach so inniu, nách foláir nú is rógheárr go bhfaighfar i mball éigin ar a measc amadán do phósfaidh gan spré thu.”

Airiú, do léim sí as a corp, agus sula raibh ’ fhios aige cad a bhí chuige bhí an dá láimh go daingean aici ’na chuid féasóige agus í dhá stathadh. Do staith sí anonn é agus do staith sí anall é. Chuir sé a trí nú a ceathair de bhéiceannaibh as, mar ’chuirfeadh gamhain bulláin le línn na scéine do chur ar a scórnaigh. Níor bhuail sé í, cé gur mhór an fhoighne aige é. Chuir sé an dá láimh léi agus do chaith sé uaidh amach í agus do rith sé leis féin. Ní folamh a thug sise na méireanna léi. Ba dhó’ leat go dtitfeadh an t-anam tur te as a raibh láithreach nuair ’chonacadar an folathachtadh a fuair fear an bhramaigh agus nuair ’ chonacadar an fhéasóg ar mhéireannaibh Shadhbh.

Lena línn sin bhí na daoine ag filleadh níos líonmhaire ó leanúint na mbithúnach. Fé mar ’thigidís bhíodh gach éinne acu dhá fhiafraí cad fé ndeár an sult nú cad a bhí ar siúl. Ba gheárr gur chuireadar a ndeacraí féin as a gceann agus gur luigh an chainnt agus an trácht agus an cómhrá go léir ar an matalanng a bhí imithe ar Shadhbh agus ar Dhiarmuid Liath.

Síle. Go deimhin, a Pheig, is dócha mura mbeadh san go n-imeódh orthu mar aduairt Diarmuid féin, go marófí iad nú go loiscfí sa tigh iad ’na mbeathaidh.

Cáit. Mura mbeadh Séadna bhí an scéal go holc acu.

Síle. Conas é sin, a Cháit? Dar ndó’ má duairt sé le Diarmuid an doras do dhúnadh nár oscail Sadhbh féin é?

Cáit. Ba chuma dúnta nú oscailte é mura mbeadh a ghlice ’chuir Séadna cúrsaí an chleamhnais agus na dtrí gcéad bpúnt i mbéalaibh na ndaoine. Sin é ’shaor iad ó dhíbheirg na ndaoine.

Peig. Agus bíodh nár thuig Sadhbh é, thug sí árdchúnamh do Shéadna sa scéal. Nuair ’bhíodar ag féachaint uirthi agus ag éisteacht léi ar feadh tamaill is é a dúradar lena chéile ná go raibh sí ag imeacht as a meabhair glan. Tháinig beirt bhan dá cómharsanaibh agus bhailíodar leó isteach í. Ansan do leath an ráfla go raibh sí ar deargbhuile agus go mb’éigean í ’cheangal. Chuir san ó bhaol ar fad iad. Chreid gach éinne ná rabhadar ciontach i ngnó na mbithiúnach agus ná raibh aon rún acu air, agus ná raibh éinne ba theinne do fágadh ná iad.

Nóta

Mura mbeadh san do bhí sí ar an úrlár acu ’na cnaipe: the use of the preterite do bhí sí here where the conditional do bheadh sí might have been expected is emphatic in tone.

Foclóirín

beart: “move, deed, act”. Thar na beartaibh, “beyond expectation, i.e. exceedingly”.
béic: “yell, shout”, with béiceanna in the plural, where the CO has béiceacha.
beó: “alive”. Beó bocht, “miserably poor”.
binib: “venom”.
bior: “a sharp point”. Bior ar a shúilibh, “with his eyes blazing, flashing with anger”.
bob: “trick”, with bobanna in the plural. Bob a bhuaileadh ar dhuine, “to play a trick on someone, to cheat him”.
bodhraim, bodhradh: “to deafen; bother”, or bodhraím, bodhrú in the CO. Pronounced /bourimʹ, bourə/. Also found in the original text here as bodhrú.
bramach: “colt”, or bromach in the CO. See also braimín.
buinne: “torrent, swell”. Dá mhéid buinne bhí fúithi, “however vehement she was”.
bullán: “bullock”. Gamhain bulláin, “bull-calf”.
caíora: “sheep”, or caora in the CO. Pronounced /kiːrə/.
calma: “fine, splendid”, pronounced /kɑləmə/.
ceannaí: “buyer, merchant”.
cleith: “stake, beam”.
cnósaím, cnósach: “to collect, gather”, or cnuasaím, cnuasach in the CO. The spelling chnuasaigh is found in the original, and Shán Ó Cuív’s LS edition of Séadna concurs in transcribing as if that were the pronunciation, but forms in -ó- are more prevalent in the dialect.
craobh: “branch”. Dul/imeacht le craochaibh, “to go mad”, especially “stark raving mad”. This phrase is explained in FdS as referring to the catching of the clothes of a madman on bushes as he wanders around wildly.
creach: “ruin, loss”. A chreach láidir é!, “I am ruined!”
crot: “shape, form”. Gan crot air, “without shape or form”. PSD explains that crot refers to appearance, whereas cruth refers to shape or form. However, FdS glosses this word as “appearance, good appearance, shape, form, beauty”. The CO has only cruth.
cruinniú: “a gathering or assemblage of people”.
cuaird: “visit, trip, circuit”, or cuairt in the CO.
cuireadh: “an invitation”, pronounced /kirʹi/.
cuma: “equal, indifferent”. Ba chuma dúnta nú oscailte é, “it would make no difference if it were open or shut”.
daingním, daingniú: “to make fast or secure (e.g., of a door)”. Pronounced /daiŋʹi’nʹi:mʹ, daiŋʹi’nʹu:/.
deacair: “difficulty”, with deacraí in the plural. Unlike the related adjective (see deocair), this noun is not pronounced with an /o/: /dʹakirʹ, dʹakə’riː/.
deargbhuile: “rage, fury”, pronounced /dʹarəg-vilʹi/. Ar deargbhuile, “raging mad, furious”.
díbheirg: “wrath, vengeance”. Pronounced /dʹi:’vʹerʹigʹ/
dírím, díriú: “to straighten”. Díriú ar dhuine, “to round on someone”.
drochmhianach: “poor quality, baseness of character”, with the genitive, drochmhianaigh, used as an adjective, “ill-bred”, of an animal.
éirleach: “havoc, confusion”. Note the long e before rl; the CO has eirleach. An t-éirleach go léir dá dhéanamh, “all the extraordinary goings-on”.
éis: “track”. This word seems to be rarely used in its original meaning. Tar éis and d’éis are both found here, meaning “after”.
fáiscim, fáscadh: “to squeeze”. Fáscadh na bhéal, “with his mouth clamped shut, his lips compressed”.
folaíocht: “breeding”.
folathachtadh: “half-choking, a severe choking”.
fuadaím, fuadach: “to abduct, kidnap”.
gach re: “every other”. With eclipsis: gach re dtamall, “by turns”. IWM shows a pronunciation of /gʹaxirʹi/, but the LS edition of Séadna indicates /gɑxərə/, and so the original spelling is maintained here. Gach re sea thabhairt do dhuine, “to answer someone back”, where gach re sea literally means “every second word”.
gaosadán: “soft thistle”, and by extension, “a silly, showy person”. Geosadán in the CO.
gleó: “noise”.
glic: “smart, cunning, ingenious”.
glice: “cleverness, cunning”.
gorta: “miserable, meagre”, properly the genitive of the noun gorta, “hunger, famine; meanness”.
greadaim, greadadh: 1. “to scorch”. Greadadh trí lár do scairt!, “may your entrails be scorched!” PUL explains in FdS that the force of this expression was much weakened, and the meaning is rather “confound you!” Greadadh chút! means the same thing. 2. “to strike, thump”. Ag greadadh a bas, “slapping the palms of her hands”.
iarraidh: “requesting, asking”, pronounced /iərigʹ/ as a verbal noun, but often as /iərə/ as a noun. Gan chuireadh gan iarraidh, /gɑn xirʹi gɑn iərə/, “without being invited or asked”.
íde: “abuse, dressing down”.
imníoch: “anxious; diligent, attentive”, pronounced /imʹi’nʹi:x/.
lántsásta: “fully satisfied,” or lánsásta in the CO.
leanbaí: “childish”, pronounced /lʹanə’bi:/.
luadh: “lead”, pronounced /luə/. Both PSD and FGB show luaidhe as the nominative of this word, but FdS claims the nominative is luadh and the genitive either luaidhe or luadha. All these forms yield the same pronunciation, although luadh and luadha may be a little clearer in that regard and so luadha is standardised on in the editing here as the genitive of this word.
mar dhea: a phrase meaning “as if, supposedly, as it were”. Probably derived from mar bh’ea. Pronounced /mɑr ‘ja:/.
matalanng: “calamity, disaster”. PUL consistently spells this word with an m, as it appears in the CO (matalang), and so he may have had an m in this word, but IWM and CFBB both indicate that a b is the dialectal pronunciation: /bɑtə’lauŋg/, with /mɑtə’lauŋg/ an alternative. A double n is inserted in this word in the editing to show the diphthong.
mífhoirtiún: “misfortune”, or mífhortún in the CO. This is spelt mífhortiún in the original, reflecting the broadening of a slender r before dental/alveolar consonants (see section 199 of IWM).
muinichle: “sleeve”, or muinchille in the CO. The pronunciation given in IWM is /minʹirhlʹi/. In practice, there is very little difference between /minʹirhlʹi/ and /minʹiçlʹi/ and so the original spelling is retained here.
olagón: “wailing, lament”. Olagón ó, “goodness gracious me!”
píosa: “piece, coin”.
pláitín: “little plate, disc”.
plobaire: “babbler, incoherent person”, pronounced /plubirʹi/.
rabhadh: “warning”, pronounced /rou/.
ré: “interval, month, period”. Lem ré, “in my lifetime, in my time”.
ropaim, ropadh: “to stab”.
rún: “secret”. Bhí rún a ndrochbheart agam, “I was aware of what they were up to, I was in on the secret”.
scian: “knife”, with scéine in the genitive where the CO has scine.
scórnach: “throat”, with scórnaigh in the dative.
scrupall: “compunction, pity”. Is mór an scrupall é, “it’s a great pity!”
siúlaim, siúl: “to walk”. Cad tá ar siúl agat?, “what are you talking about?”
srangán: “string, cord”. Pronounced /srə’ŋɑ:n/.
stothairín: “a wretched little horse”, especially one with long hair. FdS glosses this as “a shaggy old crock of a horse”. Pronounced /stuhi’rʹi:nʹ/.
tairgim, tairiscint: “to offer”. Nuair tairgeadh trí fichid púnt duit ar do bhraimín gioblach, “when sixty pound was offered for your shaggy colt”. It is worth noting that FdS confuses tairrigim, “to pull, draw”, and tairgim, “to offer”, thus providing confirmation of a sort that PUL did pronounce both of these verbs /tarʹigʹimʹ/. Both are spelt taraingim (or conjugated forms derived therefrom) in the original text here, reflecting PUL’s policy of not using double letters where he saw no justification for them in WM pronunciation. The classical spelling of tairrigim is tarraingim, whereas the classical spelling of tairgim is tairgim. The verbal nouns are a point of difference, as tairgim has tairiscint (the classical spelling of which was tairgsin or tairgsint), whereas tairrigim has tarrac (the classical spelling of which was tarraing or tarraingt, spelt tarang by PUL in the original text here), but the confusion is enhanced in FdS by the claim that tarang means “an act of offering” as well as “an act of drawing or pulling”. Clearly tarang/tarrac does not mean “an act of offering”, as shown by the fact that PUL has ag tairiscint in his novel Niamh.
teinn: “sore”, with teinne in the comparative. Pronounced /tʹəiŋʹ, tʹəiŋʹi/.
thar: “through, across, past”, often delenited to tar after a dental sound (including s) and sometimes in other circumstances too. Thar cheann, “on behalf of”. Thorm, “beyond or past me”, equivalent to tharam in the CO. The original spelling, tharm, has been edited here in line with the WM pronunciation, /horəm/, as given in the LS edition of Séadna. Tháirsi, “beyond or across her”, or thairsti in the CO; pronounced /hɑ:rʃi/. Teacht tháirsi, “mention of her”. Thar a bhfeacaís riamh! “exactly so!” [literally, “beyond everything you ever saw!”] Thársu, often thórsu in PUL’s works, /hɑːrsə, ho:rsə/, “beyond them”, equivalent to tharsta in the Standard. Ag gabháil thort pháirc an aonaigh síos, “passing you as we wend down the fair green”: the original text here had ag gabháil thart, but thort (“past you”) and thart (“around, about”) are distinct words, and the authorised translation of Séadna shows the meaning here is “passing you”, and so thart here appears to be the prepositional pronoun spelt variously <thart and thort in the original text of Séadna, and pronounced /horət/. Similarly do scaoilis thort appeared as do sgaoilis thart in the original text of Séadna.
tugtha: “devoted, willing”, pronounced /tukə/. See tugaim, tabhairt.
tuilleadh: “more”. Tuilleadh ’n donas chun Diarmuda, “it serves Diarmuid right”, pronounced /tilʹin donəs/.

Three great audio files

Three audio files were created to accompany the Cork section of the book Pobal na Gaeltachta:

The files weren’t created by me, but I believe they were done for public dissemination to aid the learning of Cork Irish, so I have uploaded them with a non-commercial licence to archive.org. I will attempt to remove if anyone objects, but really that just prevents people from learning if you do object. The files are:

Baile Mhúirne – read by Seán Ua Súilleabháin from UCC
Cúil Aodha – read by Dónall Ó hÉalaithe
Uíbh Laoghaire

Séadna chapter 16

Caibideal a Sédéag.

La ’rna mháireach a bhí chúinn, bhí aonach sa tsráid. Bhí Séadna ar an aonach le hualach bróg. Bhí Micil ar an aonach ’na sheasamh leis an ualach. Bhí máthair Mhicil ar an aonach ag díol muice raímhre agus ag ceannach céise. Bhí Seán Ceatach ar an aonach, agus stoc mór de bhuaibh seasca aige le díol ón gcnuc. Bhí Máire Ghearra ar an aonach i dteannta a hathar. Bhí an báille ar an aonach, chómh plucach, chómh caíncíneach, chómh mórchúiseach, chómh géar-shúileach, chómh tárrleathan, chómh colpach, chómh tur agus ’bhí Seán an Aonaigh riamh. Dá bhfeicfá ag déanamh ort é, ba dhó’ leat air gurb amhlaidh a bhí bharántas ’na phóca aige id choinnibh. Dá mba ná déanfá ach beannú dho, d’fhéachfadh sé ort mar ’ fhéachfadh sé ar dhuine a bheadh chun a bhuailte.

Bhí an uile shaghas eachra ann, chómh hiomadúil agus ’bhí an chéad lá úd a tháinig Séadna ann chun capaill agus bó bhainne do cheannach. Bhí lucht cleas ann, agus lucht rínce, agus lucht ceóil, agus lucht cártaí, agus lucht pócaí do phiocadh. Bhí tíncéirí ann as gach áird idir chian agus cóngar, agus is iad a bhí go buartha agus go bladhmannach, go drochmhúinte, go drochbhéasach agus go drochlabhartha. Iad féin agus a mná agus a gclann ag dul i gcochall a chéile gur dhó’ leat go maróidís a chéile, agus ’na thaobh san ná maraídís.

Bhí lucht méaracán ann. Ach más ea, ní raibh fear méaracán Shéadna orthu, nú má bhí, ní bhfuair Séadna aon radharc air.

Do ritheadh an rás, fé mar a ritheadh an chéad lá. Bhí gach éinne ag faire air. Nuair a bhí sé críochnaithe bhí gach éinne ag rith agus gach éinne ag liúirigh, ach má bhí, níor rith Séadna, ná níor liúigh sé.

Ní túisce ’ bhí an rás i leataoibh ná d’éirigh troid idir bheirt tíncéirí mar gheall ar cheannrach asail. Do phreab tíncéir ba threise ná éinne acu eatarthu isteach. Do chuir sé ó chéile iad agus do thóg sé féin an cheannrach.

Lena línn sin d’airigh Séadna na daoine ’na thímpall ag cogarnaigh.

“Féach! féach! féach!” ar siad. D’fhéach sé sa treó ’na rabhadar san ag féachaint. Cé ’chífeadh sé ag gabháil anuas lár páirce an aonaigh, agus an t-aonach ag déanamh slí dhóibh, ach an bheirt — Sadhbh agus an duine uasal iasachta!

Bhí culaith chroídhreac ar dearglasadh ar Shadhbh, ó mhullach talamh. Bhí culaith éadaigh uasail air sin, agus is é a bhí go piocaithe beárrtha, go cúmtha córach cothaithe cumasach dea-chroicinn. Do leath a shúile glan ar Shéadna nuair a thánadar ’na chóngar. B’é an duine uasal céanna é ar ar eitigh sé an t-airgead agus ar ar thug sé “cladhaire díomhaoin”!

Ní fheidir sé ó thalamh an domhain cad ba mhaith dho a rá ná a dhéanamh. Níor dhéin sé ach stad mar a raibh aige agus éisteacht. Do bhuaileadar thairis, an pháirc síos, i ngaireacht trí rámhainní dho, gan féachaint air, gan é ’thabhairt fé ndeara ach chómh beag agus dá mba ná beadh sé ann in aon chor. Do bhuaileadar suas ar an dtaobh eile den pháirc, na daoine ag oscailt na slí rómpu, agus ansan ag síneadh na méar fúthu, agus ag crothadh a gceann, agus ag dul in sna trithíbh. Nuair a chonaic an tíncéir mór iad do stad sé ag féachaint orthu, agus srian an asail ar a chuislinn aige. Nuair a bhíodar imithe thairis d’éalaigh sé ’na ndiaidh agus thairrig sé an tsrian orthu fé mar a bheadh sé chun a mbuailte, ach ní baol gur bhuail, ná gur mhothaíodar é, ach ba dhó’ leat go dtitfeadh an t-anam tur te as na daoine a bhí ag féachaint ar an spórt.

Ní bhfuair Séadna aon tsult ann. Bhí iomarca iúnadh air.

“A Mhichíl,” ar seisean le Micil, “imigh suas chómh géar agus ’tá sé id chosaibh, agus abair le Diarmuid Liath go n-oireann dom labhairt láithreach leis.”

Do ghluais Micil. Sula raibh sé leath na páirce suas do bhuail Diarmuid uime, agus d’fhilleadar.

“Cé hé sin in éineacht le Sadhbh?” arsa Séadna.

“Ambasa, a Shéadna,” arsa Diarmuid, “níl puínn aithne agamsa air, ach gur duine uasal é ó in aice an bhaile mhóir.”

“Cad é an ainm atá air?”

“Síogaí Mac Giolla Phádraig a thugaid a mhuíntir air.”

“Cé hiad a mhuíntir?”

“Triúr eile uaisle a tháinig lena chois.”

“Cad a thug anso iad?”

“Thánadar ar an aonach.”

“Cad chuige?”

“Ag ceannach eachra don rí.”

“Cathain a thánadar?”

“Um thráthnóna arú inné.”

“Cár chaitheadar an aimsir ó shin?”

“Bhídís amu’ formhór an lae, ach is agamsa ’ thugaidís an oíche.”

“Cad é an fuadar é seo fé Shadhbh?”

“Cleamhnas atá socair idir í féin agus Síogaí Mac Giolla Phádraig.”

“Cá bhfios duit ná fuil bean cheana ag an nduine uasal san?”

“Sin é díreach aduairt an sagart aréir nuair a bhíos ag cainnt leis. Ach duartsa leis ná raibh uaim ach cead ’dh’fháil uaidh do shagart éigin sa bhaile mhór chun iad a phósadh. Gan amhras, ní iarrfadh sé an cead san dá mbeadh sé pósta agus bean cheana sa bhaile mhór aige.”

“Tuigim,” arsa Séadna. “Cé ’dhein an cleamhnas?”

“Is amhlaidh a bhíodar ag magadh agus ag caitheamh aimsire dhóibh féin an chéad oíche. Gach éinne acu dhá áiteamh ar an gcuid eile gur thúisce ’ phósfadh Sadhbh é féin ná éinne dhíobh san. – ‘Cuirimís ar chrannaibh é,’ arsa duine acu. – ‘B’fhéidir ná tógfadh sí an té go dtitfeadh an crann air,’ arsa duine eile acu. Chuireadar chúithi an cheist. – ‘Tógfad,’ ar sise, ‘má thiteann an crann ar an bhfear a thaithnfidh liom.’ Fuaradar go léir ana-shult sa méid sin. Do cuireadh ar chrannaibh é, agus do thit an crann ar an bhfear a chonaicís lena cois ó chiainibh. Cheapamar uile ná raibh ann ach magadh, ach imbriathar gur ghlac seisean de chroí dháiríribh é. Nuair a mheas Sadhbh tarrac as, ‘Ambasa, a ’níon ó,’ ar seisean, ‘ní dhéanfaidh san an gnó dhuit. Dúraís go dtógfá an té air go dtitfeadh an crann, dá dtitfeadh an crann ar an bhfear a thaithnfeadh leat. Tóg me anois, nú abair ná taithnim leat.’ B’é deireadh an aighnis é gur deineadh an cleamhnas.”

“Ar ceannaíodh puínn capall don rí?” arsa Séadna.

“An oíche ’ thánadar,” arsa Diarmuid, “thugadar dhom, le cur i gcimeád, bosca mór iarainn agus é lán go barra d’ór bhuí. Bhí muiríon mo dhá lámh ann. Ar maidin inniu do líonadar a bpócaí as, ag gabháil amach dóibh. Nuair a bhíodh roinnt capall ceannaithe acu agus díolta astu, agus iad féin agus a ngiollaí curtha ar bóthar acu, d’fhillidís agus bheiridís tuilleadh den ór leó, agus cheannaídís tuilleadh. Fé dheireadh bhí an bosca folamh. Nuair a bhíodar ag díol as an roinnt déanach, bhí trí chéad púnt in easnamh orthu. Ní raibh sé oiriúnach agamsa, ach bhí sé ag Sadhbh, agus thug sí dhóibh é ar iasacht go dtí go mbeidís go léir i bhfochair a chéile sa bhaile mhór.”

“A Mhichíl,” arsa Séadna, “glaeigh ar an mbáille chúm. Tá sé ar an aonach.”

“Sin é thuas é,” arsa Micil, “ag cainnt le Seán Bolg Ó Dála. Beidh sé anuas chút láithreach agam.”

Tháinig an báille.

“An mó fear agat?” arsa Séadna.

“Níl ach fear agus fiche,” arsa an báille.

“Cruinnigh iad láithreach tímpall tí Dhiarmud’ Léith,” arsa Séadna. Tá ceathrar bithiúnach ann agus tá an t-aonach creachta acu.”

Chuir an báille fead as agus phreab sé chun siúil. Is beag ná gur thit Diarmuid.

“Is fearra dhuit gan dul fé dhéin an tí go fóill,” arsa Séadna. “Níl siad súd gan arm faobhair, agus má théann an scéal dian orthu beidh fuil acu. Fág fé Chormac iad. Tá cleas ar an mbata draighin úd aige a bhain fear láidir dá bhonnaibh go minic.”

“Cá bhfios duit an bithiúnaigh iad?” arsa Diarmuid.

“Seanaithne ’bheith agam ar dhuine acu. An fear úd a bhí le Sadhbh ag siúl an aonaigh ó chiainibh, tháinig sé ag lorg airgid ar iasacht chúm tá roinnt blianta ó shin ann. Nuair ’ eitíos an t-airgead air, duairt sé go raibh ocras air. Níor chreideas focal uaidh, agus bhí ’ fhios aige nár chreideas. Do leog sé air ó chiainibh nár aithin sé me, ach d’aithin chómh maith díreach agus d’aithníos-sa é. Má thagann Cormac suas leis curfar deireadh lena chúrsaíbh agus lena chuid uaisleachta go ceann tamaill.”

Lena línn sin d’airíodar an liú fhiaigh i dtreó tí Dhiarmuda suas. Do bhris ar an bhfoighne ag Diarmuid.

“Ó!” ar seisean. “Marófar Sadhbh bhocht eatarthu!” Agus do rith sé chómh maith agus ’ bhí rith ag an nduine mbocht.

Do rug Séadna ar chuislinn air. “Níl baol uirthi,” ar seisean, “ach ní mar sin duitse. Beidh an t-aonach bailithe ansúd láithreach. Níl éinne atá caillte leó súd ná beidh ag cur orthu. Is feárr as an slí thusa, le heagla go ndéarfadh duine éigin go raibh rún a ngnótha agat, agus go n-iompódh na daoine ort.”

“Dia le m’anam!” arsa Diarmuid. “Cad a chas im threó iad in aon chor?”

“Do chas airgead Shadhbh,” arsa Séadna. “Ní raibh aon bheart eile acu lena dtiocfaidís air.”

“Tá an liúireach ag stad. Táid siad ag dul chun suaimhnis. Téimís suas,” arsa Diarmuid.

“An bhfuil deireadh na mbróg díolta, a Mhichíl?” arsa Séadna.

“Tá, ach beagán,” arsa Micil.

“Goibh an capall, más ea, agus comáin leat abhaile,” arsa Séadna.

Nóta

Cheapamar: cheapamar is given in the original, and not the expected cheapamair.

Names

Cormac: the name of a bailiff in the story here.
Seán Bolg Ó Dála: a person mentioned here. The epithet bolg, “stomach”, /boləg/, is probably descriptive. The surname Ó Dálaigh is given as Ó Dála in the original, in line with the general pronunciation of such surnames in -aigh in WM Irish, and consequently the original spelling is retained here too.
Síogaí Mac Giolla Phádraig: a fraudster who marries Sadhbh in the story here. Síogaí as a noun means “elf; weakling, changeling”. Mac Giolla Phádraig, anglicised as MacKilpatrick, MacGilpatrick or Fitzpatrick, is a surname denoting descent from a 10th-century king of Ossory in Leinster. Note that in surnames that contain mac, a g or c are not lenited after the mac.

Foclóirín

arú inné: “the day before yesterday”, pronounced /ɑ’ru: nʹe:/.
bharántas: “warrant”, or barántas in the CO.
bladhmannach: “bombastic”, pronounced /bləimənəx/.
caíncíneach: “snub-nosed”, pronounced /ki:ŋ’kʹi:nʹəx/.
ceannrach: “halter”, or ceanrach in the CO. The traditional nn is preserved here to show the diphthong: /kʹaurəx/.
céis: “young pig”, older than a piglet (banbh), but young enough not to be a muc.
cian: “a little while or distance”. PUL regularly uses cian in the dative, as with idir chian agus cóngar, “both far and near”, here, where the CO uses the historic dative céin.
cochall: “a cock’s hackles”, i.e., the long, fine feathers at the back, and by extension i gcochall a chéile, “attacking each other”.
colpach: “stout in the calves”, pronounced /koləpəx/.
córach: “well-shaped; well-proportioned”. See cúmtha.
creachaim, creachadh: “to plunder, rob”, with the participle creachta found here.
croí: “heart”. Rud do ghlacadh de chroí dháiríribh, “to take something in earnest, take it seriously”.
croídhreac: “scarlet, crimson”, pronounced /kriːrʹək/ according to the note in FdS (where, under the entry under the original spelling craoidhearg, it is stated that it is “prncd. croídhreac”). Compare Shán Ó Cuív’s transcription in the LS edition of Séadna, which gives chroídhreac as chruíghearag. PSD states under craorach that this word derives from cróidhearg, “scarlet, crimson, blood-red”,or caordhearg, “berry-red, bright red”. Craorag in the CO. FGB has an entry for croidhreac, crossreferenced to craorag.
cúmtha: “well-formed, handsome”, pronounced /kuːmhə/. The CO has cumtha, but most parts of the verb cumaim, cumadh have a long /u/ in WM Irish (i.e., those parts that are monosyllabic, like do chúm sé, or where the m comes before a consonant, like cúmfad and cúmtha). Often in alliterative combinations: go cúmtha córach cothaithe cumasach dea-chroicinn, “handsome, well-proportioned, well-nourished, strong and fine-complexioned”.
cúrsa: “course, journey, career”. Curfar deireadh lena chúrsaíbh, “his travels will be brought to an end”.
eachra: “horses”, pronounced /ɑxərə/. This is a collective word, used in the singular with a plural meaning.
faobhar: “sharp edge”, pronounced /fe:r/. Arm faobhair, “bladed weapons”.
fead: “whistle”.
géarshúileach: “keen-eyed”.
giolla: “servant, groom (to take care of a horse)”, pronounced /gʹulə/.
imím, imeacht: “to go, go away”. Note that the participle, imithe, is stressed on the second syllable: /i’mʹihi/.
iomadúil: “numerous, plentiful”.
mórchúiseach: “self-important”.
muiríon: “burden”, or muirín in the CO. Muiríon mo dhá lámh, “as much as my two hands could carry”.
oiriúnach: “suitable, appropriate”. Rud a bheith oiriúnach agat, “to have something handy”.
piocaim, piocadh: “to pick”, including the picking of pockets. Lucht pocaí do phiocadh, “pickpockets”. Piocaithe, “tidied up; spick and span”.
plucach: “puffy-cheeked”, pronounced /plə’kɑx/.
rámhann: “spade”, with rámhainní in the plural. The historical dative, rámhainn, has replaced the nominative in the CO. Pronounced /rɑ:n, rɑ:’ŋʹi/. I ngaireacht trí rámhainní dho, “three spades’ length, or 15 foot, away from him”.
roinnt: “a share, a portion, a lot”. Note that this is a feminine noun. An roinnt déanach, “the last batch”, here has no lenition on the adjective owing to the rule about homorganic consonants.
seasc: “barren, dry”. Bó sheasc, “a dry cow, one that does not give milk”.
sin: “that”. Note that were the original had air-sean, this has been adjusted in the editing here to air sin, in accordance with the general form in WM Irish. Shán Ó Cuív’s LS version of Séadna has ershan in such circumstances.
stoc: “stock, cattle”. Stoc mór de bhuaibh, “a large herd of cattle”.
tárrleathan: “broad in the abdomen, broad torsoed”.
tíncéir: “tinker”.
ualach: “burden”, and by extension, “a great deal of something”.

Should Vocatives Decline?

Whether vocatives should decline or not is a constantly raised question. It seems most vocatives don’t decline, as “metaphorical” nouns do not take a morphological vocative. Let’s look at vocatives under a number of categories.

1. Collective nouns do not take the vocative.

This is clear from PUL’s letter to Gearóid Ó Nualláin about the occasion when he was confirmed at 13 and three congregations joined together for the ceremony, with the priest addressing them as a phobail!

PUL explained his confusion. Why was the priest saying, a phobail? You can only say a phobal! in Irish, as collective nouns do not take a vocative. This is logical as only a person or persons should ever take the vocative, and collective nouns do not have the same sense of personhood about the people being addressed. PUL assumed on that occasion that maybe because three congregations were together on one occasion, the priest was using the plural. However, Ó Nualláin pointed out this would still be wrong: pobail is nominative plural, not vocative plural, and the vocative corresponding to ‘ye congregations!’ is a phobla! /ə fobələ/. PUL also wrote in a letter to Pádraig Breathnach that the Irish speakers he knew would interpret a phobail! as some kind of name of a person or thing, as it couldn’t be a collective noun.

2. Inanimate objects do not take the vocative.

For example, in Sliabh na mBan bhFionn, we find a thromán! where the weight in a spindle is being called out to. The notes to this at the back of Ag Séideadh agus ag Ithe, which includes Sliabh na mBan bhFionn, indicate that inanimate nouns cannot be declined for the vocative case. However, note that where inanimate objects are addressed in terms that can apply to humans, you would decline the vocative. E.g. if you referred to the spindle weight as a mhic ó! Also names of inanimate things that are personified take the vocative, e.g. a bháis!

3. Usage in addressing animals.

T. F. O’Rahilly showed in an article in Ériu that usage was varied when addressing animals. E.g. PUL had a éan uasal! in his Aesop a Tháinig go hÉirinn, but also a mhada ruaidh!, with the adjective showing the latter was a declined vocative. Also, animals addressed in terms that could apply to humans, e.g. a mhic ó!, would receive declension in the vocative.

4. Metaphorical use of nouns referring to people.

The key problem is therefore metaphorical nouns referring to people. Standardized grammars state these cannot be declined, and it seems the earliest statement of this as a rule is T. F. O’Rahilly’s article, “The Vocative in Modern Irish”, in Ériu, volume 9 (1921-23), p85ff. He shows non-declension of 1st declension nouns in the vocative was common even in bardic verse, e.g. a bhéal cumhra, and so the failure to decline the metaphorical vocative of 1st declension nouns (the only declension that has the vocative singular) is of long standing. He quotes some examples of older poems where there was no decline vocative, but when Pádraig Ua Duinnín edited them, he put the vocative in (changing a stór to a stóir, for example). Clearly Ua Duinnín felt the non-use of the vocative was wrong, and yet by the same token, such usage goes back centuries.

So Ua Duinnín’s assertion in his dictionary that both a stór and a stóir were found in the vocative of that metaphorical noun needs to be seen in the light of this. Possibly he felt that was correct, but he had evidence of historical usage showing the contrary was normal. O’Rahilly also quotes PUL’s statement to Pádraig Breathnach that a stór! is the only correct vocative of that noun. PUL clearly did not believe that metaphorical vocatives declined.

O’Rahilly’s article therefore runs counter to the explanation given by Gearóid Ó Nualláin in his Studies in Modern Irish, Part 1. Ó Nualláin was a great scholar, and the first headmaster of the Munster training school in Ballingeary, but O’Rahilly was a great scholar too and so the issue needs to be examined on its merits.

In this regard, Gearóid Ó Nualláin’s comments in his Studies in Modern Irish Part 1, 219, are interesting. He puts forth the view here that the sex of the person affected the vocative declension. As it is first-declension nouns—masculine—that decline for the vocative, where these are used to refer to females, the tendency, or so he says, is for the vocative not to be declined. He gives an example of a shólás na ndobrónach!, referring to the Virgin Mary in the Litany in An Teagasg Críostaidhe. This is “sense construction”, he says, because she is feminine, and so a vocative a shóláis is not used. Another example given is a rún! referring to a woman, and not a rúin! Yet PUL told Pádraig Breathnach quite specifically that a stór! and a chumann! were the only correct forms, whether referring to a man or a woman. This seemed an ingenious argument by Ó Nualláin, but not ultimately the correct one.

Another argument put forward by Ó Nualláin is that where the vocative is part of a larger noun phrase, like a shólás na ndobrónach!, you could also parse this as the “Bracketed Construction”, where noun phrases lose their declension (just like hata fhear an tí, where fear an tí is taken as a phrase and the genitive drops out; GÓN shows that the Bracketed Construction is optional in the genitive, as is proved by PUL’s works, and hata fir an tí is also correct). However, PUL’s statement that a stór! is correct would mean it is not necessary to explain non-use of the vocative by the Bracketed Construction.

Looking at the Litany of Jesus in PUL’s An Teagasg Críostaidhe, we find these vocatives:

A Íosa, a Shaibhreas na bhfíoraon!

A Íosa, a Fhíorsholas!

A Íosa, a Sholas na gconfesóirí!

Correctly, therefore, PUL does not decline the metaphorical vocative. Interestingly, Shán Ó Cuív’s transcription in Leitiriú Símplí (LS) inserts the vocative in the first of these (as if from a shaibhris na bhfíoraon!), but he does so incorrectly.  Similarly, in the second example, a fhíorsholas! he transcribes as if from a fhíorsholais! This is also incorrect. Finally, the LS version correctly allowed the original to stand in its transcription of the third of these vocatives. It is possible he was influenced by Ó Nualláin’s views in his approach to these transcriptions.

In the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we find these vocatives:

A Scáthán an chirt!

A Shoitheach Sprideálta!

A Rós dhiamhair!

A Thúr Dáibhid!

A Árc na Connartha!

A Shólás na ndobrónach!

Some of these are phrase nouns, and all of them refer to a female, and this may be why in none of these cases did the LS edition try to reinsert the vocative, but it would have been incorrect to try to do so anyway.

While I am a fan of Ó Nualláin’s, I am forced to acccept that he came up with an ad hoc explanation to explain the lack of vocatives that he saw .

There are also some counter examples to deal with: PUL wrote a ghrá dhil in his Aithris ar Chríost. I am wondering if this  is equal to a ghrá ghil, but in any case the vocative of the adjective is declined.

5. Non-metaphorical vocatives of persons.

These should be decline in the 1st declension, but counterexamples can be found, e.g. a Árdaingeal in Soisgéal as Leabhar an Aifrinn, and a leanbh in Táin Bó Cuailnge. There is also a tendency for feminine nouns and adjectives to decline in the vocative under analogy with the 1st declension. Examples from PUL include a óinsigh!, a chailligh ruainnigh and a thoice bhig in Séadna; a chábóig gan chiall in An Bealach Buidhe; a chuil bhig in Bricriú; a spioraid shailigh, referring to the Devil in Soísgéal Naomhtha do réir Mharcuis (spioraid is only masculine in the phrase An Sprid Naomh); and a chroich shúigh “sooty old potrack” in An Craos-Deamhan.

Clearly, vocatives are hard to find in common use, as generally speaking there are only a few common ones, eg a fheara! (or a fhearaibh!). And where a vocative is called for, the nominative may be found therefore, as some researchers have claimed (see Gaeilge Chorca Dhuibhne) that few vocatives survive in Munster Irish.

Notes on the LS of Aesop

In the preface, it is specifically stated that Osborn Bergin is aiming to show the pronunciation of the generation of the 1850s.
Some words have alternatives:
* dálta can be /dɑːltə/ or /dɑːlhə/, and all similar words exhibit the same choice.
* seisean can be /ʃiʃən/ or /ʃeʃən/.
* gach éinne can be /gə xeːŋʹi/ or /gɑh eːŋʹi/.
* tíormaigh can be /trʹimigʹ/ or /tʹiːrmigʹ/.
* i rachtaibh/i riochtaibh can be /ə rɑxtivʹ/ or /ə ruxtivʹ/.
* Usage varies regarding the article in ar an mbórd, which may be /erʹ ə moːrd/.
Osborn Bergin also points out that final vowels are often and regularly elided before vowels:
* duine acu: /dinʹ ə’ku/.
* ag faire orthu: /ə farʹ orhə/.
* agus me im chodladh: /ɑgəs mʹəm xolə/.
Fluent readers should elide as shown above.

Chapters 1-5
roimh: transcribed as /rimʹ/, although I prefer to let roimh stand where it is found in the original.
fabhaill: transcribed as /foulʹ/ – I think there is great confusion between /ou/ and /au/ in WM Irish. /ou/ is found in labhair and a few words, and I believe both Osborn Bergin and Shán Ó Cuív overused /ou/. Here /faulʹ/ would be better.
chómhachtaibh: transcribed as /xoːx’tiːvʹ/, but as PUL had cómhachta and not cómhachtaí in the plural, I believe it is better to let dative plural ends whether long or short, stand as they were in the original text.
dá, ‘ghá: Bergin transcribes +the verbal noun as /dɑː/ and ‘ghá+the verbal noun as /ɑː/. Both are generally /ɑː/ in Irish today, although there may have been some use of /dɑː/, which is etymologically unsound. I transcribe as and dhá in my editions
shuigh sé: one of the few verbs that has an audible g in the preterite, /higʹ ʃeː/.
á rá, ag rá: with a slender r, /ɑː rʹɑː, ə rʹɑː/.
árdliaigh: I had thought it was pronounced with a broad g, but Bergin has /ɑːrd-lʹiə/.
aige: Bergin has /igʹ’i/.
gearánta: Bergin has /gʹi’rɑːntə/; I assumed the first vowel would be omitted and the g slenderised.
gcurfá: /gər’fɑː/. It seems PUL had a broad r in this word.
fheabhas: /ous/, where /au/ would be better.
beirthe: /bʹerhə/, with a broad r.
tar: /tɑr/ where tair, with a slender r, is widely attested as the local form.
ioscad ghaoil: transcribed “iosgad guíl”, possibly /iskəd giːlʹ/, but it is not clear why Bergin has removed lenition here.
is geárr: /iʃ gʹaːr/, but I am not sure it is correct to slenderise the s other than before third-person pronouns.
do rug: /də rʹug/ with a slender r.
cá: transcribed /ka/ with no long a, but this may be a typographical error.
an t-iománaí: /ən tʹu’mɑːniː/. I am wondering if a slender t provides a contrast with the apparently broad t of tiománaí.
marófar: /mə’roːfər/, where the slender r seems wrong, but the r was written slender in the original text. Maróidís in fable 6 has the same problem, showing this is no one-off mistranscription.
dtosnaímís: /dosə’niːmʹiːʃ/, where the epenthetic vowel seem wrong, unless Bergin heard that from some speakers.
mar seo: /mɑrʹ ʃo/, where the r is given as slender. And the same thing elsewhere in this text for mar sin.
imbriathar: spelt am briathar in the original and transcribed as if /əm brʹiahər/. It may be that the labial consonants m an b remain broad despite the slender r, and that ambriathar would be a better spelling?
do ghnó féin dein: /də ɣnoː fʹeːnʹ dʹeːnʹ/, as if the imperative dein is ossified in this proverb.
seabhac: /ʃouk/, where once again /au/ would be better.

Chapters 6-10
géill: hostages, transcribed as /gʹeːlʹ/. Yet I am left wondering whether gill would not be a better plural of geall, but the fact that the original glossary claimed the singular was giall may provide the answer here.
inníor: transcribed as /iː’ŋʹiːr/, but the length of the first vowel seems erroneous, conflicting with IWM.
thúirlic: the past tense of túirleacan is transcribed as if /huːrlʹigʹ/, resolving a long-standing query of mine as to the pronunciation. However, the context is thúirlig an phiast, and in fable 18 below thúirlic sí is transcribed /huːrlʹikʹ ʃeː/.
chruaigh sé sa ghadaíocht: /xruəgʹ ʃeː/.
gcroich, croiche: shown as /groh, crohi/, but I am wondering if /i/ pronunciations are also possible here.

Chapters 11-12
saighead: pronounced /siːd/ here, but I am thinking /səid/ may be a better transcription.
shraing: prounounced /hriːŋʹ/ here, but I am thinking /hriːŋgʹ/ is a better transcription.
urchair: transcribed as if /urəxirʹ/, but IWM has /ruxirʹ/ for this word. I suppose it depends on how quickly the first u is pronounced.

13
doimhneas: /doŋʹəs/, where /deŋʹəs/ is also possible.
agead chlaínn: transcribed as agat’chluíng, implying /igʹət xliːŋʹ/, i.e., the ch devoices the d of agead.
tar éis: /trʹeːʃ/.

14

abha: /ou/, where /au/ would have been the better transcription.
sula: Osborn Bergin transcribes as /sɑrə/.
cuilith: transcribed as /kilʹihi/, which conforms better to the accepted form cuilithe.
chosnóidh: /xosə’noː/ with an epenthentic vowel.
stoirm: transcribed as sdoirim, which implies a pronunciation /storʹimʹ/ with an o.
i riochtaibh: transcribed as if /ə rɑxtivʹ/, and i reachtaibh is a possible variant.

15
croiceann: transcribed as if /krokʹən/, where /krekʹən/ is also possible.
uime: transcribed as if /imʹ’i/, with the accent on the second i.
ná rug: transcribed as /nɑː rʹug/, and I would like to check that the r is definitely slender even in non-lenitable circumstances.

16

deól: transcribed as if from deol, possible a mistranscription.

17

os cómhair: transcribed as as côir, showing that os is or can be pronounced /ɑs/, although IWM shows /os/.
abhal: transcribed as if úll, showing that even if spelt abhal, as the traditional spelling, this is the same as ubhall or úll.
dias: transcribed as if dias (and not lias), showing that replacing d by l was not universal.
inead: transcribed as if from ionad here.
poillín: transcribed as pouilín, but I think this a mistranscription, although poll is definitely /poul/.
aoibhneas: transcribed as ívneas, without an epenthetic vowel between the v and the n. This seems a mistranscription, as shown in IWM.
doircheacht: transcribed as doirihacht, which seems to show the pronunciation is with an o.
ollbhúirth: transcribed as alavúirh, and I am wondering if oll- as a prefix is generally pronounced /ɑl(ə)/.
ghlam: transcribed as ghlaum, indicating the diphthong.
uallfairte: transcirbed as ulhirti, and ulfairte was found in the original text. I would like further confirmation that there is no diphthong in the first syllable.
ní beag liomsa dhe:  transcribed /ní beog lium-sa ghe/, which may show that ní beag liom doesn’t have to be /nʹiː bʹe lʹum/.

18
coileán an mhada ruaidh: pronounced cuileán a vada rueg, showing that ruaidh is pronounced with a slender g.
den altóir: transcribed do’n altóir, showing that den is don in pronunciation, but transcription like this is not consistent.
thúirling sí: transcribed as húirlic shí ( see also comment in ch 6-10 above): I am wondering if it is normally húirlig and húirlic before shí as the g is devoiced.
oinigh: transcribed oinig, implying the first vowel is o.
folláin: transcribed as fuláin, but better without the first vowel at all, fláin.

19

ar ghálaibh aonair: transcribed as er ghaluiv änuir, indicating correctly there should not have been a long á in the original.
luachra: transcribed as luachra, with no sign of an epenthetic.

20

tirim: transcribed as trim.
thiormaigh: transcribed as hriumuig, but híormuig would also be possible.
ionfhuar: transcribed as onuar.
táim dhom loscadh le tart: transcribed as táim am losga le tart, and I am very dubious over the authenticity of this dhom.

21
roinneamair: transcribed as roingeamuir as if there were no diphthong in the first syllable. I need more evidence on this one.
abhac: transcribed as ouc, where auc would be better, reflecting a continual confusion over whether /au/ or /ou/ is the vowel in such words. I assume that Brian Ó Cuív had it right in IWM that most of these are /au/, but there are some words like leabhar that have /ou/.

22
martaol: transcribed as mairtäl, but looking at the transcription in CFBB, there would be no need for the slender r here.
thíormaigh:  transcribed as hriuma, and I think this is the more dialectal form than híorma.
taispeánadh: tisbeánag with slender t.
taighde: transcribed as tuídi, where Shán Ó Cuív uses the transcription tayidi in this LS edition of Séadna.
fomoraigh: transcribed as fouruig, but the m is not lenited in the original text or the glossary there to. Even so, fomhóraigh is the form in Ó Dónaill’s dictionary.
trioblóid:  transcribed triubalóid, showing the epenthetic vowel, but I am still a little unclear as to the first vowel.  Paragraph 315 of IWM may imply /ə/.
tsaibhris: transcribed as toivirish, because LS finds it hard to show an /e/ after a broad consonant (see roiv for raibh).

23
corrán: transcribed corán, although I believe this would be better as crán.
dhruid: transcribed as ghrid, and Shán Ó Cuív also uses similar transcription in his LS version of Séadna, and I have only just realised that IWM also shows the first d in druid is slender.
ceannrach: transcribed as ceaunrach, but I would go with Brian Ó Cuív’s transcription in IWM showing deletion of the n.
a chonách air é: transcribed as chnách er é, confirming the elision of the o.

24
gídh gur: transcribed as cé gur. I think gídh gur is an older form, but in my view if it is so written, it would be better to pronounce it that way to show the archaism.
dtigheadh: transcribed as díoch, this is the older form of dtagadh.
ollphiast: transcribed as olafiast, this shows that oll- is followed by a vowel, but the quality of the vowel is shown here as /o/, and not the /ɑ/ indicated above in ollbhúirth.
air sean: transcribed as er shon, but I think air sin in the correct interpretation of this, and the sean here is some kind of cleaving towards more classical norms.

25-26
nothing exceptional

27

gairgeach: transcribed as goirigeach, probably indicating an i in the first syllable.
a ‘nín ó: transcribed as a nín ó, confirming that the feminine noun iníon is aligned with the masculine declension in the vocative, at least in so far as it is slenderised.
maróinn: transcribed as maireóing, but this appears to be a constant mistake in LS to put a slender r in this word and its cognates.

28

ruaidh: transcribed rueg in the genitive.
rugadh: transcribed rugag, as the autonomous does not take lenition
scoileann: transcribed sgoileann, with no sign of an h (scoiltim is also possible).
leamhán: transcribed liován.

29

ghlaeigh sé: transcribed ghlaeg shé, showing the g.
scéidh sé: transcribed shgég shé, showing the g is pronounced.
sháigh sé: transcribed háig shé, showing the g is pronounced.

30

an ghaoith: gaoith as a nominative is transcribed here as gäh.
fhulag: transcribed as ulag, although olag would be possible too.
scuainne: transcribed as sguenhi, where I had expected sguengi.
dhúinne: transcribed as ghúing-na.
anois: transcribed as inìsh, but it seems a mistake to put a slender n in here.
dtigeann: transcribed as dtagan, although the older form was not wrong.
i ndiaidh na fearthana: transcribed a nie na fearhana, and the -dh should be deleted in pronunciation before na.

31

in aghaidh an lae: transcribed as a nay ‘n lä showing the -dh should be deleted before the article.

32

sula: transcribed as sar a.
phréamhaigh sé: transcribed as friàvuig shé, but the presence of the g seems a mistake.
loirgnibh: transcribed as loiriginiv, whereas the LS edition of Séadna transcribed this word as loraganuiv. I assume Osborn Bergin has it right here.
shlinnibh: transcribed as hlíngiv, but I would like to check the length of the vowel, as I believe the addition of a syllable in the dative should shorten it.
sceímhealaibh: transcribed as shgiviàluiv, but IWM gave the pronunciation of sceímheal as /ʃkʹiːl/.

33

faoiseamh: transcribed as fäshav. I hadn’t spotted it before, but IWM also concurs in this, and so the original spelling is misleading.

34 – nothing exceptional.

35

greadadh chút, mar ghaoith: transcribed greada chút, mar ghäth, but it seems correct to use the dative here.
leagthí: transcribed as leagtí, but autonomous endings were often with th, and I prefer to leave them as is where th occurs in original texts.

36

peoca: the transcription pé ‘cu doesn’t really attempt to give the pronunciation.
munab: transcribed as marab.

37

gliocas: transcribed as gliucas, implying a u.
curtar: transcribed as curtar, confirming this pronunciation as against cuirtar.

38, 39 – nothing exceptional.

40

Tair: transcribed as tar, which was probably the original spelling, but not the local form.

41

me féin: transcribed mi hén whereas thu féin earlier in the sentence was hu fén.
mhuineál: transcribed as vuineál, whereas CFBB shows this should have a slender m.
tslabhra: transcribed tloura, with the constant confusion of /au/ and /ou/ in LS.
churfá: transcribed chuirfá, but it seems from the general spelling in PUL’s works that chuirfá is better.
réidh: transcribed , but seems mistaken.

42

ghearán: transcribed ghreán.
do tánathas: transcribed do hánahas, and I had been dubious about tánathas, as irregular verbs are normally lenited in the autonomous.
choisíocht: transcribed chushycht, but it seems there is an o here.

43

líntibh: transcribed as líontuiv.
ó chiainibh: transcribed as ó chianuiv, but this is not the local form.

44

gcosnóidís: gosanóidísh, with an epenthetic.
mharódh: transcribed vaireóch, but  the slender r is wrong.
led chluais: transcribed let chluesh, as the ch would devoice the d of led.

45

giob: pronounced giub.
fógra: an epenthetic vowel is not shown.
shampla: transcribed as houmpala, but, apart from the ou/au problem, the LS of PUL’s An Teagasg Críostaidhe does not show an epenthetic vowel.
beirthe: transcribed bèarha, and maybe I should write bertha, lest beirthe be confused for beirithe.
dtairrigthear: transcribed as dtaruigtear.
éascacht: trasncribed as iasgacht, but this seems a mistake, as IWM says éasca is /e:skə/.
casachtach: the transcription shows this is accented on the middle syllable.
is amhlaidh mar atá an scéal: amhlaidh is pronounced amhla in this phrase.

46

shiopa: transcribed hupa, ie without the slender ch sound that lenited slender s sometimes, but not always, gives.

47 – nothing exceptional.

48

caismirt: I thought this had an epenthetic vowel, but none is shown.
mórán: this is transcribed as mórán, aligning with the transcription in IWM that shows a long vowel in this word. Yet Brian Ó Cuív uses muarán in his CFBB.

49

údhálta: this is transcribed as if pronounced údhálta here, but two varying transcriptions in the LS edition of Séadna indicate variously údhalta and úáltha. More research required here.

50

phlaoisc: pronounced /fliːʃkʹ/ (I had wondered whether the long e sound of the nominative would be kept).

Séadna chapter 15

Caibideal a Cúigdéag.

D’imigh Seán Ceatach abhaile, agus nuair a fuair sé an chaoi do thairrig sé anuas an scéal.

“Níl aon tseó, a Mháire,” ar seisean, “ach a bhfuil de mhaitheas ag Séadna dá dhéanamh ar fuid na dútha. Ní fheadar ’en tsaol conas ’sheasaíonn airgead do. Is é mo thuairim ná fuil, nú gur beag má tá, aon duine bocht sa pharóiste anois ná fuil roinnt dá chuid aige.”

“Níl, a athair,” ar sise, “ná dá ndéarfá in sna seacht bparóistíbh is gaire dhi. Bíonn iúnadh mo chroí orm féin, leis, nuair ’airím na daoine ag cainnt, conas ná fuil sé briste fadó. Ní ’na scillingibh ná ’na phúntaibh atá an t-airgead ag imeacht uaidh, ach in’ fhichidibh agus ’na chéadaibh púnt.”

“Is minic a bhím dhá chuímhneamh,” ar seisean, “gur mór go léir an iúnadh, é ’bheith dhá scaoileadh uaidh ar an gcuma san. Dar ndó’, d’fhéadfadh duine tairbhe ’dhéanamh, agus déirc a dhéanamh, agus carthanacht a dhéanamh, agus gan an éagóir sin a dhéanamh air féin. Is é rud adeir a lán ná gurb ar éadromacht atá sé.”

“Ar éadromacht!” ar sise. “Is deocair dul uathu. Dá mbeadh sé ’na spriúnlóir neamaitheach do gheóbhaidís locht air. Déarfaidís go raibh sé ag déanamh an airgid le sainnt agus le cruáil. Anois, nuair nách féidir sainnt ná spriúnlaitheacht a chur ’na leith, ní foláir a rá gur ar éadromacht atá sé. Is maith an bhail air gur róbheag é a shuím ’na gcainnt. Pé cúis atá aige le bheith ag déanamh na maitheasa, is dócha go bhfuil fios a aigne féin aige.”

“Tá daoine adéarfadh gur buairt aigne atá ag imirt air,” ar seisean, “buairt mhór éigin. Gur chuir sé ceangal nú geallúint nú rud éigin den tsórd san air féin, ceangal éigin nár thuig sé i gceart in am. Ansan nuair a thuig sé é féin agus ’ fuair sé cad a bhí déanta aige, in inead aon iarracht do thabhairt ar é féin d’fhuascailt, gurb amhlaidh a chuaigh sé in éadóchas ar fad.”

D’éist Máire. Níor leog sí aon rud uirthi. Bhí iúnadh a croí uirthi.

“Ní héidir,” ar sise ’na haigne, “gurb amhlaidh do scéigh an bhainntreach!”

“Ba chóir,” ar seisean, “dá mbeadh aon rud den tsórd san ar a aigne, go neósadh sé dhuitse é an lá úd, i dtaobh is gur róbheag an uain a thug sé dho féin ar phuínn d’ínsint duit.”

“An daighe féin, ba chóir sin,” ar sise go neafuiseach. “Is dócha,” ar sise, “dá mbeadh rud dá shórd ag déanamh buartha dho, go dtabharfadh sé uain do féin ar é ’dh’ínsint, agus nuair nár thug, gur maith an cómhartha ná raibh.” Bhí stoca lena hathair ’na láimh, agus í ag cur cléithe ann, agus ba dhó’ leat uirthi gur géire ’bhí a haigne ar an stoca ná ar an gcainnt.

Is ar Sheán a bhí an iúnadh ansan. “Níor inis sé riamh di é!” ar seisean in’ aigne féin. “Mhuise, is dócha,” ar seisean léi, “go bhfuil an ceart agat. Dá mbeadh sé ag déanamh buartha dho do thabharfadh sé uain do féin ar é ’dh’ínsint.”

“Seo,” ar sise. “Cuir umat anois é, go bhfeicead an mbeidh sé ad ghortú.”

Síle. Imbriathar féin gur mhaith an bhail uirthi nár leog sí amach é. Ní bheadh an meas céanna go brách arís agam uirthi, an dá lá ’s an fhaid a mhairfeadh sí, féach! An rógaire! Nách áiseach a bhí an stoca aici! A dhe mhuise, a Mháire, níor theip riamh ort.

Gobnait. Cad a dhein Seán ansan, a Pheig?

Peig. Chómh luath agus ’bhí caoi aige air, do bhuail sé soir chun tí an tsagairt.

“’Sea, a Athair,” ar seisean, “táim níos daille anois ar an scéal ná ’bhíos riamh.”

“Conas é sin?” arsan sagart.

“Pé rud aduairt sé le Máire an lá bhí sé thiar, níor thrácht sé léi ar cheangal ná ar gheallúint phósta.”

Ar éigin a bhí an focal as a bhéal nuair d’airíodar ciscéim ag déanamh ar an ndoras. Do bhuail chúthu isteach — Diarmuid Liath féin!

“Dé bheathasa, a Dhiarmuid!” arsan sagart.

“Go mairir, a Athair!” arsa Diarmuid. “Conas ’táir, a Sheáin?”

“Go maith, slán a bheir!” arsa Seán.

Dheineadar roinnt cainnte, cainnt ná raibh puínn suime ag éinne acu inti.

Fé dheireadh duairt Diarmuid, “Dá mb’é do thoil é, a Athair,” ar seisean, “d’oirfeadh dhom beagán cainnte ’dhéanamh leat.”

“Ar mhiste leatsa fanúint anso tamaillín, a Sheáin?” arsan sagart.

“Tá go maith, a Athair,” arsa Seán. “Ná bacaidh mise.”

D’imíodar isteach i seómra eile.

D’imigh tamaillín, agus d’imigh tamall mór ’na dhiaidh. Fé dheireadh d’imigh Diarmuid agus d’fhíll an sagart. Is é a bhí ag féachaint go greannúr.

“’Sea, a Sheáin,” ar seisean, “tá do cheistse réitithe, pé in Éirinn é.”

“Conas é sin, a Athair?” ar seisean.

“Tá Sadhbh le pósadh,” arsan sagart.

“Mo ghraidhin mo shúil!” arsa Seán. “Nách maith a bhí ’ fhios agam go raibh an greim dúid aici air agus ná scarfadh sí leis!”

“Ní le Séadna atá sí le pósadh,” arsan sagart.

Do stad Seán, agus do leath a shúile air.

“Ní le Séadna é, an ea?” ar seisean.

“Ní leis,” arsan sagart. “Ní féidir liom a dhéanamh amach cé hé féin. Deir Diarmuid gur duine uasal é agus gur aníos ó in aice an bhaile mhóir i mball éigin é, agus nách beag de sheó a bhfuil d’ór agus d’airgead agus de shaibhreas aige. Deir sé gur sa bhaile mhór a pósfar iad. Níl uaidh ach cead d’fháil uaimse go bpósfadh an sagart thíos iad. Bronnaim air iad go fonnmhar, geallaim dhuit é. Ní miste liom gan aon lámh a bheith agam sa ghnó. Tá eagal orm gurb olc an gnó é. D’iarras air an scéal a chur ar gcúlaibh go ceann roinnt laetheanta go mbeadh uain agam ar thuairisc na háite thíos do chur, agus ar a dhéanamh amach cé hé an duine uasal mór so go bhfuil an saibhreas go léir aige, agus cad é an chúis ná féadfadh sé bean d’fháil thíos ’na dhúthaigh féin agus gan teacht chómh fada ó bhaile ar lorg mná. Ní thaithneann an scéal rómhaith leis an nduine mbocht féin, ach deir sé go bhfuil an gnó go léir socair ag Sadhbh agus ag an nduine uasal.”

“Ar iompáil na n-each tig athrach na scéal,” arsa Seán. “Ní raibh de choinne agam leis an méid sin ach oiread agus ’bhí agam go dtitfeadh an spéir uachtarach. Pé deireadh ’bheidh ar an ngnó so, tá deireadh le cainnt Shadhbh i dtaobh aon éilimh a bheith aici ar Shéadna. Peoca ’bhí greim geallúna aici air nú ná raibh, go dtí seo, ní féidir di a leogaint uirthi níos mó go bhfuil, ná go raibh riamh. Is olc an ghaoth ná séideann do dhuine éigin.”

“Ná codail ar an gcluais sin, a Sheáin,” arsan sagart. “Níl aithne cheart agat ar Shadhbh. Is í bean is dána dár bhuail riamh umam í. Ní chuirfeadh sé blúire iúnadh orm, dá mba rud é go dteipfeadh an gnó so uirthi, dá ráineódh go bhfágfadh an duine uasal so Baile Átha Cliath ar an mbóthar aici, í ’ theacht os cómhair na dútha arís chómh dána agus ’bhí sí riamh, dhá chur ’na luí orainn go léir go raibh ’fhiachaibh ar Shéadna í ’phósadh.”

“Agus cé ’chreidfeadh í, a Athair?” arsa Seán.

“Is dócha,” arsan sagart, “éinne ’fhéachfadh isteach sa scéal, ná creidfeadh sé í, ach is gnáth le daoine scéal den tsaghas san do ghlacadh gan féachaint chuige puínn. Níor ghéilleas féin riamh do ráitibh éinne gur thug sé geallúint di, go dtí gur chuiris-se ’na luí orm é an lá deirineach úd a bhíomair ag trácht air. Agus táim deimhnitheach anois go raibh dearúd ort. Táim lán-deimhnitheach, pé rud atá ag teacht idir Shéadna agus pósadh t’inínese, ná baineann sé le Sadhbh agus ná baineann Sadhbh leis, olc maith ná donaí.”

“Tá súil agam,” arsa Seán, “go bpósfaidh an duine uasal so í, pé hé féin. Níor mhór liom do í. Dá mbeadh sí árdaithe leis go dtí an baile mór aige, ba mhór an suaimhneas ar an ndúthaigh é.”

“Tá eagal orm, a Sheáin,” arsan sagart, “nách mar mhaithe leis an nduine uasal bocht adeirirse an méid sin.”

“Dáltha an chait, a Athair,” arsa Seán. “Mar mhaithe leis féin a dheineann an cat crónán.”

“Ach ’na thaobh san is uile,” arsan sagart, “ní fios ceoca den bheirt, Sadhbh nú an duine uasal, is mó ’bheidh beirthe ná caillte leis an bpósadh, má théann sé chun cínn. Más duine uasal fónta é, is fada nár tháinig ón mbaile mór aon amadán chómh críochnaithe leis. Sin í an cailín a thabharfaidh fios aitheanta a chreidimh do sula mbeidh sé i bhfad pósta aici. Más feallaire é, ní maithfar puínn do. Má cheapann sé in’ aigne go dtiocfaidh leis smacht a chur ar Shadhbh, tá an dearúd ar an bhfear mbocht is mó ’bhí riamh air. Níor cuireadh smacht ar Shadhbh in am. Do cailleadh a máthair sula raibh sí bliain iomlán. Thug Diarmuid a slí féin di go dtí go raibh sé ródhéanach, go dtí go raibh sí imithe ó smacht.”

“Ní dó’ liom gur cúrsaí smachta é, a Athair,” arsa Seán. “Do cailleadh Aoibhlín ormsa agus gan Máire bheag ach dhá bhliain. Níor chuireas aon smacht riamh ar an leanbh san. Do tugadh a slí di, má tugadh d’éinne é. Oiread agus labhairt árd léi níor deineadh é, ní áirím focal feargach a labhairt léi, ná buille ’bhualadh uirthi. Agus féach conas mar atá an scéal againn. Chómh siúrálta agus ’tháir id shuí ansan, is túisce ’chuímhníonn sí ar an rud a bhíonn uaim ná mar a chuímhním féin air.”

“Gan amhras, a Sheáin,” arsan sagart, “bíonn grástúlacht i ndaoinibh seochas a chéile, agus bíonn an braon fónta i ndaoinibh seochas a chéile, agus an drochbhraon. Ach mar sin féin, chómh fada agus a théann an choitiantacht, is fíor é an seanfhocal agus ní sárófar é, ‘Ní bhíonn an rath ach mar a mbíonn an smacht.’”

Chomáineadar leó ar an gcuma san ag cainnt agus ag cur thrí chéile, Seán Ceatach go sásta in’ aigne agus go róbhaoch den duine uasal a tháinig chómh fada fá dhéin Shadhbh, agus an sagart go neamhshásta in’ aigne le heagla nách aon chrích fhónta a bhéarfadh gnó Shadhbh agus an duine uasail iasachta.

Nóta

Chómh siúrálta agus tháirid shuí anso: “as surely as you are sitting here”. Note the lenition of the t in atáir. Lenition of relative form of the substantive verb is rarely indicated in the spelling in PUL’s works, but Seanachas Amhlaoibh í Luínse shows frequent medial lenition of atá and related forms in the Irish of Amhlaoibh Ó Loingsigh, particularly following a preceding word ending in a vowel. In the text of Séadna here, we have both elision of the relative particle and lenition of the t, with atáir therefore pronounced /hɑːrʹ/ (transcribed as háir in Shán Ó Cuív’s LS edition of Séadna).

Name

Aoibhlín: the deceased wife of Seán Ceatach in the story here. Pronounced /iː’lʹiːnʹ/.

Place

Baile Átha Cliath: Dublin, pronounced /blʹa: ‘klʹiəh/. Baile Átha Cliath d’fhágáil (or d’fhágáilt /d’fhágaint) ar an mbóthar ag duine, “to back out and leave someone in the lurch”. The name Áth Cliath means “ford of hurdles”, indicating that in ancient times there was some kind of lattice construction (or “hurdles”) here to allow people to cross the River Liffey.

Foclóirín

áirím, áireamh: “to count, reckon”. Ní áirím, “let alone, never mind”.
áiseach: “handy, convenient”.
aithne: “commandment”, with aitheanta in the plural. Pronounced /ahinʹi, ɑhəntə/.
árdaím, árdú: “to lift, raise”. Rud a dh’árdú leat, “to take something away, carry something off with you”.
bacaim, bac: “to hinder, let; give heed to, pay attention to”. Ná bacaidh mise, “don’t mind me”.
baile: “town”. An baile mór, Dublin.
braon: “drop”, also referring (probably deriving from “a drop of blood”) to inherent qualities. Braon fónta, good qualities in a person’s nature.
briste: “broken; bankrupt”.
caillte: “lost”, pronounced /kailʹhi/. Bheith caillte le rud, “to be disadvantaged, to lose by something”.
carthanacht: “charity”. Carthanacht a dhéanamh, “to distribute charity”.
cliath: “splint”, also used for “darning” in socks, with cléithe in the genitive. Cliath a chur i stoca, “to darn a stocking”. Cliath is well known for its used in the placename Baile Átha Cliath, where cliath means “hurdle”.
coitiantacht: “the general run of things; people in general”. Chómh fada agus a théann an choitiantacht, “generally speaking; as far as anything can be said about most people”.
críochnaithe: “completed”, but also “perfect”, as in amadán críochnaithe, “a perfect fool”.
cruáil: “stinginess”.
cúl: “back”, especially the back of the head. Go cúl, “to the very end”. Rud a chur ar gcúlaibh, “to put something off, postpone it”.
cúrsa: “course, journey”. Cúrsaí, in the plural: “a matter for something”. Cúrsaí smachta, “a matter of discipline”.
dall: “blind”, with daille in the comparative. Pronounced /daul, dilʹi/. Níos daille ar an scéal, “more puzzled by the matter”.
dúid: “stump; craned throat or neck”. Greim dúid, “a vicelike grip”, or greim dúide in the CO. PSD has both dúd and dúid in the nominative, explaining the genitive in greim dúid, but FdS claims this word is an adjective, meaning “last, utmost, extreme”.
each: “horse, steed”. Pronounced /ɑx/.
éadóchas: “despair”.
feargach: “angry”, pronounced /fʹarəgəx/.
féidir: “possible”. Note the difference between ní féidir liom, “I cannot”, and ní féidir dom, “there is no way I can”, suggesting a more objective assessment of something’s possibility or impossibility.
fonnmhar: “willing, desirous”. Go fonnmhar, “gladly”. Pronounced /funəvər/.
gar: “near”, with the comparative gaire; used with do. Pronounced /gɑr, girʹi/.
gortaím, gortú: “to injure”, but also “to pinch”, of clothing.
graidhin: “affection, jollity”, pronounced /grəinʹ/. Mo ghraidhin mo shúil!, “didn’t I just know it! how well I knew it!”, implying literally that someone shouldn’t doubt his own judgement (“eye”) and therefore knew something all along.
grástúlacht: “grace, graciousness”.
mairim, maireachtaint: “to live”, or mairim, maireachtáil in the CO. An dá lá s an fhaid a mhairfeadh sí, “for as long as she lived”.
miste: “all the worses”. This is a “second comparative” form, similar to feárrde, usaide, miste, meaning “all the more X for it”. Ní miste dhom, “I may as well”. Ní miste liom, “I think it no harm, I don’t mind”.
mór: “large”. Níor mhór liom do í, “I wouldn’t begrudge him her”.
neamaitheach: “utterly disobliging”, pronounced /nʹa-mə’hɑx/.
púnt: “pound”.
rá: “saying, utterance,” with ráite in the plural. Géilleadh do ráitibh éinne, “to be persuaded by something anyone said”.
ráiníonn: “to reach”, without a verbal noun in common use. Usually found impersonally meaning “to happen to, transpire”. Dá ráineódh go, “if it transpired that”.
sainnt: “greed”, or saint in the CO. The traditional nn is used in the editing here to show the diphthong, /saintʹ/.
sáraím, sárú: “to contradict, prove wrong”.
scéim, scéith: “to spew; divulge or tell a secret”, or sceithim, sceitheadh in the CO.
seómra: “room”, pronounced /ʃoːmərə/.
spriúnlaitheacht: “miserliness”, or sprionlaitheacht in the CO. Shán Ó Cuív’s LS edition of Séadna transcribes as if spriúnlaíocht.
spriúnlóir: “miser, skinflint”, or sprionlóir in the CO.
taobh: “side”. I dtaobh is, “although”, followed by a clause with go. Na thaobh san is uile, “in spite of all that”.
tuairisc: “news, account, description”. Tuairisc áite chur, “to make enquiries about a place; ask for directions”.

Proverbs

ar iompáil na n-each tig athrach na scéal: “things can change quickly”.
is olc an ghaoth ná séideann do dhuine éigin: “it’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good”.
mar mhaithe leis féin a dheineann an cat crónán: “the cat purrs for its own good”, i.e. people act out of their own selfish motivations. Often preceded by dáltha an chait (see dáltha).
ná codail ar an gcluais sin: “don’t be too sure of that”.

Aesop in Letiriú Shímplí

I am delighted that someone on my email list, who is known to many as An Lon Dubh, has gone to the trouble of sending me a PDF of the Letiriú Shímplí edition of Aesop a Tháinig go hÉirinn, which helps to nail down the pronunciation of all the words. I will be studying every word carefully! These things are hard to get hold of nowadays, and the PDF has been uploaded here.

You are my love

I have decided to respond here to the thread Inscríbhinn fháinne on the ILF forum, where someone is checking the translation is tusa mo chroí.

According to the experts on Standardised Irish on that forum, this is the right thing to say. But is it? And if so, why is it right to say mo ghrá thu and mo cheól thu?

There seems great confusion on the copula, not least among the aficionados of Standardised Irish, who would instantly respond with references to the Christian Brothers’ Grammar if challenged, as if a book about Standardised Irish had any authority at all on the Irish language. The real authority is the traditional language of the Gaeltacht — not some book compiled in Dublin. If traditional Irish be deemed of no value, there would be no sense in learning Irish anyway.

The Christian Brothers’ Grammar is highly confused on the copula — the compilers do not seem to know the difference between the subject and the predicate. I suppose Scooby and the others on the ILF forum would insist that the Irish of An tAthair Peadar was wrong and whatever is written in a book printed in the 21st century in Dublin is right. Words fail me!

In such sentences, Peadar Ua Laoghaire and Gearóid Ó Nualláin were both insistent that the copula is followed by the predicate. Is mise Gearóid Ó Nualláin — often abbreviated as mise Gearóid Ó Nualláin – has mise as the predicate and GÓN as the subject. It makes no difference that in English “I am Gerald O’Nolan” has GÓN as the predicate.

Mise Gearóid Ó Nualláin is the ordinary way that such sentences are phrased in Irish — it is the ordinary order of the words. This is logical in the Irish language, because in a conversation with someone where the words mise and thusa are required, you have already located and identified the person: if you say “me” and “you” to someone, then both parties to the conversation can already see which real, concrete human beings are being referred to. So “I am GÓN” does not “identify” me, in terms of logic; rather, it identifies the label “GÓN” in terms of the real person, me. That is the logic of Irish: mise and thusa tend to be in the predicate because these persons require no identification in a conversation. A name – just a word – just a label – does not identify a person; it just pins a label on the person. The real person provides the correct identity for the label/name – it is the label or name that needs to be identified and pinned down as to who it applies to.

This does not mean that it is impossible to have mise and thusa as the subjects, as long as that is really what is meant — and I mean, meant in logic, rather than in terms of any kind of word-for-word translation from English (which I am afraid is all that the Christian Brothers’ Grammar is capable of). PUL mentioned in his Papers on Irish Idiom that although mise an rí was the normal phrase, an rí mise was possible. Similar, PUL’s Mionchainnt shows that ní mise Tadhg means “I am not Tim”. The fact that Tim is the predicate in the English is neither here nor here: mise is the predicate in Irish and the sentence denies the identification of the label Tadhg in terms of the real flesh-and-blood person, mise. But it is also possible to say ní Tadhg mise, as Mionchainnt then shows, glossing it as “my name is not Tim”. Here, Tadhg is the predicate, and there is much greater emphasis on Tadhg. I am not Tadhg, but David. PUL’s Mionchainnt also has an file thusa? “Are you a poet?”

Consequently, it is totally incorrect to say that the pronoun has to go next to the verb. Where the noun is the predicate, it receives greater stress. Examples given by GÓN include:

1. Maois agus Elias iad san
2. mo Dhia thu
3. mo chuid ’en tsaol thu
4. ’sí cainnt an tSlánaitheóra féin í sin

You will notice in all this that the present or absence of the suffix -se/-sa or the demonstrative sin/san is not the determinant of whether the pronoun is subject or predicate in the sentence. An rí mise has mise, not me (bearing in mind the disjunctive pronouns in Irish are me and tu, not and ), as the subject. An file thusa? has thusa as the subject. So while it is true that in copula sentences the predicate receives the stress in intonation, this does not mean that any pronoun in the sentence with the emphatic suffix must be the predicate.

The Christian Brothers’ Grammar claims in section 16.40 that an tusa Séamas? has tusa as the predicate, whereas an tu Séamas? has tu as the subject. This amounts to a claim that the emphatic suffix may never be used with the subject of a copula of identification sentence, although they do not appear to have thought it through to that extent. Are they saying na daoine sin, where the demonstrative is equivalent to an emphatic particle, cannot be the subject of a copula sentence? They seem confused. According to them, mo ghrá í sin (mo ghrá: predicate, í sin: subject) in PUL’s Séadna would have to be wrong, because í sin is emphatic.

Of course, what this is all about is their belief that the pronoun should come next to the verb in the copula of identification sentence, and, according to them, may be either subject or predicate. They refuse to consider the possibility that Irish may (and often more logically) have a word in the predicate that would be in the subject in English. Why does English always have to play the trump card in this way? What difference does it make what they say in English? Finally, at the end of section 16.40, the Christian Brothers’ Grammar admits sheepishly — with bad grace, because they put it in a smaller font — that the pronoun does in fact come last in phrases like mo cheól thu and mo ghrá í sin.

But if you can say mo cheól thu, then the Christian Brothers don’t understand the copula at all — as this contradicts the whole of the rest of the section on the copula.

The question that needs to be determined is whether you really are emphasising the noun as the information given (i.e., as the predicate). If so, you can say ní Tadhg mise, because the information given is the fact that Tadhg is not the name. The information given is what the predicate is. And it makes no difference that PUL said mise and not me here. He could have written ní Tadhg me and the subject and predicate of the sentence would be unchanged. In ní mise Tadhg, the information given is once again in the predicate (regardless of where it would be in English).

So what about is tusa mo chroí? Well sentences like mo ghrá thu provide the template: here once again the information given is in the predicate next to the verb. This sentence strikes me as much more powerful than the bland tusa mo ghrá — which merely identifies the noun phrase mo ghrá in terms of your interlocutor tusa. Mo ghrá thu by contrast identifies your interlocutor thu as “the one that I love”. It is more powerful; it is more emphatic; and it is what is said in traditional Irish. Tusa mo chroí — usually without the verb – would mean “you are my love” in a non-emotional and bland way. “You are the teacher; you are Eileen; you are my love” and you are also many other proper nouns. Whereas mo chroí thu, or (in more natural Irish) grá mo chroí thu, or mo ghrá im chroí ‘stigh thu, is much more expressive: you are THE ONE THAT I LOVE.

Séadna chapter 14

Caibideal a Ceathairdéag.

Peig. Mar aduart ó chiainibh, nuair a thuig Sadhbh Dhiarmuda Léith go raibh cleamhnas Mháire Ghearra briste, duairt sí le gach éinne gurbh í féin a bhris é, agus gurbh é cúis gur bhris sí é, a bheith geallta ag Séadna dhi go bpósfadh sé í féin.

Níor chuir éinne ’na coinnibh. Bhí daoine a chreid é agus bhí daoine nár chreid é. Ach peocu ’chreideadar é nú nár chreideadar, ní baol gur chuir éinne chun an scéil d’áiteamh uirthi. Bhíodh sí coitianta dhá mhaíomh gurbh í féin an cailín a chuirfeadh smacht ar ghiobstéiríbh de shaghas Bháb an Leasa agus Nóra an Tóchair. Agus i dtaobh Mháire Ghearra, go raibh iomad meas aici uirthi féin chun a rá go bpósfadh sí fear do bhí geallta do mhnaoi eile.

Síle. Airiú, nárbh í an cuirpeach í!

Peig. Is amhlaidh mar bhí an scéal aici, a Shíle, i ndeireadh bára, d’inis sí an scéal ar an gcuma san chómh minic, agus gan aon duine ag cur ’na coinnibh, gur dó’ liom gur chreid sí féin é fé dheireadh thiar thall.

Síle. Conas ’dh’fhéadfadh sí a chreidiúint gur gheall sé í ’phósadh, agus nár thrácht sé riamh léi air?

Peig. Níl aon tseó, a Shíle, ach a bhoige agus a shaoráidí a chreidimíd an rud a thaithneann linn, uaireanta, go mór mór má bhímíd chómh ceanndána san nách fiú le héinne cómhairle ár leasa a thabhairt dúinn, agus dá dtugadh, ná glacfaimís uaidh í.

Gobnait. Go deimhin is dócha gurb in mar ’dh’imigh ar Chonn Sheáin Óig. Bhí sé ag teacht abhaile ón sráid oíche, agus d’fhan sé ag ól in áit éigin, go raibh formhór na hoíche caite. Ansan nuair a bhí sé ag déanamh ar an mbaile, bhí eagla air go mbeadh a mháthair a’ plé leis i dtaobh í ’chimeád an oíche go léir ar an dtínteán ag feitheamh leis. Is é rud a dhein sé ná a leogaint air go bhfeacaigh sé sprid thíos ar an mBóthar Leathan. Do chreid an mháthair é toisc an ainm aerach a bheith ar an áit. Ní raibh aon chómharsa a thagadh isteach ’na dhiaidh san go ceann i bhfad ná cuireadh sí ’fhéachaint ar Chonn an scéal ’dh’ínsint. B’é crích an scéil é go dtáinig oiread san scannradh ar Chonn roimis an sprid úd ná feacaigh sé riamh, ná leogfadh eagla dho an Bóthar Leathan a ghabháil tar éis na hoíche a thitim, dá bhfaigheadh sé Éire air.

Peig. Peoca ’chreid Sadhbh féin é nú nár chreid, bhí a lán de sna cómharsanaibh a chreid láithreach é, agus ba gheárr gur chreideadar go léir é. Cheapadar, is dócha, toisc an déileáil leathair a bheith idir Dhiarmuid agus Séadna, go mb’fhéidir go raibh an gheallúint ann. Pé scéal é, bhí sé socair ’na n-aigne gur mar gheall ar Shadhbh do theip cleamhnas Mháire Ghearra. Ansan, nuair a chuímhníodar ar an dturas úd Dhiarmuda suas go tigh Shéadna, thuigeadar go mb’fhéidir ná raibh Diarmuid chómh mór gan fios a ghnótha féin agus a shíleadar.

“Á,” adeiridís lena chéile, “níl sprid ná púca gan fios a chúise aige féin.”

Micil agus a mháthair a bhí go tromchroíoch de dhruím an scéil. Gan amhras bhí ’ fhios ag Siobhán ná raibh baint ar bith ag Sadhbh le briseadh an chleamhnais, ach ní raibh ’ fhios san ag Micil. Ach má bhí tromchroí ar Shiobhán i dtaobh na beirte sin a bheith scartha go brách le chéile ar an saol so, bhí tromchroí agus canncar agus buile ar Mhicil i dtaobh a rá go mbeadh sé de phláinéid ar Shéadna go dtug sé geallúint phósta do Shadhbh.

Síle. Agus dar ndó’ níor thug, a Pheig.

Peig. Cheap Micil gur thug.

Síle. Ní dhéanfainn dabhta dhe! Nách iúntach ná teipfeadh air, uair éigin, an tuathal a cheapadh!

Peig. ’S dó’, bhí sé i mbéal gach éinne aici. Bhí sé leata ar fuid na dútha aici. Lasmu’ de Shéadna féin agus de Mháire Ghearra agus de Shiobhán, ní raibh duine ná daonnaí ná raibh an scéal aige fé mar ’chuir Sadhbh amach é. Dá mb’é Seán Ceatach féin é, bhí sé buailte isteach in’ aigne go raibh geallúint phósta tabhartha ag Séadna do Shadhbh, agus gurbh í an gheallúint sin a bhí ar aigne Shéadna an lá ’bhíodar ag siúl sa pháirc ar aghaidh tí Shéadna amach, é féin dhá thathant air Máire a phósadh, agus eisean ag admháil méid a ghrá dhi, agus san am gcéanna ag cur an uile shaghas cúnstaice i gcoinnibh an chleamhnais.

Síle. Agus an é sin a bhí ar siúl acu? Conas a fuaradh amach é, a Pheig?

Peig. Níor fuaradh amach é gur leath ráfla Shadhbh ar fuid na háite, agus gur airigh Seán é. Ansan do bhuail sé buille dá bhais ar a leathghlúin, agus duairt sé in’ aigne féin, “Ó! Tuigim anois,” ar seisean, “cad a bhí ar aigne Shéadna an lá úd. Nách mór an iúnadh,” ar seisean, “nár inis sé dhom, lom díreach, cad a bhí ar aigne aige, agus gan me ’ bheith ag dul chómh dian air, dhá chur suas chun mná do phósadh, agus geallúint phósta tabhartha aige do mhnaoi eile? Dáltha an scéil,” ar seisean, “ní fheadar cad é an crann a bhí air agus a leithéid de gheallúint a thabhairt uaidh dá leithéid de mhnaoi.”

Nuair a bhuail Seán agus an sagart um a chéile do shocraíodar an scéal eatarthu ar a sástacht féin. Go dtí san, do theip ar éinne acu bun ná bárr d’fháil ar an scéal, ach nuair a bhí ráfla Shadhbh acu do thuigeadar é go léir tríd síos.

Síle. Thuigeadar, dar leó féin.

Peig. Dar leó féin, go díreach. Cheapadar go raibh bun agus bárr an scéil go cruínn agus go baileach acu nuair a bhí fios na geallúna acu, agus is iad a bhí go hatruach agus go dobrónach de bhárr an mhí-ádh a bhí ar Shéadna, agus an chuma ’na raibh Sadhbh ag déanamh toirmisc do.

“Ní fheadar ’en tsaol,” arsan sagart, “cad é an mallachar radhairc a bhí air agus a leithéid de gheallúint a thabhairt dá leithéid de mhnaoi.”

“Is dócha,” arsa Seán, “gur an fhaid a bhí an dealús air a dhein sé é. Do gheibheadh sé leathar ar cáirde go minic ó Dhiarmuid, agus b’fhéidir gur cheap an fear bocht, dá bpósadh sé Sadhbh, go mbeadh tínteán tirim teann aige, pé in Éirinn é, pé cúmpórd eile ’bheadh aige ná ná beadh.”

“Gabhaimse orm,” arsan sagart, “ná raibh aon bhaol go bpósfadh sí an uair sin é. Ach mar sin féin, b’fhéidir nár mhiste léi an gheallúint do ghlacadh uaidh. Níl teóra lena leithéidí nuair a luíd siad amach ar an bhfeall agus ar an gcalaois agus ar an éitheach.”

“Fágaim le huacht, a Athair,” arsa Seán Ceatach, “gur dócha go bhfuil an ceart agat. Ach ar a shon san, tá a lán sa scéal nách féidir a thuiscint. An lá ’bhí sé thiar ageam thighse, duairt sé gur oir do cúpla focal a labhairt le Máire. Cheapas ná raibh uain aige ar dhul isteach nuair a bhí sé imithe. Má labhair sé in aon chor níor labhair sé thar an dá fhocal. D’imigh sé mar ’imeódh an t-éan. Pé rud aduairt sé, ní fheacasa riamh a leithéid d’athrú in aon Chríostaí agus a bhí inti sin as san amach. Do tháinig a goile dhi agus do tháinig a luisne dhi. D’imigh an mhairbhití agus an dúire. Ba gheárr go raibh a guth chómh haibidh agus a gáire chómh bínn agus ’dh’airíos riamh óna máthair, an lá is óige a bhí sí. Más amhlaidh ’dh’inis sé dhi go raibh geallúint tabhartha do Shadhbh aige, is deocair a rá go dtógfadh san an ceó dá croí mar a tógadh é. Ba dhó’ liom gurb é rud a dhéanfadh sé ná an galar dóch a chur ar fad uirthi.”

“Imbriathar ’s ambasa, a Sheáin,” arsan sagart, “go bhfuil iúnadh mhór agat dá chur orm, féach. An lá ’tháinig sé anso chun cainnte liomsa, cheapas, ní nárbh iúnadh, gur chun an chleamhnais a chríochnú a tháinig sé. Duairt sé liom gurbh fheárr leis ná a raibh d’ór agus d’airgead ’en tsaol aige go bhféadfadh sé Máire ’phósadh. Cheapas féin go raibh scéal áthais agam dá ínsint do nuair aduart leis gurbh fheasach dom Máire ’bheith lántoilteanach don chleamhnas. In’ inead san is amhlaidh ba dhó’ leat gur ínseas do go raibh sí tar éis bháis. ‘Is trua agus is tubaisteach an scéal é,’ ar seisean, agus do sciúrd sé an doras amach uaim mar ’dhéanfadh duine buile.”

“Pé rud aduairt sé le Máire, lenar baineadh an galar dóch di, tá eagla orm go bhfuil greim daingean éigin ag Sadhbh air, agus mura mbeadh go bhfuil, ná beadh sise dhá mhaíomh ar fuid na dútha mar atá sí, agus ná scarfadh seisean chómh bog le mnaoi go raibh oiread san ceana aige uirthi, agus aici air.”

“Agus féach,” arsan sagart, “ar an dtaobh eile den scéal. Ní saoráidí atá scartha aige sin le Máire ná atá scartha aici sin leis.”

“Dar fia, a Athair, is fíor dhuit é!” arsa Seán. “Agus gan éileamh ag éinne uirthi.”

“Is é an scéal is éagsamhlaí dár bhuail riamh fós umamsa é,” arsan sagart.

“Nár chóir, a Athair,” arsa Seán, “má thug sé geallúint do Shadhbh Dhiarmuda, go bhféadfí teacht ar bhunphréimh an scéil agus an gheallúint do chur i leataoibh? Dar ndó’ tá ’ fhios ag an saol ná fuil sé ceangailte air i láthair Dé an gheallúint sin do sheasamh.”

“Gan amhras,” arsan sagart, “má tá an gheallúint ann, níl sé ceangailte air í ’ sheasamh.”

“Má tá sí ann, a Athair, an ea?” arsa Seán. “Deallraíonn san gurb é do thuairimse ná fuil sí ann. Mura bhfuil sí ann, nár chóir go bhféadfí cosc a chur le teangain Shadhbh? Más éitheach atá ar siúl aici is mór an trua é ’ leogaint in aisce léi. Dá fhaid a leogfar in aisce léi é is ea is dána ’leanfaidh sí dhe. Dá luaithe a curfar cosc léi is ea is lú an díobháil a bheidh déanta aici. Más éitheach atá ar siúl aici, — mura bhfuil aon éileamh aici ar Shéadna le ceart geallúna, — do bhuaigh sí ar a bhfeaca riamh de mhnáibh, agus do bhuaigh Séadna ar a bhfeaca riamh d’fhearaibh.”

“Conas é sin?” arsan sagart.

“Mura bhfuil aon éileamh ag Sadhbh air,” ar seisean, “cad ’tá ag teacht idir é agus pósadh m’iníne?”

“Sin í díreach an cheist,” arsan sagart.

“Is í, a Athair,” ar seisean; “agus tá a fhonn orm leanúint siar ar an gceist sin go dtagaidh a réiteach liom, luath nú mall. Dá mbeithá im chás, a Athair,” ar seisean, “ní rómhaith do raghadh sé dhuit Sadhbh Dhiarmuda ’bheith ag magadh fút ar an gcuma so.”

“Níl Sadhbh ag magadh fé éinne ach fúithi féin, a Sheáin,” arsan sagart. “Ach ar a shon san, ámh, is fíor dhuit gur mór an trua gan smacht a chur ar a leithéid dá mb’fhéidir é. Agus anois a chuímhním air, ní dócha go raghadh Diarmuid suas chómh dána go tigh Shéadna, dhá fhiafraí dhe cad a cheap sé ’dhéanamh i gcómhair na Máirte, mura mbeadh go raibh ceart nú teideal éigin aige.”

“Agus féach féin, a Athair,” arsa Seán, “cad é an saghas freagra ’thug Séadna air. ‘Níl aon fhonn pósta orm,’ ar seisean, ‘agus ní bheidh go fóill’; díreach fé mar adéarfadh sé, ‘nílim ollamh fós ar an ngeallúint úd do chómhlíonadh.’”

“Ambasa, a Sheáin,” arsan sagart, “ní deirim ná go bhfuil an ceart agat. Tá sé ar naisc aici, agus is mór an trua é.”

Síle. Ó mhuis’, ó mhuis’, ó mhuise! Féach air sin mar obair! Cad é an donas a bhí ag baint a meabhrach díobh? Dar ndó’, tá ’ fhios ag an saol go ndéarfadh sé an méid sin cainnte agus gan aon gheallúint a bheith air. Ba dheas an bheirt iad! Cad é an díobháil dom ach an sagart féin.

Cáit. Is dó’, féach, a Shíle, a chuid, ní raibh aon eólas acu ar rún Shéadna, ná aon choinne ar bith acu lena leithéid. Dá mbeadh, b’fhéidir go dtuigfidís an scéal chómh maith agus ’thuigimídne é. Ach conas ’fhéadfadh éinne cuímhneamh air? Níor inis sé d’éinne beó é. Níor thrácht sé amach as a bhéal air le héinne dár mhair riamh, ón gcéad lá go dtí an lá ’bhí an uair sin ann. Ar thugais fé ndeara a chruinne agus a fheabhas a chimeád sé é ón uile dhuine dár labhair leis? Bhíos ag faire ar an scéal, agus bhínn dhá cheapadh ó am go ham go sleamhnódh focal éigin uaidh a leogfadh amach é; ach níor shleamhnaigh an smiog ba lú uaidh. Ní raibh aon ní eile dhá chosc air Máire Ghearra a phósadh ach an rún a bhí aige in’ aigne féin. Ní raibh eólas ar bith ag an sagart ná ag Seán Ceatach ar an rún san. Bhí sé leata ar fuid na dútha ag Sadhbh gur gheall sé í féin a phósadh. Ní raibh éinne ag bréagnú an scéil sin. Conas ’fhéadfadh éinne a rá ná go mb’fhéidir go raibh rud éigin i bhfuirm fírinne sa scéal? Ceapaim féin ná féadfadh Seán Ceatach agus an sagart a n-aigne do shocrú ar aon rud eile ach air seo, nárbh fholáir nú go raibh an gheallúint ann.

Síle. Agus dar ndó’, ba mhór an éagóir é, a Cháit.

Cáit. Ba mhór, gan amhras, ach cad é an leigheas a bhí air?

Síle. Ba dhó’ liom gur cheart do dhaoinibh féachaint rómpu agus gan an éagóir a dhéanamh.

Cáit. Ambasa, a Shíle, ba cheart. Ach ní fhágann san ná gur minic a crochadh duine san éagóir agus gan leigheas ag éinne air.

Gobnait. D’airíos-sa gur crochadh duine mar sin san éagóir thiar in aice an Rátha Mhóir fadó, nuair a bhriseadar na Buachaillí Bána an cóiste agus ’ mharaíodar an fear a bhí ’na ghárda air.

Nóra. Cad ba ghá dhóibh é ’mharú, a Ghobnait?

Gobnait. Is amhlaidh a cheapadar go raibh páipéar ag fear an chóiste, agus gach éinne a bhí ’na cheann ar Bhuachaillíbh Bána go raibh a ainm sa pháipéar san, agus nuair a raghadh an cóiste go Trá Lí go gcurfí armáil amach, agus aon fhear go raibh a ainm sa pháipéar go mbéarfí air agus go gcrochfí é. Is é rud a bheartaíodar ná teacht roimis an gcóiste agus an páipéar a bhaint amach ar ais nú ar éigin. Nuair ’iarradar an páipéar is é rud a dhein an fear a bhí ’na ghárda ná caitheamh leó. Bhí arm tine acu san chómh maith agus ’bhí aige sin, agus do chaitheadar leis, agus do thit sé marbh ar an mbóthar. Ar maidin la’r na mháireach do bhuail amach ar an mbóthar seanduine bocht a bhíodh ag aeireacht i gcónggar na háite, agus nuair a chonaic sé an duine marbh do stad sé ag féachaint air agus scárd ’na shúilibh. Lena línn sin do tháinig an t-arm dearg suas, agus do rugadh ar an seanduine bocht, agus do cuireadh suas croch láithreach chun a chrochta.

Síle. Agus cad chuige é ’chrochadh gan chúis?

Gobnait. Ambasa, a Shíle, ba chuma leó súd ceocu ’bhí cúis chuige nú ná raibh. Seanduine bocht símplí dob ea é, gan pheaca. D’iarr sé an sagart a thabhairt chuige, agus do tugadh. Nuair a bhí a fhaoistin déanta aige, agus iad dhá bhreith suas chun na croiche, bhí sé ag titim i gceann a chos le scannradh. Ní fhéadfadh sé siúl ná seasamh. Ansan do labhair an sagart leis agus duairt sé, “Ní fiú dhuit a leithéid sin d’eagla ’bheith ort,” ar seisean. “Ní túisce do scarfaidh anam le colainn agat ar an gcroich ná bheidh aoibhneas na bhFlaitheas agat láithreach.” – “An ndeireann tú liom é?” arsan seanduine bocht. – “Deirim gan amhras,” arsan sagart. “Tá Íosa Críost agus Muire Mháthair ansúd thuas ag feitheamh leat.” Tháinig neart agus misneach láithreach do. “Druididh uaim amach,” ar seisean leó. Chuir sé an dréimire suas de gan cúnamh, agus do crochadh é. Bhí sé cheithre fichid.

Cáit. Ba dheas an gníomh é! Dá bhfaighinn lom orthu do chrochfainn iad mar a chrochfainn madraí uilc. Na cladhairí gránna! An seanduine bocht! Agus ’ fhios acu ná raibh sé agus ná féadfadh sé bheith ciontach. Nár chóir go mbeadh náire orthu!

Gobnait. Náire! ’ Dhe, cá bhfios dóibh siúd cad a bhain le náire? Bhídís ag lámhach agus ag crochadh na ndaoine ins gach aon bhall an uair sin. Nách in é an fear san thíos i Magh Chromtha do bhuail aníos Gort na Leice maidean Domhnaigh ar muin a chapaill, agus a ghunna ar a bhéalaibh aige, agus nuair a chonaic sé an duine bocht in aice an tuir ar a ghlúinibh ag rá na Coróinneach Muire, do scaoil an piléar tríd!

Cáit. Ambasa, a Ghobnait, is fíor dhuit. Do dhein sé mar sin é. Bhíos i Magh Chromtha lá in éineacht le Neill, agus thaispeáin sí dhom é, agus imbriathar, nuair a chonac é, gur chorraigh mo chuid fola. Bhí sé ansúd go liath láidir ag siúl na sráide, chómh dána agus dá mba ná beadh a leithéid déanta aige. Do theip orm gan nimh mo shúl do chur ’na láimh dheis. Thug sé fé ndeara me ag féachaint ar an láimh, agus d’iompaigh dath gorm ar an mbithiúnach. B’é ab fhada liom go rabhas as a radharc, geallaim dhuit é.

Síle. Cé hé féin, a Cháit?

Cáit. ’ Dhe, an seanachladhaire sin thíos Dochtúir de Faoite.

Síle. Agus cad ’na thaobh nár crochadh é?

Gobnait. ’Sea go díreach! Cad ’na thaobh nár crochadh é! Cad ’na thaobh nár crochadh M’leachlainn? Níor crochadh. ’Siad na Cárthaigh a crochadh, nuair a dhearbhaigh M’leachlainn orthu an gníomh a dhein se féin.

Cáit. Nách é Cormac Mac Cártha a lámhaigh Bob Hutchison, a Ghobnait?

Gobnait. Is é, nuair a sheasaimh M’leachlainn Ó Dúgáin ar an dtaobh thiar de agus chuir sé béal a ghunna lena dhrom, agus duairt sé, “Lámhaigh é, a Chormaic,” ar seisean, “nú lámhfadsa thusa!” Agus dar ndó’, ní raibh de Cárthaigh ann ach Cormac. Ní raibh Ceallachán ná Tadhg ann in aon chor, agus do crochadh an triúr. Agus ní baol, a Shíle, gur crochadh M’leachlainn.

Síle. ’S dó’, go deimhin, ba dhó’ le duine ortsa, a Ghobnait, gurb iad na daoine ciontacha is mó a théann saor, agus gurb iad na daoine macánta a crochtar. Do crochadh an seanduine thiar in aice an Rátha Mhóir, agus níor crochadh an mhuíntir a chroch é. Do crochadh na Cárthaigh, agus níor crochadh M’leachlainn. Níor crochadh Dochtúir de Faoite.

Gobnait. Ar airís riamh, a Shíle, cad ’duairt sean Sheón Léadar leis an bhfear oibre? “Duine macánta is ea mise,” arsan fear oibre. – “Duine macánta!” arsa Seón. “Imigh uaim, a dhuine mhacánta!” ar seisean. “Ní dhéanfadh duine macánta mo ghnósa in aon chor.”

Peig. Fan leat go fóill, a Ghobnait.

“Tá sé ar naisc aici,” arsan sagart, “agus is mór an trua é. Ach cad ’tá le déanamh againn?”

“Cad a bheadh le déanamh againn,” arsa Seán, “ach an gheallúint a chur i leataoibh? Níl sé ceangailte ar Shéadna an gheallúint do sheasamh. Ní bheadh sé ceangailte ar aon fhear beó a bheadh ’na chás. Is geallúint gan éifeacht í.”

“Tá san uile fíor go leór,” arsan sagart, “ach conas a curfar i leataoibh í? Sin í an cheist. Cad é an chéad aitheasc atá le déanamh againn?”

“Is é céad aitheasc a dhéanfainnse, a Athair,” arsa Seán, “dul soir go tigh Dhiarmud’ Léith agus an ceann a bhaint den scéal láithreach do féin agus do Shadhbh, agus a ínsint dóibh lom díreach ná fuil aon tairbhe sa gheallúint, ná fuil ann ach díth céille dhóibh bheith ag brath air go bhféadfaidís í ’chur i bhfeidhm ar an nduine.”

“Má dheinir mar sin,” arsan sagart, “ceapaim gurb é céad aitheasc a dhéanfaidh Sadhbh a fhiafraí dhíot go tur agus go teann cé ’duairt leat teacht chun cainnte léi, nú an é Séadna a chuir chuithi tu leis an dteachtaireacht san, agus más é, gurb é a cómhairle féin duit imeacht abhaile agus aire ’thabhairt dod ghnó féin, agus leogaint do Shéadna an cleas céanna ’ dhéanamh.”

“Más ea, a Athair,” ar seisean, “cad ’déarfá lem dhul chun cainnte le Séadna féin ar dtúis?”

“Agus cad ’déarfá leis?” arsa an sagart.

“Déarfainn leis,” ar seisean, “gur mór an trua dho a shaol a scaoileadh uaidh ag seasamh geallúna gan bhrí, agus gan ceangal air i láthair Dé an gheallúint do chómhlíonadh.”

“Ní fhéadfainn aon tuairim a thabhairt,” arsan sagart, “fén bhfreagra ’gheófá uaidh. Is duine ródhoimhinn ródhorcha é. Dá ghéire ’thabharfá tuairim fén gcainnt a bheadh le teacht uaidh, nuair a thiocfadh an chainnt bheadh sí seacht míle ón dtuairim. Ach do gheallfainn duit go ndéarfadh sé rud éigin ná beadh coinne agat leis agus a bhainfeadh ded bhonnaibh thu.”

“Ní fheadar ’en tsaol, a Athair,” arsa Seán, “cad is maith dhom a dhéanamh.”

“Ar inis Máire dhuit,” arsan sagart, “cad ’duairt Séadna léi an lá ’bhí sé thiar?”

“Níor inis, a Athair,” ar seisean, “agus níor fhiafraíos di é.”

“B’fhéidir,” arsan sagart, “dá mbeadh ’ fhios agat cad ’duairt sé léi an lá san, go dtabharfadh san oiread eólais ar a aigne dhuit agus a chuirfeadh ar an mbóthar gceart tu sula raghfá chun cainnte leis.”

“Tá go maith, a Athair,” ar seisean. “Fiafród anois di é nuair a raghad abhaile, ar a shon nách maith liom trácht in aon chor léi air, le heagla go gcuirfeadh sé aon bhuairt uirthi agus go bhfíllfeadh an lionn dubh úd arís uirthi.

“Níl agat,” arsan sagart, “ach an scéal do tharrac anuas chómh réidh, chómh neafuiseach agus is féidir é.”

Nótaí

É féin dhá thathant air Máire a phósadh: the original spelling agá is suboptimal here, as the pronunciation is likely to be á or dhá. However, dhá used as the object of the action represented by the verbal noun is derived from an original ag+a (and so often writtenghá in PUL’s works), explaining the original spelling. Shán Ó Cuív’s LS edition of Séadna transcribes agá simply as á here.

De bhárr an mhí-ádh: the genitive mí-áidh is not given here. This may reflect confusion of ádh, “luck”, with áth, “ford”—such confusion was noted in FdS, although PUL claimed the word áth had a nasal vowel in his Irish and should therefore have distinguished these words—which would align the genitive of ádh with that of átha; FGB also gives ádha as a variant genitive of ádh.

Nuair a bhriseadar na Buachaillí Bána an cóiste agus mharaíodar an fear a bhí ’na ghárda air: this possibly refers to an incident in 1822 when hundreds of people (Rockites—rural insurrectionists similar to the Whiteboys) attacked a mail-coach and killed the mail-coach agent near Rathmore in Co. Kerry.

Maidean Domhnaigh: “on a Sunday morning”. The transcription in Shán Ó Cuív’s LS edition, maidin Dôunuig, appears to put maidean in the dative. However, maidean Domhnaigh is also justifiable, as this is bracketed together as a noun phrase. See part 1 of Gearóid Ó Nualláin’s Studies in Modern Irish, pp158-160, for discussion of the Bracketed Construction.

Names and Proper Nouns

Bob Hutchinson: a retired colonel living at Codrum House to the west of Macroom, who was murdered by a band of United Irishmen in 1799.
Buachaillí Bána (na Buachaillí Bana): the Whiteboys, an agrarian movement that violently defended tenant farmers’ rights, with outbreaks in 1761-64, 1770-76 and 1784-86, mainly in Munster.
Conn Sheáin Óig: a character briefly mentioned here. Conn is pronounced /ku:n/.
Cormac Mac Cártha: known in English-language records as Charles Mac Carthy, with the soubriquet “Captain Slasher”, one of the United Irishmen informed upon by Malachy Duggan and hanged for the murder of Bob Hutchinson in July 1799. Cormac, who was recognised by Hutchinson during the incident as one of his servants, is thought to have been the one who fired the shot and killed Hutchinson. Three of his brothers (Ceallachán, Eóghan and Tadhg) were also implicated and hanged, although PUL has Gobnait claiming here that Ceallachán and Tadhg were not even present during the raid. Cormac is pronounced /korəmək/. The surname Mac Cárthaigh is given as Mac Cártha in the original, in line with the general pronunciation of such surnames in -aigh in WM Irish, and consequently the original spelling is retained here too. Shán Ó Cuív’s LS edition of Séadna shows the pronunciation to be Coramac Vác Cárha, so more research is required here into whether the Mac is lenited and has a long vowel in such names.
Dochtúir de Faoite: Doctor White, a person mentioned here who murdered someone for saying the Rosary in public. White, or de Faoite, is an Irish surname of Anglo-Norman origin.
Íosa Críost: Jesus Christ.
M’leachlainn Ó Dúgáin: Malachy Duggan, known as “the most hated man of Macroom”, was a member of a group of 19 United Irishmen who took part in a raid on Codrum House, west of Macroom, in April 1799, during which Robert Hutchinson was killed. Duggan was pardoned after informing on his comrades, at least ten of whom were hanged, with some of their heads displayed for many years on spikes, with another participant sentenced to transportation. M’leachlainn is pronounced /mlʹaxəliŋʹ~mrʹaxəliŋʹ~brʹaxəliŋʹ/; Shán Ó Cuív’s LS edition of Séadna has Mleachluing. This incident is also recounted in PUL’s autobiography, Mo Sgéal Féin.
Seón Léadar: this name is given as Jonathan Leadar in the authorised translation of Séadna. Seón is a late variant of Seán derived from the English name John/Jonathan. Léadar is a gaelicisation of the English surname, Leader, found in Co. Cork.

Placenames

Gort na Leice: Gortnalicky, Co. Cork, where leice is the genitive of leac, “flagstone”, pronounced /lʹikʹi/.
Magh Chromtha: Macroom, Co. Cork. While this placename appears to mean “crooked plain” in modern Irish, it is thought that it refers rather to the Celtic god Cromm Crúaich, or Crom Cruach, whose worship included human sacrifice. Worship of Crom Cruach is said to have been put a stop to by St. Patrick. PUL said in his Notes on Irish Words and Usages that Magh Chromtha is never lenited, by way of an exception. Pronounced /mə ‘xroumhə/.
Ráth Mór (an): Rathmore, Co. Kerry, where ráth means “fort, earthen rampart”.
Trá Lí: Tralee, Co. Kerry. The spelling Tráigh-Lí was used in the original text, but this has been edited here as Trá Lí in line with general usage and the pronunciation (as shown in Shán Ó Cuív’s LS edition of Séadna). Tráigh, “beach, strand”, would be /trɑːgʹ/ in WM Irish, other than in this placename.

Foclóirín

aerach: “lively, gay; eery”.
aitheasc: “move, a step to be taken”, especially in the phrase an chéad aitheasc atá le déanamh againn, “our first move”. Pronounced /ɑhəsk/. Also found in PUL’s works as ásc.
aoraim, aeireacht: “to shepherd, herd”, or aoirím, aoireacht in the CO. Traditionally written aodharaim, aodhaireacht, the spelling change of the mid-twentieth century has produced CO spellings that yield the incorrect pronunciation for speakers of Munster Irish. Pronounced /e:rimʹ, e:rʹəxt/.
arm: “army” or “weapon”. An t-arm dearg, “the British army”. Arm tine, “firearm”. Pronounced /ɑrəm/.
armáil: “army”, pronounced /ɑrə’mɑːlʹ/.
atruach: “compassionate”.
baileach: “exact”, prononced /bi’lʹɑx/. Go cruínn agus go baileach, “fully, with all the ins and outs”.
bára: “game, match”, or báire in the CO. I ndeireadh bára, /i nʹerʹi bɑ:rə/, “at length, after all is said and done”.
béal: “mouth”. Ar a bhéalaibh aige, “in front of him”.
boige: “softness”, but also “the easiness or foolishness with which something is done”.
bonn: “sole of the foot”. Duine bhaint dá bhonnaibh, “to knock someone off his stride, run totally contary to his expectations”. Pronounced /buːn, bunivʹ/
bunphréamh: “taproot; root, cause, origin”, or bunfhréamh in the CO. With bunphréimh in the dative.
caithim, caitheamh: “to throw”. Caitheamh leó, “to fire at them”.
calaois: “deceit, fraud”, pronounced /kə’liːʃ/.
ceanndána: “stubborn”.
ciontach: “guilty”. PUL uses both cionntach and ciontach in his works (ciontach is given in the original text here), and IWM shows the pronunciation could be either /kʹu:ntəx/ or /kʹuntəx/.
cóiste: “coach”.
colann: “body”, with colainn in the dative, which form is used in the nominative in the CO.
coróinn: “crown”, or coróin in the CO, pronounced /kroːŋʹ/. An Choróinn Mhuire, “the Rosary”.
cuímhním, cuímhneamh: “to consider, think”. Anois a chuímhním air, “now that I come to think of it”.
cúmpórd: “comfort”, or compord in the CO. Pronounced /ku:m’po:rd/.
cúnstaic: “obstacle”, spelt constaic in the original. This word is edited here in line with the pronunciation shown in the LS edition of Séadna. Cúnstaic a chur i gcoinnibh ruda, “to place obstacles in something’s way”.
dabhta: “doubt”, or dabht in the CO. Dabhta dhéanamh de dhuine, “to doubt someone”. Note that the form is dabhta in this phrase, but dabht in gan dabht, “without doubt”.
deallraím, deallramh: “to appear”, or dealraím, dealramh in the CO. The traditional ll is given in the editing here, indicating the diphthong; the original text contains spelling such as deabhruighean, showing the deletion of the l after the diphthong: /dʹau’riːm, dʹaurəv/. Deallraíonn san go, “that shows that”.
dearbhaím, dearbhú: “to affirm, swear, attest”. Dearbhú ar dhuine, “to testify against someone”. Pronounced /dʹarə’viːmʹ, dʹarə’vuː/.
dearg: “red”, pronounced /dʹarəg/.
déileáil: “dealing, transaction”, pronounced /dʹəi’lʹa:lʹ/.
díobháil: “harm”. Cad é an díobháil dom ach an sagart féin!, “I wouldn’t have minded/it wouldn’t have been so bad if it hadn’t been the priest himself!”
dobrónach: “dejected”.
doimhinn: “deep”, domhain in the CO. Pronounced /dəiŋʹ/.
dúire: this word literally means “rigidity”, but is glossed as “gloom, depression” in FdS.
féachaint: cur ’ fhéachaint, “to force or compel someone”. This would be iallach or iachall a chur in the CO. PUL uses this phrase without an intervening de, but the phrase generally occurs as cur d’fhéachaint ar dhuine rud a dhéanamh.
feasach: “knowing”. Is feasach dom é, “I am aware of it”. Research on the pronunciation required here: Shán Ó Cuív’s LSedition of Séadna shows no indication of stress on the second syllable (transcribing fheasach as easach), and so it may be /fʹasəx/, but if, as is usual with words in -ach, the ending is stressed, it would be /fʹi’sɑx/. PUL uses fiosach in his edition of An Teagasg Críostaidhe, which tends to support the view the stress is on the second syllable, but Shán Ó Cuív’s LS edition of An Teagasg Críostaidhe also fails to show end-stress in that work too, transcribing tis word as fisach.
fiafraím, fiafraí: “to ask (a question of someone)”, used with de. Pronounced /fʹiər’hi:mʹ, fʹiər’hi:/.
formhór: “majority”, pronounced /forə’vo:r/.
fuirm: “form”, or foirm in the CO. Pronounced /firʹimʹ/. Rud éigin i bhfuirm na fírinne, “something like/something approaching the truth”.
giobstéir: “a forward, precocious girl”, or giobstaire in the CO. Glossed in FdS as “a chattering girl, whose chattering is both impudent and mischievous”.
gorm: “blue”, pronounced /gorəm/. D’iompaigh dath gorm air, “he turned blue”.
iomad: “too much”, often, but not always, with the definite article. An iomad cainnte agat, “too much to say for yourself”. Iomad meas aici uirthi, “too much respect for her”.
lámhaim, lámhach: “to shoot”, pronounced /lɑːmʹ, lɑːx/. The preterite/imperative, lámhaigh, is pronounced /lɑːgʹ/, and the future form lámhfad /lɑːd/.
lántoilteanach: “fully consenting”, followed by do. Pronounced /lɑ:n-tolʹhənəx/.
lasmu’: “outside”, or lasmuigh in the CO. Pronounced /lɑs’mu/. This word is spelt lasmuich in the original, reflecting PUL’s concern to show there is no audible g in this word.
liath: “grey”, with léith in the genitive singular masculine. Go liath láidir is glossed in the authorised translation of Séadna as “grey and strong”, but appears to mean rather “as large as life”.
lionn: “ale”. Lionn dubh, “stout; melancholy”.
lom: “a chance at something, an opportunity”, pronounced /loum/. Dá bhfaighinn lom orthu, “if I got a chance to get them/take them on”.
luím, luí: “to lay dawn”. Luí amach ar rud, “to set about something in earnest, to abandon yourself to it, become absorbed in it”.
maith: “good”. Note the difference between is maith liom, “I like”, and is maith dhom, “it is proper, suitable for me (to do something)”.
mallachar: “slowness, dullness”, pronounced /mə’lɑxər/. Mallachar radhairc (ort), “dimness of sight”.
meas: “respect, esteem”. Meas a bheith agat ar dhuine, “to have respect for someone”. The genitive should be measa, but sometimes appear as meas (iomad meas aici uirthi), possibly reflecting the deletion of the final a before the preposition starting with a vowel that usually follows this noun.
nasc: “link, tie”. Tá sé ar naisc aici, “she is leading him by the nose”. FdS shows that nasc is the nominative of this word and naisc the dative. Compare CFBB, where Amhlaoibh Ó Loingigh is shown having neasc in the nominative and neaisc in the dative. Other speakers of WM Irish have naisc in the nominative.
neafuiseach: “careless, indifferent”, or neafaiseach in the CO. The original spelling here was neamhchuiseach. Go neafuiseach, “nonchalantly, apparently without design”. Shán Ó Cuív’s LS edition of Séadna transcribes neamhchuiseach as neachuiseach, but neamhchuiseach seems to be a variant spelling of what was traditionally spelt neamhthuiseach, pronounced /nʹafiʃəx/ according to IWM. Some research required here in any case.
nimh: “poison”. Nimh mo shúl do chur na láimh dheis, “to stare at his right hand”.
piléar: “bullet”, pronounced /plʹeːr/ and spelt pléar in the original.
pláinéid: “planet”, and by extension “planetary influence in the astrological sense, ill luck, ill fate”. Tá sé de phláinéid air go…, “he has the ill fate to …” Pláinéad in the CO.
pléim, plé: “to dispute, wrangle or contend with”. Plé le duine, “to blame someone”.
saoráidí: “easiness”, pronounced /səi’rɑ:dʹi:/, an abstract noun used with proleptic a, (a shaoráidí, “how easy”).
scárd: “a terrified look”. Both scárd (masculine) and scáird (feminine) are found in the original text here.
scéal: “story”. Pé scéal é, “in any case, at any rate”.
sciúrdaim, sciúrdadh: “to rush, dash”.
seó: “show, spectacle”. Níl aon tseó ach é, “it is a marvel, there is nothing like it”.
sílim, síleadh: “to think, expect”.
smiog: “tittle; a single word”, or smid in the CO. Pronounced /smʹug/, according to CFBB.
son: “sake, account”. Cad ar a shon?, “what for?” Ar a shon go, “even though”. Ar a shon san, “even so, nevertheless” or “on that account”, depending on context.
tathant: “an act of urging or inciting”. There is no attestation of a finite verb corresponding to the CO form tathantaím in WM Irish. Note that this word was given as tafaint in the original, and Shán Ó Cuív’s LS edition of Séadna transcribes thafaint as hafuint, but FdS specifically states that the f is to be pronounced as h (“tafaint, pron. tathaint”). CFBB states the pronunciation is /tɑhənt/, which accords with the spelling tathant used in most of PUL’s works (cf. his novel, Niamh).
teideal: “title”. Teideal chun ruda, “entitlement to or reason for something”.
teóra: “boundary”, or teorainn in the CO. Níl aon teóra leis, “he knows no bounds, there is nothing like it, there is no end to it”.
toirmeasc: “mischief, row”, pronounced /torʹimʹəsk/. Ag déanamh toirmisc do dhuine, “making trouble for someone”.
tor: “bush”, with tuir in the genitive.
tromchroí: “heaviness of heart, melancholy”. Spelt troma-chroídhe in the original and pronounced /tromə-xri:/.