Making the language up

The authoritative form of a language is that spoken by its native speakers. In most countries, this is not a controversial proposition, because in most countries the official language is widely spoken. In Ireland, the pretence remains that Irish is the official language. I say it is a pretence, as nearly all work in government departments is done through English, and in most cases it is done by people who couldn’t do it in any other language. The official working language is English.

However, for political reasons, the official language is stated as being Irish, and everything must be translated into Irish. The problem is that Irish is a language only spoken natively in small farming or fishing communities. If Irish had remained the language of all, then scientists, politicians, academics, journalists and others would all have had Irish as their first language, and the vocabulary needed for every sphere of life would have evolved naturally. But as this is not the case, vocabulary is being invented by a Coiste Téarmaíochta to fill the gaps.

Clunky terminology

Terms that are simply not needed, and therefore not found, in the Gaeltacht, are being concocted by the Coiste, which is part of a public-sector body, Foras na Gaeilge. A glance at their website ( shows the following terms now “exist”:

  • géarpholaifhréamhán-néarapaite dhímhiailinitheach athlastach: acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
  • siondróm easpa imdhíonachta faighte: AIDS
  • eangach dhronuilleogach ilmhodúlach phleanála: rectangular multimodular planning grid
  • cáin ghnóthachan caipitiúil: capital gains tax
  • téacs réamhshocraithe: boilerplate
  • tuirse chomhbhá: compassion fatigue
  • claonbholscaire: spin doctor
  • ionadaíocht chionmhar: proportional representation
  • tógáil shóisialta na n-inscní: social construction of gender
  • féiniúlacht chorparáideach: corporate identity
  • liobraíochas: libertarianism
  • deicre: decking
  • comhdháil mhúscailte feasachta: awareness raising conference
  • frith-bhriochtchuarc: anti-charmed quark
  • ascalascóp ga-chatóideach: cathode-ray oscilloscope
  • tacaíocht trasphobail: cross-community support

Most of these are transparent inventions by non-native speakers in Dublin, often in defiance of the real meaning of words. For example, ínscne means “grammatical gender”, not biological sex, and so is just not correctly used above in any case. This matters because unlike English Irish does have grammatical gender, and there is the case of the noun cailín, which refers to females, but is grammatically masculine. Sex and gender can diverge in Irish. Most of the others are clearly not in use in any Irish-speaking community and would not be accepted. Then the final category are words that would be understood, but have been concocted in order to correspond to some kind of media catchphrase. For example, “compassion fatigue” is a hackneyed cliché in English, best avoided by good writers, and yet the Coiste Téarmaíochta has come up with an Irish equivalent. If English has a hackneyed cliché, Irish must have the equivalent cliché too. Tuirse means “tiredness”, so to my mind tuirse chomhbhá is only correct if the feeling of “compassion fatigue” involves a genuine physical exhaustion.

Conor Keane, a native speaker of Irish from the Galway Gaeltacht, has written of the development of what he calls Gobbledegaeilge, nonsense Irish that is used by officialdom to translate officialese:

 Most translated documents are converted to a clunky overdeveloped Gaeilge that is impenetrable for the majority of Irish speakers. One remembers the last Lisbon campaign where the booklet detailing the treaty provisions in Irish held the odd distinction of being more difficult to understand than the stilted English used in the original. We care little for the ‘Official Irish’ because it is not a natural form of the language we have lived with for hundreds of years. We normally use the English standards of forms and so on because they are easier to understand.

Even more damningly, Feargal Ó Béarra, also a native speaker of Irish and an academic working in NUI Galway, wrote of the incorrect terms made up by the Coiste Téarmaíochta:

 Much of the terminology being coined by terminologists in Ireland flouts some of the most basic rules of Traditional Late Modern Irish. Very often, it displays a total lack of understanding of the way the language works. The latest example I came across is the term for dental hygienist, i.e. sláinteolaí déadach. Now of course anyone who has heard of Fearghus Déadach or Dubhdhéadach will know that the word déadach means ‘having teeth’. So sláinteolaí déadach actually means a toothed hygienist. What we should expect is sláinteolaí fiacla with the noun fiacail being used to form a genitive plural with adjectival force. But as this concept does not exist in English it will not be found in Irish.

Despite, therefore, claiming the “authority” to coin terms, the Coiste Téarmaíochta has a clumsy approach to new terminology, with new terms being devised by non-native speakers with an inadequate grasp of the language. Following Ó Béarra’s intervention, the Coiste Téarmaíochta has changed its recommended translation of “dental hygienist” to sláinteolaí fiacla. While some assert that, owing to the Coiste’s “authority”, which should not be questioned, any alternatives are “incorrect”, the Coiste clearly can be embarrassed into improving its translations from time to time.

Should native speakers do the coining of new terms?

Had Irish remained the first language of most Irish people, they would have used Irish terms for everything. English officialese is similarly clunky, but people who don’t speak any other language than English don’t have any option other than to say “cathode-ray oscilloscope” if that is the meaning they intend to convey. We might groan at some of the Greek and Latin origins of these terms, but there are no alternatives. Surely, if Irish were spoken by everyone in Ireland, terms as clunky as those devised by the Coiste Téarmaíochta would be being used by everyone in Ireland for things like VAT, beef premiums, alternating current and the like. The Plain English Campaign exists because clunky English terminology is not appreciated by all, but at least terms like “cathode-ray oscilloscope” were devised by native speakers of English to begin with and are in daily use by native speakers of English working in the appropriate fields.

However, the fact that all languages have clunky modern jargon does not change the fact that Irish is spoken as a native language by a small and dwindling population of people who are all bilingual. They pepper their speech with English words. Where Irish terms weren’t even made up by native speakers in the first place, they are simply wrong unless and until adopted in native speech. If cáin ghnóthachan caipitiúil has been adopted into the natural speech of the Gaeltacht—and it is likely a similar term would have been so adopted had Irish remained the only language of most Irishmen—then it has become native Irish. If the native speech of the Gaeltacht drops into English to utter the phrase “capital gains tax”, then cáin ghnóthachan caipitiúil has no validity as an Irish term. I personally have not conducted research into what is said in the Gaeltacht for “capital gains tax”, but the principle I am advancing should be clear.

Gaeltacht speakers should exclusively staff the Coiste Téarmaíochta, so that if terms are to be coined, they will be coined well and coined in line with the rules of the language and the correct meanings of words. But what if terms are coined by native speakers, but not frequently found in Gaeltacht speech? This is an interesting question, because some would argue that the speech of the tigh tábhairne, the conversational language of those native speakers in the Gaeltacht who do not read and write the language much, cannot be expected to provide authoritative modern terms, and we ought to look to new coinages, novels and longer writings by Gaeltacht natives who are engaged to a greater degree in the creation and use of a wider range of modern terms. An example that is sometimes given is that Niall Ó Dónaill was in favour of “modernism”, including the creation of new terms. I have also read that Máirtín Ó Cadhain was not afraid to use new words, including those he borrowed from Scottish Gaelic.

In the context of studying Munster Irish, the works of younger Gaeltacht writers such as Pádraig Ó Ciobháin may provide a wider range of vocabulary from which to draw native Irish words and phrases. It makes sense to base the Irish that learners aim to imitate on the Irish of the best Gaeltacht speakers. But to the extent that such writings contain new coinages, it is still worth considering the question of the wider adoption of such terms. For example, many words entered the English language through the works of William Shakespeare: by being accepted, they changed the language. But where Thomas Cromwell, who compiled the 16th-century Book of Common Prayer, attempted to concoct the word immarcescible, meaning “never-fading” in the context of immarcescible crowne of glory, the word failed to gain wider currency. Consequently, even were the Coiste Téarmaíochta purely staffed by native speakers of Irish from the Gaeltacht, it would still be a relevant consideration the extent to which terms were being made up but then not adopted into use by the community of native speakers, but only used by translators in the Galltacht.

There is a difficulty here, as most native speakers of Irish, as Feargal Ó Béarra pointed out in his article, do not read Irish. The Irish language—at the native end of the Irish-using community, at least—has become more or less a purely spoken language. While not totally so, as there are Gaeltacht novelists, it is largely so. There is a mismatch, therefore, between the spoken language of the Gaeltacht and the written, official language found in the artifical so-called Standard. Where native speakers hardly ever read or write a language, the language quickly loses an official register of speech, a register that the Coiste Téarmaíochta is clearly trying to summon into existence for the purposes of official translation. The reason why native speakers might drop into English for certain phrases is that those phrases belong to the official register, a register of language that is better known to them through English. In other languages, including English, new coinages, devised by native speakers, are spread through the written word, with the Bible, Shakespeare and the Book of Common Prayer playing a key role in that process in the English language at one point, with literature and newspapers playing a similar role in the modern day. (At one point, it looked as if Peadar Ua Laoghaire’s works would establish a native Irish standard, but his works have nearly all been allowed to go out of print.) If native speakers in the Gaeltacht don’t read Irish, then new words cannot spread too far. Even where modernist writers in the Gaeltacht do coin words, they are unlikely to be taken up by many. This limits the ability of Gaeltacht modernists to develop the language, leaving everything in the hands of the Coiste Téarmaíochta in the Galltacht.

The importance of Gaeltacht use of words and phrases

Gaeltacht usage is everything. That is all there is to it. This is because the spoken language of the Gaeltacht is the only real register of native use of the language. Many words in Irish—as in every other language—were artificially introduced, including the word cigire, which resulted from a misinterpretation long ago—but as long as the word has been adopted in the native speech of the Gaeltacht, it is good to use now. Of course, Gaeltacht use varies over time, and Peadar Ua Laoghaire’s opposition to the use of ball in the meaning of “member” has probably given way to frequent use of this word in this meaning in native Irish. As long as it is in use in native Irish, then the word is good. All other considerations are irrelevant.

Clearly, the Gaeltacht communities do vary one from the other, and they are farflung, and so the terms that have been adopted in natural speech are likely to vary. Primary research is required into Gaeltacht speech in the various communities. I was told in Múscraí that there is no such word as deicre—that is just a made-up term and the word used is just “decking”. Similarly, I was told in Múscraí, “aftershave lotion” is precisely that—and not lóis iarbheárrtha. It would be interesting to know if these terms are in native use in the Connemara. If they are, then they must be accepted as good Irish terms; if they are not, then they are just not. Similarly, the term for “microwave oven” is not oigheann micreathonnach in the Gaeltacht.

Another important point that learners fail to notice is the way in which as Gaelainn is used in Irish. As Gaelainn refers to the spoken language; i nGaelainn is of wider reference, including both the spoken and written languages. This is one area of syntax where usage in the Galltacht appears to be replacing the natural usage of the Gaeltacht (and subsequently influencing the Irish of younger and weaker speakers in the Gaeltacht itself). Abair as Gaelainn é! Scríbh i nGaelainn é!: these are the correct forms. With labhairt, it is much better to say labhair Gaelainn than labhair as Gaelainn, labhair i nGaelainn or even labhair an Ghaelainn. Yet the preferences of learners seem to have the upper hand in Ireland today.

Numerous terms are also found at much greater frequencies in officialese than in native speech, but are still valid Irish terms and could be recommended for a written register of Irish. Look at these for example:

  • teaghlach: family
  • tuismitheóirí: parents
  • garmhac: grandson
  • forbairt: development

These words correspond to modern concepts. Teaghlach is a good Irish word, meaning “household”. The nuclear family, as such, was not a traditional Irish concept. Muiríon would refer to the “burden” of dependents a man had. Líon tí would refer to all the people under one roof. None of these words corresponds exactly to the nuclear family, but all may be used in various contexts, and teaghlach would seem the most appropriate one for use in official contexts. However, made-up terms like teaghlach núicléach for “nuclear family” aim to replicate English clichés. If they are in common use in the Gaeltacht, then they are right. Clann is found in the Galltacht for “family”, but only refers to children or offspring in native Irish (clann mhac, “sons”).

Tuismitheóirí was attested in Dinneen’s dictionary and so is not a new coinage, but the word fundamentally means “originators, progenitors” and is glossed by Lambert McKenna as a Connacht word. Do mhuíntir is a much better word for your parents in Irish; you could also say t’athair agus do mháthair. In official contexts, tuismitheóirí seems advisable, but once again this word can be overused. Garmhac is also an old word, but mac mic and clann clainne would seem much better in conversational Irish.

Forbairt is an awkward word, as it has been introduced to translate, on a one-for-one basis, “development” in English. Its fundamental meaning is “growth, increase”, and so the meaning has been extended to cover “development”. Forbairt isn’t wrong, but saothrú and saothrúchán cover most of the intended meanings (“the development of the Irish language”, saothrú na Gaelainne; “development fund”, given in McKenna’s Foclóir Béarla & Gaedhilge as ciste fás shaothrúcháin). It is worth adding that examples of the use of forbairt in the Royal Irish Academy’s Corpas na Gaelainne 1600-1882 mainly contain the phrase d’fhás agus d’fhorbair. Claims that a finite verb exists with forms such as forbraím (present), d’fhorbair mé (past), d’fhorbraínn (past habitual), forbróidh mé (future), d’fhorbróinn (conditional) and go bhforbraí mé (present subjunctive) need to be checked against corpuses of Gaeltacht Irish usage. I would argue that aside from d’fhorbair, forbairt and forbartha, all other forms of this verb should be avoided. An example is d’fhorbrófaí córais, found on an EU website: this would be much better as do déanfí córais a dh’fhorbairt (or do chur ar bun, avoiding the modern use of forbairt as a transitive verb). (I am personally unsure if córas is correctly used in the plural, as the word means “system/systems, arrangements” anyway, but this is a separate question.)

Similarly, no attempt should be made to avoid terms that mirror English if they are used in the Gaeltacht. They may reflect English influence over the centuries, but if they are the natural terms used by native speakers of Irish—as opposed to the Béarlachas of weak learners thereof—they are the correct terms. For example, Peadar Ua Laoghaire used these:

  • déanamh amach: to make out (what something is)
  • fáil amach: to find out (who someone is)
  • duine ’ chur suas chuige: to put someone up to it
  • fáil dul ann: to get to go there (cé ’ gheóbhadh dul ann?)
  • cur suas le: to put up with
  • cimeád suas le: to keep up with
  • iompáil amach: to turn out (a certain way)
  • féachaint rómhat chun an lae: to look forward to the day
  • slí ’ thógaint suas: to take up space
  • déanamh suas le: to make up for (some lack)

I found the following in the stories of Amhlaoibh Ó Loingsigh:

  • críochnú suas: to finish up (conclude)
  • tu féin a fháil ollamh: to get yourself ready

Clearly, what is good Irish is therefore dependent on a detailed knowledge of the spoken language of the Gaeltacht. Most individual people do not have the resources to investigate Gaeltacht speech. The Coiste Téarmaíochta do, but choose instead to make up their own vocabulary. As Ó Béarra said in his article, this serves the needs of the translation industry, which has become a public-sector vested interest that is now opposed to traditional Irish and the language of the Gaeltacht communities.

On email forums such as that run by, translators frequently ask for recommended translations of abstruse terms unlikely to exist in the real language. Recent examples on that forum have included “VRT Export Refunds” and “quantum entanglements”, neither of which has any equivalent in the natural Irish of the Irish-speaking communities. In answering queries relating to the translation of such terms, discussion of the gap between Gaeltacht Irish and that used by translators in the Galltacht has been ruled off-topic on that list. Most translators on such lists seem to be aggressively and vituperatively opposed to Gaeltacht Irish, easily provoked to sudden fury if it be pointed out that the terminology they are suggesting has no currency in the Irish-speaking community. To answer a query on the translation of an odd phrase by examining what the native Irish speakers might say is, apparently, unacceptable, so far has the translation industry come from any connection with the real language. In another context, these translators might wax lyrical over the role of British rule in eroding the Irish language, while overlooking their own contempt for native Irish and the role of their made-up Standard in weakening the language in the Gaeltacht.

Claims that all English terms must have an Irish equivalent are false; there are entire subject areas the technical vocabulary of which cannot be put into Irish. It seems that translated nonsense is being churned out in great quantities, using made-up terminology and with nary a peer review, by people whose main aim is to corner public spending for themselves. Apparently, their livelihoods depend on there being an Irish phrase meaning “VRT Export Refunds”. Consequently, anyone who suggests there is no natural phrase in Irish for this is seen as attacking their professional and financial interests as translators.

The best approach to unusual terms that would certainly not be found in any Irish equivalent in the Gaeltacht is to use the English word in italics. In English, words like “restaurant” and “façade” entered the language in this way. After long usage, they seem to have been nativised and italics are no longer used for those terms. Similarly, any English word that is nativised by natural usage in the Gaeltacht and thereby adapted to Irish grammatical patterns can be accepted. Words like neoidríonó, which have never been used once by a single native speaker, simply display a pretense of nativisation—apparently even plurals such as neoidríonónna are adduced on for such non-words. It can even be declined in all the cases. If you ever need to say, “ye lovely neutrinos!” in the vocative plural, the Coiste Téarmaíochta will tell you it will be a neoidríonónna breátha! The word has genitive singular and plural too, but no dative, as the dative has been retired in Standardised Irish. The fact that detailed forms of a word that has never existed are being made up will not concern the Coiste. Yet the correct way of writing about neutrinos in Irish is simply to accept that the word relates to a concept that is not Gaelic and to acknowledge that no particle physics has ever been done in the Gaeltacht. Neutrino in italics it is, then. Any other approach is simply incorrect. I would urge the people paying for these translations to demand their money back. They have been sold a pig in a poke!

Aithris ar Chríost I:XVIII



1. Tabhair fé ndeara na hAithreacha Naofa, an sampla solasmhar a thugaid siad dúinn. Iontu súd a chítear an fhíoraontacht i gceart, agus an creideamh uasal. Is neamhní nách mór a ndeinimídne seochas ar dheineadar súd.

Cad ’tá ’nár mbeathana in aon chor, foríar, seochas a mbeatha súd!

Bhíodar ’na gcáirdibh naofa ag Críost agus dheineadar seirbhís an Tiarna fé thart agus fé ocras, fé fhuacht agus fé easpa éadaigh, ag obair go cruaidh agus ag fulag tuirse agus easpa codlata, ag déanamh úrnaithe agus ag machnamh ar nithibh beannaithe, agus a namhaid dhá gcrá go dian agus ag tabhairt tarcaisne dhóibh coitianta.

2. Féach na hAspail agus na Mairtireacha agus na Confesóirí agus na Maighdineacha, na daoine go léir do lean rian Chríost; ó, cad iad na pianta agus na trioblóidí a dh’fhuiligeadar! Thugadar fuath dá n-anam féin ar an saol so i dtreó go mbeadh an bheatha shíoraí acu ar an saol eile.

Ó, nách dian dochraideach an bheatha do chaith na hAithreacha Naofa sa bhfásach! nách fada agus nách dian na cathanna a chuireadar díobh! nách géar an céasadh a fuaradar ón namhaid! nách minic, dúthrachtach, a chuireader a nguí suas chun Dé! nách cruaidh an tréanas a dheineadar! nách mór an dúil a bhí acu sa bhfíoraontacht! nách cuthaigh an troid a dheineadar chun a n-anmhian féin do chur fé chois! nách glan agus nách díreach a chimeádadar a n-aigne chun Dé!

Bhídís ag obair i gcaitheamh an lae, agus ansan do thugaidís a lán den oíche ag rá úrnaithe, bíodh ná stadadh a n-aigne ó ghuí chun Dé an fhaid a bhídis ag obair sa lá.

3. Níor chaitheadar aon phioc dá n-aimsir gan tairbhe. Ba ghairid leó gach uair a’ chloig dá dtugaidís ag cómhrá le Dia, agus gheibhidís a leithéid de shólás sa chómhrá san go ndeinidís dearúd dá gcuid bídh a chaitheamh nuair ba ghá é.

Thugaidís druím lámha le saibhreas, le teidealaibh, le honóraibh, le cáirdibh, le gaoltaibh. Níor fhan aon dúil acu in aon rud saolta. Ar éigin a thógaidís na nithe a bhíodh riachtanach chun iad a chimeád beó. Ba dhólás leó riachtanas na colla féin do fhreagairt.

Bhíodar dealbh go leór chómh fada le saibhreas an tsaeil seo, ach bhíodar ana-shaibhir i ngrásta Dé agus i bhfíoraontacht. Le féachaint orthu bhíodar in easnamh, ach ní raibh aon easnamh orthu laistigh. Bhí grásta agus sólás ó Dhia acu go líonmhar agus go flúirseach.

4. Bhíodar iasachta ar an saol so, ach bhíodar muínteartha go maith ag Dia.

Ba neamhní iad ’na súilibh féin, agus bhíodar gan mheas i súilibh an tsaeil, ach ba mhór le rá iad i súilibh Dé agus ba ghrámhar.

I bhfíorúmhlaíocht is ea ’ sheasaíodar. Fé fhíorsmacht is ea ’ mhaireadar. I ngrá Dé agus i bhfadfhulag is ea ’ shiúlaíodar. Mar gheall air sin is ea ’ chuadar ar aghaidh, in aghaidh an lae, i bhfíoraontaocht, agus do fuaradar na grásta móra ó Dhia.

Táid siad againn mar shampla do lucht beatha rialta do chaitheamh, agus ba chóir go ndéanfadh a sampla san sinn do spriocadh chun dul ar aghaidh níos mó ná mar a dhéanfadh sampla daoine faillíocha sinn a tharrac siar.

5. Ó, cad é an dúthracht a bhí in sna daoine rialta go léir nuair a cuireadh an bheatha rialta ar bun ar dtúis!

Cad é an dílse in úrnaithibh! cad é an formad féachaint cé ab fheárr a dhéanfadh gnó Dé! cad é an dílse úmhlaíochta, agus an urraim don uachtarán agus don riail, a bhí ins gach éinne!

Tá rian a gcos súd le feiscint fós agus tispeánann an rian gur dhaoine fíoraonta, naofa iad, agus gur throideadar go seasmhach, agus sa troid sin dóibh gur ghabhadar de chosaibh sa tsaol so.

Ach anois, meastar gur obair mhór é má staonann duine ón riail do bhriseadh; má fhéadann duine cur suas gan neamhfhoighne leis an rud a ghlac sé air féin lena thoil mhacánta.

6. Á, cad é an patuaire agus an neamhshuím atá ionainn agus a rá go gcaillimíd chómh tapaidh an dúthracht a bhíonn ionainn ag tosnú dhúinn, i dtreó nách fada go mbímíd cortha dár saol le mairbhítí agus le patuaire!

Is mór an trua fás na fíoraontachta ’ bheith ’na chodladh ionat, agus a bhfuil os cómhair do shúl de shampla na bhfíoraon.


-ne: an emphatic suffix used with the first-personal plural pronoun and verbs. This ɨs pronounced with a broad n, regardless of the broad/slender quality of the consonant it is appended to. Written -na after broad consonants/vowels. Deinimídne, /dʹinʹimʹiːdʹ-nə/.
athair: “father”. While the plural is aithreacha /ahirʹəxə/, the genitive plural in PUL’s works is often athrach (spelt atharach in the original), implying /ɑhərəx/.
céasadh: “torment”.
codladh: “sleep”, with codlata in the genitive. Pronounced /kolə, kolətə/.
coirim, cor: “to exhaust, tire”. Cortha de rud, “tired of something”. Pronounced /korʹimʹ, kor/.
colann: “body”, with colainn in the dative, which form is used in the nominative in GCh. The genitive here is colla, where GCh has colainne.
confesóir: “confessor”, a Latin word referring to the Confessors of the Faith, i.e., those saints who are not martyrs, apostles, evangelists or virgins. PUL uses the Latin word here, following his general practice of not imposing Irish spelling rules on foreign words, as the word does not mean the same as the word “confessor” in the sense of someone who hears a confession (which would be oide faoistine). A pronunciation of /konfʹe’so:rʹ/ could be suggested. The double s of the original text is dropped in the editing here, as PUL’s An Teagasg Críostaidhe also has this word, with a single s.
cráim, crá: “to torture, pain, torment”. PUL stated in Notes on Irish Words and Usages that this is a better Irish word than the concocted géarleanúint for “persecution”.
cruaidh: “hard, severe”, or crua in GCh. Pronounced /kruəgʹ/.
cuthach: “rage, fury.” The genitive of this word, cuthaigh, is used as an adjective meaning “furious, fierce”.
dealbh: “destitute, poor”. Pronounced /dʹaləv/.
dearúd: “mistake”, or dearmad in GCh. Dearúd a dhéanamh de (rud do dhéanamh), “to forget to do something”.
dílse: “faithfulness, loyalty”.
dochraideach: “oppressive, troublesome, distressing”. Pronounced /doxəridʹəx/.
fadfhulag: “forbearance, long-suffering”, or fadfhulaingt in GCh.
faillíoch: “negligent”, or faillitheach in GCh.
féachaim, féachaint: “to reflect on”. FGB show that féachaint without a subsequent ar may mean “to reflect on”, as in I:XVIII here.
fíorsmacht: this would seems to mean “true control”, but fé fhíorsmacht corresponds to “in simple obedience” in the English version of Aithris ar Chríost.
flúirseach: “abundant”.
grámhar: this word often means “affectionable, affable”, with is used in I:XVIII in the meaning of “lovable, beloved”, i.e., beloved of God.
macánta: “honest”. Lena thoil mhacánta, “of his own free will”.
maighdean: “maiden, virgin”, with maighdineacha in the plural here. Maighdeana is found in the plural in PUL’s translation of the Gospels.
mairbhití: “numbness; languor”, pronounced /mɑrʹivʹitʹi:/.
mairtireach: “martyr”, with mairtireacha in the plural. PUL’s form of this word here is similar to the mairtíreach of GCh, although lacking the síneadh fada of the latter. CFBB has mairtír, and PUL himself also had martear and martir in the original text of his An Teagasg Críostaidhe, which appear to be mairtear and the plural mairtir once the fact that r is broad before slender t in Muskerry Irish is taken into account. It seems therefore that the pronunciations /mɑrtʹər/ and /mɑrtʹirʹəx/ are indicated in PUL’s works, with /mɑr’tʹiːrʹ/ given in CFBB, presumably based on AÓL’s pronunciation.
neamhfhoighne: “impatience”, pronounced /nʹav-əiŋʹi/.
neamhshuím: “indifference”. Pronounced /nʹa’hiːmʹ/.
ocras: “hunger”, pronounced /okərəs/.
onóir: “honour”, with onóraibh in the dative plural here. Compare the nominative plural in FGB, onóracha. PSD has both onóracha and onóra in the plural.
patuaire: “lukewarmness, apathy”. This possibly ought to be a feminine abstract noun, but an patuaire is found in the original here. This may be a typological error, but the LS version of Aithris gives a p here too.
rialta: “regular”, but found in words like bean rialta, “nun”, whence beatha rialta, “a religious life”.
rian: “trace, sign”. Rian Chríost, “the footsteps of Christ”. Rian a gcos, “their footprints”.
rud: “thing”, pronounced /rod/. Aon rud, “anything”, pronounced /eːrəd/.
sampla: “example”, variously transcribes with and without an epenthetic vowel in LS editions of PUL’s works, but probably pronounced /saumpələ/.
spriocaim, spriocadh: the verb spriocaim exists in GCh only in the meaning “fix, arrange”, but PUL uses this verb to mean “inspire” (as here in I:XVIII), a meaning that is covered by spreagaim in GCh. PUL also uses spreagaim in this meaning too, so the relationship between these forms is complex. Duine spriocadh chun ruda, “to spur, urge or inspire someone to do something”.
tispeánaim, tispeáint: “to show”, or taispeánaim, taispeáint in GCh.
tréanas: “abstinence”, e.g. from meat. This word was spelt tréaghnas in the original, and the LS edition of Aithris transcribes this as triànas. However, this word is spelt treighnas in PUL’s Notes on Irish Words and Usages, treighneas in PUL’s novel Niamh, and tréighnas in PUL’s An Teagasg Críostaidhe. The LS edition of An Teagasg Críostaidhe transcribes it as tréanas. It seems most likely the pronunciation is /trʹəinəs/.

Aithris I:XVII



1. Ní foláir duit a dh’fhoghlaim conas tu féin do bhriseadh agus do bhrú síos ’na lán nithe, más maith leat síocháin agus dea-mhéinn a bheith idir thu agus daoine eile.

Ní rud suarach in aon chor maireachtaint i mainistir, nú i bpobal, agus do chómhluadar ann a bheith gan locht, agus leanúint dílis ann go bás.

Is aoibhinn don té do chaithfidh beatha mhaith ann, agus do chríochnóidh a bheatha go maith ann.

Más maith leat seasamh go maith agus dul ar aghaidh go maith, tuig it aigne ná fuil ionat ach díbearthach i ndúthaigh iasachta, ar an saol so.

Más maith leat beatha dhiaga do chaitheamh, ní foláir duit bheith it amadán ar son Chríost.

2. Ní mór le rá an aibíd agus bearradh an chínn seochas athrú béas agus smachtú anmhian go hiomlán. Sin é a dheineann manach maith de dhuine.

An té a loirgeóidh aon ní eile ach Dia amháin agus leas a anama féin, ní bheidh aige choíche ach buaireamh agus trioblóid aigne.

Agus an té ná beidh coitianta dhá ísliú féin níos ísle ná éinne eile, agus dhá chur féin fé bhun gach éinne eile, ní fada a bheidh suaimhneas aige.

3. Ní chun bheith it rí a tháinís anso, ach chun bheith fé smacht. Chun bheith ag obair agus ag fulag a tugadh anso thu, agus ní chun bheith ag cainnt ar do shuaimhneas.

Trialtar daoine anso fé mar a trialtar an t-ór sa tine.

Ní féidir d’éinne an áit seo do sheasamh mura mian leis, ó chroí, é féin d’úmhlú do hiomlán ar son Dé.


aibíd: “religious habit (dress)”.
brúim, brú: “to crush, press”. Tu féin do bhrú síos correspondings to “mortify thyself” in the English edition of Imitatio Christi.
dea-mhéinn: “goodwill”, or dea-mhéin in GCh. Pronounced /dʹa-vʹe:ŋʹ/.
díbearthach: “exile”.
pobal: “congregation”.
trialaim, triail: “to try, test”, or triailim, triail in GCh. Note that in GCh the distinction between triailim, “I try, test” and triallaim, “I journey” is a little clearer than in WM Irish: trialaim has a slender l only in the third-person preterite, the singular imperative, the verbal noun and the autonomous forms in -tí and -fí. The forms of this verb are: present, trialaim, trialann sé, trialtar; preterite, do thrialas, do thriail sé; future, trialfad, trialfaidh sé; imperative and verbal noun, triail; past participle, trialta. If we use the transcription system of IWM, trialtar is pronounced /trʹialtər/ and trialltar /trʹiəltər/, and so the quality of the diphthong provides a point of distinction; this was particularly the case in the speech of older speakers who maintained a regular distinction between /ia/ and /iə/ where younger speakers may have only /iə/.

An Craos-Deamhan 2


Nuair a tháinig an t-ocras ar Chathal b’é ab fhada leis go raibh aimsir dínnéir ann go n-íosfadh sé a dhóthain. Tháinig an dínnéar fé dheireadh. Do shuigh chun búird cuideachta mhór de ríthibh agus d’uaislibh Múmhan. Miasa úll is ea ba ghnáth an uair sin do chur ar dtúis os cómhair na cuideachtan. Is ar éigin a bhí an chuideahta suite nuair a bhí a raibh d’úllaibh ar a mhéis féin ite ag Cathal. Do rug sé ar an méis a bhí os cómhair an fhir a bhí ar a láimh dheis, agus d’ith sé a raibh d’úllaibh uirthi. Ansan do rug sé ar an méis a bhí os cómhair an fhir a bhí ar a láimh chlé, agus d’ith sé a raibh uirthi. Ansan do dhírigh sé ar na miasa a tharrac chuige ós gach aon taobh den bhórd, agus ar na húlla a bhí orthu d’ithe le hairc agus le hampla. Bhí iúnadh agus alltacht ar an gcuideachtain, ach níor leog éinne aon ní air. Do scaoileadar chuige na miasa chómh tiubh agus d’fhéad sé iad d’fholmhú. Ba gheárr gur thosnaigh na biadha eile ar theacht. An t-éirleach céanna a dhein Cathal ar na húllaibh dhein sé ar na biadhaibh eile é, i dtreó go raibh scannradh ag teacht ar a raibh láithreach le heagla go scoilfeadh air. Ní raibh aon phioc dá dheallramh air, áfach. Dá mhéid a bhí curtha isteach ’na chorp aige bhí sé chómh seanng agus dá mbeadh sé dhá lá ar dúbhchéalacan. Sara raibh an dínnéar leathchríochnaithe b’éigean tuilleadh bídh d’ollmhú. Nuair a bhí a raibh de bhia sa rítheaghlach ollmhaithe agus curtha ar an mbórd agus ite, bhí ocras fós ar Chathal, agus bhí ocras a ndóthain ar an gcuideachtain, mar níor leog Cathal leó ach fíorbheagán den bhia. Ach pé ocras a bhí orthu, nuair a bhí an bia go léir ite b’éigean dóibh stad.

B’é an cleas céanna é i dtaobh an fhíona, agus an leanna, agus i dtaobh gach aon tsaghas eile dí dár tháinig ar an mbórd. Is ar éigin a leog Cathal diúir i mbéal éinne. An fhaid a bhíodh corn aige dá dhiúgadh a’ láimh leis, bhíodh an lámh eile sínte amach aige ag gabháil ghreama ar chorn eile, agus ba chuma leis cé uaidh go mbíodh an corn aige dá thógaint. Cheap an chuideachta go mbeadh sé ar meisce láithreach, agus ansan go mb’fhéidir go bhfaighidís féin, caoi ar bhraeinín éigin d’ól, ach ba shuarach an tairbhe dhóibh bheith ag brath ar aon ní dhá shórd. Bhí Cathal ag ól agus ag ól, agus ní raibh aon bhlúire meisce ag teacht air ach chómh beag agus dá mba ag slogadh meidhg a bheadh sé!

Níorbh fhada go raibh deireadh leis an ndigh fé mar a bhí deireadh leis an mbia, agus ní raibh an tart bainte de Chathal ach chómh beag agus ’ bhí an t-ocras bainte dhe, agus i dtaobh na cuideachtan, má bhí ocras tar éis altaithe riamh ar dhaoine bhí sé orthu.

Bhí rud ba mheasa orthu ná ocras tar éis athlaithe. Bhí buairt agus brón a ndóthain orthu. Bhí drochní éigin uathásach tagaithe ar an rí, agus cad a dhéanfaidís? Cé ’ bheadh ’na cheann urraid i gcómhairle orthu feasta? Cé ’ dhéanfadh córú orthu chun catha nuair a thiocfadh an namhaid? Ní rófhada, dar leó, a bheadh namhaid gan teacht nuair a haireófí ar fuid na hÉireann go raibh rí Caisil sa chás ’na raibh sé. Chuadar i gcómhairle féachaint cad ba cheart a dhéanamh. B’í sin an chómhairle bhuartha. B’í sin an chómhairle gan eólas. Ní fheidir éinne cad ba cheart a dhéanamh, mar ní raibh ’ fhios ag éinne cad ba bhun leis an olc uathásach. Thánadar as an gcómhairle chómh dall agus ’ bhíodar ag dul inti dhóibh. D’imigh gach flaith abhaile chun a theaghlaigh féin chun é féin a chur i dtreó chosanta chómh luath agus dob fhéidir é, agus chómh maith agus dob fhéidir é, mar, dar leó go léir, bheadh Feargal mac Maoile Dúin chúthu aduaidh chómh luath agus d’aireódh sé Cathal a bheith ar míthreóir.

Bhí dhá dhearúd sa méid sin orthu, áfach. Ní raibh aon aidhm ag Feargal ar theacht aduaidh, mar bhí ’ fhios aige cad a bhí imithe ar Chathal, agus duairt sé leis féin dá fhaid a scaoilfí leis féin agus leis na Muímhneachaibh sa chás ’na rabhadar gurbh ea ab usa an lámh uachtair ’ fháil orthu sa deireadh. Dá éaghmais sin, ní raibh Cathal ar míthreóir in aon chor. Ní raibh aon easpa sláinte air. Bhí a chroí agus a aigne agus a íntinn chómh láidir, chómh haibidh agus ’ bhíodar riamh. Ní raibh aon rud air ach an tart agus an t-ocras, an t-ampla mínádúrtha chun bídh agus chun dí. Dá mbeadh sé de dhíth céille ar Fheargal agus ar na hUltaigh teacht aduaidh is amhlaidh a thiocfaidís agus ná himeóidís. Gheóbhaidís amach, nuair a bheadh sé ródhéanach acu, go raibh Cathal chómh hoilte ar chogadh, chómh dian i gcath, chómh cúntúrthach de theangmhálaí agus ’ bhí sé riamh.

Ba gheárr gur thuig maithe na Múmhan an scéal. Níorbh fhada gur thug Cathal le tuiscint dóibh nár ghá dhóibh aon eagla ’ bheith orthu roimh aon namhaid. Chuir san suaimhneas aigne orthu, ach má chuir, bhí rud eile chun an tsuaimhnis aigne ’ bhaint díobh. Bhí an t-am ag teacht ’nar ghnáth le Cathal dul ar a chuaird rí, mórthímpall na Múmhan. Do stadadh sé féin agus a ghnáth-theaghlach seachtain nú coicíos i dtigh gach flatha agus do caití é féin agus a chuallacht do chothú. Ansan is ea tháinig an cruachás. Cá bhfaighfí a dhóthain bídh agus dí dhò! Do creachfí iad. Ní fhágfadh sé blúire bídh ná braon dí sa Mhúmhain gan slogadh isteach ’na chorp!

Do ghluais Cathal chun dul ar a chuaird mórthímpall na Múmhan. Do hollmhaíodh oiread bíd agus dí sa chéad teaghlach ’na dtáinig sé agus gur dó’ le héinne go bhfágfadh sé fuíollach. Níor fhág. Do cuireadh na húlla ar na miasaibh os a chómhair féin agus os cómhair a chuallachta, ar dtúis, mar ba ghnáth. D’ith sé na húlla agus is róbheag an fáltas díobh a fuair an chuallacht. Tháinig na biadha eile, agus má tháinig, ba gheárr an mhoíll air iad d’ídiú. Tháinig an fíon agus an lionn, ach má tháinig, ba gheárr an mhoíll ar Chathal na hárthaí d’fholmhú, agus ní raibh aon rian meisce ar éinne den chuideachtain, mar ní bhfuaradar an chúis. D’fhág Cathal scórnaí tirime acu, murar mhaith leó iad a fhliuchadh le fíoruisce. D’fhág sé ocras orthu chómh maith le tart, mar bhí a raibh de bhia ann ite aige sara raibh dhá ghreim ite ag éinne eile. Bhí náire agus ceann-fé ar cheann an rítheaghlaigh, ach ní raibh aon leigheas air. Níor ghá dhò ceann-fé ’ bheith air, mar do thuig gach éinne go raibh sé tar éis a dhíchill a dhéanamh agus nárbh fhéidir dò a thuilleadh ’ dhéanamh. Nuair a bhí an tseachtain caite bhí an fear san agus a thriúcha-céad beó bocht. Ghluais Cathal agus a chuallacht go dtí an triúcha-céad ba ghiorra dhò. Do dhúbail flaith na háite sin an bia agus an fíon agus an lionn. Má dhúbail ní raibh aon mhaith dhò ann. Do scriosadh é féin agus a thriúcha-céad chómh glan díreach agus do scriosadh an chéad fhear agus a thriúcha-céad. Mar sin dóibh mórthímpall go dtí go raibh a chuaird tabhartha ag an rí. Thuigeadar ’na n-aigne gur mheasa dhóibh go mór chúthu an chuaird sin ná dá dtagadh Feargal mac Maoile Dúin agus a shlóite Ultach aduaidh, mar adeireadh an chailleach, agus gan bó ná gamhain d’fhágáilt, ó Sceilg Mhichíl go Caiseal, gan breith leis ó thuaidh.

Do lean an scéal ar an gcuma san acu go dtí go raibh bliain gho leith curtha dhíobh acu, agus go rabhadar i ndeireadh a gcoda agus i ndeireadh an anama, agus gan aon tsúil le fuascailt acu, mar, in inead aon mhaolú ’ dhul ar ghoile Chathail is amhlaidh a bhí breis airc agus ampla ag teacht air in aghaidh an lae. B’usaide é, dar leó, dá mbeadh aon phioc de rian an bhídh air, ach ní raibh. Bhí sé chómh lom, chómh tanaí, chómh hocrach ’na dhriuch agus dá mbeadh sé ceangailte ón mbia. Bhíodh a gcroí briste nuair ná féadaidís a dhóthain a thabhairt dò, agus nuair a chídis é, tar éis a mbíodh ’en tsaol acu ’ bheith ite aige, agus é ag gluaiseacht in’ aonar ar fuid na mbailte féachaint cá bhfaigheadh sé blúire aráin nú píosa feóla. D’imíodh sé mar sin in’ aonar go minic, nuair a bhíodh an t-ocras dian air agus gan an bia le fáil. Bhíodh a chlaíomh nochtaithe ’na láimh dheis aige, agus pé áit ’na dtagadh sé suas le blúire bídh d’itheadh sé láithreach é, agus gan dabht dob olc an dó’ é don té ’ cheapfadh an bia ’ chimeád uaidh.


aibidh: “ripe, mature”, but also “lively, keen”; aibí in GCh. Pronounced /abʹigʹ/.
aidhm: “desire, inclination”, pronounced /əimʹ/.
airc: “greed,
ravenous hunger”. Airc agus ampla is a common collocation. Breis airc agus ampla does not decline airc as part of a noun phrase.
airím, aireachtaint: “to hear”, or airím, aireachtáil in GCh. Pronounced /a’rʹiːmʹ, i’rʹɑxtintʹ/.
altaím, altú: “to give thanks, say grace before a meal”. The verbal adjective is spelt athlaithe here, but IWM shows the pronunciation is /ɑl’hi:mʹ, ɑl’hu:, ɑlhihi/.
ampla: “greed, hunger, voracity”, pronounced /aumpələ/.
anam: “soul”. I ndeireadh an anama, “exhausted, at the last gasp”.
ar fuaid, ar fuid: “throughout”, pronounced /erʹ fuədʹ, erʹ fidʹ/, ar fud in GCh. PUL wrote in his Notes on Irish Words and Usages (p54) that ar fuaid should be used for broad areas (ar fuaid na paróiste) and ar fuid for small areas (ar fuid an tí), but this distinction is not always adhered to in his works, as with ar fuid na hÉireann here.
bia: “food”, with bídh in the genitive and biadha in the plural where GCh has bianna. Biadha in the plural can refer to dishes of food.
bórd: “table”, with búird in the genitive. These would be bord and boird in GCh.
braeinín: “droplet”, or braonán in GCh.
ceangailte: “bound”. Ceangailte ón mbia, “bound by a vow not to eat food”.
ceann-fé: “shame”, or ceann faoi in GCh. The hyphen in the original is preserved here, as this is a noun.
chím, feiscint: “to see”, or feicim, feiceáil in GCh.The past habitual form chídis is so found in the original, where chídís had been expected, and retained here as not wrong either.
cimeádaim, cimeád: “to keep”. This word and all cognates (chimeádaidís, etc) have a broad c in the classical spelling and in GCh, but a slender c (as applicable) in WM Irish: /kʹi’mʹa:d/, /xʹi’mʹa:didʹi:ʃ/, etc; Note that the the GCh distinction between coimeád, “keep”, and coimhéad, “watch over”, does not obtain in WM Irish: coimhéad is an Ulster word.
coicíos: “fortnight”, or coicís in GCh. Pronounced /kəi’kʹiːs/.
córaím, córú: “to dress, equip”, or cóirím, cóiriú in GCh. Córú catha, “battle array”.
corn: “drinking-horn”, pronounced /korən/.
creachaim, creachadh: “to despoil”, in the sense of suffer destruction from loss.
cuaird: “visit, trip, circuit”, or cuairt in GCh.
cuid: “one’s possessions”. I ndeireadh a gcoda, “having run out of everything they had”.
cúntúrthach: “dangerous, risky”, or contúirteach in GCh.
deallramh: “appearance”, dealramh. Pronounced /dʹaurəv/.
dínnéar: “dinner”, pronounced /dʹi:’ŋʹe:r/. We find dínnéir in the nominative singular in the second sentence of chapter 2, but this is contrary to the usage in most of PUL’s books, which have dínnéar in the nominative, and so is adjusted here to dínnéar, which is generally the nominative found in this work.
diúgaim, diúgadh: “to drain, drink to the dregs”.
diúir: “drop”.
dó: “trust, confidence, or dóigh in GCh. Dob olc an dó’ é, “he would not be one to be trifled with”.
driuch: “appearance”, or dreach in GCh.
drochní: “something bad”, pronounced /dro-nʹiː/.
dúbhchéalacan: “a Lenten fast”, including abstention from milk; pronounced /du:’xʹialəkən/. Ar dúbhchéalacan, “on a strict fast; having had nothing at all to eat”.
éaghmais: “absence, lack”, or éagmais in GCh. Dá éaghmais sin, “nevertheless, in spite of that”.
eagla: “fear”, pronounced /ɑgələ/.
éirleach: “havoc, slaughter, carnage”. Note the long e before rl; GCh has eirleach. An t-éirleach céanna a dhein sé ar na húllaibh, “the same way he wiped out/decimated the apples”.
fágaim, fágáilt: “to leave”, or fágaim, fágáil in GCh. Fágaint is also found as the verbal noun in PUL’s works.
faid: “length”, or fad in GCh. An fhaid, “while”, fad or a fhad in GCh.
fáltas: “small amount or share of something”.
feadar: “I don’t know, I wonder”. While this verb is spelt ní fheadair sé in both the present- and past-tense meanings in GCh, there was traditionally a distinction between ní fheadair sé, present tense, and ní fheidir sé, past tense.
flaith: “lord, prince”, with flatha in the genitive.
folmhaím, folmhú: “to empty”, pronounced /folə’viːmʹ, folə’vuː/.
fuíollach: “more than enough; left-overs”, or fuílleach in GCh. Spelt fuighleach in the original, but fuíolach is given in the glossary to the original edition of An Craos-Deamhan.
gnáth-theaghlach: “permanent retinue, household troops, bodyguard”, pronounced /gnɑː-həiləx/.
goile: “appetite”, pronounced /gilʹi/.
iúnadh: “wonder, surprise”, or ionadh in GCh. Pronounced /u:nə/. Iúnadh agus alltacht is a common collocation.
láithreach: “presently, without delay; present”, pronounced /lɑːrʹhəx/.
leath: “half”. Go leith or gho leith, “and a half”. Pronounced /ɣilʹi/.
leigheas: “cure, remedy”, pronounced /lʹəis/. Ní raibh leigheas air, “there was nothing that could be done about it”.
leogaim, leogaint: “to let, allow”, ligim, ligean in GCh. PUL uses the spelling leigim in the original, influenced by classical norms, but the WM pronunciation of this word is /lʹogimʹ, lʹogintʹ/.
lionn: “ale”, or leann in GCh.
lom: “bare; spare, lean”, pronounced /loum/.
maolaím, maolú: “to become soft; to lower, abate”. Maolú theacht air, “for it to lessen or become reduced”.
meadhg: “whey”, pronounced /mʹəig/.
méid: “amount”. Méid frequently resists lenition in PUL’s works: sa méid sin, “that, all that, that much, etc”.
mias: “plate, dish”, with méis in the dative.
míthreóir: “upset, confusion”. Bheith ar míthreóir, “to be confused, helpless”. Míthreóir is glossed as “incapacity”in the glossary that accompanied the original text of An Craos-Deamhan, with ar míthreóir meaning “disabled; hors de combat”.
mórthímpall:mórthimpeall. The broad p in WM Irish is preserved here: /muər-hi:mʹpəl/. Sometimes found as mórdtímpall in other writers of WM Irish.
namhaid: “enemy”, pronounced /naudʹ/. Traditionally námha, the dative has now replaced the nominative.
ó: “from”. Ó becomes ós before the article (ó sna), and before gach in WM Irish.
ocrach: “hungry”, pronounced /okərəx/.
ollmhaím, ollmhú:ullmhaím, ullmhú in GCh, “to prepare”. Pronounced /o’li:mʹ, o’lu:/ in WM Irish. The past participle ollmhaithe is pronounced /oləvihi/.
os cómhair: “in front of”. Pronounced /ɑs ko:rʹ/.
rud: “thing”. Pronounced /rod/.
scoilim/scoiltim, scoltadh: “to burst”, or scoiltim, scoilteadh in GCh. Found without the t here in scoilfeadh. Impersonally, scoilfeadh air, “he would burst”.
scórnach: “throat”, with scórnaí in the plural, where GCh has scórnacha.
scriosaim, scrios: “to devastate”.
seanng: “slender”, or seang in GCh, pronounced /ʃauŋg/. The double n is used in the editing here to show the diphthong.
suaimhneas: “peace, quiet”, pronounced /suənʹəs/.
tairbhe: “benefit”, pronounced /tɑrʹifʹi/.
tanaí: “thin”.
tarraigim, tarrac: “to pull, draw”, or tarraingím, tarraingt in GCh. Pronounced /tɑrigʹimʹ, tɑrək/. Adjusted from tarang in the original.
teangmhálaí: “a person one comes across”, or teagmhálaí in GCh. Pronounced /tʹaŋə’vɑ:li:/.
tirim: “dry”, pronounced /trʹimʹ/.
triúcha-céad: “principality, territorial division”, or tríocha céad in GCh. PSD, under triocha, shows this word, translated as “cantred”, relates to a territory equivalent to 30 hundreds, a territory that in ancient Ireland was expected to supply either 700 or 3,000 soldiers.
uathásach: “terrible; wonderful”, or uafásach. Pronounced /uə’hɑ:səx/ in WM Irish.
uiriste: “easy”, furasta in GCh. The comparative is usa, where GCh has fusa.
urra: “security, strength; man of standing in the community”. Ceann urraid, “chief, leader”.
usaide: “all the easier”. This is a “second comparative” form, similar to feárrde, móide, miste, meaning “all the more X for it”.


B’é ab fhada leis: “I can guarantee you that it seemed to him a really long time; I can assure you he couldn’t wait”. The doubling of the copula in forms like is é is fada and b’é ab fhada is emphatic. See the discussion in Gearóid Ó Nualláin’s Studies in Modern IrishPart 1, pp16-17. Father Ó Nualláin argues that simply writing b’fhada leis can be anti-climactic, when the point is to show the one thing that the person is longing for.

Scéalaíocht 5


Uair éigint do bhí feirmeóir ann. Do ráinig go raibh ruathaire mic aige chómh mí-ámharach is ’ bhí sé sa dúthaigh. Do bhí sé ólthach, imearthach, díomhaoin. Níorbh fhonn leis aon rud a bhainfeadh le gnó a dhéanamh, agus do bhí an t-athair cortha dhe. Níor thaithn leis an saghas slí go raibh a shaol aige á chaitheamh in ao’ chor. Ar aon tslí, bhí sé chómh cortha dhe is go nduairt sé leis lá éigint:

“Tá sé chómh maith agat”, aduairt sé, “bheith ag imeacht, pé rud a dhéanfaidh mé it éaghmais, mar n’ fheicim go bhfuil aon fhonn ort so ná súd a dhéanamh, ach gach éinní níos mí-ámharaí ná a chéile”.

“Bíodh sé mar in”, arsan mac. “Imeód, agus ní fhíllfead!”

“Mara bhfillir féin”, aduairt an t-athair, “ní haon díobháil é, ar a’ bhfuadar athá fút!”

D’imigh sé agus do thriail sé an saol. Bhíodh tamall anso agus tamall ansúd aige, agus bhíodh sé ar aonach agus ar mhargadh agus is gach aon áit dá mhí-ámharaí. Lá éigint do bhí sé a’ cuir de agus do casadh air bacach. Chuaigh sé fein agus an bacach chun cainnte le chéile, agus bhí sé a’ fiafraí don bhacach conas a bhí sé a’ déanamh ar a’ gcéird, nú arbh fhiú do dhuine tosnú uirthi.

“Á, mhuise, uaireanta”, aduairt an bacach, “dhéanfá go maith, agus uaireanta eile bheadh an scéal ar do dhícheall agat agus gan puínn le fáil agat”.

Bhíodar a’ cuir díobh an bóthar agus a’ cainnt. Chonaiceadar tigh ana-bhreá ann, agus de réir dheallraimh an tí ní raibh éinne chun cónaigh ann. Leis sin do casadh orthu fear eile. Bhíodar stopaithe, a’ féachaint ar a’ dtigh, agus d’fhiafraigh sé dhíobh:

“Cad í an fhéachaint athá agaibh ar a’ dtigh seo?”

“A leithéid seo”, aduairt mac an fheirmeóra. “Tigh ana-bhreá is ea é, agus deallraím ná fuil éinne chun cónaigh ann. Sid é athá a’ cuir iúnadh orainn”.

“Níl”, aduairt sé, “aon duine chun cónaigh sa tigh sin agus b’fhéidir nárbh fhearra dhóibh a bheith, agus an fear gur leis an tigh sin b’éigint dò bualadh amach as le neart púcaí, agus ’sé an áit ’na bhfuil sé chun cónaigh anois, sa tigh úd thall”, —a’ tispeáint tí eile dhóibh ná raibh rófhada in ao’ chor uathu.

“Ó mhuise”, arsan ruathaire mic feirmeóra so, “dá bhfágadh sé sinn-ne istigh ansan is beag a’ speic a chuirfeadh púcaí orainn”.

“Airiú, is amhl’ a bheadh áthas air”, aduairt a’ fear so, “dá n-iarradh sibh air é, agus gheallfainn díbh go bhfágfadh sé istigh sibh go tugtha”.

Do chuaigh sé féin agus an bacach fé dhéin an tí seo agus chuadar chun cainnte leis a’ bhfear a bhí ann. Ar ndóin, mac duine uasail ab ea é.

“’Sea”, aduairt sé. “Do thabharfainnse lóistín na hoíche sa tigh díbh ach ní maith liom a leithéid a dhéanamh oraibh. Níl éinne a théann sa tigh sin ná go gcaitheann rith amach as le neart púcaí i gcaitheamh na hoíche”.

“Airiú, díth céille!” aduairt an ruathaire seo; “ní chuirfidís aon speic orainn. Agus má fhágann tú ann sinn i gcómhair na hoíche is sinn a bheidh go baoch díot”.

“Ó ’se, go deimhin fágfad”, aduairt sé, “agus ní fhágfaidh mé aon easnamh oraibh ann, agus ’na theannta san, má bhíonn sibh rómham ’núr mbeathaidh ar maidin ann tabharfaidh mé síntiús maith airgid díbh. Fanaídh anso”, aduairt sé, “chun go dtiocfaidh titim oíche”.

D’fhan an bheirt, agus fuaradar fuíollach le n-ithe agus le n-ól uaidh. Le titim oiche:

“’Sea anois”, aduairt sé, “téanaídh oraibh agus osclódsa an tigh díbh. Tá leabaidh istigh ann, agus is féidir libh dul chun codlata pé uair is maith libh”.

D’imíodar orthu fé dhéin a’ tí. D’oscail sé an doras dóibh, agus do scaoil isteach uaidh an bheirt. Do bhí leisce ar a’ mbacach dul isteach mar do bhíodh eagla púcaí air, ach duairt an ruathaire eile seo leis:

“Airiú, a bhithiúnaigh”, ar seisean, “ar ndóin, ní dhéanfá a leithéid anois t’réis a bhfuil ite agus óltha againn? Tá’s agat go gcaithfeam dul isteach”.

’Sea. Nuair a bhíodar istigh shiúlaíodar an tigh go léir a’ féachaint ar gach éinne ’ bhí ann, agus t’réis tamaill don oíche: “Is dócha”, aduairt sé leis a’ mbacach, “go mbeadh sé chómh maith againn dul a chodladh. Tá leabaidh bhreá anso againn, agus b’fhéidir nách i gcónaí a gheóimís í. Ragham araon a chodladh”, aduairt sé, “agus níl aon bhaol go gcuirfidh púca ná sprid aon speic orainn”.

Do chuadar araon a chodladh, agus ní rabhadar rófhada in ao’ chor sa leabaidh nuair a thit a’ bacach ’na chodladh agus níor thit aon chodladh ar an bhfear eile. Amach tímpall lár na hoíche amach, d’airigh sé an fothram ar fuaid an tí, agus níorbh fhada in ao’ chor chun gur hoscladh isteach an doras sa tseómra ’na rabhadar chun codlata. Do bhailigh isteach chuige an slua mór daoine, ’dir fhear agus bean, agus nuair a bhíodar bailithe isteach—radharc breá aige orthu agus ana-sholas acu—do bhí veidhleadóir ’na measc: veidhlín aige. Thosnaigh sé ar cheól a sheinnt agus thosnaigh an chuid eile go léir ar bheith a’ rínce ar fuaid an tseómra.

Airiú, do bhuail an ruathaire seo poc dá uillinn ar a’ mbacach a bhí ’na chodladh agus do dhúisigh é.

“Airiú, a dhiail”, aduairt sé, “conas a fhéadann tú fanúint id chodladh agus an ceól chómh breá! Cad ’na thaobh ná dúisíonn tú agus bheith ag éisteach leis?”

Chuir a’ bacach a cheann amach ón éadach agus nuair a chonaic sé cad a bhí ar siúl amu’ chuir sé a cheann fén éadach arís go deitheansach, agus duairt go ciúin leis a’ bhfear eile: “Eist réidh, is ná hairídís tu!”

Do lean an rínce ar aon tslí, agus do thosnaigh an ruathaire seo ar bheith á iarraidh ar a’ mbacach éirí amach agus go ndéanfaidís rínce ’na measc.

“Ó, leog dom!” adeireach sé; “leog dom! Má leogann siad duinn tá an scéal go maith againn, agus táim á fholáramh ort leogaint dóibh”.

“An dial mhuise”, aduairt sé, amach san aimsir, “ní leogfad dóibh, agus nuair is go bhfuil a leithéid do phléisiúr agus do shulth acu á fháil san oíche beidh mo chion de agamsa chómh maith leó, mar raghaidh me a’ rínce”. Amach leis as a’ leabaidh, agus d’fhág mo pháinteach bacaigh istigh ’na dhiaidh—a cheann fén éadach aige.

Thosnaigh an rínce amu’ aige in aonacht leó, agus ní raibh puínn don rínce déanta aige in ao’ chor nuair a thugadar fé ndeara é ’ bheith ’na measc. Do stop an rínce agus d’imigh an eile dhuine acu. Bhí sé féin agus an bacach ansan arís gan éinne acu. Chuaigh sé sa leabaidh, agus é féin agus an bacach a’ cainnt mar gheall ar a raibh feicithe acu. Do bhí an bacach a’ crith ’na chroiceann le heagla go dtiocfadh aon tóir eile orthu, agus más ea ní raibh aon eagla ar a’ bhfear eile.

T’réis tamaill, ba ghairid gur airíodar an fothram a’ teacht arís, agus ní raibh an bacach ’na chodladh nuair a airigh sé an fothram a’ teacht. Thosnaigh sé ar chrith le heagla. “Airiú”, aduairt a’ fear eile, “cad é an dial san ort, nú cé roimis go bhfuil a’ t-eagla agat?” Ar ndóin, ní dhéanfaid siad pioc leat”.

Níorbh fhada in ao’ chor gur bhuail chúthu isteach ceathrar fear agus cómhra ar a nguaille acu. Do bhí an bacach i gcónaí—ní fhéadadh sé féachaint amach ar éinní ’ bheadh ar siúl, ach i bhfuirm an t-éadach casta air féin le heagla go bhfeiceadh sé iad. Do bhuail sé poc ar a’ mbacach arís:

“Airiú, anois athá an rud greannúr tagaithe”, aduairt sé. “Dúisigh aniar ansan, agus éirigh aniar ar do chabhail chúm chun go bhfeicidh tú an rud go léir. Tá ceathrar fear tagaithe isteach le cómhra, an chómhra is breátha a chonac riamh”.

“Éist!” adeireach a’ bacach, agus é geall leis a’ gol, le heagla go bhfeiceadh éinne é féin. Ba chuma leis i ndeireadh bára, is dó’ liom, dá mbéarfaidís leó an ruathaire eile! Ar aon tslí, bhí sé a’ tathant ar a’ mbacach dúiseacht chun go bhfeiceadh sé an chómhra, nú a cheann a thógaint ón éadach. Níorbh aon chabhair é, agus i ndeireadh bára do léim sé féin amach as a’ leabaidh. Thosnaigh sé ar fhéachaint ar a’ gcómhrainn, agus á moladh.

“An deamhan”, ar seisean, “ní fheadar a’ bhfuil éinní istigh inti?” Do bhí an ceathrar fear imithe agus an chómhra fágtha ’na ndiaidh acu. I gcionn tamaill thosnaigh sé agus do bhain sé an clúdach di. Cad a bheadh ná fear istigh inti—marbh, mar a shíl sé.

“Tá fear marbh istigh inti”, aduairt sé leis a’ mbacach, “agus nách mór a’ trua ná féadaimíd rud éigint a dhéanamh dò. Éirigh amach as san chun go dtógam as a’ gcómhrainn é; agus b’fhéidir nách marbh ar fad athá sé. Cuirfeam sa leabaidh é ar feadh tamaill. Ca bhfios ná gurb amhl’ a raghadh feabhas air?”

“Ó, éist!” adeireadh a’ bacach, agus an t-eagla go léir air. Ní thiocfadh sé amach, ach dridiúint isteach sa leabaidh. Leis sin do thóg an fear eile amach as a’ gcómhrainn an té ’ bhí inti agus do rug leis é fé dhéin na leapa. ‘Drid isteach’, aduairt sé, leis a’ mbacach, ‘chun go gcuirfidh mé é seo ansan eadrainn”.

“Tá fuadar greannúr fút”, aduairt a’ bacach, “agus ba mhór a’ mí-ádh a bhí orm nuair a casadh orm tu iniubh!”

“Á, is cuma dhuit”, aduairt sé. Do chuir sé istigh i lár na leapa é, agus do luigh sé féin ar a’ dtaobh amu’ dhe, agus an bacach go heaglach ar a’ dtaobh istigh de. T’réis tamaill do tháinig an ceathrar fear arís. Chuireadar an chómhra ar a nguaillibh, agus as go brách leó. Níor fhéachadar peoca ’ bhí duine istigh inti nú ná raibh.

Amach i ndeireadh na hoíche amach, is amhlaidh a bhí an fear so a bhí sa chómhrainn a’ dul i bhfeabhas agus á chorraí féin, mar a bheadh éinne; agus le teacht a’ lae do bhí sé in’ fhear bheó láidir acu arís, chómh maith is ’ bhí éinne acu féin!

Airiú, do thosnaigh sé ar ínsint dóibh:

“Ní rabhas-sa marbh in ao’ chor”, aduairt sé, “ach do chuireadar draíocht orm, tamall mór ó shin, agus táim sa chómhrainn sin acu a’ teacht agus ag imeacht anso gach aon oíche riamh ó shin”, aduairt sé. “Agus níorbh fhéidir an draíocht san a thógaint díomsa, nú ní rabhadar chun é ’ thógaint díom, chun go bhfaighfí fear nú daoine éigint a fhanfadh anso sa tigh agus a fhéadfadh mise a thógaint amach as a’ gcómhrainn nuair a thabharfí ann me. Agus is mac dómhsa”, aduairt sé, “an fear a thug lóistín sa tigh seo dhíbhse anocht”.

Nuair a tháinig an mhaidean d’fhág an triúr acu in aonacht—mac an fheirmeóra agus an fear so a thógadar as a’ gcómhrainn agus an bacach—cé go raibh an bacach ana-chortha don oíche: níor mhaith leis na nithe a bhí feicithe aige in ao’ chor. D’imíodar orthu fé dhéin mac an duine uasail. Is air a bhí an iúnadh nuair a chonaic sé cé ’ bhí in aonacht leis a’ bhfear eile agus leis a’ mbacach, nuair a chonaic sé gurbh é a athair féin é, agus é curtha aige le fada roimis sin. Ach d’inis a’ t-athair dò ná raibh sé curtha ná éinní dhá shaghas, ach curtha fé dhraíocht, aduairt sé—agus gurb é ’ bhíodh gach aon oíche a’ teacht ag an ndream so a rug leó é, istigh i gcómhrainn, agus é fén ndraíocht; agus ná féadfadh sé teacht ón ndraíocht chun go bhfaighfí fear éigint ’ fhanfadh sa tigh, ’ osclódh an chómhra agus do thógfadh amach é, agus ní raibh an fear san le fáil, ach iad go léir a’ rith, nú a’ titim i bhfanntais nú rud éigint, nuair a chídís na nithe ’ bhíodh ar siúl acu—chun gur tháinig an fear so. “Sin fear”, aduairt sé, “go bhfuil misneach aige; agus ní dhéanfad an iomarca moladh ar a’ mbacach”, aduairt sé, “’dtaobh is gur chabhraigh sé leis chun me ’ thé’ sa leabaidh nuair a tógadh as a’ gcómhrainn me! Anois, is ceart duit”, aduairt sé, “fuíollach airgid a thabhairt don bheirt, agus deallraím nách aon bhacach duine acu; agus an té ’thá ’na bhacach, tabhair oiread dò is ’ chuirfidh buiniscionn le bacachas é, pé faid a mhairfidh sé”.

I gcionn lae nú dhó bhíodar ag imeacht, agus do thug mac an duine uasail cáirne airgid don bheirt. Thug sé níos mó don ruathaire seo ná don bhacach. Thugadar a n-aghaidh ar a’ mbaile, nú thug so aghaidh ar a’ mbaile, agus is dócha ná feadar cá raibh baile ag an mbacach; agus nuair a tháinig sé a’ triall ar an athair mar a chéile a bhí sé: níor fhéach aon fheabhas air, ach go raibh a chuid éadaigh b’fhéidir rud éigint níos measa ná mar a bhíodar nuair a fhág sé é. Agus ba mhó ná riamh an drochmheas a bhí ag an athair air nuair a chonaic sé é.

“Sea anois”, aduairt sé leis an athair, “ní gá dhuit an drochmheas go léir ormsa in ao’ chor. Táim chómh maith le héinne clainne a bhí agat”, aduairt sé, “agus nílimse a’ brath in ao’ chor ort. Dá ghiorracht atháimse amu’ tá mo mhaireachtaint déanta agam. Tá fuíollach airgid agam”. Do thispeáin sé dhò an cnuba óir a bhí fáltha aige.

D’athraigh so an t-athair, agus ní raibh duine don chlaínn ba mheasa leis ná é as san amach nuair a chonaic sé go raibh an t-airgead aige. Do luigh sé chun oibre agus chun críche, agus do bhí ciall aige chómh maith is ’ bhí ag aon fhear nú buachaill ar a’ mbaile. Agus is é a fuair an áit ón athair, agus thug sé leis isteach rábaire mná ná raibh eagla aici roime phúca ná sprid. Agus níl aon bhaol go raibh aon eagla aige seo rómpu, mar do bhí a chuid airgid déanta aige go breá dána dáiríribh.


Bhíodh tamall anso agus tamall ansúd aige: note the lack of the pronoun and the idiom with ag. This sentence is similar to the idiomatic mar a raibh aige.

Ruathaire mic feirmeóra: note concatenation of genitives here.

A’ féachaint ar gach éinne ’ bhí ann: an interesting way of saying “to see if anyone was there”.

Má leogann siad: AÓL fails to decline the verb here for the third-person plural.


-ne: an emphatic suffix used with the first-personal plural pronoun and verbs. This would be pronounced with a broad n, regardless of what it is appended to, but this is not shown in DÓC’s transcription, e.g. sinn-ne, /ʃiŋʹ-nə/.
amach: “out”, but also “late” and “onwards” in time expressions. Amach tímpall lár na hoíche amach, “late on, around midnight or thereafter”. Amach san aimsir, “as time went on”.
ar: “on”, but also “judging by”. Ar a’ bhfuadar athá fút, “judging by all you’re up to”.
bacach: “beggar, cripple”. Pronounced /bə’kɑx/.
bacachas: “begging”, pronounced /bə’kɑxəs/.
buiniscionnn le: “at variance with, contrary to”, or bunoscionn le in GCh. Pronounced /binʹiʃ kʹu:n/. Buiniscionn le bacachas, “in a state opposite to having to beg for a living”.
cabhail: “body, torso”, pronounced /kaulʹ/. Éirigh aniar ar do chabhail chúm, “sit up and face me”.
carn: “cairn; heap, great amount”, with cáirne in the plural. Pronounced /kɑrən, kɑːrnʹi/.
cnuba: “knob, lump; hoard”, or cnoba in GCh. Pronounced /knubə/.
cómhra: “coffin”, or cónra in GCh. The dative is cómhrainn. Pronounced /koːrə, koːriŋʹ/.
crích: “end, purpose”, or críoch in GCh, where the historical nominative is used. Críche in the genitive: luí chun críche, “to get stuck into purposeful activity”.
croiceann: “skin”, craiceann in GCh. Pronounced /krekʹən/ or /krokʹən/ in traditional WM Irish.
dáiríribh:“in earnest; indeed, actually, really”, or dáiríre in GCh.
deallraím, deallramh: “to judge by appearances”, or dealraím, dealramh in GCh. Pronounced /dʹau’riːmʹ, dʹaurəv/.
deinim, déanamh: “to do, make”, or déanaim, déanamh in GCh. Intransitively, “to do, to get along”: conas a bhí sé a’ déanamh ar a’ gcéird, “how he was doing in the trade, how he was getting along in it”.
diaidh: “wake, rear”, pronounced /dʹiəgʹ/. The -dh- ending is not always pronounced, particularly before the article, which is shown in DÓC’s transcription here, i ndia’ na mbó. Istigh na dhiaidh, “remaining in there (in bed) after he got out”, in chapter 5 here.
drochmheas: “a poor opinion (of someone”, pronounced /dro-vʹas/.
dúisím, dúiseacht: “to wake up”. Dúisigh aniar, “wake up and sit up”.
éadach: “clothing”, but also “bed-clothes”.
éaghmais: “absence, lack”, or éagmais in GCh. It éaghmais, “in your absence”.
eaglach: “fearful, apprehensive”, pronounced /ɑgələx/.
éistim, éisteacht: “to listen; keep silent, hold your tongue”. Note that éist is normally /e:ʃtʹ/, but a byform eist /eʃtʹ/ may also be heard in the phrase eist do bhéal, “hold your tongue”, or as an imperative meaning “hush”.
fanaim, fanúint: “to wait, stay”, or fanaim, fanacht in GCh. AÓL has fanaídh in the second-person plural imperative, as if from a second-declension pattern.
fanntais: “faint”. Titim i bhfanntais, “to fall down in a faint”. Pronounced /fauntiʃ/.
féachaint: “look, appearance”. Cad í an fhéachaint athá agaibh ar a’ dtigh seo?, “how does this house look to you? what view do you have of it?”
fuadar: “rush, hurry”. Fuadar a bheith fút, “to be up to something, bent on something”.
giorracht: “shortness”, of a period of time. Dá ghiorracht é, “however briefly”.
guala: “shoulder”, or gualainn in GCh, where the historical dative is used for the nominative. The genitive here is gualann, and the plural is guaille where GCh has guaillí.
idir: “between”. Eadrainn, “between us”, pronounced /ɑdəriŋʹ/.
imearthach: “fond of playing or gambling”.
mar a chéile: “just the same”.
measa: “worse”, the irregular comparative of olc. Is measa liom, “I prefer” or “I am concerned about”.
misneach: “courage”, pronounced /mʹiʃ’nʹax/.
neart: “force”. Le neart, “by dint of”.
ní: “not”. Note that the vowel here is elided in n’ fheicim in chapter 5 here, /nʹikʹimʹ/.
nuair: “when”, but also “since”. Nuair go, or sometimes with a pleonastic is, nuair is go, “since, seeing as”.
ólthach: “addicted to drink”.
osclaim, oscailt: “to open”, or osclaím, oscailt in GCh. Pronounced /oskəlimʹ, oskiltʹ/.
poc: “poke, prod”.
púca: “hobgloblin, sprite”.
rábaire: “active or dashing person”. Rábaire mná, possibly “a healthy woman, always on the go”.
réidh: “smooth, even, quiet”. Pronounced /re:gʹ/. Eist réidh, “keep quiet!”
roim: “before”, or roimh in GCh. This is found as roime in chapter 5 here, implying insertion of a vowel before the following consonant: roime phúca, /rimʹi fuːkə/.
ruathaire: “gadabout”. Note: this word originally referred to a small, loose stone on the road, and hence to a small person always running about.
rud: “thing”. The genitive should be ruda, but is often found as rud, especially before a vowel, as in a’ fiach rud éigint here. You could also parse rud éigint as a phrase noun in the nominative absolute. Pronounced /rod/. A’ titim i bhfanntais nú rud éigint, “fainting or whatever”.
seinnim, seinnt: “to play (music)”, or seinnim, seinm in GCh.
síntiús: “donation”. Síntiús airgid, “a monetary contribution”.
so ’s súd: “this and that”, i.e., depending on context, “anything”.
sulth: “amusement”. Pronounced /suhl/.
téanam: “come on, come along, let’s be having you”, part of a defective verb usually found only in the imperative. Téanaídh oraibh in the second-person plural imperative is found here.
téim, téidh: “to heat”, or téim, téamh in GCh. Pronounced /tʹeːmʹ, tʹeː/. Téidh is given as in the original, and this is edited here as té’.
tóir: “pursuit; pursuing party”.
tugtha: “willing”. CFBB shows this is pronounced /tugəhə/. Shán Ó Cuív’s LS edition of Séadna points to /tukə/.
uille: “elbow”, with uillinn in the dative, which form is used for the nominative in GCh.
veidhleadóir: “violinist”.
veidhlín: “violin”.

Aithris I:XVI



1 Nithe nách féidir le duine a leigheas, ann féin nú i ndaoinibh eile, is ceart dò cur suas leó go foighneach go dtí go leighisidh Dia iad. Abair leat féin go mb’fhéidir gur feárr mar sin iad, i dtreó go dtrialfí thu agus go ndéanfá an fhoighne, mar gan san ní mór an gus a bheidh ’nár luacht saothair.

Ba cheart duit, áfach, i gcás den tsórd, bheith coitianta dhá iarraidh ar Dhia cabhrú leat i dtreó go bhféadfá an fulag a dhéanamh le deá-chroí.

2. Nuair a bheidh labhartha agat le duine uair nú dhó agus ná géillfidh sé dhuit, scaoil leis; ná dein aighneas leis. Fág an scéal go léir fé Dhia, ionas go ndéanfí a thoil, agus go bhfaigheadh Sé an onóir is dual óna sheirbhísigh go léir, ós dò is eól conas an t-olc d’iompáil chun maitheasa.

Ceap it aigne go gcuirfir suas leis na lochtaibh atá i ndaoinibh eile, pé saghas iad, mar bíodh ’ fhios agat go bhfuil mórán nithe ionat féin go gcaithid daoine eile cur suas leó.

Mura féidir leat tu féin a dhéanamh chómh maith agus ba mhaith leat é, conas is féidir duit duine eile ’ dhéanamh chómh maith agus ba mhaith leat é?

3. Is ana-mhaith linn daoine eile do chur ar a leas, agus fós ní fonn linn ár leas féin do dhéanamh!

Is mian linn smacht ana-dhian a chur ar an bhfear thall, agus ní maith linn féin aon smacht a dh’fhulag.

Bíonn diomá orainn iomad saoirse ’ bheith ag an bhfear thall, agus ba mhaith linn go bhfaighimís féin gach ní a dh’iarraimíd.

Is maith linn ceangal dlithe ’ bheith ar dhaoine eile, agus ní fhuiligimíd aon cheangal do chur orainn féin.

Is léir, as san, nách sa mhidh chéanna a mheáimíd ár gcómharsa agus sinn féin.

Dá mbeadh gach éinne gan aon locht, cad a bheadh againn le fulag ó dhaoinibh eile ar son Dé?

4. Ach anois, tá nithe riartha ag Dia i dtreó go bhfoghlamóimíd conas ualaí a chéile d’iompar, mar níl éinne gan locht; níl éinne gan ualach air; níl éinne ábalta ar sheasamh in’ aonar; níl eólas a dhóthain dò féin ag éinne. Ní foláir dúinn ualaí a chéile d’iompar, sólás a thabhairt dá chéile, cabhrú lena chéile, a chéile do theagasc agus do chómhairliú.

Nuair a bhíd nithe ag gabháil i gcoinnibh dhuine, áfach, is ea ’ chítear an fhíoraontacht atá ann.

Óir, ní duine do lagú a dheineann nithe den tsórd san, ach a thispeáint cad é an saghas é.


dea-chroí: “a good heart, a good nature”. Le dea-chroí, “goodnaturedly”.
diomá: “disappointment”, or díomá in GCh.
dlí: “law”. The plural is dlithe; this would be dlíthe in GCh, but the WM pronunciation is /dlʹihi/.
foghlamaím, foghlaim: “to study”, or foghlaimím, foghlaim in GCh.
fulag: “endurance”, or fulaingt in GCh. This noun is masculine here, where the GCh equivalent is feminine.
gus: “force, vigour, spirit”. As gan ghus means “worthless, insubstantial”, ní mór an gus a bheidh nár luacht saothair in chapter 15 of book 1 means “our reward will be paltry”, although the English version of Imitatio Christi says here “our merits are but little worth”.
iompraím, iompar: “to carry, bear”. Pronounced /uːmpə’riːmʹ, uːmpər/.
leighisim, leigheas: “to remedy, cure”, or leigheasaim, leigheas in GCh. pronounced /lʹəiʃimʹ, lʹəis/. The past participle is leighiste, where GCh has leigheasta.
locht: “fault, flaw”.
mea: “balance, scales”, or meá in GCh. The dative is midh. Pronounced /mʹah, mʹigʹ/.
seirbhíseach: “servant”, pronounced /ʃerʹi’vʹiːʃəx/.

Aithris ar Chríost I:XV



1. Ní ceart aon olc a dhéanamh ar son aon ní ar bith, ná le grá d’aon duine. Ach is ceart, uaireanta, chun tairbhe do dhuine ’ bheadh ’na ghátar, ní fónta ’ fhágáilt go fonnmhar, gan déanamh, nú rud éigin ab fheárr ná é do dhéanamh in’ inead.

Mar nuair a deintear mar sin, ní curtar an gníomh fónta ar neamhní. Is amhlaidh a deintear gníomh níos feárr de.

Gan grá Dé ann níl aon tairbhe sa ghníomh sofheicse, ach aon rud a deintear le grá do Dhia, is cuma cad é a luíghead ná a shuaraíocht, tairbhe agus toradh ar fad is ea é. Is mó go mór ag Dia an grá lena ndeineann duine gníomh ná an gníomh féin.

2. Is gníomh mór an grá mór. Is gníomh mór an gníomh a deintear go maith.

Deintear an gníomh go maith nuair is mó ag an té a dheineann é tairbhe an phobail ná a thoil féin.

Meastar go minic go mbíonn grá do Dhia i ngíomh, agus ní hé a bhíonn ann ach grá claon, mar bíonn mian an duine féin ann, agus dúil a thoile féin, agus súil le tuarastal, agus súil le tairbhe dhò féin, agus ní rófhuiriste iad do chimeád as.

3. An té go bhfuil grá ceart, dílis, do Dhia aige, ní fhéachann sé choíche chun a thairbhe féin in aon ní ar bith. Ní bhíonn uaidh ach go dtabharfí glóire do Dhia ins gach aon ní. Ní lú ná mar a bhíonn aon fhormad aige le héinne, mar ní bhíonn aon dúil aige in aon rud a chuirfeadh áthas air féin. Ní háthas dò féin a bhíonn uaidh, ach an t-aoibhneas atá le fáil i nDia, ó ’sé Dia is maith thar gach maitheas.

Ní thugann sé creidiúint aon mhaitheasa d’aon duine, ach admhaíonn sé gur ó Dhia gach maitheas, gurb é Dia an tobar as a dtagann gach ní, gurb é Dia sólás agus suaimhneas síoraí na naomh.

Ó, an té go mbeadh ’na chroí aige an léas is lú d’fhíorghrá Dé, do chífeadh sé go soiléir cad é mar ná fuil i nithibh saolta ar fad ach folús.


cad é mar: “how”, but generally used in exclamations or rhetorical utterances.
claon: “inclined; perverse”. Grá claon, “perverse love; carnality”.
fágaim: “to leave”, with the verbal noun here fágáilt. Fágaint is also found in PUL’s works. The GCh form is fágáil.
folús: “emptiness, vacuity”. Pronounced /fə’luːs/.
sofheicse: “visible”, sofheicthe.

Scéalaíocht Amhlaoibh 4


Scéal Ghabha na gCleas: I Luimne ab ea ’ chónaigh an gabha so. Ar aon tslí, do bhíodh sé ag obair leis, agus ní oibríodh sé ar gach aon saghas gaibhníocht: ní fhéadadh sé éinní ’ dhéanamh ach céachtaí báin. Is minic a thagadh capaill a’ triall air, ach má thigidís ní chuireadh sé aon chruite fúthu, ná ní fhéadadh sé é. Ní raibh éinne sa tigh in aonacht leis ach seanabhean do mháthair dò. Bhíodh sí a’ tathant air i gcónaí gurbh fhearr dhò pósadh, agus i ndeireadh bára do ghéill sé chun a dhéanta. Do fuair sé bean, bean gan aon spré. B’é ar thug sí a’ triall air ná a máthair féin do thabhairt isteach in aonacht le máthair an ghabha, agus níorbh aon abhar réitigh í, is dó’ liom!

Bhíodh sé ag obair leis ar na céachtaí, agus fuíollach oibre aige le déanamh. Maidean éigint dá raibh sé ’na sheasamh i ndoras na ceártan chonaic sé a’ déanamh air garsún: c’luith bheag bhréide air agus é coslomnochta, in áirde ar sheanachapall. Do stad sé ag doras na ceártan, tháinig anuas don chapall, agus d’fhiafraigh don ghabha a’ gcuirfeadh sé cruite fúithi.

“Do dhéanfainn is fáilthe”, arsan gabha, “ach sin rud ná deinim. Ní mór go ndeinim aon saghas ruda ach céachtaí báin”.

“Dá bhfaighinn iasacht a’ teallaigh uait”, aduairt a’ garsún, “ní bheinn féin i bhfad a’ cuir cruite fúithi”.

“Ó, ’se, go deimhin geóbhair”, arsan gabha.

Do thairrig sé an capall isteach sa cheártain agus shéid an seanaghabha builg dò. Nuair a bhí na cruite déanta ag an ngarsún thairrig sé tua bheag amach as a phóca, buail sé buille don tuaigh ar gach chois acu agus chuir orthu na cruite. Do chuir sé fén gcapall arís iad, agus bhí an capall chómh maith is bhí sí riamh! Ghoibh sé baochas leis a’ ngabha, agus do tháinig sé in áirde ar a chapall. As go brách leis. D’fhan a’ gabha a’ féachaint ’na dhiaidh.

“Aililiú!” ar seisean; “más mar seo a chuirfí cruite fé chapaillibh níl aon bhaol ná gur mó airgead maith caillthe agamsa, agus féadfad iad a chuir fúthu as so amach”. Bhí seanachapall aige féin. Thug sé leis isteach sa cheártain é. Fuair sé tua. Thosnaigh sé ar bheith a’ d’iarraidh na gcos a bhaint de, agus bhí buille is gach ao’ bhall aige air—an capall comáinte ar buile. I ndeireadh bára d’fhéad sé é ’ leagadh, agus é bogmharbh aige. Bhain sé na ceithre cosa dhe. Thosnaigh sé a’ d’iarraidh cruite ’ chuir fúthu; agus ní raibh aon mhoíll ar a’ ngarsún ’na chuid féin ach na cosa a dhridiúint isteach in aice na tine nuair a bhí cruite orthu. Do rop an gabha cosa a sheanachapaill féin isteach sa tine ar fad, ach má dhein is amhl’ a thosnaíodar a’ dó—ní raibh aon chrú a’ teacht orthu! B’éigint dò stop, agus ’na theannta san bhí an capall marbh aige. Chaith na cómharsain bailiú chuige chun é ’ tharrac amach as a’ gceártain agus é ’ chur.

Bhí sé go mór trí chéile mar gheall ar an obair seo, agus i gcionn seachtaine nú mar sin ’na dhia’ san, maidean eile bhí sé i ndoras na ceártan nuair a chonaic sé chuige an garsún céanna arís in áirde ar a’ gcapall céanna: beirt sheanabhan aige, duine acu ar a chúlaibh agus an bhean eile ar a bhéalaibh. Do stop sé ag an gceártain. Bhí an gabha a’ féachaint air.

“Ní fheadar”, ar seisean, “a’ bhféadfá bean óg a dhéanamh don bheirt sin dom?”

“Do dhéanfainn dá bhféadfainn”, aduairt an gabha, “ach sin cleas nár thairrigeas orm riamh”.

“Dá bhfaighinn iasacht a’ teallaigh uait”, aduairt sé, “ar feadh tamaill, ní bheinn féin i bhfad á dhéanamh”.

“Geóbhair is fáilthe”, arsan gabha.

Thóg sé anuas an bheirt sheanabhan go deas aireach, agus isteach sa cheártain. Shocraigh an gabha tine dhò agus thosnaigh ar bheith ag séideadh na mbolg. Do rop a’ garsún an bheirt sheanabhan isteach sa tine. Ba ghairid a bhíodar ann aige nuair a thairrig sé amach an bhean bhreá óg; bhuail sé chuige ar a chúlaibh í, agus chuir sé a bhóthar de arís. D’fhan an gabha a’ féachaint ’na dhiaidh, agus a’ machnamh.

“A Dhia Mhóir!” ar seisean, “cad é an cor athá ormsa ageam bheirt sheanabhan féin, agus b’fhearra dhómhsa aon bhean amháin ná an bheirt”. Do bhí a bhean féin curtha aige an uair sin—ní hamhl’ a mhair sí rófhada in ao’ chor aige, is dó’ liom. “Tá mo bheirt sheanabhan”, aduairt sé, “agus pé tráth don lá a raghad isteach abhaile tá ‘Bog dom cheann!’ acu le chéile”.

Dhein sé tine mhór go léir, agus nuair a bhí an tine ar lasadh aige, isteach leis. Ghlaoigh sé ar a’ mbeirt sheanabhan:

“Caithfidh sibh dul liom amach sa cheártain go fóill”, aduairt sé.

Amach leis a’ mbeirt, agus nuair a fuair sé istigh sa cheártain iad dhaingnigh sé an doras. Do rug sé orthu agus do sháigh isteach sa tine iad; thosnaigh ar shéideadh, agus nuair ba mhithid leis bean óg a tharrac amach b’é a raibh le tarrac amach aige, geall leis, cnámha: bhíodar féin agus pé dorn giobal a bhí orthu loiscithe aige. D’fhág sé ansan iad. Amach leis; dhún doras na ceártan ’na dhiaidh, agus thug aghaidh ar na cnucaibh. “Tá an donas déanta agam”, ar seisean, “is crochfar me!”

Bhí sé a’ cuir de trí sna cnucaibh, agus d’airigh sé an fhead bheag a’ teacht ’na dhiaidh. B’eo mar ba mhó a dhein sé dithneas—shíl sé gur duine éigint a bhí ar a thí é, ach níorbh fhada chun gur tháinig an garsún in’ aice.

“Airiú, cad é seo ort?” aduairt sé leis a’ ngabha, “nú cad ’na thaobh ná fanann tú liom?”

“Á, ’se, ní fheadar”, arsan gabha; “tá iarracht dithnis orm”.

“Tá gnó agamsa dhíot”, arsan garsún.

“Cad é an gnó é?” aduairt a’ gabha.

“A leithéid seo”, aduairt sé. “Tá gabha i mBleá Cliath go bhfuil buachaill aige—príntíseach—agus tá céad púnt gíll aige á chur ar son an bhuachalla san, go mbuafaidh sé ar aon phríntíseach eile a’ déanamh cleas. Bhíos á chuímhneamh”, aduairt sé, “gurbh fhearra dhuit tabhairt fé”.

“Á, an dial ab iúnadh dhom”, arsan seanaghabha, “dá mbeadh ’ fhios agat an cleas déanach a dheineas!”

“Is cuma dhuit”, aduairt sé. “Raghadsa leat. Leog ort gur me do phríntíseach, agus déanfadsa na clis duit”.

Thoiligh sé chuige. D’imíodar araon agus níor stad cos díobh chun gur chuadar a’ triall ar a’ ngabha—

“Ó, tá”, aduairt sé “céad púnt gíll agam á chuir ar shon an bhuachalla so”.

“Cuirfeadsa anois céad”, aduairt an gabha, “ar son an gharsúin seo agam féin”. (Do bhí an céad púnt fáltha ag an ngabha ón ngarsún.) Do daingníodh síos an geall, agus do thosnaíodar ar na clis. Do chuaigh ar gharsún Bhleá Cliath an chéad chleas a dhéanamh. Shéid sé na builg, agus ’sé an rud a shéid sé amach astu ná cith cruithneachtan ar fuaid na ceártan.

“Samhlaím”, arsa gabha Luimne lena gharsún féin, “gur thispeánas cleas éigint mar é sin duit”.

“Do dheinis, leis”, arsan garsún. Do shéid sé na builg, agus ’sé rud a shéid sé amach astu ná scata c’lúr. Thosnaíodar ar a’ gcruithneacht a phiocadh ar fuaid na ceártan chun go raibh deireadh piocaithe acu.

“Caithfir séideadh arís”, arsa fear Bhleá Cliath lena gharsúin féin. Do dhein. B’é an rud a shéid sé amach ná bradán. Do bhí abha a’ rith in aice na ceártan. Amach leis a’ mbradán agus isteach san abhainn.

“Thispeánas rud éigint mar é dhuit”, aduairt gabha Luimne lena gharsúin féin.

“Á, dheinis, leis”, ar seisean. Do shéid sé na builg, agus madar uisce a shéid sé amach astu. Amach leis agus isteach san abhainn. Níorbh fhada in ao’ chor chun gur fhíll sé thar n-ais chúthu arís agus an bradán tabhartha aige leis.

“Caithe cleas éigint eile a dhéanamh”, aduairt gabha Bhleá Cliath lena gharsún féin. Do dhein. Shéid sé na builg, agus cad a shéidfeadh sé amach ná ceithineach seanamhná. Bhain sí crothadh aisti féin, ’na seasamh i lár na ceártan istigh acu.

“Thispeánas rud mar é sin, leis, duit”, arsa gabha Luimne.

“Dheinis”, arsan garsún. Shéid sé na builg agus do tháinig amach ana-chnaist seanduine. Do rug sé greim ar a’ seanamhnaoi agus do ghluais an rínce ag an mbeirt ar fuaid na ceártan chun gur coireadh iad.

“Níl a theilleadh le déanamh agamsa”, arsan garsún Bhleá Cliath. “Ní fhéadfainn dul níos sia anois ar aon chleas”.

“Tá buaite agamsa mar sin”, arsa gabha Luimne.

“Tá”, adúradh. “Ní mór linn an geall duit anois”.

Do cómhairíodh chúthu, nú do thógadar leó, an céad púnt, agus thugadar a n-aghaidh ar a’ mbaile nuair a bhí an t-airgead acu. Nuair a dhrideadar tamall amach ón gcathair:

“Roinnfeam an t-airgead”, arsan garsún leis a’ ngabha.

“Ní roinnfeam”, aduairt a’ gabha. “Coineódsa an t-airgead!”

“Coinnibh, más ea”, arsan garsún, “agus b’fhéidir go mbainfeadh an fear san anoir díot é”. D’fhéách an gabha féachaint cé ’ bhí a’ teacht, agus nuair ’ fhéach sé thar n-ais ní raibh garsún ná airgead aige. “Táim chómh hainnis le riamh anois”, ar seisean.

’Sea. Bhí sé a’ teacht abhaile in’ aonar, agus eagla air go mbéarfí air i dtaobh na seanabhan a mharú. Cé ’ chasfí air arís ar a’ slí ná an garsún.

“Tánn tú a’ dul abhaile”, aduairt sé leis an seanaghabha, “agus níl a bhac ort teilleadh airgid a bheith agat más maith leat é ’ thuilleamh. Tá duine uasal istigh sa chathair, é ana-bhreóite, agus tá míle púnt tarraicthe aige d’aon dochtúir a fhéadfaidh é ’ leigheas. B’fhearra dhuit dul isteach agus é ’ leigheas”, aduairt sé leis a’ ngabha.

“Conas ’ fhéadfainnsé é ’ leigheas?” aduairt sé.

“Raghada in aonacht leat”, aduairt an garsún.

D’fhilleadar isteach arís, agus níor stad cos díobh chun gur chuadar pé ait go raibh an duine uasal breóite. Bhí fear ar a’ ngeata ansan agus d’fhiafraigh sé dhíobh cad é an saghas iad.

“Dochtúir is ea mise”, arsan gabha.

“Más ea”, ar seisean, “níl puínn dá dheallramh ort. Ach mar sin féin, caithfar sibh a leogaint isteach”. Leogadh isteach iad. D’iarradar cead d’fháil chun an fhir bhreóite ’ fheiscint. Fuaradar. Do rug an seanagabha ar chuislinn air. “Is dó’ liom”, aduairt sé, “go bhféadfar é ’ leigheas”.

“Leighisfar”, aduairt an garsún. “Caithfimíd anois”, aduairt a’ garsún, “an seómra so ’ fháil chúinn féin ar fad, gan éinne eile ’ bheith istigh ’nár dteannta; agus ’sé a bhfuil againn á iarraidh a chuir chúinn isteach ann ná corcán maith uisce”, aduairt sé, “agus tine mhaith. Sin a n-iarrfam”.

Do cuireadh tine chúthu, agus corcán uisce. Shocraigh an garsún an corcán uisce ar a’ dtine, agus nuair a bhí sé geall le bheith fiuchta aige—bhí an duine uasal istigh sa leabaidh a’ féachaint ar an obair—chuaigh sé a’ triall ar an nduine uasal:

“Drid chúm amach do cheann anois”, aduairt sé. Do dhrid. Tharraig sé an tua bheag amach as a phóca. Bhuail sé buille in sa mhineál air a chaith a’ ceann de. Chuir sé an ceann isteach sa chorcán a bhí ar a’ dtine. Thóg sé spiún bheag amach as a phóca agus bhain cúpla meascadh as a’ gceann istigh. I gcionn neómait tharraig sé amach chuige é as a’ gcorcán agus do bhuail ar an nduine uasal arís é, chómh maith is bhí sé riamh. Do léim an duine uasal amach as a’ leabaidh—ní fheadair sé cad a bhí imithe air, ná níor chuímhnigh sé cad a bhí imithe air. Amach leis as a’ leabaidh agus ar fuaid an tí chun a chuir in úil go raibh sé leighiste. Do bhí chómh maith. Ní leogfadh an duine uasal uaidh iad ar feadh mí. Choinnibh sé ansan iad ag ithe agus ag ól, agus b’fhéidir, le heagla go raghadh sé in olcas arís ná éinní, gur mhaith leis iad a bheith tímpall a’ bhaíll.

I gcionn mí thugadar a n-aghaidh ar a’ mbaile arís, agus nuair a dhrideadar amach san áit chéanna gur thiteadar amach le chéile i dtaobh an airgid shuíodar síos, agus bhí an t-airgead ag an seanaghabha.

“Tá sé chómh maith againn anois”, arsan garsún, “an t-airgead a roinnt le chéile, agus níl puínn agam le lorg ort in ao’ chor”.

“An mór a bheadh uait?” aduairt an gabha.

“Chíonn tú anois”, aduairt a’ garsún, “go bhfuilim coslomnochta ón gcéad lá a casadh ar a chéile sinn, agus ’sé a bhfuil agam le hiarraidh ort ná fiacha na mbróg”.

“Ní bhfaighir!” aduairt an gabha.

“Ó ’se, imeóidh sé níos measa uait”, arsan garsún; “fan go dtagaidh a’ fear aniar ort!”

D’fhéach an gabha, agus nuair a chas sé thar n-ais ní raibh garsún ná airgead aige arís. “Well, tá mí-ádh éigint im chómhair”, ar seisean, “agus ní fheadar cad ’tá le déanamh agam anois. Raghad abhaile féachaint conas atá an saol im dhiaidh”. As go brách leis, agus chuir sé roinnt mhílthí ’ bhóthair de. Coireadh é. Casadh air fear a bhí a’ briseadh cloch ann ar thaobh an bhóthair. Shuigh sé síos in aonacht leis chun cainnte. Bhíodar a’ cainnt leó, agus d’fhiafraigh sé don fhear a’ bhféadadh sé puínn páigh a thuilleamh ar bhriseadh na gcloch.

“Ní thuillim”, aduairt sé; “ar aon tslí, b’fhearra dhuit aon cheárd eile”, aduairt sé, “ná bheith a’ gabháil dóibh. Is fada go mbeadh oiread tuíllthe agam”, aduairt sé, “is fuair na dochtúirí úd a leighis an duine uasal i mBleá Cliath”.

“Agus cathain a leighiseadh é?” aduairt an gabha.

“Ó airiú, tímpall mí ó shin”, aduairt fear na gcloch a bhriseadh. “Fuaradar míle púnt”, aduairt sé. “beirt dochtúirí éigint a dhein é ’ leigheas, agus gheóbhaid agus mílthe go tiubh anois”, aduairt sé, “mar tá duine uasal eile i mBleá Cliath go bhfuil an gearán céanna air, agus tabharfaidh sé chuig mhíle púnt d’aon dochtúír a dhéanfaidh é ’ leigheas, agus tá teipithe air an dochtúir seo a leighis an duine uasal eile a fháil”, aduairt sé.

Do phrioc an gabha é féin. “Raghaidh mé thar n-ais”, aduairt sé, “agus leighisfead é. Ní bheidh a theilleadh baint agam
leis a’ ngarsún. Féadfad féin é ’ leigheas, agus beidh mo chuid airgid agam gan aon roinnt le héinne”. Thar n-ais leis arís isteach sa chathair, agus bhí sé a’ cuir tuairisc riamh is choíche féachaint cá raibh an duine uasal breóite, agus do stiúraíodh féna dhéin é. Tháinig sé go geata. Bhí fear ann roimis.

“Cad é an saghas duine tusa?” aduairt sé. “Ní féidir tu ’ leogaint isteach”.

“Ó, is mise an dochtúir a leighis an duine uasal eile”, aduairt sé.

“Ó, más tu”, aduairt fear an gheata, “ní bheidh aon siar ná aniar againn ar tu ’ leogaint isteach”.

Isteach leis, agus d’fhiafraigh sé cá raibh an duine uasal breóite. Do hínseadh dò agus do tispeánadh dò cá raibh sé. Bhí cúpla dochtúir eile istigh i dteannta an duine uasail. B’é an chéad rud a dhein an gabha ná iad so a chuir amach. D’inis sé gurb é a leighis an duine uasal eile.

“’Sé a bhfuil agam le n-iarraidh anois”, aduairt sé, “chun é ’ leigheas: caithfar tine mhaith a chuir anso sa tseómra so chúm mar a bhfuil sé, agus corcán uisce. Sin a n-iarrfam oraibh. Ní gá d’éinne fanúint in aonacht liom. Níl aon ghnó agam díobh. Déanfad féin an gnó”.

Do cuireadh an tine chuige sa tseómra agus do fuaradh an corcán uisce dhò. Bhí stracshúil aige á thabhairt abhus is thall ar fuaid a’ tí féachaint cá bhficfeadh sé aon arm faoir a bhainfeadh a’ ceann don duine uasal, agus chonaic sé seanathua a bhíodh a’ briseadh guail nú rud éigint fé staighre ann, agus bhailigh sé chuige í féna chasóig—á cuir i bhfolach le heagla go dtabharfí fé ndeara é; agus d’aimsigh sé seanaspiún mhór éigint a bhíodh acu a’ gabháil d’anaithre nú rud éigint. Isteach leis sa tseómra, agus chuir sé an glas air fein. Do dhein sé tine bhreá mhaith a shocrú agus an t-uisce a bheiriú—gheall leis, ar aon tslí: bhí sé ana-the aige. Nuair a bhí san déanta, duairt sé leis an nduine uasal a cheann a dhridiúint chuige amach.

“Ní fhéadfainn é”, arsan duine uasal; “táim rólag”.

B’éigint don ghabha breith air agus é ’dhridhiúint amach chuige. Chuir sé a cheann amach thar cnaiste na leapa, agus a mhineál anuas ar a’ gcnaiste aige. D’éirigh sé ar a leathchois agus do bhuail buille don tseanathuaigh anuas in sa mhineál air. Níor gheárr sé an ceann de, áfaigh, agus marar dhein do bhuail a’ tarna buille agus do strac sé dhe ar chuma éigint é, t’réis roinnt bhuillí; chuir isteach sa chorcán é, agus nuair oir dò é ’ thógaint amach bhain sé roinnt mheascaíocha as leis an spiúin mhóir seo. Ní fhéadfadh sé é ’ thógaint amach—bhí an t-uisce róthe, agus níor mhaith leis a mhéireanta a dhó leis. Bhí sé a’ faire amach tríd a’ bhfinneóig féachaint a’ raibh an áit ró-árd dò chun é féin a chaitheamh amach. D’fhíll sé isteach arís chun an chorcáin, agus bhí an corcán ar fiuchaidh. D’airigh sé an duine a’ buala na finneóige.

“Ó”, ar seisean, “ní féidir dom éinne a leogaint isteach: níl mo ghnó críochnaithe agam”.

“A’ leogfá isteach do gharsún féin?” arsan guth.

“Leogfad is fáilthe, mhuise”, ar seisean. Do leog. Thairrig an garsún a spiúinín féin amach as a phóca.

“Dhóbair duit”, aduairt sé leis a’ ngabha, “an port a bheith loitithe agat”. Bhain sé cúpla meascadh as a’ gceann agus thóg amach é; bhuail ar a’ nduine uasal arís é, agus dáltha an duine uasail [eile], do léim sé amach as a’ leabaidh, ’na shaol agus ’na shláinte chómh maith is ’ bhí sé riamh!

Ní leogfadh so uaidh in ao’ chor iad. B’éigint dóibh fanúint aige ar feadh cúpla mí, agus i ndeireadh bára, nuair a ghéill sé chun leogaint dóibh dul abhaile, chuireadar díobh riamh is choíche fé dhéin an bhaile chun gur thánadar san áit chéanna gur thiteadar amach lena cheile i dtaobh an airgid cheana. Bhí an t-airgead go léir ag an ngabha—é i mála ar a dhrom aige.

“Suífeam síos anois”, arsan garsún. Shuíodar. “Is dócha go roinnfeam an t-airgead?” aduairt sé leis a’ ngabha.

“Ní roinnfeam”, aduairt an gabha. “Ní bheidh aon roinnt anois againn air”, aduairt sé, “mar ní thógfadsa pioc de. Bhíodh an leathphinge dhéanach de agatsa. Bhí deireadh liom”, aduairt sé, “mara mbeadh tu ’ chasadh orm i sa chleas dhéanach a bhí ar siúl agam”.

“Ragham abhaile anois”, aduairt an garsún. “Téirse abhaile”, aduairt sé leis a’ ngabha, “agus raghadsa go dtíom bhaile féin”.

“Cad a dhéanfaidh mé i dtaobh na seanabhan?” aduairt an gabha, “nú conas a thabharfad aghaidh ar a’ mbaile?”

“Ná deinidís a theilleadh buartha dhuit”, aduairt a’ garsún: “tá do bheirt sheanabhan ’na mbeathaidh chómh maith is ’ bhíodar aon lá riamh, chómh beóghlórach, agus iad a’ troid a chéile”, aduairt sé, “ar chuma go n-aireóir iad sara raghaidh tú in aice an tí in ao’ chor. Agus i dtaobh an tseanachapaill úd a mharaís, aduairt sé, “tá sé ansúd in aice an chlaí rómhat ’na bheathaidh, chómh maith is ’ bhí sé riamh. Imigh ort anois”, aduairt sé. “Ná triail aon chleas eile mar nílimse chun a theilleadh cúnaimh a thabhairt duit: ní fhéadfainn a thabhairt”.

Do scaradar le chéile air sin, agus do thug an gabha aghaidh ar a’ mbaile lena mhála airgid. Bhí a bheirt sheanabhan roimis go beóghlórach, agus nuair a bhí an saol rite leis chómh maith do chuir sé ’ fhéachaint ar a’ mbeirt pósadh. Thug sé spré mhór do gach duine acu, agus ní gá dhom a rá gur phós sé féin arís, agus ní raibh máthair a chéile, ná a mháthair, a’ déanamh a theilleadh trioblóide dhò as san amach.


abhus: “on this side”, pronounced /ə’vus/. Abhus is thall, “here and there”, a phrase more normally found as thall is abhus.
ainnis: “wretched”. Pronounced /aŋʹiʃ/.
aireach: “careful, heedful”, pronounced /i’rʹɑx/.
anaithre: “soup, broth”, or anraith in GCh. Pronounced /ɑnirʹhi/.
arm: “army” or “weapon”.Pronounced /ɑrəm/. Arm also means “weapons” in a collective sense.
bac: “hindering”. Níl a bhac ort, “there is nothing stopping you”.
bán: “pastureland”.
béal: “mouth”. Ar a bhéalaibh, “in front of him”.
beóghlórach: “with a lively, loud voice”.
Bleá Cliath: Dublin, a truncation of Baile Átha Cliath, reflecting the pronunciation, /blʹa: ‘klʹiəh/.
bogaim, bogadh: “to move”. Bog dom cheann, “let go of my head!”, where dom stands for dem.
bogmharbh: “half-dead”, pronounced /bog-vɑrəv/.
bolg: “stomach”, with builg in the plural meaning “bellows”. Pronounced /boləg, bilʹigʹ/.
bréid: “frieze, cloth”.
breóite: “sick.” Note that the traditional distinction between breóite, “sick”, and teinn, “sore”, is maintained in Cork Irish. GCh only has the latter, spelt as tinn.
clúr: “pigeon, dove”, or colúr in GCh, pronounced /klu:r/.
capall: “horse”, with a slender l in the dative plural, capaillibh.
céachta: “plough”.
ceárd: “trade”.
ceithineach: “foot-soldier”, or ceithearnach in GCh. By extension, refers to a strong, big-boned person, particularly an ungainly female. See PSD under ceatharnóg.
cheithre/ceithre: “four”. Pronounced /xʹerʹhi/, but found unlenited in chapter 4 here.
chun: “to”. Seómra chúinn féin, “a room to ourselves, under our control, monopolised by us”, where chúinn féin is equivalent to fúinn féin.
cith: “shower”.
cleas: “trick”, with clis in the plural here. PUL had cleasa in the plural, which form is used in GCh too.
cnaist: “a large and strong lump”, found in phrases like cnaist fir, “big and stout man”. GCh has cnaiste.
cnaiste: “side-rail”, of a bed.
cnámh: “bone” with cnámha in the plural, pronounced /knɑːv, knɑː/.
coirim, cor: “to exhaust, tire”. Cad é an cor athá ormsa ageam bheirt sheanabhan: it seems to me that this is not the noun cor meaning “circumstances, state” here, but the noun cor meaning “exhaustion”: “how exhausted I am by my two old women”.
comáinim, comáint: “to drive, drive forward”, or tiomáinim, tiomáint in GCh. Comáinte ar buile, “drive mad”.
cómharsa: “neighbour”, with the plural here cómharsain where GCh has comharsana.
coslomnochta: “barefoot”, or cosnochta in GCh. Coslomrachta and cosnochtaithe are also found. Pronounced /kos’lomənəxtə/.
croithim, crothadh: “to shake”, or croithim, croitheadh in GCh. Crothadh a bhaint asat féin, “to shake yourself, give yourself a shake”.
crú: “horseshoe”, with cruite in the plural where GCh has crúite. Horseshoes are put , or “under”, a horse, rather than on a horse, in Irish.
daingním, daingniú: “to make fast, to fasten”. Pronounced /daiŋʹi’nʹi:mʹ, daiŋʹi’nʹu:/. Geall a dhaingniú síos, “to put down a bet” (see PSD under daingnighim).
dial: “devil”, or diabhal in GCh, pronounced /dʹiəl/. Often used in negative phrases. An dial blúire do Sheán ná gur dhein sé féna géin, “I’ll be damned if Seán did not go up to it” (see under deamhan for discussion of such constructions). An dial gnó agamsa a’ dul ann, “I have no reason at all to go there”. An dial ab iúnadh dhom, “it wouldn’t come as a surprise to me”.
dithneas: “haste, urgency”, pronounced /dʹihinʹəs/. This was spelt deithneas in the original.
dó’: “hope, expectation; source of expectation”, or dóigh in GCh. Is dó’ liom, “I think, I suppose”.
dóbair: “it nearly happened”, originally the preterite of the verb fóbraim. Dhóbair duit, “you almost (did something)”, a truncation of ba dhóbhair dhuit.
dóim, dó: “to burn”.
dorn: “fist; fistful, small quantity”, pronounced /dorən/.
éinní: “anything”, or aon ní in GCh.
eo: a form of the demonstrative pronoun seo used after the copula (b’eo). Often incorrectly written sheo as it seems seo really contains the copula+eo.
faor: “sharp edge”, pronounced /fe:r/, or faobhar in GCh. Arm faoir, “bladed weapons”. Note that the genitive is pronounced /fiːrʹ/, which renders the spelling faobhair unsuitable.
fead: “whistle, a whistling sound”.
fiacha: “debts”, but also “cost, price”.
finneóg: “window”, with finneóig in the dative, or fuinneog in GCh. Pronounced /fʹi’ŋʹoːg/.
fiuchaim, fiuchadh: “to boil”, with fiuchta the past participle. Note ar fiuchaidh, “boiling”, /erʹ fʹuxigʹ/.
fóill: “quiet, slow”. Go fóill, “yet”, but also “for a while, for a moment”.
folach: “act of hiding”, pronounced /fə’lɑx/. Rud do chuir i bhfolach, “to hide something”.
geall: “wager”, with gíll in the genitive. Céad púnt gíll, “a £100 bet”.
giobal: “rag”, pronounced /gʹubəl/. Dorn giobal, “handful of rags/tattered clothing”.
go dtí: “to”, combined with the possessive adjective in go dtíom in chapter 4 here, “to my”.
i: “in”. Becomes ins or is before gach: is gach ao’ bhall, “everywhere”. Similarly ins an is also found, as in chapter 4 here, as i sa.
iasacht: “loan”. Iasacht ruda dh’fháil ó dhuine, “to borrow something from someone, to get a loan of it from him”.
iúnadh: “wonder, surprise”, with iúnaí in the plural, or ionadh, ionaí in GCh. Pronounced /u:nə, uː’niː/ and spelt úna, unaí in the original text here. This word is feminine here, but masculine in GCh. Is iúnadh dhom, “it comes as a surprise to me” (compare is iúnadh liom, “I wonder, I am surprised”).
leathchos: “one leg”, with leathchois in the dative. Pronounced /lʹaxos/.
leathphinge: “ha’penny”, or leathphingin in GCh. Pronounced /lʹafʹiŋʹi/.
leis: “also, too”. Do dheinis, leis, “so you did”.
loiscim, loscadh: “to burn”. The past participle, loiscthe in GCh, is found here as loiscithe, which shows the pronunciation more clearly.
loitim, lot: “to spoil”, with loitithe for the past participle, where GCh has loite. Pronounced /lotʹimʹ, lot, lotʹihi/.
Luimne: Limerick, or Luimneach in GCh. Pronounced /limʹinʹi/.
madar uisce: “otter”, or madra uisce in GCh. PSD shows that madar is a variant of madra, and so this spelling is adopted here (the original had madaruisce as one word) to avoid mispronunciation. Pronounced /mɑdər iʃkʹi/.
meascadh: “mix, stir”, as a noun, with meascaíocha in the plural. Meascadh bhaint as rud, “to give something a stir”.
míle: “mile”, with mílthí in the plural where GCh has mílte. There is thus a contrast between mílthí, “miles”, and mílthe, “thousands”.
mór: “large”, pronounced /muər/, and spelt muar in the original text. Ní mór go, “hardly”. Ní mór linn an geall duit, “we don’t begrudge you the wager”.
pá: “pay”. With páidh in the genitive. Pronounced /pɑː, pɑːgʹ/.
port: “tune”. Tá do phort loitithe agat, “you are done for”, a variant of tá do phort seinnte.
príntíseach: “apprentice”.
priocaim, priocadh: “to prick”, pronounced /prʹukimʹ, prʹukə/.
ropaim, ropadh: “to stab”.
scata: “group; flock”, referring to a flock of pigeons in chapter 4 here.
siar is aniar: “back and forth, beating about the bush”.
spiúinín: “little spoon”.
spiún: “spoon”, with spiúin in the dative, or spúnóg in GCh.
stracshúil: “cursory glance”, or sracshúil in GCh.
tagaim/tigim, teacht: “to come”. This verb, originally tigim has generally become tagaim in Cork Irish, but occasional instances of the older forms are found, as with má thigidís in chapter 4 here.
teallach: “blacksmith’s hearth or forge”. PUL’s novel Séadna has tulach, but teallach is the form listed in FGB and DÓC shows this word with a slender t. There are a number of such words where there is a certain amount of confusion over the quality of the t in written WM Irish, including tubaist vs. tiubaist and tonóisc vs. tionóisc, probably reflecting weak palatalisation of t in the dialect. Pronounced /tʹə’lɑx/.
teannta: “prop, support”. Na theannta san, “in addition to that; moreover”.
téim, dul: “to go”. With ar, “have to, must”: do chuaigh ar gharsún Bhleá Cliath an chéad chleas a dhéanamh, “it fell to the Dublin boy to do the first trick”.
tua: “axe”, with tuaigh in the dative.


Chun go raibh deireadh piocaithe acu: note the lack of the definite article here with deireadh, a typical stylistic feature of AÓL’s Irish. See also go geata later in this chapter.
Le n-iarraidh: n-prefixation is noteworthy here, as PUL has le hiarraidh.
Bhí deireadh liom: bhí here is emphatic with conditional meaning.

Aithris I:XIV



1. Iompaigh do shúil ort féin agus ná bac do ghnó do chómharsan a bhreithniú. Nuair a bhíonn duine ag leagadh a bhreithiúntais ar ghnó a chómharsan bíonn a shaothar in aistear, bíonn dearúd air go minic, agus is fuiriste dhò peaca ’ dhéanamh. Ach nuair a bhíonn duine ag machnamh agus ag breithniú air féin bíonn toradh ar a shaothar i gcónaí.

Fé mar a thaithneann rud lenár gcroí, sin mar a bheirimíd breith air go minic, agus teipeann fíorbhreith orainn mar gheall ar ár mbáidh féin.

Dá mba ná beadh de dhúil againn choíche ach Dia, ní chuirfeadh caismirt ár ndúile féin buaireamh orainn mar a chuireann.

2. Ach bíonn, go minic, rud éigin i bhfolach istigh ionainn, nú ag teacht crosta orainn lasmu’, agus tarraigeann sé i leataoibh sinn.

Tá a lán daoine agus is é a dtoil féin a bhíonn uathu in sna nithibh a dheinid siad, agus ní bhíonn ’ fhios acu gurb é. Bíd siad go sítheach suaimhneasach socair an fhaid a bhíonn gach aon rud ag gluaiseacht de réir a dtoile agus a n-aigne. Ach má ghluaisid nithe ar a mhalairt de chuma siúd trí chéile aigne orthu láithreach.

Deifríocht aigne agus toile fé ndeár go minic coímheascar idir cháirdibh agus idir chómharsanaibh, idir mhanachaibh agus idir dhaoinibh diaga.

3. Is deocair scarúint le seananós, agus i gcoinnibh a thoile is ea do seóltar duine bunoscionn lena thuiscint féin.

Más mó do sheasamh ar do thuiscint agus ar do thionnscal féin ná ar an bhfíoraontacht a chuireann ’ fhéachaint ar dhuine bheith úmhal d’Íosa Críost, ní bhfaighidh t’aigne solas ó Dhia ach go mall agus go hannamh, óir is maith le Dia sinn a bheith úmhal dò féin go hiomlán, agus ár ngrá do Dhia do bheith os cionn gach tuisceana.


báidh: /bɑ:gʹ/, “sympathy, liking”. This word is in GCh, but the final -idh in the historic spelling is audible in the nominative/dative singular in WM Irish.
bunoscionn le: “at variance with”. Pronounced /binʹiʃ kʹu:n/.
caismirt: “conflict, commotion”. The LS version of Aithris shows this is pronounced /kɑʃimʹirtʹ/.
cara: “friend”, with cáirde in the plural. Note that this was not a common word in traditional Irish, but has become popularised in order to forge a one-to-one equivalence between Irish and English words. PUL stated in Notes on Irish Words and Usages that the word for “friends” is daoine muínteartha, whether relatives nor not: “cáirde is not a common expression in the mouths of speakers” (cf. p 81).
coímheascar: “struggle, mêlée”. Pronounced /kiːskər/.
cómharsa: “neighbour” with cómharsan in the genitive singular and plural.
crosta: “crooked; across”. Rud a theacht crosta ort, “for something to befall you”.
deifríocht: “difference”, or difríocht in GCh. The LStranscription used in Shán Ó Cuív’s edition of Séadna points to a pronunciation /dʹifʹi’rʹi:xt/, whereas that used by Shán Ó Cuív in his LS version of Aithris here points to a pronunciation /dʹefʹi’rʹi:xt/. Cnósach Focal ó Bhaile Bhúirne has a broad r, /dʹefʹə’ri:xt/ (deifearaíocht). More research required here.
dúil: “desire”. PUL has dúile in the genitive here—which form is also found in GCh—whereas he used dúla in a letter to the United Irishman in 1894 later republished in An Músgraigheach in 1943.
folach: “act of hiding”, pronounced /fə’lɑx/.
leataoibh: i leataoibh, or i leataobh in GCh, “to one side”. Pronounced /i lʹa-‘ti:vʹ/.
manach: “monk”, pronounced /mə’nɑx/.
os cionn: “above”. Pronounced /ɑs kʹu:n/.
scaraim, scarúint: “to part, separate”, or scaraim, scaradh in GCh.
seananós: “established custom”.
sítheach: “peaceful, harmonious, agreeable”. The original text had síothach, which PSD recognises as the correct form (PSD claims sítheach means “relating to fairies”). However, FGB has sítheach, which yields the same pronunciation.
suaimhneasach: “peaceful”, pronounced /suənʹəsəx/.
tionnscal: “industry, exertion”, or tionscal in GCh. Pronounced /tʹu:skəl/; the double nproduces a long vowel, with n then deleted in the pronunciation (see CFBB under tiunnsgalach). Seasamh ar do thuiscint agus ar do thionnscal féinappears in the English version of Imitatio Christ as “rest upon thy own reason or experience”.
trí chéile: “confused”. Trí chéile aigne, “mental confusion”.

Aithris I:XIII



1. An fhaid a bheimíd ar an saol ní féidir dúinn bheith gan buaireamh ná gan cathanna ón áirseóir.

Uime sin atá scríofa in Iób: Níl i mbeatha an duine ar an dtalamh so ach cath.

Ba cheart do gach duine dá bhrí sin, na cathanna atá le teacht air féin a bheith ag déanamh buartha dhò, agus bheith ag faire agus ag cur a ghuí suas chun Dé, le heagla go bhfaigheadh an mac mallachtain lom air agus go meallfadh sé é. Ní chodlann an mac mallachtain choíche, ach é ag gabháil tímpall ag cuardach féachaint cé ’ gheóbhadh sé le slogadh.

Níl éinne chómh fíoraonta ná chómh naofa san ná tagann cathanna air uaireanta. Ní féidir dúinn bheith saor ar fad uathu.

2. Ach tá tairbhe mór go minic, don duine, in sna cathannaibh. Úmhlaíd siad é, agus glanaid siad é agus múinid siad ciall dò, bíodh gur mór an cruatan iad, agus gur trom.

B’éigean do sna naoimh go léir gabháil trí mórán cathanna agus trí mórán trioblóidí, agus iad a chur díobh, le tairbhe dhóibh féin.

Agus an mhuíntir nár fhéad na cathanna do sheasamh, do thiteadar ó ghrásta Dé, agus dheineadar aimhleas a n-anama.

Níl aon órd chómh beannaithe ná aon áit chómh huaigneach san ná fuil cathanna agus míshásamh aigne le fáil ann.

3. Níl aon bhreith ag an nduine, an fhaid is beó ar an saol so dhò, ar bheith saor ar fad ó chathannaibh, mar is ionainn féin atá abhar na gcathanna, de bhrí gur i gcolnaíocht a geineadh sinn.

Nuair a bhíonn cath curtha dhínn againn tagann cath eile orainn, agus nuair a bhíonn trioblóid curtha dhínn againn tagainn trioblóid eile orainn. Beidh rud éigin againn i gcónaí le fulag, mar gheall ar an ndíobháil a dhein peaca an tsínsir dúinn.

Tá mórán daoine a bhíonn a d’iarraidh imeacht ó sna cathannaibh, agus is amhlaidh a seóltar isteach níos daingne iontu iad.

Ní thabharfaidh teitheadh, gan a thuilleadh, an bua dhúinn; ach le foighne agus le fíorúmhlaíocht gheóbhaimíd bua ar ár namhaid go léir.

4. An té ná cuireann ’na gcoinnibh ach ón dtaobh amu’ agus d’fhágann an phréamh gan stathadh, ní dhéanfaidh sé puínn tairbhe, ní hea, ach fíllfidh an cath níos géire air, agus beidh an scéal níosa mheasa aige.

I ndiaidh ar ndiaidh, le foighne agus le fadaraí, agus Dia ag cabhrú leat, is ea is feárr a gheóbhair bua, agus ní led ghruamacht ná led mhíshástacht féin.

Glac cómhairle go minic in am an chatha; agus ná bí dian ar an té go mbeidh cath á chur air, ach bí cneasta leis, fé mar ba mhaith leis a bheifí leat féin.

5. Bunchúis na ndroch-chathanna go léir an aigne ghuagach atá ionainn, agus luíghead ár muiníne as Dia.

Ar nós luinge gan stiúir a bhíonn dá caitheamh anonn ’s anall le neart na dtonn, sin mar a thagaidh na cathanna ar an nduine a bhíonn guagach agus ná bíonn seasmhach sa rud a cheap sé dhò féin.

Trialann an tine an t-iarann, agus trialann an cath an fíoraon.

Ní fheadramair go minic cad ’tá ar ár gcumas, ach tispeánann an cath cad é an saghas sinn.

6. Ní foláir faire, áfach, go mór mór i dtosach an chatha. An uair sin is ea is usa an bua ’ dh’fháil ar an namhaid, nuair ná leogtar dò teacht thar doras na haigne isteach, ach bheith ’na choinnibh lasmu’ den táirsigh chómh luath agus a bhuaileann sé an chéad bhuille. Uime sin aduairt duine éigin:

“Coisc tosach an uilc. Beidh an leigheas ródhéanach nuair a bheidh an t-olc neartaithe leis an ríghneas”.

Mar ní thagann ar dtúis ach an smaoineamh. Ansan tagann samhlaíocht láidir. Ansan taithneamh. Ansan corraí na fola. Agus ansan toil.

Mar sin, i ndiaidh ar ndiaidh, gheibheann an namhaid mhallaithe seilbh go hiomlán, toisc ná curtar ’na choinnibh ó thosach.

Agus dá fhaid a deintear faillí de chur ’na choinnibh is ea is mímhisniúla a bheidh an duine, in aghaidh an lae, agus is ea is treise a bheidh an namhaid.

7. Tá daoine agus i dtosach a ndei-bheatha is ea ’ thagaid na cathanna is truime orthu. Tá daoine eile agus i ndeireadh na dei-bheatha a thagaid siad orthu.

Agus tá daoine agus bíonn an scéal go holc acu i gcaitheamh a mbeatha go léir.

Ta daoine agus ní thagann orthu ach cathanna éadroma, le leamhnú Dé, a mheánn, de réir a mhóreagna agus a mhórchirt, nádúr an duine agus cumas an duine, agus a riarann gach ní roim ré cun leasa anama na bhfíoraon.

8. Dá bhrí sin ní ceart dúinn titim in éadóchas nuair a thagann cath orainn. Is amhlaidh is ceart dúinn ár nguí do chur suas chun Dé níos dúthrachtaí, sinn féin do chaitheamh suas ar Dhia ó is É do dheónfaidh sinn a thabhairt saor à gach guais lena chabhair. Mar adeir Naomh Pól: cuirfidh Sé an cath chun cínn ar chuma ’na bhféadfaimíd an cath do sheasamh.

Úmhlaímís, dá bhrí sin, ár gcroí agus ár n-aigne fé láimh Dé i ngach cath agus i ngach trioblóid, mar tabharfaidh Sé saor lucht na húmhlaíochta agus árdóidh Sé iad.

9. Is iad na cathanna agus na trioblóidí a thispeánann cad é an dul ar aghaidh atá déanta ag duine i bhfíoraontacht.

Is leó is feárr a tuílltear luacht saothair agus is iontu is feárr a nochtar súáilce.

Ní mór le rá é duine ’ bheith diaga dúthrachtach nuair ná bíonn aon rud ag cur air, ach má bhíonn sé foighneach seasmhach in am cruatain, is maith an cómhartha é go bhfuil an duine sin i bhfad ar aghaidh i bhfíoraontacht.

Tá daoine agus cosantar iad ar chathannaibh móra, agus buaitear orthu go minic, in aghaidh an lae, i gcathannaibh suaracha. Úmhlaíonn san iad. Múineann san dóibh conas gan aon iontaoibh a bheith acu as a neart féin i nithibh móra, toisc iad a bheith chómh lag i nithibh suaracha.


à: “from”, as in GCh. The preposition as historically appeared with an s only before the singular and plural articles (as an, as na), the relative pronoun (as a), possessive adjectives (as mo), and before gach, but this usage was not always adhered to in late WM Irish.
abhar: ábhar in GCh. WM Irish distinguishes between abhar (originally spelt adhbhar, now pronounced /aur/), “material”, and ábhar (sometimes written ádhbhar, pronounced /ɑ:vər/), “amount”. Abhar na gcathanna, “the material, the subject matter for temptations, the matter that temptations work on”.
bunchúis: “basic cause, root cause”.
caithim, caitheamh: “to throw”. Tu féin a chaitheamh suas ar Dhia, “to throw yourself on God’s mercy”.
cath: “temptation”, with cathanna in the nominative plural, and either cathaíbh or cathannaibh in the dative plural, the first of which is found in chapter 13 here.
coiscim, cosc: “to prevent”.
codlaim, codladh: “to sleep”, or codlaím, codladh in GCh. Pronounced /kolimʹ, kolə/.
colnaíocht: “carnality”, or collaíocht in GCh. The LS version of Aithris indicates the pronunciation is /kolə’niːxt/. I think it likely that Shán Ó Cuív has given the wrong transcription here.
corraí: “stirring, movement”. Corraí na fola, “excitement, stirring of the blood”.
cosnaim, cosaint: “to defend”. This would be cosnaím, cosaint in GCh and CFBB also has cosnaím. PUL has this in the first conjugation in most tenses (cf. cosantar in chapter 13 of book 1 here), but cosnód and cosnódh in the future and conditional. Pronounced /kosnimʹ~kos’niːmʹ, kosintʹ/.
cuirim, cuir: “to put”. Rud a chuir ort, “for something to afflict you, affect you adversely”.
daingean: “firm”, with daingne in the comparative. Pronounced /daŋʹən, daŋʹinʹi/.
dei-bheatha: “good, virtuous life”, or dea-bheatha in GCh. Pronounced /dʹəi-vʹahə/.
deónaím, deónú: “to consent, grant”. This appears to be a second-conjugation verb in the imperative deónaigh (cf. PUL’s An Teagasg Críostaidhe), but deónfaidh here is a first-conjugation form. More research required here.
diabhal: “devil”, pronounced /dʹiəl/.
droch-chath: “temptation to commit evil”.
dúthrachtach: “fervent, earnest”, pronounced /duːrhəxtəx/.
éadóchas: “despair”.
éadrom: “light”, pronounced /iadərəm/.
fadaraí: “long-suffering”, a word spelt faidearaí in some of PUL’s works (cf. his novel Niamh).
faillí: “neglect”. Faillí dhéanamh de rud a dhéanamh, “to neglect to do something”.
foighne: “patience”, pronounced /fəiŋʹi/.
foighneach: “patient”, pronounced /fəiŋʹəx/.
fuiligim, folag/fulag: “to suffer, endure”, or fulaingím, fulaingt in GCh. PUL used the spelling fulang in the original text, adjusted in the editing here in line with WM pronunciation.
geinim, giniúint: “to beget, give birth to”. Often used in the autonomous preterite. Geineadh is transcribed geneag in the LS editions of Aithris, and there may be an /e/ in this word in order to differentiate the lenited version of the work from forms of the verb deinim, déanamh.
gruamacht: “gloominess, despondency”. Traditionally spelt, as in the original here, gruamdhacht, the pronunciation is with a devoiced m, /gruəmhəxt/. The transcription in LS is simply gruamacht.
guais: “danger”.
Iób: Job, a book of the Old Testament that tells of the suffering of Job.
leamhnú: “grant, consent”, or deonú in GCh, pronounced /lʹo:’nu:/ according to IWM, although PUL’s spelling points to a possible diphthongal pronunciation in his Irish. PUL indicates in Notes on Irish Words and Usages p71 that the word can be leamhnú and leómhnú. Leamhnú, “the will of God”. Note that this is one of a number of words where l has replaced d in Munster Irish.
leigheas: “remedy, cure”, pronounced /ləis/.
leogaim, leogaint: “to let, allow”, ligim, ligean in GCh. PUL uses the spelling leigtear, etc, in the original, influenced by classical norms, but the WM pronunciation of this word is /lʹogimʹ, lʹogintʹ/.
lom: “a chance at something, an opportunity”, pronounced /loum/.
long: “ship”, with luinge in the genitive, pronounced /lu:ŋg, liŋʹi/.
luacht saothair: “reward”, or luach saothair in GCh. Both forms are found in PUL’s works.
mallacht: “curse”, with mallachtain here in the genitive, where GCh has mallachta. Mac mallachtain, “the Evil One, the Devil, the son of malediction”. Pronounced /mə’lɑxt/. PUL’s novel Séadna had mac mallachtan, although the authorised Foclóir do Shéadna advocated a genitive with a slender n, as found here in the original text of Aithris.
mímhisniúil: “discouraged”.
mór le rá: “important, significant”. Possibly better written as a single hyphenated word.
mórcheart: “great justice”, pronounced /muər-xʹart/.
móreagna: “great wisdom”, pronounced /muər-ɑgənə/.
namhaid: “enemy”, pronounced /naudʹ/. Traditionally námha, the dative has now replaced the nominative. The plural here is namhaid, where GCh has naimhde.
Naomh Pól: Saint Paul.
níos: “more”. The form níosa, which lenites (níosa mheasa), is also found here. PUL stated in his Notes on Irish Words and Usages (p82) that the use of níosa implied a progressive increase (níosa mheasa, “worse and worse”).
nochtaim, nochtadh: “to uncover, reveal, disclose”. The present autonomous, edited here as nochtar, was spelt nochtthar in the original text, and was transcribed in the LS version of Aithris as nochdahar. It is likely that /noxtər/ and /noxtəhər/ both existed.
órd: “order”, including religious and monastic orders.
riaraim, riar/riaradh: “to manage, arrange”.
ríghneas: “slowness, delay”.Pronounced /riːnʹəs/.
roim: “before”, or roimh in GCh. Roim ré, “beforehand, in advance”, pronounced /rimʹ rʹeː/.
saghas: “sort, kind”, pronounced /səis/. Cad é an saghas sinn, “what we are, what we are like”.
samhlaíocht: “imagination”.
seilbh: “possession”, pronounced /ʃelʹivʹ/.
sínsear: “ancestor”, or sinsear in GCh. This word was traditionally spelt sinnsear, and had a long /i:/ in WM Irish. The singular form can have collective meaning, “ancestors”. Peaca an tsínsir, “original sin”.
sloigim, slogadh: “to swallow, devoir”, or slogaim, slogadh in GCh.
staithim, stathadh: “to pick, pluck”, or stoithim, stoitheadh in GCh.
stiúir: “rudder”.
táirseach: “threshold of a door”, with táirsigh in the dative. The LS edition of Aithris shows no long vowel in the first syllable, whereas the LS edition of PUL’s Eisirt did. More research required here.
taithneamh: “pleasure, delight”, or taitneamh in GCh. Pronounced /taŋʹhəv/.
tímpall: “around”, or timpeall in GCh. The broad p in WM Irish is preserved here: /tʹi:mʹpəl/.
tonn: “wave”, with tonn in the genitive plural also. Pronounced /tuːn/.
trialaim, triail: “to try, test”, or triailim, triail in GCh.
trom: “heavy, hard to bear”, with truime for the comparative, pronounced /troum, trimʹi/.
uaigneach: “lonely, desolate”, pronounced /uəgʹinʹəx/.
um: “about”. Uime sin, “on that account, for that reason”.