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Tá dhá alt ag Robert McMillen san eagrán reatha de ‘beo.ie.’

Cuireann sé agallamh ar Julie Feeney, ceoltóir, cumadóir agus amhránaí as Gaillimh atá i ndiaidh sraith cheolchoirmeacha a dhéanamh i Nua-Eabhrac.

Tá alt eile aige faoi chúrsaí sna Sé Chontae faoi láthair: ‘Is léir nach bhfuil polaiteoirí Thuaisceart Éireann in ann smacht a fháil ar an chúlú gheilleagair,’ a deir sé. Is féidir a bheith ciniciúil agus ceist a chur an bhfuil siad in ann smacht a chur ar rud ar bith.

Bíonn alt ag Robert gach mí ar ‘beo.ie’. Oibríonn sé mar eagarthóir Gaeilge leis an Irish News. Foilsíonn an Irish News leathanach Gaeilge gach lá- tá Robert ag déanamh éachta ar son na teanga. Bhí mé ag caint leis ar na mallaibh agus mhol mé alt a scríobh sé ina cholún cúpla seachtain ó shin. Thug sé cuairt ar uaigh Pheadir Uí Dhoirnín, an file a scríobh ‘Úr-Chnoc Chéin Mhic Cáinte’ agus ‘Mná na hÉireann’, agus atá curtha i Reilig Urnaí. Cur síos iontach atá ann, agus is fiú é a léamh ina iomlán. B’fhéidir go bhfeicfimid é i gcnuasach lá éigin. Cuirtear an cheist go minic: ‘Cad chuige an Ghaeilge?’ Tugann Robert freagra i nGaeilge fhileata agus é ag cur síos ar a mhothúcháin sa reilig stairiúil i ndeisceart Ard Mhacha. Seo an paragraf deireanach den alt (le caoinchead).

‘Agus mé ag machnamh i Reilig Urnaí ar Pheadar agus a chomhghlacaithe- Art Mac Cumhaigh, Séamas Dall Mac Cuarta agus Cathal Buí Mac Giolla Ghunna- rith sé liom gur fhág siad oidhreacht againn nár cheart dearmad a dhéanamh uirthi agus go bhfuil ceangal ag Gaeil an lae inniu leo, bíodh siad i gcathracha ollmhóra nach dtiocfadh le filí na 18ú haoise a shamhlú nó amuigh faoin tuath nach n-aithneodh siad ach ar éigin. Caithfidh mé a rá gur mhothaigh mé glórtha na nglúnta a chuaigh romhainn ag caint i dteanga a thuig mé agus mhothaigh mé sásamh éigin ag meabhrú go mbeadh na filí móra Ultacha iontach sásta a chluinstin go raibh daoine sásta an Ghaeilge a labhairt agus a chaomhnú, agus a chur chun cinn, ainneoin an drochbhail ina bhfuil sí.’

A fine journalist

Robert McMillen has two articles in the current edition of ‘beo.ie’.

He interviews Julie Feeney, the Galway musician, composer and singer who has just done a series of concerts in New York.

He has another article about the present situation in the Six Counties: ‘It is obvious that Northern Irish politicians have no control over the economic recession,’ he says. You could be cynical and say they no control over anything.

Robert has an article every month in ‘beo.ie’. He is the Irish News Irish language editor. The Irish publishes an Irish page every day- Robert is doing great work for the language. I was talking to him recently and I praised an article which he wrote in his column a few weeks ago. He visited the grave of Peadar Ó Doirnín, the poet who wrote ‘Úr-Chnoc Chéin Mhic Cáinte’ and ‘Mná na hÉireann’, and who is buried in Urnaí Graveyard. It is a marvellous account, and it is worth reading the whole article. Perhaps we will see it in a collection some day. The question is often asked: ‘Why Irish?’ Robert gives an answer in poetic Irish as he expresses his feelings in the historic graveyard in south Armagh. Here is the last paragraph of the article, reproduced with kind permission.

‘While thinking in Urnaí Graveyard of Peadar and his comrades- Art Mac Cumhaigh, Séamas Dall Mac Cuarta, and Cathal Buí Mac Giolla Ghunna- it went through my mind that they had left us a heritage that we must never forget, and that there is a bond between them and the Irish of today, though they may be living in cities that the 18th century poets could never have imagined, or in rural areas that they would hardly recognise. I declare that I heard the voices of the generations that have gone before us in a language which I could understand, and I took satisfaction from thinking that the great Ulster poets would enjoy hearing that people were willing to speak Irish, and to preserve and promote the language, despite the sorry state it is in.’