An tUltach- life or death?

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Bunaíodh Comhaltas Uladh sa bhliain 1926 le hobair Chonradh na Gaeilge a stiúradh i gCúige Uladh.

Shíl an bunaitheoir, an tAthair Lorcán Ó Muirí, nár tugadh a háit cheart do Ghaeilge Uladh ag an am, gur chuir an Conradh i mBaile Átha Cliath níos mó ábhair ar fáil sna canúintí eile. Chuir an tÁthair Ó Muirí an míosachán an tUltach ar bun sa bhliain 1924 agus rinneadh iris oifigiúil an Chomhaltais de. Scríobh na scríbhneoirí móra Conallacha dó, Séamus Ó Grianna, Seosamh Mac Grianna,Seán Bán Mac Meanman agus a lán eile nach iad. Tá An tUltach ar na hirisí Gaeilge is sine sa tír: beidh sé nócha bliain ar an saol an bhliain seo chugainn. Shílfeá go mbeadh ceiliúradh mór ann. Bhuel, bhí sin pleanáilte ag Comhaltas Uladh, ach tugadh buille mór ar an iris an tseachtain seo. Faigheann An tUltach £17,000 sa bhliain mar dheontas ó Fhoras na Gaeilge - suim shuarach airgid na laethanta seo. Ní fhaigheann na daoine a chuireann an tUltach amach pingin rua – déantar an obair ar bhonn deonach. Cuireann caighdeán na hirise iontas orm. Tá cuma an-tarraingteach uirthi ón taobh teicniúil de. Clúdaítear imeachtaí Gaeilge, cúrsaí reatha, stair, litríocht srl. srl. Baintear an-úsáid as An tUltach sna scoileanna. Níl mórán irisí Gaeilge ann, agus spreagann An tUltach na scríbhneoirí atá againn. Ag an phointe seo, caithfidh mé scríbhneoir óg éirimiúil a lua: bíonn colún beomhar in An tUltach gach mí ag Pádraig Mac Congail as Doire. Is léir go bhfuil fadhbanna ag An tUltach maidir le scaipeadh go háirithe. Ach tá fadhbanna ag gach iris agus gach nuachtán sa tír faoi láthair. Cuireann Foras na Gaeilge airgead amú i dtreoracha eile. Fuair Gaelscéal €400,000 sula ndeachaigh sé chuig an bhalla. (Gúgáil: Fairwell to Gaelscéal Slugger O’Toole.) Tá daoine ag rá go bhfuil níos mó spéise ag an Fhoras i dtodhchaí Fhoras na Gaeilge ná mar atá aige i dtodhchaí na Gaeilge.

Comhaltas Uladh was founded in 1926 to direct the work of the Gaelic League in the province of Ulster. Its founder, Father Lorcán Ó Muirí thought that Ulster Irish was not being given its proper place at the time, and that the Gaelic League was providing more material in the other dialects.

Father Ó Muirí had set up the monthly publication, An tUltach in 1924, and it became the official organ of Comhaltas Uladh. The great Donegal writers wrote for the magazine, including Séamus Ó Grianna, Seosamh Mac Grianna, and Seán Bán Mac Meanman. An tUltach is one of our oldest Irish language magazines: it will be ninety years old next year. You would expect a great celebration. Well, that is what Comhaltas Uladh planned, but the magazine was dealt a crushing blow this week. Comhaltas Uladh gets a grant of £17,000 per year from the government body Foras na Gaeilge- a small sum of money nowadays. The people who produce An tUltach don’t get a single penny – the work is all voluntary. The standard of the magazine amazes me. It is very attractive from a technical point of view. It covers Irish language events, current affairs, history, literature, etc. etc. We don’t have many Irish magazines and An tUltach gives encouragement to the writers that we have. I must mention talented writer: Pádraig Mac Congail from Derry writes a lively column every month in An tUltach. Obviously, an tUltach has problems, particularly regarding distribution. But every magazine and newspaper in the country is having problems at the moment. Foras has wasted money in other directions: the newspaper Gaelscéal got €400,000 before it went to the wall. (Google: Farewell to Gaelscéal Slugger O’Toole.) People are saying that Foras is more interested in the future of Foras na Gaeilge than in the future of an Ghaeilge.