Dea-shampla

Daniel O'Donnell. (0409EMG11)
Daniel O'Donnell. (0409EMG11)

An tseachtain seo caite luaigh mé Daniel O’Donnell agus an t-amhrán Gaeilge atá aige ar an dlúthdhiosca nua ‘Le Cuidiú Dé’. Beidh na brabúis ag dul chuig Ospís Dhún na nGall. Ní thig liom barúil a thabhairt faoi mar amhránaí- níl nóta i mo cheann. Síleann daoine áirithe go bhfuil a amhráin rómhaoithneach, ach bíonn na hallaí lán go doras áit ar bith a dtéann sé, agus caithfidh tú a admháil go réitíonn sé go maith le daoine taobh istigh agus taobh amuigh den amharclann. Fear flaithiúil, báúil, cineálta atá ann gan amhras.

Tacaíonn sé le cúiseanna maithe, agus tugann sé dea-shampla ar bhealaí eile. Bhí an Ghaeilge láidir ina cheantar féin caoga bliain ó shin, ach is breac-Ghaeltacht anois é.

Ach tuigeann Daniel tábhacht na teanga, thosaigh se ag foghlaim arís agus tá Gaeilge bhlasta, shoiléir aige anois. Léiríonn sé a chlár ‘Ceol Daniel’ ar TG4 i nGaeilge gach Luan, agus spreagann sin daoine. Rinne Máire Mhic Giolla Íosa an rud céanna: fuair sí athsheilbh ar an teanga chomh maith. D’fhreastail sí ar ócáidí Gaeilge agus chuaigh sí bliain i ndiaidh bliana ar chúrsaí Gaeilge Oideas Gael i nGleann Cholm Cille. Ba chóir do dhaoine atá i mbéal an phobail an dea-shampla céanna a thabhairt. Chuir sé iontas ar dhaoine roimh an Olltoghchán sa Deisceart go raibh Gaeilge mhaith ag a lán polaiteoirí: rún Stáit a bhí ann, beagnach.

Agus chuir sé díomá ar a lán daoine nach raibh Gaeilge ag an chuid ba mhó de na hiarrthóirí don Uachtaránacht. Dúirt Seán Tadhg Ó Gairbhí in ‘Comhar’ an mhí seo caite: ‘Dúirt na foghlaimeoirí nár thosaigh ag foghlaim fós go bhfoghlaimeoidís an teanga dá dtoghfaí iad mar gur chóir go mbeadh seod chomh luachmhar agus chomh tábhachtach leis an Ghaeilge ag Uachtarán na tíre.

Is é an trua nár cuireadh ceist orthu cén fáth nach raibh an teanga luachmhar seo foghlamtha acu roimhe seo.’Ach b’fhéidir go mbeidh Gaeilge acu lá éigin – le cuidiú Dé agus lena gcuidiú féin.

Good example

Last week I mentioned Daniel O’Donnell and the song he sings in Irish on the new CD, Le Cuidiú Dé/With God’s Help. All profits will be going to the Donegal Hospice. I cannot give an opinion about him as a singer – I don’t have a note in my head. Some people think that his songs are too sentimental, but the halls are packed wherever he goes, and you have to admit he relates well to people inside and outside of the theatre.

He is undoubtedly a generous, sympathetic, kindly person. He supports good causes, but he shows good example in other ways. Irish was strong in his home area fifty years ago, but it is a part-Gaeltacht area now.

But Daniel understands the importance of the language. He started learning Irish again and now speaks good, clear Irish. He presents his programme ‘Ceol Daniel’ on Mondays on TG4 in Irish and that encourages people. Mary Mc Aleese did the same thing: she took possession of the language again also. She attended the Oideas Gael courses in Gleann Cholm Cille year after year. People in the public eye should give the same good example. Many people were astounded before the General Election in the South that many politicians had good Irish: it was almost a State secret.

And many people were disappointed that most of the candidates for the Presidency did not speak Irish. Tadhg Ó Gairbhí said in ‘Comhar’ last month: ‘The learners who had not started learning yet said that they would learn the language if they were elected, since it was only right that the President should be in possession of a jewel as precious as the language.

It is a pity they were not asked why they had not yet learned this priceless language.’ But perhaps they will speak Irish some day – with God’s help and some help from themselves.