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Cad chuige an Ghaeilge? Is féidir a lán fáthanna a thabhairt. Ní féidir pobal a thuiscint mura dtuigeann tú teanga an phobail sin.

Forbraíonn teanga leis na daoine a labhraíonn í. Léiríonn teanga smaointe na ndaoine i rith na gcéadta, smaointe a dtagann tú orthu tríd an litríocht, tríd an seanchas agus tríd an cheol.

Ó thaobh na litríochta de, is í an Ghaeilge an tríú teanga scríofa is sine san Eoraip. Aithnítear saibhreas ár seanchais ar fud an domhain.

Ach ar an drochuair, tá a lán daoine in Éirinn nach n-aithníonn luach ár n-oidhreachta. Maidir leis an cheol, níl leithscéal ar bith ag muintir Dhoire.

Bíonn rang amhránaíochta ag Risteard Mac Gabhann gach tráthnóna Déardaoin sa Chultúrlann. (Dála an scéil, freastalaíonn an t-amhránai is measa i nDoire air: feicfidh tú a ainm ag barr an cholún.)

Ní amháin go bhfoghlaimíonn tú amhráin sa rang: faigheann tú eolas ar na hamhráin ó shaineolaí i dtimpeallacht shuaimhnitheach. Anois tá cuid de na hamhráin ar fáil ar dhá dhlúthdhiosca.

Tá amhráin de gach sórt le fáil sa bhailiúchán seo. Faigheann tú greann, spraoi, brón, grá agus an t-ól, ar ndóigh. Tá caighdeán na fuaime an-ard agus tá na cóiriúcháin ar fheabhas. Áis iontach do mhúinteoirí atá ann, go háirithe do mhúinteoir nach bhfuil nóta ina cheann. Ach, go príomha, is bailiúchán sultmhar é seo a osclaíonn doirse.

Bhí Risteard páirteach i gceolchoirm a chraol Raidió na Gaeltachta ón Chultúrlann an tseachtain seo caite. Tá formhór na gceoltóirí a bhí ag seinm ina gcónaí i nDoire nó cúpla míle taobh amuigh. Léiríonn sé go bhfuil borradh ar an cheol sa chathair seo.

A musical note

Why Irish? You can give many reasons. You cannot understand a people if you don’t understand that people’s language.

A language develops with the people who speak it. The language reveals the thoughts of the people down through the centuries, thoughts that you discover through literature, through folklore and through music.

As regards literature, Irish is the third oldest written language in Europe.

The richness of our folklore is recognised world wide. But unfortunately, many people in Ireland do not realize how valuable our heritage is. As for music, the people of Derry have no excuse.

Risteard Mac Gabhann has a singing class in the Cultúrlann every Thursday evening. (By the way, the worst singer in Derry attends the class: you will see his name at the top of the column.)

You not only learn songs in the class: you get told about the songs by an expert in a relaxed atmosphere. Some of the songs are now available on two CDs.

There are all kinds of songs in this collection. You have humour, fun, sadness love and, of course, drink.

The sound quality is very high and the arrangements are excellent. This is a marvellous resource for teachers, particularly for the teacher who does not have a note in his head. But, above all else, this is an enjoyable collection which opens doors.

Risteard was in a concert which was broadcast from the Cultúrlann last week on Raidió na Gaeltachta. Most of the musicians who were playing live in Derry or a few miles outside of the city. This shows how music is growing in Derry.