Ritheann uisce ciúin domhain

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Bhí lá mór i nGleann Gad Déardaoin seo caite. Tháinig toscaireachtaí ón Ghailís sa Spáinn, ó Albain agus ó Thuaisceart Éireann chun an scéim uisce phobail a fheiceáil.

Ní raibh an t-am agam labhairt leis na toscairí go léir, ach bhí deis agam bualadh leis an ghrúpa ón Spáinn. Dúirt siad go ndeachaigh scéim Ghleann Gad i bhfeidhm orthu.

Shíl siad go raibh Gleann Gad i bhfad chun tosaigh ar a gceantar féin. Mhothaigh na Spáinnigh go raibh siad sa bhaile anseo. Tá an Ghailís iontach cosúil le hÉirinn. Tá an aeráid fliuch: níl sí cosúil leis an chuid eile den Spáinn. Ba réigiún Ceilteach é. Tá ár gceol féin agus ceol Ghailíseach gaolmhar: tá píob mála acu.

Limistéar iontach glas atá ann. Feiceann tú tithe ceann tuí amuigh faoin tuath. Tá an iascaireacht agus an loingeas an-tábhachtach. Tá fadhb na h-imirce acu. Tá Spáinnis acu, ar ndóigh, ach tá a dteanga féin acu chomh maith,’ gallego nó an Ghailísis, meascán den Spáinnis agus den Phortaingéilis.

Rinneadh cur síos ar an scéim do na daoine a bhí ar cuireadh. Thosaigh an scéim thart fá 40 bliain ó shin. Tháinig muintir na háite le chéile agus bunaíodh comharchumann. Rinne oibrithe na háite cuid mhaith den obair ar an suíomh ag an tús. Tá an stáisiún ar na cinn is fearr in Éirinn anois. Tá ardmholadh tuillte go maith ag muintir Ghleann Gad as ucht na tosaíochta seo. Léiríonn an tionscnamh go bhfuil spiorad an phobail beo i nGleann Gad go fóill.

Tá traidisiún fada de chomhoibriú sa cheantar. Thóg bunadh na háite a gcoláiste beag féin sna caogaidí le hobair dheonach agus d’fhoghlaim na fir ceirdeanna do chlár sholáthar tithe. Tógadh lárionad pobail – arís le hobair dheonach i dtús báire. Feictear an spiorad seo go han-soiléir nuair a tharlaíonn tubaiste agus nuair a thagann an pobal le chéile le cuidiú. Tá a lán samplaí den tacaíocht seo in ‘Tar isteach’, bailiúchán de scéalta ó Ghleann Gad atá le teacht amach i lár Mhí na Nollag.

Last Thursday was a big day in Glengad, when delegations came from Galicia in Spain, from Scotland and from Northern Ireland to look at the community water scheme.

I did not have time to talk to all the delegates, but I was given an opportunity to meet the group from Spain. They said that they were highly impressed by the Glengad scheme. They thought that Glengad was far ahead of anything in their own area.

The Spaniards felt at home here. Galicia is very like Ireland. It has a wet climate, unlike the rest of Spain. It was a Celtic region. Our music and Galician music are close to each other: the Galicians have a bagpipe. It is a green area. You can see thatched cottages out in the country. Fishing and shipping are very important. They have the problem of emigration. They speak Spanish, of course, but they also have their own language, Galician or ‘gallego’, which is a mixture of Spanish and Portuguese.

The guests were given an account of the scheme which was started up some 40 years ago. Local people got together and a cooperative was set up. Local workers did a lot of the work on the site initially. The station is one of the best in Ireland now. The people of Glengad deserve the highest praise for this initiative. The project shows that the community spirit is still alive in Glengad.

There is a long tradition of co-operation in the area. The local people built a small college of their own in the 50s with voluntary labour and the men learned trades for a house building programme. A community centre was built, again using voluntary labour at the beginning. This spirit is clearly seen when a disaster strikes the area and the community come together to help. There are many examples of this support in ‘Tar Isteach’, a collection of stories from Glengad which is due to be published in the middle of December.