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Uaireanta éiríonn tú éadóchasach maidir leis an Ghaeilge agus maidir le scríbhneoireacht sa Ghaeilge go háirithe. Mar a dúirt mé an tseachtain seo caite, díoltar fíor-bheagán leabhar Gaeilge , agus níl nuachtán seachtainiúil again fiú. Ach uaireanta eile, faigheann tú misneach.

Tá an tUltach ar an saol le nócha bliain. I rith an ama sin, foilsíodh ailt le príomhscríbhneoirí Uladh ar an iris. Cuirtear an tUltach amach ar bhonn deonach , agus cúpla bliain ó shin, bhí mé rud beag amhrasach faoi thodhchaí na hirise- cuireadh sean-ailt ar athchló ar feadh tamaill: de réir cosúlachta, bhí easpa ábhair ann. Ach d’imigh sin agus tháinig seo.Tá an iris ag dul ó neart go neart. Tá eagrán mhí Eanáir an-tarraingteacht ó thaobh na grianghrafadóireachta de agus ó thaobh na scríbhnneoireachta de.

Tá pictiúr ar an chlúdach de Chris Hadfield an spásaire Mheiriceánach a sheoil tvuíteanna ón spás as Gaeilge. Níl a fhios agam an bhfaca sé baill d’ Fhoras na Gaeilge nuair a bhí se thuas ansin. Thug Chris cuairt ar Gaelscoil Bhun Cranncha ar na mallaibh agus d’fhoghlaim sé cúpla focal ó na daltaí. San eagrán céanna, labhraíonn Antón Mac Cába le Linda Ervine a eagraíonn ranganna Gaeilge in Oirthear Bhéal Feirste. Tá alt eile ag Antón ar Ghaeltacht Fhear Manach. D’imigh an Ghaeilge go gasta ón chontae nuair a tháinig an Chríochdheighilt.

In alt eile, amharcann Pádraig Mac Congail, scríbhneoir óg as Doire, ar imeachtaí tábhachtacha 2013. Tá omóis ann do Thomás Mac Giolla Bhríde, agus don seanchaí clúiteach as Rann na Feirste, John Ghráinne. Tá a lán eile san eagrán reatha. Bhí an iris rud beag mall ag teacht amach. Cosúil le foilseachán deonach ar bith eile, bíonn deacrachtaí ag an tUltach I dtaca le dáileadh. Bhí an iris faoi bhagairt le déanaí : bhí amhras ann faoin deontas beag a fhaigheann sí ón Fhoras.

Sometimes you become pessimistic regarding Irish and writing in Irish in particular. As I said last week, very few Irish language books get sold, and we don’t even have a weekly newspaper.

An tUltach is now in its 90th year of publication. During that time articles by Ulster’s leading writers have been appearing in the magazine. An tUltach is produced on a voluntary basis and a few years ago I was a bit worried about the future of the magazine. They reprinted some old articles at one stage: apparently there was a shortage of material. But things changed. The magazine is going from strength to strength. The January issue is very attractive from the point of view of photography and with regard to writing.

There is a picture on the cover of Chris Hadfield, the American astronaut who tweeted in Irish from space. I don’t know if he met any members of Foras na Gaeilge when he was up there. Chiis visited the Irish school in Buncrana recently and learned a few words from the pupils.

In the same edition, Antón Mac Cába talks to Linda Ervine who organises Irish classes in East Belfast. Antón has another article on the Fermanagh Gaeltacht. Irish disappeared rapidly from the county when ireland was partitioned.

In another article Pádraig Mac Congail, a young Derry writer, looks at the important events of 2013. There are tributes to Tomás Mac Giolla Bhríde and to the famous seanchai from Rannafast, John Ghráinne.

There is much more in the current edition. The magazine was a little late in appearing this month. Like any other voluntary publication, An tUltach has problems with circulation. The magazine was under threat recently: there were doubts whether it would continue to get its small grant from Foras.