Sladmhargadh

Tá na leabhair iontach daor anois. Nuair a bhí mé i mo mhac léinn bhí tú ábalta leabhair Pelican a fháil ar 5 scilling (25p) - sraith leabhar acadúil a bhí ar a lán siollabas ollscoile. Anois is féidir £50 a íoc as téacsleabhar ollscoile. Mar sin de, is breá liom sladmhargadh a fháil i siopa leabhar.

Sladmhargadh

Tá na leabhair iontach daor anois. Nuair a bhí mé i mo mhac léinn bhí tú ábalta leabhair Pelican a fháil ar 5 scilling (25p) - sraith leabhar acadúil a bhí ar a lán siollabas ollscoile. Anois is féidir £50 a íoc as téacsleabhar ollscoile. Mar sin de, is breá liom sladmhargadh a fháil i siopa leabhar.

Bhuail mé isteach sa ‘Siopa Naofa’, Veritas, Sráid Ché na Long an tseachtain seo caite agus fuair mé ‘Dúchas agus Creideamh’ leis an Athair Donnchadh Ó Floinn ar £2. Bhí an tAthair Donnchadh ina Ollamh le Gaeilge i gColáiste Phádraig, Maigh Nuad ó 1941 go 1964. Fuair sé bás sa bhliain 1968. Sagart naofa traidisiúnta a bhí ann. I measc a shaothair tá ‘Caoga Ardú Meanman’, smaointe ar an Phaidrín, a spreag an ghlúin dheireanach go mór. Ní thuigeann a lán daoine sa ghlúin seo cad is paidrín ann, fiú.

Is bailiúchán beag de léachtaí agus aistí i nGaeilge agus i mBéarla é ‘Dúchas agus Creideamh’. Chreid an tAthair Ó Floinn go raibh an Ghaeilge agus an creideamh fite fuaite ina chéile. Mar shampla, nuair a chaill muid an traidisiún, chaill muid na seanbheannachtaí – Dia is Muire duit, Faoi choimirce Mhuire thú, srl. Dhíbir muid Muire ónár saol, a deir sé.

Cuireann sé ar ár súile dúinn an fhadhb is mó in athbheochan na Gaeilge: fágann na mílte páistí an scoil gach bliain agus tá Gaeilge mhaith acu, ach níl grá acu ar an teanga. Faigheann siad blaosc na teanga, ní fhaigheann siad an bia. Ní chuirtear béim ar oidhreacht 1500 bliain sa chlár. ‘Tá cuimhní ár muintire sa Ghaeilge nach bhfuil ar fáil áit ar bith eile.’

B’fhéidir nach n-aontaíonn tú go hiomlán leis an Athair Ó Floinn, go gcreideann tú go bhfuil sé ródhairíre, nach luann sé an craic, go gcuireann sé barraíocht béime ar an reiligiún Caitliceach. Deir sé féin go gcreidfidh daoine áirithe go bhfuil sé seicteach. Ach ardaíonn sé ceisteanna atá gan réiteach go fóill. Agus más mian leat an leabhar a fháil, déan deifir: ní raibh mórán fágtha nuair a bhí mise sa siopa!

A great bargain

Books are very expensive nowadays. When I was a student you could buy a pelican paperback for five shillings (25p). This was a series of academic books that were on many university syllabuses. You can pay fifty pounds for a university textbook now. So I really enjoy getting a good bargain in a bookshop.

I went into the ‘Holy Shop’, Veritas, on Shipquay Street last week and I got ‘Dúchas agus Creideamh/ Heritage and Faith’ by Fr. Donnchadh Ó Floinn for £2. Father Donnchadh was Professor of Irish in St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth from 1941 till 1964. He died in 1968. He was a devout traditional priest. Among his writings is ‘Caoga Ardú Meanman’/ Fifty Uplifting Thoughts’, meditations on the Rosary, which were a great source of inspiration to the last generation. Many people in the present generation don’t even know what a rosary is.

‘Dúchas agus Creideamh’ is a small collection of lectures and essays in Irish and English. Fr. Ó Floinn believed that the Irish language and the Faith could not be separated. For example, when we lost the real Irish tradition, we lost the old greetings: May God and Mary be with you, Go with Mary’s protection, etc. We banished Mary from our lives, he says.

He points out the biggest problem in the revival of Irish: thousands of young people leave school every year with a good knowledge of Irish, but they have no love for the language. They get the shell of the language, they are not given the kernel. A 1500 year old cultural heritage is not given its proper place. ‘There are memories belonging to our people preserved in Irish which cannot be found anywhere else.’

Perhaps you do not agree completely with Father Ó Floinn, perhaps you think he is too serious, that he doesn’t mention craic, that he puts too much emphasis on the Catholic religion. He says himself that some people will think that he is sectarian. But he raises questions that have still to be resolved. And if you want to get the book, hurry up: there were not many copies left when I was in the shop!