Teanga d’achan duine

Bhí seirbhís na Nollag ag ‘An Tor ar Lasadh’(grúpa de Phreispitéirigh a bhfuil Gaeilge acu), i dTeampall Fitzroy i mBéal Feirste Dé Domhnaigh seo caite.

Níos moille sa lá, bhí seirbhís charúl i nGaeilge ag Eaglais na hÉireann i dTeampall Naomh Seoirse sa chathair chéanna.

Bhí an dá sheirbhís oscailte d’achan duine. Léiríonn seo nach bhfuil an Ghaeilge ag grúpa amháin nó ag Eaglais amháin. Bhí, agus tá, ról an-tábhachtacht ag Protastúnaigh i ngluaiseacht na Gaeilge. Ba chóir smaoineamh air seo ag an am seo nuair atá daoine áirithe ag iarraidh difríochtaí idir Caitlicigh agus Protastúnaigh a léiriú.

Tháinig scoláirí éirimiúla ón phobal Phrotastúnach. Bhí Coslett Ó Cuinn ina shagart in Eaglais na hÉireann. Bhí sé ina Ollamh le Gréigis an Bhíobla i gColáiste na Trionóide. D’fhoghlaim sé Gaeilge. D’oibrigh sé mar shagart ar feadh tamaill i mBun an Phobail. Chuaigh sé thart timpeall Inis Eoghain sna 1930í ag bailiú seanchais ó na cainteoirí Gaeilge deireanacha.

D’aistrigh sé an Tiomna Nua go Gaeilge. Leagan iontach atá ann scríofa i nGaeilge ghlan. Tá sé foilsithe ag Cumann na hEaglaise i gcomhar leis an Hibernian Bible Society. Seo sliocht as an Soiscéal de réir Lúcáis (le caoinchead).

Ní luaithe a d’imigh na haingil uathu isteach san fhlaitheas ná dúirt na haoirí le chéile,‘ Téimis soir go Bétlehem go bhfeicfimid a ní seo a tharla, a d’fhoilsigh an Tiarna dúinn.’

Agus chuadar ann le deifir, go bhfuair siad Muire ann agus Iósaf, agus an leanbh ina luí sa mhainséar. Agus nuair a chonaic siad é, d’inis siad ar foilsíodh dóibh i dtaobh an linbh sin; agus níl duine dár chuala nach raibh iontas air faoi ar inis na haoirí dóibh. Ach choinnigh Muire cuimhne ar na nithe sin, agus í ag machnamh orthu ina croí.

‘An Tor ar Lasadh’ (The Burning Bush) [a group of Irish speaking Presbyterians], held a Christmas service in Fitzroy Church in Belfast last Sunday.

Later in the day, the Church of Ireland held a carol service in the Church of Saint George in the same city.

The two services were open to everyone. This shows that Irish does not belong to one group or to one Church.

Protestants play, and have played, an important role in the Irish language movement.

We should bear this in mind at a time when certain people are trying to point out differences between Catholics and Protestants.

Some outstanding scholars have come from the Protestant community. Coslett Ó Cuinn was a Church of Ireland priest.

He was Professor of Biblical Greek in Trinity College. He learned Irish. He ministered for some time in Moville. He went round Inis Eoghain in the 1930’s collecting folklore from the last of the native Irish speakers.

He translated the New Testament into Irish. It is an extremely good translation, written in excellent Irish. It is published by Cumann na hEaglaise/ The Church Guild, and the Hibernian Bible Society. Here is an extract from St. Luke’s gospel.(Irish version published with kind permission.)

As soon as the angels had left them and gone into Heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go on to Bethlehem and see what has happened regarding this event that the Lord has made known to us.’ And they hurried off, and they found Mary and Joseph and the child who was lying in a manger. And when they saw him, they told all that had been revealed to them about that child; and those who heard what the shepherds had to say were amazed. But Mary remembered all those things, and she pondered over them in her heart.