Coun­cil­lor uses po­etic charm to high­light Ir­ish place names

The Kerryman (Tralee Edition) - - NEWS - By STEPHEN FERNANE

SINN Fein Cllr Pa Daly added po­etic charm to the coun­cil cham­ber at Mon­day’s coun­cil meet­ing when he called on coun­cil man­age­ment to have the Ir­ish ver­sion of place names on road signs made big­ger than the English ver­sion, as this would show the ‘real’ mean­ing of place names. For good mea­sure, Cllr Daly de­liv­ered the fol­low­ing poem to ac­cen­tu­ate his point be­fore a hushed coun­cil cham­ber:

At a match in Gníomh go Leith

I asked a lo­cal to trans­late

But Just the an­gli­cised ver­sion was he able to re­late

A gníomh it is five acres

Go leith makes 7.5

But main­tain­ing English spell­ing Means that the Gaelic is not alive

The spell­ing of gneeve

It pierced me like a thorn

But there was worse than that to come When I passed through Gat­tabawn.

Bhí ár teanga dúchas cosúil le Drúcht ar fud na tíre

Ach le brat an Béarla orainn tá na caora Scaipaithe ón Aoire.

Léigh mé faoi lo­gainm

Agus go bh­fuilid dofhe­icithe Agus cén fáth atá an . . . new ver­sion Clóite in aired.

The an­gli­cised ver­sion is like An as­sault upon the ears

The pla­ce­names’ truth dis­guised By the Royal En­gi­neers.

No the busi­ness in­ter­ests say It is mar­ket­ing and it’s nice But the colonis­ers grip

Is a stul­ti­fy­ing de­vice.

So we’re stuck with names like Beau­fort Snave and New­town­sandes

And I’d be the first to say

That they do sound very grand. But I’m for Lios a Phúca

Snámh, Maigh Mheán agus cathair said­hb­hín Cill Or­glan, An Gleann gCearr Gleann bei­the agus an Bealach Oisín

But look around the coun­try

To the towns that bucked the trend Have visi­tors to Port Laoise Driven down a dead end?

Have trucks for Dún Laoghaire Failed to catch the ferry

Or mis­read the road signs

And for the road to . . . Lon­don­derry?

We can see there has been an ero­sion of tra­di­tion

Brian Friel called it a sort of evic­tion

The Seanachas in Kerry we like to hold so tight But the ti­tle of our pla­ce­names was where we lost the fight

To the em­pires en­gi­neers who came from over the waves

Now we should take ac­tion our her­itage to save.

Cllr Daly con­cluded: “I’m ask­ing coun­cil­lors and man­age­ment to do what’s surely right and the colonis­ers legacy at last we’ll surely spite. with­stand the busi­ness in­ter­ests, ig­nore the greasy purse and rid us for all time of this colonis­ers curse.”

Tralee Mu­nic­i­pal Dis­trict Sinn Féin Coun­cil­lor Pat Daly who made a po­etic con­tri­bu­tion to a coun­cil de­bate on the use of the Ir­ish lan­guage at Mon­day’s meet­ing.

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