Irish language

Video: The Bluffer goes to the polls as we await the return of our intellectual giants

Dia daoibh a chairde, welcome to all of you long-haul Líofa aficionados and neophyte Gaeilgeoirí - pull your chair up to the Bluffer’s Guide to Irish.

Well, we’ve been talking about days and dates over the past few weeks and the next big date is 2 March when we have a toghchán - an election to Tionól Thuaisceart Éireann - the Northern Ireland Assembly so today the Bluffer goes political - in as non-partisan a manner as he can manage.

So what Irish do you need to know to talk about what passes for daonlathas - democracy in this part of the known world.

Well, to have an election you’ll need páirtithe polaitíochta - political parties - you should know their names by now - and people in the parties are called (amongst other things) polaiteoirí  - politicians.

They’re the people you see in Stormont reading bits of paper using their fingers to scan the words.

Now these people, who normally you don’t see for years, are back at your door after only 8 months because thit an tóin as an Fheidhmeannas - the arse fell out of the Executive and we need to vote again to make sure the same calibre of intellectual giant gets back in.

Now, to play your full part in this crazy little thing called democracy, you will need a cárta vótála - a poll card if you are over 18 and not banged up in jail.

This card - and some pictorial identity - will allow you to choose the cream of the crop from a list of iarrthóirí - candidates those best suited in your mind to move ár dtírín beag - our wee country down the yellow brick road to peace and prosperity.

You will be persuaded or put off by each parties feachtas - campaign as they try to convince you that they are as pure as driven snow while claiming the other parties want to suck the very marrow from your bones.

It will not be a very edifying sight as they all perform their Ulster’s Got Talent party pieces.

Then when you have found someone who shares all your luachanna - values and are completely petrified by the anti-Christs in the other parties, then you vote in order for the ones best suited to your world view, from God at the top to Beelzebub at the bottom.

I mbliana - this year, there will be five chosen from each toghcheantar - constituency bringing the number of Comhaltaí den Tionól Reachtach - MLAs down from 108 to 90.

Ar chaith tú vóta? - Did you vote? is a question you will hear in early March and you can reply chaith mé vota ar son .... - I voted for ...

After the votes are counted, the craic begins as the top two parties (or more) get to put a comhrialtas - a coalition together, not just any coalition but a mandatory coalition, proving that what works for magnets - opposite poles attract - doesn’t always apply to politics.

This will probably mean that if an executive isn’t set up at the first go, then another election is held.

In the meantime, I hope you’re not waiting on a trolley in some hospital while reading this or trying to feed your family while on benefits. I’m sure the good politicians will look after all of us - so vote. 


toghchán (taykhaan) - an election

Tionól Thuaisceart Éireann (chunnel hooishkaart erin) - the Northern Ireland Assembly

daonlathas (daynlahiss) - democracy

páirtithe polaitíochta (partcheeha politcheeakhta) - political parties 

polaiteoirí  (politchoree) - politicians

thit an tóin as an Fheidhmeannas (hitch un tone as an aymaniss) - the arse fell out of the Executive

cárta vótála (caarta votaala) - a poll card

iarrthóirí (eerahoree) - candidates 

feachtas (fakhtiss) - campaign

ár dtírín beag (aar jeereen big) - our wee country

luachanna (looakhana) - values 

i mbliana (i mleeana) - this year

toghcheantar (taykyanter) - constituency

Comhaltaí den Tionól Reachtach (cowalltee den chunnel rakhtakh) - MLAs  

Ar chaith tú vóta? (er khy too vota) - Did you vote? 

chaith mé vota ar son .... (khy may vota er sun) - I voted for ...

comhrialtas (coe-reealtiss) - a coalition

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