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What are the anniversaries we will be commemorating in 2018?

SOS COGAIDH 1918: From left to right: German Admiral Ernst Vanselow, German Count Alfred von Oberndorff, German army general Detlof von Winterfeldt, Royal Navy Captain Jack Marriott, Matthias Erzberger, British Rear-Admiral George Hope, Admiral of the Fleet Sir Rosslyn Wemyss, Marshal of France Ferdinand Foch and French general Maxime Weygand..
Robert McMillen

Go mbeannaí Dia daoibh agus bhur gcéad míle fáilte isteach chuig the Bluffer’s Guide to Irish.

Last week, the Bluffer waxed lyrically about RTÉ’s The History Show – you can listen to the podchraolta - podcasts if it isn’t currently on air – and today we’ll look at anniversaries in history and also in our daily lives.

To say it’s your anniversary, you start off with cothrom an lae seo - on this very day so you could say something like cothrom an lae seo a phos mé - today is my wedding anniversary or cothrom an lae seo a bhog muid go Beannchar - on this very day we moved to Bangor.

You can always add a period of time after cothrom an lae seo ... so cothrom an lae seo fiche bliain ó shin  - on this day twenty years ago or cothrom an lae seo anuraidh - on this day last year.

If you want to be less precise, you can use the phrase cothrom an ama seo - around this time as in cothrom an ama seo dhá bhliain ó shin  - around this time two years ago or buailfidh mé leat cothrom an ama seo amárach - I’ll meet you around his time tomorrow.

But what about historical anniversaries? God knows we Irish love a good anniversary. Our newspapers are full of them and TV rarely missed the opportunity to look back at major historical events.

Talks, seminars, bus trips and all manner of activities are organised especially in this, our Decade of Commemorations.

So what will we be commemorating in 2018 – and let’s just stick to 100th anniversaries?

Well, there was an olltoghchán - a general election in Britain and Ireland in 1918 which changed Irish politics forever when Sinn Féin won a landslide victory.

This was partly due to the British trying to bring in conscríobh - conscription in April of 1918.

Also in 1918, for the first time, bhí cead ag mná vótáil - women were allowed to vote, although they had to over 30 years old, a householder, married to a householder, a university graduate or the owner of land valued at over £5 to do so and also for the first time men over 21 were eligible to vote - a nod to the soldiers returning from the First World War. The idea that they could put their lives on the line for King and Country but not allowed to vote on their return would have been ludicrous. 

Now, a lot of us were hit recently by an fliú Astrálach - Australian flu 

and it was awful but thankfully we weren’t alive in 1918 when an fliú Spáinneach - Spanish flu ravaged the whole world for two years, from January 1918 – December 1920.

Half a billion people were infected with the disease and between 50 million and 100 million people died.

To put that into perspective, over 16 million people died in the First World War with the sos cogaidh - armistice being signed in General Ferdinand Foch’s railway carriage in the forest of Compiègne. 

No doubt we will also be remembering events of 1968 which saw the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy while here there was a squat in a house in Caledon that would have huge repercussions.


podchraolta (pawdkhraylta) - podcasts

cothrom an lae seo (cawhrum un lay shaw) - on this very day ...

a phos mé (a faws may) - today is my wedding anniversary

a bhog muid go Beannchar a wug midge gaw banaher) - we moved to Bangor

fiche bliain ó shin (feeha bleean o hin) twenty years ago 

cothrom an lae seo anuraidh (cawhrum un lay shaw anuree) - on this day last year.

cothrom an ama seo (cawhrum un ama shaw) - around this time ...

dhá bhliain ó shin (ga vleean o hin) - around this time two years ago 

buailfidh mé leat cothrom an ama seo amárach (booilhee may lat cawhrum un ama shaw amaarakh) - I’ll meet you around his time tomorrow

olltoghchán (ulltayakhaan) - a general election

conscríobh (conshkreeoo) - conscription

bhí cead ag mná vótáil (vee cyaad eg mraa votaal) - women were allowed to vote

an fliú Astrálach (an floo astraalakh) - Australian flu 

an fliú Spáinneach (an floo spaanyakh) - Spanish flu

sos cogaidh (suss cugee) - armistice


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