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Fun, fun, fun on the autobahn as we hit the east coast for a day-trip to Malahide

MALAHIDE CASTLE: With the advent of motorways, more and more of the country’s great visitor attractions are within driving distances short enough to enjoy a daytrip away
Robert McMIllen

Good day to all the fans, young and old of the Bluffer’s Guide to Irish, the best bilingual page in the Irish News.

The Bluffer is ar a bhealach go Mullach Íde - on his way to Malahide for a wee overnight break but is writing up his weekly message to you all from the back seat of a car. 

If you are telling someone where you are en route to, you would use ar mo bhealach as in tá mé ar mo bhealach chun an bhaile - I’m on my way home.

Now, it used to be a three-day camel ride to get to Dublin but nowadays we have all mod cons to get us from A-B in the shortest time possible.

So, the first big stretch of road an mótarbhealach - the motorway, affectionately known as the M1 but even here the needs of travellers have been taken into consideration so the first port of call was the stad freastail - the service station where we stopped for a Subway and coffee to keep the pangs of hunger at bay.

Thereafter, it was “don’t spare the horses” as feirmeacha - farms, crainn - trees and fálta - hedges flew past, nature and technology living in an uneasy, resentful relationship. 

It is no longer the journey that counts, but getting to the bun scríbe - the destination as soon as you can, although getting to north County Dublin by bicycle would not be the Bluffer’s first choice as a mode of travel. 

After the modh díreach - the direct method and the fun, fun fun of the autobahn, there was time to enjoy more of man’s love affair with concrete and tarmacadam via a series of débhealaigh - dual carriageways, timpealláin - roundabouts and other means of keeping us all on the move with a fair degree of safety.

The Bluffer always thinks of what these great innovations have taken the place of.

The countryside you flash past i bhfaiteadh na súl - in the blink of an eye  might have been a baile fearainn - a townland in which people worked, played, fought, played music, gossip and so on. 

Now it’s been covered over in concrete. Four lanes over 80 miles of it.

But that’s the inexorable rise of progress. We ain’t going back to the jaunting car, The Quiet Man will remain in aspic.

Now we can do seachtó míle san uair - seventy miles an hour without ever having to stop to feed a horse.   

But what do you think of motorways, dear readers?

Tá sé leadránach - it’s boring I hear you say with a lot of justification.

Tá sé contúirteach - it’s dangerous, I hear you say but with less justification.

Tá mótorbhealaigh thar a bheith sábháilte - motorways are very safe and you are more likely to have an accident near home than driving on the M1.

While God knows what is going to happen with the road system  in the north over the next few years, Dublin is now directly connected by motorway to Waterford, Cork, Limerick and Galway with plans to increase that by another 20% in the mid-term - depending on funding, of course.

But now the Bluffer is nearing Malahide – with two miles of petrol left on the clock, phew! –  the White Sands hotel has been  booked, the sun is shining brightly and a beach and a bar awaits.

So, it’s time for the Bluffer to sign off for this week – and remember, as the saying goes, what happens in Malahide, stays in Malahide!


ar a bhealach go Mullach Íde (er maw valakh gaw mullakh eeja) - on his way to Malahide

tá mé ar mo bhealach chun an bhaile (taa may er maw valakh ‘na wala) - I’m on my way home

an mótarbhealach (un motarvalakh) - the motorway

stad freastail (stad freastil) - the service station 

feirmeacha (ferimaha) - farms 

crainn (crin) - trees

fálta (faalta) - hedges

bun scríbe (bun shcreeba) - the destination

modh díreach (moh jeerakh) - the direct method 

débhealaigh (jayvalee) - dual carriageways 

timpealláin (chimpalaan) - roundabouts

i bhfaiteadh na súl (i whychoo ne sool) - in the blink of an eye 

baile fearainn (bala farin) - a townland 

seachtó míle san uair (shakhto meela san oor) - seventy miles an hour 

tá sé leadránach (taa shay ladraanakh) - it’s boring

tá sé contúirteach (taa shay contoorchakh) - it’s dangerous

tá mótorbhealaigh thar a bheith sábháilte (taa ne motarvalee har a bay saowaaltcha) - motorways are very safe


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