Irish language

The story of the Titanic and the silence that followed its sinking

TITANIC: While many people think of the Titanic in terms of the Leonardo diCaprio and Kate Winslet film, the real story of the ill-fated liner and its relationship to the city in which it was built is to be told in a TG4 programme on Wednesday
Robert McMillen

Har har, me landlubbering hearties and welcome to a Titanic version of the Bluffer’s Guide to Irish.

First of all, the Bluffer has to come clean about a guilty secret.

Caithfidh mé rud éigin a admháil - I have to make a confession, he said.

“Is breá liom an scannán Titanic, - I love the film Titanic.

El Bluffalo had seen it in the Moviehouse on the Dublin Road, a 2.7 mile walk away from the pump house where the famous ship rose into the sky.

Watching the tragedy unfold on screen nuair a chuaigh an long go grinneall na mara - when the ship sank to the sea floor so close to where the ship was conceived and constructed was hugely poignant.

That’s why the Bluffer is  looking forward to a clár faisnéise - a documentary on TG4 at 9.30pm this Wednesday which uses extensive archive footage, survivor accounts and interviews with world renowned Titanic experts to tell the story not just of th famous liner but of the city in which is was built.

City of a Thousand Launches is the untold story of how one of the worst disasters at sea was followed by almost a century of silence in Belfast.

Tost is silence and you would say bí i do thost - be silent to a noisy child or a whingy partner.

D’fhan Béal Feirste ina thost - Belfast stayed silent. 

City of a Thousand Launches looks at the ‘Ship of Dreams’ from a fresh perspective, that of the City whose people designed and built her. 

Cad é mar a chuaigh sé i bhfeidhm orthu? - How did it affect them?

How did they process the loss of the ship? Harland & Wolff at the time were building the biggest and most famous ships in the world but were they and their craftsmen to blame for the tragedy? 

Chuir siad an milleáin orthu féin - they blamed themselves,” says Dr. Bob Ballard, the world’s most famous Titanic expert.

Despite all the talk of “it was alright when it left here” mhothaigh siad náire - they felt ashamed in the years after the sinking.

It was during a togra rúnda - a secret mission for the U.S. Navy to recover two lost nuclear submarines in 1985 that Ballard would achieve his long-held ambition to discover the wreck of Titanic which once again became the most famous ship in the world.

With the arrival of Comhaontú Aoine an Chéasta - the Good Friday Agreement of 1998 the former shipyards of Harland & Wolff, were sold for redevelopment and plans for a new waterfront area, Ceathrú an Titanic - the Titanic Quarter, designed by an ailtire - architect Eric Kuhne soon captured the imagination of the city's planners and the concept for a world class ionad cuairteoirí - visitor centre, was born.

The visionaries were proved right in the end and the centre was an instant success, welcoming over five million visitors from 145 countries in its first five years, bolstering the economy, and helping the people of Belfast to finally turn the page on a new chapter of Belfast’s Titanic story.

So head back to the future on TG4 this Wednesday at 9.30pm.


Caithfidh mé rud éigin a admháil (kyhee may a adwaal) - I have to make a confession

Is breá liom an scannán Titanic (iss braa lum an scanaan Titanic) - I love the film Titanic

nuair a chuaigh an long go grinneall na mara (noor a khooee un lung gaw grinyal na mara) - when the ship sank to the sea floor 

clár faisnéise (claar fashnaysha) - a documentary

bí i do thost (bee i daw hust) - be silent

D’fhan Béal Feirste ina thost (dan bayl fairshta ina hust) - Belfast stayed silent

Cad é mar a chuaigh sé i bhfeidhm orthu? (cadge ay mar a khooee shay i viym orhoo) - How did it affect them?

Chuir siad an milleáin orthu féin (kher shade un milaan orhoo hane) - they blamed themselves

mhothaigh siad náire (wuhee shade niyra) - they felt ashamed togra rúnda (togra roonda) - a secret mission

Comhaontú Aoine an Chéasta (coe-ayntoo aynya un cayssta) - the Good Friday Agreement

Ceathrú an Titanic (kehroo un titanic) - the Titanic Quarter

an ailtire (un altchera) - the architect

ionad cuairteoirí (unid coortchoree) - visitor centre

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