Irish language

Praise youth and it will flourish despite the problems it will face

INTERVIEW: Young people especially will face a difficult time with the way government policies are going in Ireland and across the water but we often underestimate the mettle in our youngsters 
Robert McMillen

TOP OF THE MORNING to you all, sure isn’t it another Bluffer’s Guide to Irish.

Well, a new year and decade has just started and people are full of dóchas - hope or imní - anxiety depending on their own particular circumstances.

Tá dóchas agam faoi ... - I am hopeful about ... or tá imní orm faoi ... - I am anxious about ...)

No-one knows what way an Breatimeacht - Brexit will play out but most independent commentators think it is going to be a Horlicks.

This will particularly affect an t-aos óg - the younger generation who will have to deal with the economic consequences of England’s very own Brits Out movement.

Many will worry about dífhostaíocht - unemployment although between 2011 and 2019, youth unemployment fell from 20 percent to  7.6 percent. However, 16-24 year olds remain the highest group at risk of unemployment.

(Faoin chéad is the Irish for percent as in fiche faoin chéad - 20% etc.)

Of course, unemployment has always been with us and will be after Brexit but there are other fadhbanna eacnamaíochta - economic problems that young people will have to deal with.

We know that an córas oideachais - the education in the north is in crisis with even the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee at Westminster saying that a lack of money was having a “devastating” impact on schools.

Yes, tá scoileanna barr feabhais ann - there are excellent schools but the system is highly míchothrom - unequal.

This is exacerbated by bochtaineacht - poverty. 

Children aged five who grow up in poverty tend to do less well than their peers in a range of early-learning measures.

According to the department of Communities, 16% of children, 14% of pensioners and 13% of the working age population live in dearbh-bhochtaineacht - absolute poverty.

How could we forget an córas sláinte - the health service and an riocht a bhfuil sé ann faoi láthair - the state it’s in at the minute.

Some would say that things will only get much worse in the belief that the ideologues in the current British government are planning to change the NHS to an American-style health service which will benefit big pharmaceutical companies more than it will help patients.

That will affect young people as much as anyone else and you have to worry about future generations if that scenario comes to pass. 

And all the while, politicians seem to be echoing the words of Eddie Cochran in Summertime Blues: “I’d like to help you son but you’re too young to vote.”

Tithíocht - housing seems to be another recurring problem for young people nowadays as house prices soar yet again and all this as well as acne, shyness, boyfriends/girlfriends, pre-swalls, sex, fashion and young people nowadays don’t have it easy.

Sin ráite - however, we tend to underestimate our young people. With every juvenile delinquent there are kids doing voluntary work, studying hard, looking after their families and doing all kinds of great work in difficult circumstances.


dóchas (dawkhiss) - hope

imní (imnee) - anxiety

tá dóchas agam faoi ... (taa dawkhiss ugum fwee) - I am hopeful about

tá imní orm faoi ... (taa imnee orim fwee) - I am anxious about ...

an Breatimeacht (un bratimakht) - Brexit

an t-aos óg (un teess awg) - the younger generation 

dífhostaíocht (je-awasteeakht) - unemployment

fiche faoin chéad (feha fween cayd) - 20%

fadhbanna eacnamaíochta (fiybana eknameeakhta) - economic problems

an córas oideachais (un coreiss ijihiss) - the education system

tá scoileanna barr feabhais ann (taa sculana bar fyowish un) - there are excellent schools 

míchothrom (mee-khawhrum) - unequal

bochtaineacht (bawkhtinyakht) - poverty

dearbh-bhochtaineacht (jaroo-wawkhtinyakht) - absolute poverty

an córas sláinte (un coreiss slaantcha) - the health service 

an riocht a bhfuil sé ann faoi láthair (un rikht a wil shay un fwee laher) - the state it’s in at the minute

tithíocht (teeheeakht) - housing 

sin ráite (shin riytcha) - however

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