Irish language

Time to boast as Glór glory goes to Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich

A HIVE OF ACTIVITY: The former Presbyterian Church on the Falls Road is now a totally inclusive Irish language centre where arts, culture and great food are there for everyone to enjoy
Robert McMillen

A BIG HELLO to wallflowers and boasters alike, you are all welcome to the Buffer’s Guide to Irish.

As regular readers will know, the Bluffer could never be described as mórtasach - boastful (aye, dead on!).

People who go on and on about how great they are said to be ag déanmh mórtais - showing off although you can use it about people who, like the Bluffer are very umhal - modest.

Ní bhíonn sí ag déanamh mórtais faoina cuid torthaí - she’s modest about her results is a useful sentence you could swap around to suit your needs.

Another way of saying that someone has notions beyond their station is Bíonn sé i gcónaí ag maíomh as féin - he’s always boasting about himself.

However, sometimes shouting to the world about how great you are is the only sensible thing to do and that is what Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich are doing after being announced winners of the Glór na nGael 2019 competition. 

“What is Glór na nGael?” I hear you ask.

It’s an organisation which, since 1961, has been running a comórtas bliantúil - an annual competition between community groups to decide which has done the most to promote Irish in their area.

There a many different categories in the competition but the West Belfast’s Cultúrlann has just bagged the top honour and the €20,000 duais - prize.

And for anyone who hasn’t been there, the former Presbyterian church is a veritable cornucopia of activity behind its austere walls.

The first thing that will greet you will be the bialann - the restaurant simply called Bia which is the Irish for food.

Bia is a virtual hub for a huge mix of people - Gaeilgeoirí - Irish speakers, oibrithe pobail - community workers with ríomhairí glúine - laptops and enough paperwork to cover the whole Brexit negotiations as well as pinsinérí - pensioners and teaghlaigh - families all enjoying the atmosphere and the great food whether they know Irish or not.

Beside Bia is An Ceathrú Póilí - The Fourth Policeman, a bookshop,  where you can get your Irish and English reading material or some beautiful lámhcheardaíocht - handcrafts.

Then there is Dánlann Dillon, the art gallery named after the west Belfast artist, Gerard Dillon where there are taispeántais - exhibitions all year round for you to browse through with a glass of wine on opening nights.

The Dánlann also hosts seoltaí leabhar - book launches, ranging from the traditional to one which had a real-life dragon in attendance!

There is a bigger amharclann - theatre – named after actress Siobhán McKenna – where dramas and concerts are held.

There are regular ranganna Gaeilge - Irish classes, lectures, debates as well as great fun activities for children and a host of other activities to numerous to mention.

As soon as the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, make Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich your first port of call to see what all the fuss is about and to experience the spirit and energy and creativity of Belfast’s Irish language community.


mórtasach (more-tassakh) - boastful 

déanamh mórtais (janoo moretish) - showing off

umhal (uwil) - modest

Ní bhíonn sí ag déanamh mórtais faoina cuid torthaí (nee veean shee eg janoo moretish fweena cudge torhee) - she’s modest about her results

Bíonn sé i gcónaí ag maíomh as féin (beean shay i goe-nee eg mweeoo ass hane) - he’s always boasting about himself

comórtas bliantúil (comortiss bleeantooil) - an annual competition

duais (dooish) - prize

bialann (beealaan) - a restaurant 

bia (beea) - food

Gaeilgeoirí (gaylagoree) - Irish speakers

oibrithe pobail (ibreeha pubble) - community workers 

ríomhairí glúine (reeooweree gloonya) - laptops 

pinsinérí (pinshinayree) - pensioners 

teaghlaigh (chaowlee) - families

An Ceathrú Póilí (an kehroo poelee) - The Fourth Policeman

lámhcheardaíocht (laowkyardeeakht) - handcrafts

taispeántais (tashpaantish) - exhibitions

seoltaí leabhar (shawltee lyore) - book launches

amharclann (aowerclan) - theatre

ranganna Gaeilge (rangana gaylicka) - Irish classes

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