Irish language

Dinnseanchas agus seanfhocal - an Irish place-name and a proverb

St Columba's Parish Church: The church in Knock reflects the former Irish name of the area, Cnoc Cholm Cille, named in honour of Colmcille or Columba as he is also known

Knock - an Cnoc - the Hill

Knock is a suburb of Belfast 4km of east of Belfast city centre.

The modern name is an abbreviated version of the earlier Cnoc Cholm Cille and was formerly a parish in its own right but in 1658 it was amalgamated with the neighbouring of Breda to form the modern civil parish of Knockbreda.

On a graveyard on a hill in the townland, there are fragmentary remains of the medieval parish church which was sometimes referred to as the chapel of Dundela.

The name Dundela is now used for a district which lies a short distance to the north-west but it appears to have originally referred to a motte, now known as Shandon Park Mound.

From A Dictionary of Ulster Place-Names by Pat McKay 


Abair beagán ach abair go maith é.

Say but little, but say it well.

And that could refer to all the proverbs that have appeared in this section since Cúchulainn was a wee lad. These little gems of wisdom have been distilled over centuries but many are still as relevant today as they were when the were first uttered.

The above proverb also goes for writing and trainee journalists are always told to make their copy as concise as tight as possible.

Complicated opening paragraphs that go on for an eternity won’t encourage readers to keep on reading. 

Irish has triads, Japanese have the haiku and other cultures have short sentences or groups of sentences that reveal a truth about life.

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Irish language