Irish language

Docs Ireland offers us insights into the messy, glorious world of today

UP WITH THIS SORT OF THING: Aisling Twomey, Rainbow Project, Stuart Sloan, Docs Ireland Programmer, Connor Kerr of Another World and Deirdre McKenna of the University of Atypical launch the Docs Ireland programme of documentaries and events running 25-29 August.
Robert McMillen

GO mBEANNAÍ DIA daoibh, hello to all you film buffs out there, you’re more than welcome to the Bluffer’s Guide to Irish.

“Bhí mé ag an phictiúrlann den chéad uair le fada” -- I was at the cinema for the first time in ages is what people will say now that restrictions are being lifted, however chaotically.

You could use the above sentence as a template and put in ag coirm cheoil - at a concert, ag cluiche peile - at a football match, i mbialann - in a restaurant etc. to tell people about your new-found freedom to be in a crowd – it that’s your thing.

The Bluffer was at a preview - bhí sé ag réamhthaispeántais - of the film The Boys from County Hell on Wednesday and it made him realise (again) the joy of going to the flicks.

The film itself was a joy to watch – when you didn’t have your mask over your eyes  – a hugely entertaining, gory, laugh-out-loud vampire film set on a building site in the middle of the Irish countryside. Go, go, go see it.

Now, truth be told, the Bluffer is not a huge fan of the scannán uafáis - horror film genre. He is more into the scannáin faisnéise - documentaries and coming up at the end of the month is Docs Ireland, the all-Ireland International Documentary Festival based in beautiful Belfast.

There are two types of people when it comes to dealing with the stresses of the modern world, those who spend all their time sobaldrámaí - soaps on TV, tik-tok on their phones and playing to popcheol seafóideach - inane pop music on their radios.

Other people, however, want to get to grips with reality rather than running away from it.

Is maith liom tuiscint a fháil ar cheisteanna casta - I like getting to grips with complicated subjects and Docs Ireland will definitely satisfy anyone who wants to get an insight into the infinitesimal questions life in 2021 has for us and our fellow human beings all over the planet.

The festival, which runs from August 25-29, has for example three intriguing films about the human mind.

One looks at the life and works of Oliver Sacks, filmed just before he was told that he had galar gan leigheas - an incurable disease while Father of the Cyborgs tells the story of néareolaí Éireannach - an Irish neuroscientist, Dr Phil Kennedy, a rinne turgnaimh ar a intinn féin - who carried out experiments on his own brain.

Then there is Speaking in Silence which deals with bailbhe roghnach - selective mutism, an anxiety disorder through which the sufferer is unable to speak in many social settings.

Docs Ireland also looks at the lives of some well-known people as disparate as Anthony Bourdain and Fr Des Wilson as well as the lesser-known Violet Gibson “the Woman who shot Mussolini.” 

There are music docs including Mná na bPíob, the story of female uilleann pipers, Debut about the up-and-coming singer-songwriter Ryan McMullan and there are a number of films about people who are fighting for rights and justice around the world. 

Full details are to be found at


Bhí mé ag an phictiúrlann den chéad uair le fada (vee may eg un fictoorlan den cayd oor le fada) -- I was at the cinema for the first time in ages

ag coirm cheoil (eg kirim kyoil) - at a concert

ag cluiche peile (eg cliha pella) - at a football match

i mbialann (i meealaan) - in a restaurant

bhí sé ag réamhthaispeántais (vee shay eg rayoohashpaantish) - he was at a preview

scannán uafáis (scanaan ooafaash) - a horror film

scannáin faisnéise (scanaain fashnaysha) - documentaries

sobaldrámaí (subbledraamee) - soaps 

popcheol seafóideach (popkyawl shafoijakh) - inane pop music

Is maith liom tuiscint a fháil ar cheisteanna casta (iss myh lum tishkintch a ile er ceshtana casta) - I like getting to grips with complicated subjects

galar gan leigheas (galar gan layiss) - an incurable disease 

néareolaí Éireannach (nayrolee ayranakh) - an Irish neuroscientist

a rinne turgnaimh ar a intinn féin (a rin turagnyiv er a inchin hane) - who carried out experiments on his own brain

bailbhe roghnach (balava raynakh) - selective mutism

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Irish language