The trials and tribulations of the families who live on mountains
GO mBEANNAÍ DIA daoibh, hello to mountainy folk and sea levellers, you are more than welcome to the Bluffer’s Guide to Irish.
Ar An Sliabh is a new BBC Gaeilge series following the lives of mountain communities - from the slopes of Sliabh gCuillinn - Slieve Gullion to the heart of sléibhte Chill Mhantain - the Wicklow mountains.
Now mountains need a bit of perspective.
A sherpa from the Himalayas would think we were having a laugh when we talk about mountains.
He would use the word cnoc - a hill or a cnocán - a small hill; tulach is a low hill or a mound; binn is a peak as in binn sléibhe - a mountain peak.
A word the Bluffer likes lantán which means a grassy place on a mountain.
The BBC series which starts tonight at 10pm was filmed during 2021 and focuses on the lives of the people who live in four different Irish mountain regions during one extraordinary year.
Over the six weeks, viewers will meet 12-year-old businessman (yes, 12-year-old) - Cérill, who, cut off from his friends, finds solace in his beloved animals and an dúlra thart air - the nature around him. Is feirmeoir caorach é Séamus - Séamus is a sheep farmer who contemplates a lonely rural existence amidst the beauty of the bunchnoic - the foothills of na Beanna Boirche - the Mourne Mountains.
The Glenmalure lodge in the heart of the Wicklow mountains closed its doors for the first time during Covid and now the Dowling family who run the hotel wonder when they will ever be able to open up again.
Déanann Seán ceirtlís - Sean makes cider and keeps a close eye on his growing apple crop on the sunny side of Slieve Gullion while John Ross is a beachaire - a bee-keeper who tries to avoid getting stung as he harvests the honey.
Student Niamh is ag déanamh staidéir ón bhaile - studying from home while príomhoide scoile - school principal Pól tries to keep his students and staff motivated until he can finally welcome his pupils back to school.
The audience has a fly-on-the-wall view of the everyday struggles and triumphs of these bunadh an tsléibhe - mountain dwellers. Themes such as love and loss, coping with family illness and celebrating life’s milestones, growing up and growing old, self-love and nurturing others are gently explored through the lives of the people who have chosen to live in some of the most rugged regions on the island of Ireland.
Each geographical area is very distinct. Slieve Gullion is home to a tight-knit south Armagh community, nestled close to one another within the protection of the Ring of Gullion.
The Sliabh Eachtaí - Slieve Aughty community is more scoite - dispersed over the sprawling mountain and
lakes region of east Galway, bordering on counties Clare and Tipperary.
:: Ar An Sliabh starts on BBC Two Northern Ireland tonight (Monday, 3 January) at 10pm and is currently available on the BBC iPlayer.
Sliabh gCuillinn (shleeoo gillen) - Slieve Gullion
sléibhte Chill Mhantain (shlayvcha kil wantaan) - the Wicklow mountains
cnoc (cruck) - a hill
cnocán (cruckaan) - a small hill
tulach (tulakh) - a low hill or a mound
binn (bin) - a peak
binn sléibhe (bin shlayva) - a mountain peak
lantán (lantaan) - a grassy place on a mountain
an dúlra thart air (un doolra hart er) - the nature around him
Is feirmeoir caorach é Séamus (is feramore cayrakh ay Shaymus) - Séamus is a sheep farmer
bunchnoic (bunkhrick) - the foothills
na Beanna Boirche (na banna boraha) - the Mourne Mountains
Déanann Seán ceirtlís (janan shaan kertchleesh) - Sean makes cider
beachaire (bakhara) - a bee-keeper
ag déanamh staidéir ón bhaile (eg janoo staadge-ayre own walla) - studying from home
príomhoide scoile (preeoo-idgea sculla) - a school principal
bunadh an tsléibhe (bunoo un chlayva) - mountain dwellers
Sliabh Eachtaí (shleeoo akhtee) - Slieve Aughty
scoite (skitcha) - dispersed