Irish-Language

A trip from the historical east to the Wild Atlantic Way in Donegal

SUN, SEA, SKY AND SEAWEED: Newcastle in County Down has long been a holiday destination for the Bluffer and it never lets him down. The same can be said for Donegal and last week he had his first holiday in Arklow
SUN, SEA, SKY AND SEAWEED: Newcastle in County Down has long been a holiday destination for the Bluffer and it never lets him down. The same can be said for Donegal and last week he had his first holiday in Arklow SUN, SEA, SKY AND SEAWEED: Newcastle in County Down has long been a holiday destination for the Bluffer and it never lets him down. The same can be said for Donegal and last week he had his first holiday in Arklow

Hiyaz, my companions on the road to full fluency, you are all welcome to the Bluffer’s Guide to Irish. 

Bhí cuairteoirí againn - we had visitors last week all the way from Caerdydd (that’s Cardiff to you monoglots) and we spent a seachtain lomlán - a chocabloc week, showing what this part of the world had to offer.

On Friday, we jumped into the car and headed to an Caisleán Nua - Newcastle in County Down. Why? Well, to sample the folcadáin feamainne - seaweed baths, of course. And what a treat they were! 

Our company of four fitted into two baths in the one room, both filled with sáile - seawater and an fheamainn - the seaweed which was harvested locally.

It is claimed that the seaweed is great for cailleadh meáchain - weight loss; is better than any uachtar frithroctha - anti-wrinkle cream at keeping your skin as tight as a bodhrán; helps with eachma - eczema and even with the bould tinneas póite - a hangover as well.

The seaweed made the water really oily and rubbing it into your hair is as good as any conditioner.

After feeling renewed after the bath – the seaweed is used only once and is brought to a local farmer who uses it as fertilizer – we headed across the border to An tInbhear Mór, aka Arklow where our friend Joe Doherty lives. 

Rugadh Joe ar leathláimh - Joe was born with one arm but he is more active than most of the men I know!

Not only did he put us up for two nights but he took us for walks along the nearby beach where, despite the fog, there were groups of fishermen trying to catch some faoitín - whiting, trosc - codling fíogach - dogfish and other fish.

Rón - a seal appeared nearby which wasn’t good news for na hiascairí - the fishermen.

One of the couples who were fishing were from an Úcráin - the Ukraine, having recently settled in Co. Wicklow.

Then Joe took the others to visit the stunning Gleann dá Loch - Glendalough while the Bluffer slaved away at his laptop.

We went to a small village called Redcross for our last meal in Leinster, heading to Micky Finn’s for the food and to sample the beer they make in the attached microbrewery!

Not too much was drunk as we had a long journey ahead, to Donegal via Belfast, so after saying goodbye to Joe, we headed off towards Teach Campbell ar an Bhun Bheag - in Bunbeg, áit ar stop muid thar oíche - where we stayed overnight, enjoying my favourite BnB in Donegal.

Let’s face it, there’s not always a lot to do in Donegal – but we and our guests loved it.

We went down to the little harbour and marvelled at the fishing boats and wondered at the life of the people there.

With the fresh air in our lungs, it was over to Teach Leo, home to the Brennans of Clannad fame for another lovely meal before hitting Teach Hiúdaí Beag for some live music.

Our visitors from An Bhreatain Bheag - Wales were at last able to hear a session of traditional music in an Irish-speaking area - the first time they had ever heard the language!

They left enchanted.

CÚPLA FOCAL

Bhí cuairteoirí againn (vee coortchoree ageen) - we had visitors

seachtain lomlán (shakhtin lumlaan) - a chocabloc week

an Caisleán Nua (un cashlaan nooa) - Newcastle

folcadáin feamainne (folcadaan faminya) - seaweed baths

sáile (saale) - seawater

an fheamainn (un yamin) - the seaweed

cailleadh meáchain (kyleyoo mahaan) - weight loss

uachtar frithroctha (ooakhter free-rawkha) - anti-wrinkle cream 

eachma (ekhma) - eczema 

tinneas póite (chinyiss pawtcha) - a hangover

Rugadh Joe ar leathláimh (rugoo joe ar lahlaav) - Joe was born with one arm

faoitín (fweetcheen) - whiting

trosc (trosc) - codling 

fíogach (feeogakh) - dogfish

rón (rone) - a seal

na hiascairí (ne heeaskeree) - the fishermen 

an Úcráin (un oocraan) - the Ukraine

Gleann dá Locha (glaan daa lawkha) - Glendalough

ar an Bhun Bheag (er un wun vig) - in Bunbeg

áit ar stop muid thar oícheytch er stop midge har eeha) - where we stayed overnight

An Bhreatain Bheag (un vratan vig) - Wales