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Ar dhroim na muice (back on the pig’s back)

February 7, 2013

I must first apologize for the silence as of late as I have been sick. In fact, I’ve been sick since right around xmas and since I’ve been traveling for nearly as long, my poor little immune system couldn’t keep up the fight. I’ve had an unrelenting cough ever since I struggled back to life after my bout with flu in the States. That progressed into a sore throat and another bout with the flu! I swear to you that I’m not usually sickly. I think it all comes down to traveling on public transportation, visiting primary schools, and the unseasonably cold weather we’ve had here. I am, as they say, “ar dhroim na muice” but likely need to be cautious and literally stay in this warm and dry house that has been offered to me by my great friend Micheál out in Conamara in a town called Indreabhán. Needless to say, I should be immune to anything that comes my way for the next two years in North America or Europe.

So, where did I leave off with my last post?

I visited more schools with Eilís Ní Thuama, a close relation of the famous Muskerry singer, Bess Croinin. We visited primary schools in Béal Átha ‘n Ghaorthaidh, Cill na Martra, and Ré na nDoire. The children were all lovely and got a kick out of hearing their language spoken by a foreigner. As I’ve said before, I was brought mostly to give their dedication to speaking Irish a boost. Once my voice is back to normal, I’ll have to record several of them for you all to try.

I also had an interview with Padraigh Ó Sé on Radió na Gaeltachta in Killarney. We chatted about the interest in Irish overseas and what I do at home in Portland. I played a few tunes for him as well and I must say…it wasn’t all that bad! It was played on air a few days later and I recorded it on my phone by holding it up to the radio. If I figure out how to format it so it works on the blog, I’ll post it on it’s own. It was twenty minutes long!

The interview was aired on my last day in Muskerry. The night before though on the way to delivering me to Baile Mhúirne, Síle took me to visit three families living in Cúil Aodha–the Ó Meachair clann (all of whom are talented musicians/singers), her brother & nephew, and finally the famous flute maker, Hammy Hamilton. Here’s a picture of him in his workshop.


The following morning a few hours before I departed to Cork, I visited a the Folláin jam factory in Baile Mhúirne, which is run by Iarla Ó Lionaird’s (another famous singer) brother, Peadar. The business started out in his garage and now fills the space of medium sized grocery store! He was very informative and well-spoken and offered me numerous jars of chutneys and jams but I had to resist because, quite frankly, I DIDN’T HAVE THE SPACE IN MY BAG! Here’s a picture of us discussing ph levels in the jam.


After the tour I caught the bus to Cork city and met up with Síle’s lovely daughter, Nell, who is also (you guessed it) a famous singer. We went to a singing circle in a suburb of Cork called Ballincollig where we sang and listened into the early morning hours. The perfect way to end my time down south.

  1. Reblogged this on The Language Hunters' Blog and commented:

    Sorry for the silence!

  2. Gingerale permalink

    I’m glad to learn you’re on the mend, and thank you for sharing the phrase you did (ar dhroim na muice). How exciting, that you were on Raidió na Gaeltachta — I hope you get to post it.

    I wonder what your Gaeltacht friends think of movements like the Bród Club. On the one hand, Is fearr Gaeilge bhriste ná Béarla cliste, but on the other hand as I think you were suggesting in a different post, a lot of complexities and nuances can be lost, and people who lose them might not know they’ve lost them.

    I found Folláin’s here: (from a link on Folláin’s page). As a Portlander though I’ll look first at the Celtic Corner.

  3. Tony permalink

    Really??? No room in your bag for jam?

  4. Gingerale permalink

    Celtic Corner didn’t have Folláin jam when I asked for it there, but they have many other lovely things.

    Today, more than a year after your post, I was in Portland at Barbur World Foods (I love that place) looking for pesto. Out of the corner of my eye I caught a fada on a jar label. It was Folláin jam and Barbur World Foods carries several varieties. Blackberry will the first to get opened, but not the last!

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