Irish language in Holywood….

There’s a short snippet in this month’s issue of the Holywood Advertiser, on the first ever Irish Language Festival. Rory Blaney gave a talk on the role of Presbyterians in the survival of the language, Dr Sean MacCorraidh gave a workshop on the context and origin of various songs ‘as Gaeilge’, and a performance of ‘Cinnínb Or’ or Goldilocks by children’s theatre Ababú. According to Máire Zepf, chaifr of the Holywood Irish Society, “Instead of always looking to Belfast for events, we have shown the liveliness of the Holywood Irish Language community. We’re so pleased to have met so many new speakers that we didn’t know where here, as well as all the new faces that the festival has attracted”.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

  • BonarLaw

    “chaif [sic] of the Holywood Irish Society”

    perhaps we should concentrate on English first.

  • Mick Fealty

    Indeed… rushing whilst my two year old naps… no excuse, but…

  • Ulster McNulty

    “…various songs ‘as Gaeilge’”

    It would be nice if people in this part of the word showed a preference for Ulster idiom whereby this would read “…various songs ‘i nGaeilge'”.

  • Ziznivy

    The idle housewives of North Down should do something useful rather than such pish.

  • Is that not Ulster-Scots?

  • qubol

    well done to all involved – this has challenged my perceptions of North Down.

  • gaelganaire


    You’re a genius boy.

    Desparate (North Down)Housewives in Irish!!

    I’ll ring TG4 straight away

  • susan

    Sammy, Ulster McNulty’s correct, in that that would be the way of native speakers ’round Gweedore and thereabouts, as opposed to, say, Connemara. I simply don’t know enough native speakers from, say, Belfast, to have a clue how standard “Ulster Irish” is elsewhere. Interesting question, and it sounds like a wonderful festival.

    Mick, given the ages of your children, we are all just lucky and grateful you can still think at all. ;o)

    Gaelganaire, years ago when TG4 was getting started, I suggested an Irish language “domestic dramedy” set in South Armagh and Louth, under the working title “My So-Called Border.” Needless to say, I got nowhere. They’ve loosened up considerably since there, wish you success in your mission!

  • susan

    I am sorry, Mick, that emoticon wink was supposed to be a smile.

    ;o) :o)

    I don’t like the winks. They make me feel like Benny Hill.

  • ben

    I misread the headline and thought there was going to be a festival in the Los Angeles area.

    Reminds me of the old story about a star-struck Irishman sending a fan letter addressed simply to “Betty Grable, Hollywood”.


  • Reminds me of the old story about a star-struck Irishman sending a fan letter addressed simply to “Betty Grable, Hollywood”.

    Reminds me of the Dublin postal worker of my acquaintance who sent letters addressed to Kingstown back as ‘address unknown, try Jamaica’.

    Although we all know that Kingstown is actually on St. Vincent.

  • jaffa

    Garret Fitzgerald’s mum Mabel was a Prod Holywood Irish revivalist y’know. Got into trouble at the GPO. Hid out in Bangor later on when Garret was a nipper.

  • IJP

    Old news, Mick – this was six weeks ago! Even my extraordinarily late response to the locals, along the lines that this is an example of how the language should be presented and promoted, was printed long since!