Speak Irish: Cuireadh do Mhuire

Speak Irish; Cuireadh do Mhuire
by Bob Carney

Máirtín Ó Direáin was born on Inis Mór in 1910. He left the Irish speaking community for Galway and eventually, for life as a bureaucrat in Dublin. After attending a lecture by Tadhg Ó Donnchadha, one of the more prominent figures of the revival period, he became determined to write poetry. He developed a style that came from the everyday speech he heard growing up among the farmers and fishermen of the Aran Islands, who according to Ó Direáin, spoke poetry without realizing it. “Invitation to Mary” has an even stronger message when you envision the time of it’s writing.


(cur-ahd do wor-ah)

An eol duit, a Mhuire

(ahn ell gwit ah wor-ah)

Cá rachair i mbliana

(kah rah-ker ih mleena)

Ag iarraidh foscaidh

(egg eer-ahd fos-keed)

Do do Leanbh Naofa,

(doe doe lah-niv nye-fa)

Tráth a bhfuil gach doras

(traw will gach dor-ahs)

Dúnta Ina éadan

(doon-ta ina ayd-ahn)

Ag fuath is uabhar

(egg foo-ah iss oo-er)

An chine dhaonna?

(ahn kinn-ah gay-na)


Deonaigh glacadh

(dawn-ig glaw-ka)

Le cuireadh uaimse

(le cur-ahd oo-amsha)

Go hoileán mara

(guh hee-lawn mara)

San Iarthar cianda:

(san eer-her kin-da)

Beidh coinnle geala

(bayd kween-la gay-la)

I ngach fuinneog lasta

(ih nach fwin-ig lasta)

Is tine mhóna

(iss tin-uh woh-na)

Ar theallach adhainte.

(ar hall-ach eye-ta)

      Nollaig 1942    Máirtín Ó Direáin



Where will you find this year, Mary,

Shelter for your holy child?

Every door is shut against him

By human pride and human hatred

Let me, if you’ll allow, invite you instead

To a distant island in the western sea.

Candles will shine a welcome in every window

And a turf fire blaze in every hearh.

This time of year, an easy way to help spread Irish, is to use it in our Christmas greetings and cards. Traditions, folklore, history and language are all part of our heritage and should be a part of our Christmas celebrations.

“There is no other way to revive Irish than for a crowd of people to spread it.”

                                                                                                     Douglas Hyde

Nollaig shona duit (null-ig hoe-na gwit)  Happy Christmas to you

Nollaig shona daoibh (null-ig hoe-na yeev) Happy Christmas to you (when addressing more than one)

Beannachtaí na Nollaig (ba-knock-tee na null-ig) Christmas Blessings (or greetings)

Beannachtaí an tSéasúir  (ba-knock-tee an tay-soor) Seasons Greetings

Blian úr faoi shéan is faoi mhaise duit (blee-un oor fwee iss fwee voosha gwit) Happy New Year to You

Nollaig faoi shéan is mhaise daoibh  (null-ig fwee hayn is voosha yeev) Christmas happiness and goodness to you all

Go mba hé duit (guh mah hay gwit) And to you  (an acceptable response to any of the above)

Oíche Nollaig (ee-ha null-ig) Christmas Eve

Lá na Nollaig (law na null-ig) Christmas Day

Drualas (dhroo-ah-lus) Mistletoe

Cuileann (kwill-un) Holly

Sneachta (shnak-tuh) snow

Fear sneachta (far shnak-ta) snowman

Fuar (foo-ur) cold

Réalta (rayl-tuh) star

Crann Nollaig (krann null-ig) Christmas tree

Daidí na Nollaig (dad-ee na null-ig) Santa Claus

Ciste Nollaig (kish-ta null-ig) Christmas cake

Gé (gay) goose

Ioscaid (us-kidh) ham

Bronntanas (brun-than-us) present or gift

Stoca na Nollaig (sthuk-ah na null-ig) Christmas stocking

Cártaí Nollaig (cawr-tee null-ig) Christmas cards

Ornáidí (ur-naw-djee) decorations

Íosa (ee-uh-suh) Jesus

Muire (mwir-uh) Mary

Seosamh (shoh-sow) Joseph

Aingeal (ayn-gul) angel

Máinséar (maw-in-share) manger

Dráma faoi Bhreith Chríost (dhraw-mah fwee vreh khree-usth) Nativity Play

Aifreann Méan Oíche (af-runn mahn ee-ha) Midnight Mass

“Agus duirt an t-aingeal leo: “Ná bíodh eagla oraibh: óir féach, tá dea-scéala agam daoibh a chuifidh áthas mór ar an bpobal uile: rugadh Slánaitheoir daoibh inniu- is é Chriost an é i geathair Dháiri.”

                                                                                                                                     Lucás 2:10-11

And the angel said unto them, “Fear not: for behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

Síocháin Agus Nollaig Shona Daoibh

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