Micheal McCarthaigh - Fior-Ghael Thiobraid Arann

The following is an extract from a speech given in Irish by Dónal Ó Muirgheasa O.S., iar-Phríomh Oide, S.N. Mhuire, Chnoc a' Bhile on the occasion of the launch of his new book entitled 'Micheál Mac Cárthaigh – Fíor-Ghael Thiobraid Árann' in Brú Ború, recently.

The following is an extract from a speech given in Irish by Dónal Ó Muirgheasa O.S., iar-Phríomh Oide, S.N. Mhuire, Chnoc a' Bhile on the occasion of the launch of his new book entitled 'Micheál Mac Cárthaigh – Fíor-Ghael Thiobraid Árann' in Brú Ború, recently.

The occasion was marked by eloquent contributions from Donnchadh Duibhir, Dn na Sciath who officially launched the book, Pdraig Mac Fhearghusa, Uachtarn Chonradh na Gaeilge and by Dnal Muirgheasa. There followed a very sociable and enjoyable night of music and song in the proud tradition of the Gael. Oche fhor-Ghaelach a bh ann agus bhain gach a bh i lthair an-taitneamh as.

'Who was Michel Mac Crthaigh, the subject of this book? Card faoin Fhor-Ghael seo Thiobraid rann?

Michel Mac Crthaigh, born and reared in the parish of Knockavilla, was a proud descendant of the McCarthy clan whose noble characteristics he epitomised throughout a long and distinguished career as a teacher, historian, and in particular as a Gaelic Leaguer who attained the highest office in that organisation, namely the Prisidency. Ireland lost a true Gael when Michel died twenty-five years ago and the Gaelic League continues to feel the loss of a most dedicated activist.

It could be argued that Michel was overly occupied with our history and the history of the language, but that is to misunderstand his motives. He simply attempted, all his life, to articulate and demonstrate the beauty, the quality and the richness of our own ancient heritage so that we might create a future that would be typically Irish in its nature. Cur i bhfeidhm fse a bh ann d i leith na Gaeilge! Iarracht 'Gabhltas Chultrtha na nGall' a chur ar ceal!

D'fhg s an lann sin go flaithiil mar oidhreacht orainn go lir agus go mr mr ar a chuid scolir fin a raibh s de phribhlid aca freastal ar scoil leis. Ba mhaith a raibh a fhios ag Michel go raibh cosc ar mhineadh na Gaeilge agus na staire sa sean-chras oideachais nisinta agus cosil lena laoch, an Piarsach, chruthaigh Michel cras for-Ghaelach ina shaol minteoireachta fin. Bh s de dhualgas ormsa an oidhreacht sin a aithint mar maireann an tradisin go fill i gCnoc a' Bhile/Dn na Sciath.

Ainneoin a shimhe pearsanta ba r-shoilir domsa go raibh Michel diongbhlta lidir thar an ngnch mar Ghael i leith an naisinachais agus an chultir. B'fhurasta domsa a shamhl, mar shampla, ina bhall den na hireannaigh ga mar bh s uasal a dhthain, n mar chomhmhinteoir an Phiarsaigh i Scoil anna mar bh s lannta a dhthain, n i gcuideachta Mhichl U Dhubhchonna ar an tsilid fhada thar slibhte is gleannta ar thir na saoirse mar bh an dlseacht ann.

Michel devoted his entire life without financial reward to the development of the Irish language. This generosity of spirit is in marked contrast to the selfish attitude so prevalent today in the higher echelons of Irish society.

Cuireann scrbhinn Mhichl Mhic Chrthaigh dshln orainn go lir mar Ghaeil agus b'fhidir gur trthil an dshln san anois agus sinn gafa ag garchim eacnamaochta. T tuairim Mhichl chomh for dshlnach inniu is a bh siad nuair a scrobhadh iad breis is caoga bliain shoin. Saor, ach gan a bheith Gaelach! Mar a las le dana – 'Cad is fi an chraobh gan an blth mar nuair a thagann an blth b cinnte go dtiocfaidh an toradh!' Dedicated leaders and pioneers can only point the way forward. The onus is on the plain people of Ireland to embrace the idealism of Michel Mac Crthaigh, his contemporaries and his successors.

T sil agam, mar sin, go lifear an leabhar, go mbainfear taitneamh as, go gceannfar roinnt mhaith dobh chun go scaipfear an soiscal Gaelach i measc an ghnthphobail ars mar is dibh is m a labhair Michel agus is ann at a sln. 'S an t-ms is fearr go bhfadfaimid a dhanamh i gcuimhne ar Mhichel n an Ghaolainn a labhairt. Glacaims chugainn brid Mhic Chrthaigh mar ionsparid agus tugaims faoin dtodhcha go muinneach. N ligims don Ghaolainn a bheith mar iontas gan anam i musam iarglta igin sa tr, mar is amhlaidh at i ndn di muna bhfuil an gnthphobal toilteanach a choimed beo bromhar.

'M slnfar an Ghaeilge slnfar an tr!'