The story below, which I’ll analyze for dialectal features, comes from Annála Beaga ó Iorrus Aithneach, first published by Seán Mac Giollarnáth in 1941. Mac Giollarnáth was a folklorist from Ballinasloe and was the editor of An Claidheamh Soluis for 7 years. He collected and published several other works of folklore, most of them focusing on the Iorras Aithneach (Carna and Cill Chiarán) area. Some of his collections (maybe most or even all, I’m not sure) were kept and are freely available online thanks to the work of the branch of the Acadamh na hOllsclaíochta Gaeilge which is located in Carna. The low quality images can be found here, which itself contains a link to the higher quality images.

Furthermore, recordings done by Liam Mac Con Iomaire, go ndéana Dia grásta air, can be found on the same site. A word of caution must first be said with regards to using these recordings as a pure dialectal guide. Since he is reading the texts, it is quite likely they won’t be fully dialectal and natural, at least in terms of conversation (in terms of quality of Irish, they’re amazing) It’s well known in linguistics that people reading out loud often talk differently than people having a conversation; they’re often more cautious of what they say, for instance and might not say something completely dialectaly or naturally. That said, the audio is still a great resource and should be listened to. The audio of the story I’m putting is found in the first sound file.

Now, time for the story

Nuair a bhí Pádhraic ag Mám Éan bhí buachaill aige. Bhí leabaidh ann agus bhíodh Naomh Pádhraic ina chodladh ann. Sheas sé an lá seo os cionn na leaptha ar thaobh an chnuic agus sgar sé amach a dhá láimh agus bhreathnuigh sé anuas ar an taobh ó dheas le fairrge, mar bhí fhios aige nach raibh sé le tigheacht ní badh ghoire dhó, agu d’iarr sé ar Dhia a dhá oireadh tairbhe a bheith ag an tír ó dheas leis an áit a bhí siubhalta aige.

Nuair a tháinig an oidhche agus chuaidh sí chun suaimhnis dubhairt sé le n-a bhuachaill: “An fhad is atá mise imo chodladh, bí thusa ido dhúiseacht.”

Thuit sé ina chodladh agus faoi cheann tamaill thosuigh sé ag cainnt. Bhí sé ag briomlóidí agus is gearr gur labhair sé amach go hárd go dtug sé a mhallach d’Éirinn.

“Ar chubhar na haibhne!” adeir an buachaill.

Badh ghearr arís go dtug sé a mhallacht d’Éirinn, agus d’fhuagair an buachaill ar bharr na bhfidheog é. Tá barr na bhfidheog seargtha ó shoin.

An tríomhadh huair thug Pádhraic a mhallacht d’Éirinn, d’fhuagair an buachaill ar bharr na raithnighe é.

Dhúisigh Naomh Pádraig de léim agus d’fhiafruigh sé de’a bhuachaill an raibh sé ina chodladh.

“Nílim,” adeir an buachaill arís. “Níor mhór duit-se ar bith é.”

“Céard tá ráidhte agam?” adeir Naomh Pádraic.

D’innis sé dhó.

“Sin é an t-ughdar ar dubhairt mé leat gan tuitim ido chodladh. Bhí fhios agam go raibh sé dhá rádh agam, ach ina dhiaidh sin chinn sé orm gan a rádh. An tríomhadh huair adubhairt mé é dhúisigh mé. Bhí fhios agam go raibh droch-obair déanta agam mara raibh tusa ido dhúiseacht leis an mallacht a fhuagairt ar rud eicínt eile.”

Annála Beaga ó Iorrus Aithneach, Seán Mac Giollarnáth, 1941, p. 3-4

A couple of notes:

  • All the examples with fios show it lenited, without the a that must proceed it in standardized speech today. This would more accurately reflect the fact that it is basically a clitic that is attached to the verb when ‘know’. In informal writing, and sometimes even in formal writing, you’ll see it written as bhí’s. Thus what would be bhí a fhios agam in the standard becomes bhí’s ‘am in Connemara.
  • In the phrase d’innish sé dhó, the is lenited. This is common throughout Connemara for all forms of do, which is often itself said as if it were written go. See my post on prepositions in Connemara Irish for more all forms.
  • In go raibh sé dhá rádh agam, we see another common feature of Connemara Irish: , when it comes from do+a is said as dhá, even if in the standard it’s required to be written as (or even á, as it would be in this example with verbal nouns).
  • láimh – very often nouns in the 2nd declension have the old dative form as the nominative in Connemara. Thus láimh, cluais, muic, etc. are all singular nominative forms, with the nominative form coming from the old dative. This has happened in all dialects with Éirinn being said instead of Éire, which is the nominative only in the Standard.
  • Fuagair – This is the dialectal form of fógair. It’s pronounced with a diphthong: /fuəgər’/, and is actually mentioned in Ó Dónaill and in The Irish of Iorras Aithneach, so it’s something that’s still said in modern speech.
  • briomlóidí – There are several things going on here. First, brionglóidí is being used as bionglóideach would be used elsewhere (and which is what’s noted in Ó Dónaill). However, Connemara seems to solely use brionglóidí in this case. Secondly, the m is weird. I haven’t seen this elsewhere, but Ó Curnáin mentions that, in Iorras Aithneach, brionglóid is an exception to the rule that <ng> is, apart from eclipses, pronounced as /ŋɡ/. Thus, he has it pronounced as just /ŋ/, without the /g/. Perhaps Mac Giollarnáth picked up on the fact that the /g/ was missing and wrote it with an <m> to try clarify that, even though /m/ wouldn’t be said unless there was some sound change going on, which seems unlikely as it’s not mentioned in IIA.
  • tigheacht – In modern spelling, this would be tíocht, and is the verbal noun form of tar in Connemara. teacht might be heard, but it is much less common than tíocht. It’s often lenited in modern speech.


I think I’m going to start transcribing a lot of the stories out of this book. It’s several hundren pages long, and only had the one printing in the early ’40s. It’s difficult to find it as well (I am upset I let my chance at a copy slip by!), though I’ve got a combination of scanned pages and pictures of pages to cover the entire book. Plus, with the recordings, it could be a great resources. I will likely spice it up with other things, however, from other sources as well, especially if they introduce some good features of South Connemara Irish.


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