Salutations de Paris

Salutations de Paris

November 27, 2016 Blog 0 Comments

The ties of history and heritage, not to mention religion and revolution, which bind France and Ireland are legend but for me they came together magically today when our revered poet-in-exile Derry O’Sullivan rose at the end of the Gaeilge mass in the Irish College in Paris to read Lúireach Phádraig/St Patrick’s Breastplate.
The Irish have been praying at Coláiste na nGael here in Paris for 300 years, centuries in which the French and Irish stories have been layered one upon the other.
And that ageless relationship is celebrated to this day at the Irish College, epicentre of all things Irish in the French capital.
I was delighted to be asked to address the Gaeltacht Sur Seine group — which has established a tearmonn for Gaeilgeoirí here in Paris — on the subject of ‘Ár dtodhchaí san Eoraip’ (Our Future in Europe).
On my travels outside Ireland, I have met many Irish language groups but this is the first which conducts all its activities in Irish and where Gaelique is always dominant.
That’s a great credit to Ciarán Mac Guill who established An Ghaeltacht Sur Seine seven years ago, and has seen its light shine so brightly since that this year students had to be turned away from their classes.
Once a month, the group organise a mass in Irish, where even infrequent visitors to Teach Dé (mea culpa) are welcome. A full suite of songs in Gaeilge were performed by the choir while Irish Ambassador Geraldine Byrne-Nason read one of the lessons.

By giving Derry O’Sullivan the last word, An Ghaeltacht Sur Seine was acknowledging his dual roles as one of our greatest poets and a veteran of the Parisian Irish community — he has been here now 43 years.
His ‘Marbhghin 1943: Glaoch ar Liombó’ is one of the major poetic milestones of 20th Century Irish literature and could, I suspect, only have been written by someone who, a la Wilde, Beckett and Joyce, found refuge in Paris.
It is worth publishing below, complete with translation by Kaarina Hollo.
Being invited to give a lecture in Irish in Paris was a great honour for me and I leave buoyed up by the enduring commitment to home and homeplace which defines the Irish diaspora. Go maire sibh is go caithe sibh.

 

Marbhghin 1943: Glaoch ar Liombó(do Nuala McCarthy)

Saolaíodh id bhás thú
is cóiríodh do ghéaga gorma
ar chróchar beo do mháthar
sreang an imleacáin slán eadraibh
amhail line ghutháin as ord.
Dúirt an sagart go rabhais ródhéanach
don uisce baiste rónaofa
a d’éirigh i Loch Bó Finne
is a ghlanadh fíréin Bheanntraí.
Gearradh uaithi thú
is filleadh thú gan ní
i bpáipéar Réalt an Deiscirt
cinnlínte faoin gCogadh Domhanda le do bhéal.
Deineadh comhrainn duit de bhosca oráistí
is mar requiem d’éist do mháthair
le casúireacht amuigh sa phasáiste
is an bhanaltra á rá léi
go raghfá gan stró go Liombó.
Amach as Ospidéal na Trócaire
d’iompair an garraíodóir faoina ascaill thú
i dtafann gadhar de shocraid
go gort neantógach
ar an dtugtar fós an Coiníneach.

Is ann a cuireadh thú
gan phaidir, gan chloch, gan chrois
i bpoll éadoimhin i dteannta
míle marbhghin gan ainm
gan de chuairteoirí chugat ach na madraí ocracha.
Inniu, daichead bliain níos faide anall,
léas i Réalt an Deiscirt
nach gcreideann diagairí a thuilleadh
gur ann do Liombó.

Ach geallaimse duit, a dheartháirín
nach bhfaca éinne dath do shúl
nach gcreidfead choice iontu arís:
tá Liombó ann chomh cinnte is atá Loch Bó Finne
agus is ann ó shin a mhaireann do mhathair,
a smaointe amhail neantóga á dó,
gach nuachtán ina leabhar urnaí,
ag éisteacht le leanaí neamhnite
i dtafann tráthnóna na madraí.

Marbhghin 1943: Glaoch ar Liombó

(do Nuala McCarthy)

Saolaíodh id bhás thú
is cóiríodh do ghéaga gorma
ar chróchar beo do mháthar
sreang an imleacáin slán eadraibh
amhail line ghutháin as ord.
Dúirt an sagart go rabhais ródhéanach
don uisce baiste rónaofa
a d’éirigh i Loch Bó Finne
is a ghlanadh fíréin Bheanntraí.
Gearradh uaithi thú
is filleadh thú gan ní
i bpáipéar Réalt an Deiscirt
cinnlínte faoin gCogadh Domhanda le do bhéal.
Deineadh comhrainn duit de bhosca oráistí
is mar requiem d’éist do mháthair
le casúireacht amuigh sa phasáiste
is an bhanaltra á rá léi
go raghfá gan stró go Liombó.
Amach as Ospidéal na Trócaire
d’iompair an garraíodóir faoina ascaill thú
i dtafann gadhar de shocraid
go gort neantógach
ar an dtugtar fós an Coiníneach.

Is ann a cuireadh thú
gan phaidir, gan chloch, gan chrois
i bpoll éadoimhin i dteannta
míle marbhghin gan ainm
gan de chuairteoirí chugat ach na madraí ocracha.
Inniu, daichead bliain níos faide anall,
léas i Réalt an Deiscirt
nach gcreideann diagairí a thuilleadh
gur ann do Liombó.

Ach geallaimse duit, a dheartháirín
nach bhfaca éinne dath do shúl
nach gcreidfead choice iontu arís:
tá Liombó ann chomh cinnte is atá Loch Bó Finne
agus is ann ó shin a mhaireann do mhathair,
a smaointe amhail neantóga á dó,
gach nuachtán ina leabhar urnaí,
ag éisteacht le leanaí neamhnite
i dtafann tráthnóna na madras.




About the Author

Máirtín Ó Muilleoir

Máirtín Ó Muilleoir is the Sinn Féin MLA for South Belfast and a businessman.