I was really thrilled to see this fabulous animation of my radio essay “An Cuimhín Leat Damhsa?”,
As a pandemic project, i undertook to brush up on my Irish by sitting Ardteist Gaeilge Ardleibhéal/ Honours Leaving Certificate Irish – quite a daunting challenge! Fadó fadó when I was a teenage leaving certificate student at Salesian Secondary School in Limerick, at the last minute, as I stood outside my Irish oral exam I decided to avail of my exemption and not take the exam. I was exempt due to living in Canada for eleven years. The examiners were in the prefab examination room waiting for me. I have to admit, I was too scared to go in there. These most visceral sense memories came back to me in vivid flashbacks as I got closer to my Béaltríail (oral exam), this year. But this time I went through with it! And originally as a teenager I was just doing pass Irish. So, I took it on! I learned so much at Crumlin College of Further Education, and believe it or not it was a thrill to be able to attend actual classes before Christmas, when nobody else was allowed to leave their houses because of the lockdown. I was a secondary school student! Our teachers were a wonderful father and son team. We started with young teacher Ciarán Britton, and then, after Christmas when Ciarán got a job in Boston, and emigrated with his young son and American wife, his father the poet and secondary school teacher Gearóid de Briotún took over. The classes, which were incredibly entertaining and brimming with Béaloideas (folklore and lore in general), and curious logainm (etymology of placenames), as well of course as the leaving certificate course, went online after Christmas. Two classes a week, all year long! And then constant tests for the calculated grades, as well as the oral exam, AND the written exams on June 14th and 15th. Well, I certainly made up for dropping out as a teenager! I hope I have fixed my Irish karma. I could definitely do with many trips to the gaeltacht now to practice.
Then, managing to do this piece for BBC Gaeilge felt like winning an Oscar. I hope you enjoy it at least as much as I enjoyed doing it.
Bain taitneamh as!