Seachain an Béarla!

We were slightly taken aback when we heard about P.Diddy spending his summers milking cows somewhere in rural America, you can read more on that here. But we got a bit nostalgic thinking about our childhood summers which were so often defined by the Gaeltacht.

Ahh An Ghaeltacht (or Irish College if you're fancy). The place where most Irish people get a three week crash course in our beautiful language and their very first shift. Houses all over the country opened their doors to scores of moody teenagers in the hopes they'd learn cúpla focal. 

While we may have all gone to different places, most Gaeltacht experiences are the same. From ceilís to ceapairí, here's a breakdown of the top ten Gaeltacht memories.

10) Your mom labelling EVERYTHING before you left home.

Mothers the length and breadth of the country were flat out scribbling illegible names on everything, from your sunhat to your knickers.  

9) Trying to play sports without speaking English.

Not speaking Béarla during the day was hard enough but being expected not shout "PASS" while making an incredible run up the sideline was downright outrageous.

8) Trying to learn the Siege of Ennis or Ballaí Luimní.

Many of us will permanently have haon, dó, trí is a dó, dó, trí permanently etched into our memories.

7) Your Cinnire losing it with you when you forgot your raincoat.

With all the stress of trying to get your blue mascara on properly and making sure you unplugged your hair crimper, it was easily done. But you knew you were in for it when you were walking i mbeirteanna on a winding country road with no jacket.

6) RANGANNA!

Every morning without fail, you forgot that you eventually had to go to classes and learn about the Tuiseal Ginideach and the Modh Coinníollach.

5) Sweatin' when the Bean an Tí served a dinner you didn't like.

More often than not it was just beans and ispiní, but every so often she'd plate up a fine fish dinner and you'd spend the whole meal trying to find ways to make it look like you'd eaten it. Hiding it under the mash was always a winner.

4) Hearing someone speak English.

Some students were more dedicated than others, but there was always a group down the back whispering in English every chance they got. 

3) Giving the Amhrán Tí competition everything you've got.

You may not have learned word of Irish, but you knew that singing something that sounded vaguely similar to what the Cinnire taught you was your time to shine.

2) This absolute weapon of a song.

 

 

1) Going to mass in Irish.

Sundays were great because if you were lucky you got to go on a day out with your parents, but the second you got back it was straight to aifreann with you. Trying to stay awake was the hardest thing you'd ever had to do in your young life.