There I was flicking around, trying to decide whether or not to put on another episode of Ultraviolet or not, when I heard a familiar name from TG4. Maidhc Dainín.
Not familar to a lot of you out there I’m guessing, but Maidhc Dainín wrote a book called A Thig NÃ¡ Tit Orm which told about his growing up in Kerry in the 1940’s and 50’s and his emmigration to the states. His life in Chicago, which includes a fair bit about the civil rights movement, and from what I recall the resulting violence was part of the reason for his moving back to Ireland. And of course his bosca ceoil, or accordion.
The reason I know about it is that I studied it for the Leaving. Although to say that would imply I read the book. That isn’t actually true. Instead we were told to buy a different book, I forget the title now but it was in essence a summary book. A brief guide to what happened in the actual book.
So what does that tell you about the way Irish is taught? Can you imagine your English teacher telling you not to get King Lear, but instead to buy the Cliff Notes instead?
btw, the title basically means “Discuss” and is to be seen in the Leaving Cert after some rambling statement about society, or history, or whatever the question on Maidhc Dainín is that particular year :)