Jim Kennedy, Ballingarry (a regular at the Bingo in Athea) with his two friends from Athea, Agatha & Clodagh, in Lourdes in June

Sacristan’s Collection

The Sacristan’s collection for Ann & Carol will take place on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd of July. Envelopes can be got in the church. Your support is appreciated.

Trip to Knock

Bus going to Knock on Thursday, July 27th (Mullane’s Coach). Fare: Adults €20, children €5. Names and fare can be handed in to Rose’s Shop. Book now to secure your place.

West Limerick 102fm.

50/50 Draw Tickets now on sale

The raffle takes place weekly live on air in West Limerick 102fm. Studios ‘The more that’s in the more you win’. Tickets only €2 each on sale now  in local shops and West Limerick 102fm offices, Pat O’Donovan offices North Quay, Newcastle West, Ann Lyons, Abbeyfeale, Beauty Bliss, Rathkeale.

Call us on  069-66200


The Way We Say It 

Domhnall de  Barra

With the influence of television and the availability of programmes from all over the world, especially from the USA, local accents are disappearing from rural Ireland. Everyone is referred to as “guys” nowadays whether male or female and the word “like” is used in the most unusual places. Good things are “awesome”, most sentences begin with “so” , a word that is also used as an adverb in a grammatically incorrect way, for example: “I am so not going to like it”.  I suppose, if you are a young person, you are not “cool” if you don’t have all the modern lingo and I am sure if I had been born much later than I was I would be the same. It is just that I miss the way we used to talk, especially the turn of phrase and the wit. Of course we misused language as well. Every thing we had was “old”. An old shovel, an old pike, an old coat etc. It was like a term of endearment!. But we didn’t pronounce old as it is spelled, we pronounced (and still do to this day) it as “oul”. I remember being amused  to hear a Kerryman, on the radio describing the wild life around his farm. He said; “at night you can see an old owl over in the barn”. What it sounded like was an owl owl but I knew what he meant. We got things mixed up as well. What we call a ditch is a stream of water in other countries and of course our dyke, which should be a ditch, is the opposite. In Kerry they had a habit of pronouncing y as v and w as f. A “vote” became a “yote” and “which” became “fhitch”. A “yodka and fite” might be ordered at the bar and a Kerry politician once declared that they would win the election because they were sure of the “yotes of the yolunteers”. Around here many people will say “fhat” instead of “what.” Some people just got things wrong in a very amusing way. A neighbour once declared that he could not cut seed. Cutting seed, for the benefit of younger readers, was the practice of dividing seed potatoes in two with a knife if there were two “eyes” that would produce  separate stalks. Anyway, this man said: “ I can’t cut seed because something in the juice of the spud is delegating to my system”. Sounded good.  He also once described a doctor’s visit to a sick child in the house saying “ he took out a diameter and gave her an insection”.

Some people had a way with words. A local man had two daughters. In those days matches were made and a dowry had to be paid to get the daughter into a good farm. Matches were made for the two girls who had no say in the matter. One was happy enough with the arrangement but the other was in love with a labourer who lived nearby and rebelled against the arrangement. There was murder, as they say, and in defiance of her parents wishes she ran away to England with the boyfriend. The other girl got married and moved to her farm in the next parish. Her husband was quite a bit older than her, as was often the case, and turned out to be a very mean, jealous and vindictive individual. In short, he gave her a dog’s life and, after putting up with it for as long as she could, she eventually ran home with just the clothes on her back.  Her sister, on the other hand,  married her lover who was a great worker and finished up owning his own construction company. They lived in a beautiful house and reared six children. When the father was asked about the two girls he declared: “the one that went right went wrong and the one that went wrong went right”.

Another man from the area joined the British army to fight in the 2nd World War. He was wounded in a fire fight in Normandy when he was shot in the private parts. He was brought to a hospital in England and was recovering from an operation when the Queen Mother visited the ward to have a word with the patients. She went from bed to bed enquiring about the nature of the injuries sustained  and wishing them well. Our man was, in the words of Eamon Kelly, “in a right pocher” as she approached his bed wondering how he could describe where he had been shot without giving offence to the royal person. Eventually she spoke to him and asked what had happened to him. “ I got shot ma’am”,  he replied. “Where were you shot”? she said. Quick as a flash he came back with: “If you were shot where I was shot you wouldn’t be shot at all”.

Yes, the language and the way we use it is changing but I suppose it is a natural thing and in years to come, the young people of today will look back and remember words and turns of phrase that have  been lost.  The important thing is communication and as long as we keep talking, texting, skyping or using any other medium, the language we use is of no significance.