The recently-published “Scéalta agus Seanchas – Potatoes, Children and Seaweed” from the pen of An Rinn native, Áine Uí Fhoghlú, is proving very popular around the county at the moment with both young and old alike. One of its most attractive features appears to be its bilingual nature and it is being hailed as “very accessible” by many whose command of Irish is a little rusty.
The 320 page, hardbacked book is a highly illustrated publication in which interviews carried out with the older generation in the Waterford Gaeltacht almost thirty years ago have been transcribed verbatim in Irish by the author. But the added dimension of English language summaries in each chapter, along with the decision to caption each of the 260 (plus) photographs in both languages appears to be the strength of this unusual book.
Containing interviews with twenty-one members of the older generation in the Gaeltacht, recorded between 1991-1994 by Áine, the book gives an invaluable insight into the very different lives led by people before the advent of running water or electricity.
There are fascinating tales of unusual visitors to the area, the story of music and song, traditional fishing methods, gun running and the Fenian landing of 1867, customs, traditions and superstitions, the founding of Coláiste na Rinne, and so much more.
Commenting on the book, Professor Pádraig Ó Macháin of University College, Cork described Áine’s work as a very substantial contribution to both her community and to the Irish language, which would be valued for generations to come. He advised anyone thinking of buying the book to buy quickly as he didn’t imagine stocks would last too long. Author and broadcaster Damien Tiernan described Áine as: “a superb writer and insightful chronicler of people, places and the past. Her creativity is based in her close connection with coastal and fishing communities. I would highly recommend this book.”
“Scéalta agus Seanchas – Potatoes, Children and Seaweed” is retailing at €30 and is available now from The Book Centre, Waterford; Reader’s Choice, Dungarvan or online from: firstname.lastname@example.org