Gaelic..I Think I’ve Always Been More Irish Than English

In Donegal where we are putting down roots the Gaelic language is still the main language, although all those we have met have kindly spoken English to us. Most signs in our area are in Gaelic, and I plan to learn some as the years go on.

I believe it’s important to embrace the culture of where you live, even more so when it’s your heritage. It should help that I learned quite a bit of French because I notice how a lot of Gaelic words are very close to some French words. Although the French are mainly considered Gauls, many people in Brittany consider themselves Celts, and so the link continues.

I am lost on the pronunciation however, although I am getting my head around some of it involving dropping the syllables, for example Donegal … Dún na nGall, when you say it quickly it sounds the same but has a gutteral intonation.

My actual name is Moira, I use Rosie as a pseudonym because of my book, but at times it pisses me off that I lose my own identity due to that. Given that Moira is an Irish Gaelic name, derived from Celtic, I think it’s important now I live in Ireland to own it and embrace the Gaelic language.

Moira comes from the name Máire which means bitter, beloved, drop of the sea. How apt then that I have chosen to live in a place surrounded by the sea. It’s good to see that my name is right up there with Boudicca, it explains my strength, being able to fight my own corner and my hate of injustice since as long as I can remember.

I have always felt closer to my Irish roots than my English. I am proud of England for many things, mainly their stoic approach to the second world war; for whilst I am not someone who condones war I understand that from all wars that war was probably the one most necessary. Britain was up against it where that war was concerned, and they stood their ground, eventually convincing others of its need; but I think it’s important to also remember that WWI was a pre-cursor to it’s cause.

I don’t buy into the crap of ‘let’s make Britain great again’, or watching the 1966 World Cup Final over and over again. It was 55 years ago, lets move on FFS!

I have never felt a sense of English pride, not when I look back through our history and listened to my dad’s experience where Ireland was concerned. Sadly, including my time in France, there have been many times when I have been ashamed of my English heritage, including that sense of entitlement and grabbiness that I have found on my travels, perhaps that comes from all those times in our history that we have just ‘taken’ other’s countries! Then there is football hooliganism: Jack Charlton was so ashamed he gave up the Irish Football Managers job because of it. Or when I holidayed in Turkey and the other English guests ran down to put their Union Jack towels on their sun-beds, there was no other person from any other country (mostly from Germany) who did. Where did that myth about the germans putting their towels on the sunbeds come from? I know some people will read this and say ‘well other nations do that too!’ But I am half English, I’m not speaking for ‘other nations’.

Let us not forget all the times my relatives would call my dad the ‘thick Paddy’, when he was the cleverest of them all. So clever he never felt the need to put them straight, he knew he had the last laugh when he left them to drown in their own ignorance and ego.

Perhaps my Irish ancestry is coming through. I know that’s why I have been thinking about my dad more than ever and finally understanding him, more than ever. We learn and evolve, if we want to.

Where Gaelic is concerned some of the words are familiar to me and I understand them, it may be that my Irish DNA is coming through and my ancestors memories are finally starting to show themselves.

I do feel as if I am finally home.

Deireadh seachtaine maith a bheith agat




  1. A lot of heartfelt thoughts in this post, Moira. It’s interesting because when I think of international reputations, my thoughts always go to the “ugly American” behaviors of my own fellow citizens — something I tried hard to remember when I traveled a bit in Europe back in the day. Our actions indeed speak volumes — towels included! 😉 – Marty


  2. Lovely to hear you are using your Irish name and starting to learn Gaelic. My dear father took up studying the language when he had only a few months to live. He was always learning something, bless him. I think he had in mind to learn a few words so he could surprise his Irish ancestors in heaven! You have a great weekend too!

    Liked by 1 person

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