Aonghus Ó hAlmhain met taz groups on their trip to Ireland, the lover of the Irish language lives near Dublin.
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Aonghus Ó hAlmhain, born in 1968, grew up in Dublin bilingual in Gaelic (Irish) and English. He is already part of the third generation since the efforts at the beginning of the 20th century to revive the Irish language and promote its spread.
After studying electronics at University College in Dublin, Aonghus lived and worked in Berlin for ten years, in railroad engineering. There he met his wife and there were born two sons, whom they raised bilingual German and Gaelic.
Since 2000 the family has been living in Ireland again and a daughter has joined them. Aonghus is interested in the Irish Gaelic language and its literature and was asked a few years ago by the poet Gabriel Rosenstock to share this interest with Taz travelers; which he has been doing with pleasure ever since.
That knowledge of the Irish language has very practical useful sides became clear in 2014, when strong storms in Ireland led to major flooding. Ralf Sotscheck, the tour guide of the taz Ireland trip, mentions this in his book ‘My Ireland’:
"My acquaintance Aonghus Ó hAlmhain, whose mother tongue is Irish but who can also berlin perfectly, told me that all we had to do to prevent this (flooding) was to turn to the Irish language: In many Irish place names the warning of flood danger is already included. The anglicized names, on the other hand, are meaningless.
The place Cloonbony, for example, is called Cluain boine in Irish – meaning floodplain. In Ireland there are a good dozen areas called Reask, Riesk or Reisk. If you don’t know that they are all called An Riask, meaning swamp, in Irish, you will build houses there. And with the harmless Annagh, you wouldn’t immediately think that it hides Eanach – marshland."
Aonghus begins and ends his video greeting in Gaelic. Written it looks like this: "Dia dhaoibh agus failte go heirinn" (Greetings and welcome to Ireland) and at the end: "Slan go fóill agus ta súil agam go bhfeicfimid arIs sibh" (Bye for now and I hope ‘Goodbye’).