Níl aon tinteán mar… tinteán do shin-sheanmháthair

Painting by Eoin Mac Lochlainn of empty fireplace, Fanad, Donegal
Teach Emily,  42 x 42cm, oil on canvas, 2017

It’s Seachtain na Gaeilge again – Irish Language Week – but scroll down to read the text in English, if you wish.

A chairde, seo pictiúr a dhath mé roinnt blianta ó shin anois.  Tinteán mo shin-sheanmháthair atá ann, thuas ar leithinis Fhánada i nGaeltacht Thír Chonaill.  Ó, tá’n méid sin drochnuachta le cloisint le déanaí, cheap mé go mbeadh sé go deas imeacht ar bhóithre na smaointe ar feadh tamaillín.

Mar sin, Emily McGloughlin ab ainm do mo shin-sheanmháthair agus bhí sí gaolta le Pádraic Mac Piarais (Leathdheirfiúr leis a bhí inti).  Rugadh i mBleá Cliath í ach bhí sí ag obair ar feadh tréimhse mar bhean chabhrach (midwife) thuas i Fánaid. Dúirt bean liom go ndúirt bean léi go raibh cónaí uirthi i dteachaín beag deas in ascaill ghleanna, áit eicint in aice le Ros na Cille, in iarthar na leithinise.

Photo of Emily McGloughlin nee Pearse
Emily McGloughlin – photo courtesy of Páraic Mac Lochlainn

Chuaigh muid á lorg tráth, am a raibh taispeántas ar siúl agam sa Ghailearaí i nGaoth Dobhair agus bhí an t-ádh linn – d’aimsigh muid é gan mórán stró.  Bhí an dian tite isteach, ar ndóigh, agus bhí driseacha agus eidhneán ag fás san seomra suí, ach bhí crann deas úll fós ag fás lasmuigh, bhí toranna spíonán sa ghairdín cúil agus bhí srutháinín beag deas ag boilgearnach leis in aice láimhe.

Bhí suaimhneas iontach le mothú ann, agus is cinnte go raibh mo shin-sheanmháthair ag breathnú anuas orainn le grá ina croí.

Níor chas mé riamh le mo sheanathair Alf Mac Lochlainn.  Bhí sé imithe ar shlí na fírinne sula rugadh mé ach tá a fhios againn gur thug sé cúirt ar a mháthair san teach sin fadó.  Ealaíontóir a bhí ann agus go luath, beidh taispeántas dá chuid líníochtaí ar siúl i bPríosúin Chill Mhaighneann. (beidh níos mó le léamh faoi seo i gceann seachtain nó dhó)

photo by Eoi Mac Lochlainn of Mise outside my great grandmother's house in Fanad, Co. Donegal
Mise, outside my great grandmother’s house in Fanad, Co. Donegal

Believe it or not,  the empty fireplace in the painting at the top is from my great grandmother’s cottage near Rosnakill in Co. Donegal. You can read about how we discovered this cottage in a previous blog post on Scéalta Ealaíne

My great grandmother was Emily McGloughlin, a nurse/midwife from Dublin who worked up in Co. Donegal for over 30 years. She lived in a one-room cottage with no electricity, no ensuite bathroom (!) and no running water (although there’s a little stream burbling it’s way past the back of the house). It was part of a ‘clachan’, a cluster of stone cottages in a shady hollow… and we were told that the house on the left was Nurse McGloughlin’s.

It was very nice to be there. I think we could feel her gentle spirit smiling down on us. There was an ancient apple tree growing outside, and some gooseberry bushes.

And finally, the heading on my post today is a take on the Irish proverb:  Níl aon tinteán mar do thinteán féin, which literally means: there’s no fireplace like your own fireplace, or in other words: there’s no place like home.  In this case, there’s no fireplace like your great grandmother’s fireplace.  I’ve painted many empty fireplaces over the years but I’m particularly fond of this one.  There are some more of them to be seen in The Olivier Cornet Gallery.

Seachtain na Gaeilge

https://www.oliviercornetgallery.com/

https://www.angailearai.com/

Kilmainham Gaol

4 comments

  1. Scéal an-deas Eoin. Tá mise an-cheangailte don phictiúir freisin. Looks great in my living room 😆

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