Posted by Tom Monahan in Features.

When I was first invited to contribute something to Nuacht Chláir, I must confess to being somewhat reluctant initially seeing that the paper has been so successful over the years. On re-consideration I thought I might try a Gaelic Corner or Cúinne Gaelach in view of the district’s illustrious past not least in the area of spoken and written Irish.

Proverbs or sean-fhocla were among some items which I thought might be of interest. Proverbs tend to be gems of wisdom for the most part, expressing quite a lot in a few words. Connacht, Ulster and Munster all have proverbs peculiar to their province but many sean-fhocla enjoy general acceptance.

Seo thíos roinnt dena sean-fhocla is simplí:

Tús maith leath na hoibre
A good start is half the work

Is gaire cabhair Dé ná an doras
God’s help is nearer than the door

Mol an óige agus tiocfaidh sí
Encourage the youth[s] and they will develop

Is fearr rith maith ná droch-sheasamh
A good run(ning) is better than a bad stand(ing)

Is maith an capall a tharraingeann a chairt féin
It is a good horse that pulls its own cart

Cuir síoda ar ghabhar agus is gabhar i gcónaí é
Put silk on a goat and it is still a goat

Ní dhéanfadh an saol capall rása de asal
The world can’t make a donkey be a racehorse

Is fearr suí gearr ná seasamh fada
A short sit-down is better than a long stand
[reference to a time when people walked, no cars!]

Is treise dúchas ná oiliúint
Nature is stronger than nurture

Is olc an cú nach fiú fead a ligint air
It is a bad dog that is not worth whistling at