24 September 2023
~2 minutes read
The dramatization of a story in the Irish language has been one of the unique events in this year’s Clifden Arts Festival.
The dramatization of a story in the Irish language, written in English phonetics by an emigrant from Clifden, has been one of the unique events in this year’s Clifden Arts Festival.
Written by Patrick Lyden, who emigrated to the United States in the 19th Century, the story was staged in Clifden for the first time in the Station House Theatre.
It is a story uniquely composed that carries with it many tentacles of social history in Connemara.
Patrick Lyden was from Faulkeeragh in Clifden. He was a native Irish speaker which shows that the Irish language was very widely spoken throughout Connemara in the nineteenth century.
He emigrated to the United States and attained citizenship there in 1871.
A century later his great-grandson, William Gallagher, found an old manuscript with strange wording. He brought it to Ireland in 1978.
Professor Nancy Stenson from the University of Minnesota made sense of it and translated it into Irish.
While Patrick Lyden was a native Irish speaker he could not read or write Irish but used English phonetics to carry the story.
In a humourous vein, It centres around a young man from Joyce Country who went to seek another life in Errislannan, near Clifden.
The drama group from Cor na Móna acted out the story in Clifden with Michael Gannon directing.
Patrick Lyden’s story had finally come back to his native place after 150 years.