Thursday, October 13, 2011

Kerry. Dingle Peninsula. Blasket Islands

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SOUTHWEST IRELAND'S PENINSULAS

1. DINGLE (here), County Kerry
2. INVERAGH - RING OF KERRY, County Kerry
3. BEARA, County Kerry and County Cork
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The town of Dingle voted in 2006 to reject adoption of an Irish-language version of its name, An Daingean.  Instead, residents chose a bilingual name, Dingle Daingean Ui Chuis. The town is in a "Gaeltacht" area, where Irish, the old Gaelic is frequently spoken.  These areas receive special grants and government allowanes for residences, educational facilities, clubs and fairs to promote the speaking of Irish.  See http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F60716FB3D5B0C728EDDA90994DE404482&scp=1&sq=Voters%20in%20an%20Irish%20Town%20Reject%20Edict%20on%20Language%20of%20its%20Name&st=cse.  In 2004, some 2300 communities were required to adopt the Irish names.  Back in 1824, the English used on its maps Anglicized versions that stuck.

The film, "Ryan's Daughter", took place here, 1970.  See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qs6oiIR0lmA
Blasket as a place name does not sound Gaelic, and some speculate it comes from the Norse for "a dangerous place."  Hardship, sacrifice, isolation, rough conditions for farming potatoes, oats, and having perhaps a cow and donkey  -- all a part of life there, and the population was further diminished with the famine, see http://www.blasketisland.com/briefhistory.html.  Some 150 people lived there in 1840, now it is abandoned except for donkeys that still live there.
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Blasket Islands, Dingle Peninsula, Kerry, Ireland


The Great Blasket.  See http://irish2009.mka.org/?m=200906.   For a narrative of the loss of an island culture, some sites recommend this book, :The Blasket Islands: Next Parish, America", by Joan and Ray Stagles, http://www.irishbook.com/history/the-blasket-islands-next-parish-america.html.  Is this similar to The Aran Islands, by J. M. Synge? See that online at http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/4381.

Gaelic literature flowed from the Blaskets, 1920's:

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