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50: #50 | Unconditional Love: The Modh Coinníollach

**"If I were a boy /Even just for a day /I’d roll outta bed in the morning /And throw on what I wanted and go"** **Beyoncé Knowles, If I Were A Boy, 2007** Welcome to our 50th episode! If you're a regular listener you may have heard us mention the Modh Coinníollach before... but what is it? As with Peig who we chatted about last week, the Modh Coinníollach has become a kind of mascot for those who have bad memories of Irish from school. This has become a tired cliche in need of a good shake....


49: #49 | Tara Flynn

"Peig passes the Bechdel Test". Sparklingly witty, unfailingly honest, sometimes misunderstood and with a grá for the Gaeilge, Tara Flynn and Peig Sayers are two women who have been unfairly criticised a lot in recent years. Although Peig is sadly unavailable, Tara was kind enough to visit Darach this week for a chat. Tara tells Darach about her iconic work on the Morbegs (and the attention to detail put into the Irish language content), reevaluating Peig as an adult and the simple joys of...


48: #48 | Mèredictionnaire

*The Irish word for a rat, francach, can also mean a French person (when capitalised).* In their most recent media campaign, Vodafone have paid tribute to a long-standing tradition in Irish advertising; the French crush. Prior to this Ireland has had a history of taking cues from our Gallic pals - most famously the tricolour. French is the most-widely taught foreign language in Ireland and comparisons between it and Irish are inevitable. But how apt and how valuable are such comparisons?...


47: #47 | Ceo, Craiceann agus Cumhracht: An Introduction to Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill

Famously, much is lost in translation. However, writing is a lonely calling, and the act of literary translation by one's peers presents an opportunity for literary intimacy. Two versions of a poem, presented side by side, can be more than the sum of the parts. Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill is one of Ireland's most brilliant and resonant poetic voices, and "Pharoah's Daughter" - a collection from almost thirty years ago - is still urgently relevant and accessible. Ní Dhomhnaill's dánta are...


46: #46 | The Waka and the Curach: Te Reo and Irish

2018 has been a landmark year for women’s rights in both Ireland and New Zealand. At home, we have voted to repeal the 8th Amendment. Our Antipodean mates have acknowledged a different aspect of reproductive rights (specifically, working mothers not having their careers scuppered) when their Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, gave birth to a daughter – and the country didn’t grind to a halt. That little girl’s name- Neve* Te Aroha Ardern Gayford – is a nod to two traditions, Irish and Maori,...


45: #45 | 2 Mailbag 2 Furious

Welcome to the second Motherfoclóir Mailbag show! Listener feedback allows us to see how we’re doing, bring any clarifications to light and gives us ideas for new shows. You can email us at if you want to get in touch, or even leave a review on iTunes. Correspondence has been flooding in from near and far in relation to recent episodes. Regular offenders Darach and Gearóidín are joined by neutral observers Antoin Beag and Aifric who consider topics ranging from...


44: #44 | Duolingo – New Rules

Your ex – the one who doesn’t like you as much as you like them and knows it – sends a “you up?” text at 11.32pm. Should you not pick up the phone… or, instead of replying, why not practice your Irish on Duolingo instead? The popularity of Duolingo’s Irish course flies in the face of critics of the language and has been a huge encouragement to those involved in the promotion of Irish. How can we capitalise on this interest? In this week’s episode, Darach and Peadar are joined by Alan...


43: #43 | Pride/Bród

This week's episode is about Bród - no, not Miggledy Higgins's best dog (sorry Shadow!) but LGBTQ+ Pride, which is celebrated in Dublin from the 21st to the 30th of June. Ever since the 2015 marriage equality referendum and the ascension of Leo Varadkar to Taoiseach, LGBTQ+ inclusion has been central to how Ireland has presented itself to the world. However, this is an all-too-recent development and until 2018's publication of An Foclóir Aiteach (the Queer Dictionary) the vocabulary for...


42: #43 | No spoilers - Rick O'Shea and ROSBC

In the second episode from our live show at the International Literature Festival Dublin, Darach and Éimear are joined by the King of (Book) Clubs himself, Mr. Rick O'Shea. The Rick O'Shea Book Club (ROSBC) has over 17,000 members and has managed to maintain a cordial atmosphere and a low spoiler rate in an internet otherwise teeming with mean jerks. How does he do it? He tells us the secret, as well as answering questions from the audience (including Darach's Mam). You can find ROSBC on...


41: #41 | Druid Fluid: Medieval Mythbusting with @VoxHib

In this week's episode - recorded live at Smock Alley Theatre as part of the International Literature Festival Dublin - Darach and Éimear are joined by Terry O'Hagan, the man behind the Vox Hiberionacum blog. Terry's research combines history, archaeology and linguistics as he tackles misconceptions about early medieval Ireland. Celts, Druids, Ogham and snakes all get a sceptical interrogation and we even hear about fart jokes and hungover doodles from the 7th Century. You can see Terry's...


40: #40 | Lá na hAfraice- Africa Day

The Irish for Wakanda Forever is "an Uácaind Abú!" The Irish language has enough problems to deal with without being co-opted by bigots. Earlier this year, for example, a protester against the Black Lives Matter movement in America wore a t-shirt bearing the slogan "gorm chonaí ábhar", a translation of Blue Lives Matter so bad it's hard to know where to even begin correcting it. Irish survives and thrives as a confident, modern language that welcomes all the people who want to speak it. In...


38: #38 | Happily Emher After - Women of the Táin

There's been a lot of talk about obstreperous women lately, so what better time to consider the fierce female characters of the Táin? In this week's episode, Éimear tells Darach about Cuchulainn's wife Emer (pronounced Ever in the old Irish) and Caitlín discusses how Medb has been represented over time. There's still time to buy tickets for the Motherfoclóir live show!


Motherfoclóir #20 | Gettin’ Schooled

Although it is regularly cited as the reason some people dislike Irish, Peig has been off the school curriculum for so long that we have adult Irish speakers wandering the streets and hills who were born after its removal. One such adult is the effortlessly cool catóg Clodagh McGinley, who you’ll remember from recent episodes. She […] La entrada Motherfoclóir #20 | Gettin’ Schooled se publicó primero en Headstuff.


Best of The HeadStuff Podcast Network 2017

So here we are, at the end of another year, the 2017th year… can you believe there have already be 2017 years on this planet? Amazing really. Anyway, what we have compiled here is the best of The HeadStuff Podcast Network 2017, short clips from a range of our shows. If something piques your fancy, […] La entrada Best of The HeadStuff Podcast Network 2017 se publicó primero en Headstuff.


Motherfoclóir #19 | Nollaig/Yule/Christmas Special

Nollaig shona to all our listeners! In today’s very special yuletide special, Gearóidín tells the gang about Christmas in Finland, Peadar gets excited about wrens, Darach dwells on the practicalities of decorating with a toddler and Clodagh reminisces over Sylvanian Families. Please consider supporting one of the charities listed in today’s podcast who are addressing […] La entrada Motherfoclóir #19 | Nollaig/Yule/Christmas Special se publicó primero en Headstuff.


Motherfoclóir #18 | An Irish Pronunciation Special: B, M, W

“Chomh ramhar le rón – as chubby as a seal” In Germany, BMW (Bayerische Motoren Werke) is pronounced BMV. In Latin, Vs are pronounced as Ws. Humans have been switching these sounds with each other for some time. While neither V nor W are in the traditional 18 letter alphabet, W is so verboten that […] La entrada Motherfoclóir #18 | An Irish Pronunciation Special: B, M, W se publicó primero en Headstuff.


Motherfoclóir #17 | The Secret Diary of a Cinnire, Age 16 1/2

“Going to the Gaeltacht is like Hogwarts, except instead of magic, you have the magic of Irish” As the author of five YA novels and the presenter of HeadStuff’s Sweet Valley High podcast “Double Love”, Anna Carey knows a thing or two about teen drama. In this week’s episode, she joins Darach and Éimear to […] La entrada Motherfoclóir #17 | The Secret Diary of a Cinnire, Age 16 1/2 se publicó primero en Headstuff.


Motherfoclóir #13 | She’s A Shoo-In

After a ten episode absence, Louth Legend Siún Ní Dhuinn is back at her Motherfoclóir desk in HeadStuff studios. She tells Darach and Clodagh all about As An Nua (her bilingual feminist fashion blog) and Beo Ar Éigean – BAE for short – her fab RTÉ Irish language podcast. There’s laughs, chats, poetry and the […] La entrada Motherfoclóir #13 | She’s A Shoo-In se publicó primero en Headstuff.


Motherfoclóir #12 | Is Éireannach Mé

Motherfoclóir #12 | Is Éireannach Mé As former British colonies with lots of green on their flags, where St. Patrick is the patron saint and where Guinness is hugely popular, Nigeria and Ireland are countries with plenty in common. In this week’s episode, Ola Majekodunmi talks to Darach and Gearóidín about being a Gaeilgeoir of Nigerian heritage, […] La entrada Motherfoclóir #12 | Is Éireannach Mé se publicó primero en Headstuff.


Motherfoclóir #11 | The Motherfoclóir Spooky Halloween Special

It’s the spookiest night of the year, so what better time to share some eerie Irish words? Darach, Ola, Gearóidín and Peadar discuss the ancient roots of Samhain, the mysteries of brack and monkey nuts… and discuss regional traditions on this, the Motherfoclóir Spooky Halloween Special! If you’re listening with the smallies, be aware that […] La entrada Motherfoclóir #11 | The Motherfoclóir Spooky Halloween Special se publicó primero en Headstuff.