Page 1


Introduction Donegal in History From the Middle Ages till now An Early Visitor from Donegal Other people in Scotland Things to Do – the journey to Inverness Columba meets Bridei Who came up the Clyde on a bike? History or legend? Go and make a life for yourself The Old Places The Special Connection Who came for what? Why are you leaving? The Work was hard A job I fancy/don’t fancy Debate Remembering Migrant Workers Over by in Glasgow Old Tenement House

3 4 5 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

Do you remember? A big difference We do not want to go Traditional stories The Plaisham Same but different More of the same but different Sad Stories Have you got the Gaelic Roots Irish Connections Keeping the language alive Language chart My Language Come to Donegal Back to your roots Geography of Donegal Dream Holiday Music, Song and Dance Irish Dance Sentimental Music

page 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 46 47 48

Introduction The Donegal Project is a beautifully presented, carefully resourced and inspired tool for teachers to use in the context of Curriculum for Excellence, with upper Primary classes. It has been developed by Glasgow Storytellers in response to Glasgow’s rich and diverse history which has brought people from different parts of the world to the city to live and work and make it their home. This theme of migration continues today, and makes Glasgow a lively and interesting place to be. The Donegal project will enable pupils to discover part of Glasgow’s story for themselves and perhaps trace some of their own connections with the area. It could also provide a template for further exploration to discover what it was and is that has brought people to live in Glasgow from Eastern Europe, Italy, Hong Kong, the Punjab and other areas of the world. Active learning provides an excellent framework for children’s learning, and this project will engage children in working in groups, in pairs, as a class, or individually, and in a range of different and stimulating tasks. It easily covers a wide range of Stage 2 Learning Experiences and Outcomes over many curricular areas. Although the learning intentions may seem to be mainly based on Social studies and Language intentions, there are a range of activities from other areas of the curriculum within the material. Teachers will also be able to involve classes in experiences other than those selected here, as their children explore the history of the immigration from Donegal to Glasgow, and the events that still have an impact on the lives of Glasgow folk, and should never be forgotten. What about some Irish music/ dancing, for example?

The project will also take learners out of the classroom, not only physically, but, emotionally, and historically. It will bring Donegal into the classroom, in the form of voices, stories, pictures, maps, and people. It will give children a model for discussing the migration of other communities to ours, and an opportunity to focus on the responses and responsibilities of a welcoming society.

Using the project could not be simpler. • T  eachers will find the use of IWB invaluable, when groups (class group and smaller) can read, discuss and study ideas together, or follow instructions for a specific task. • Material can be downloaded and printed, if groups are to work on different tasks. • Individuals/pairs can research straight from the project website at any time • Children can prepare quotations for reading at home from photocopied sheets • Teachers can take account of CfE codes for Learning Experiences and Outcomes already identified, and the spreadsheet can be adapted and /or highlighted for forward planning purposes.

Glasgow Storytellers would like to thank Liam Stewart for researching and writing this inspiring document; Scott Wallace for excellent design and layout; and Morag Paul for curriculum links and invaluable suggestions.




MNU 2-07b

SOC 2-14a

There are many citizens of Glasgow who have Irish ancestry. 70% of them can trace it back to Donegal Donegal is one of the nine counties of the ancient Irish province of Ulster. The others are Cavan and Monaghan, which are part of modern Ireland, and the six counties (Antrim, Armagh, Derry, Down, Fermanagh and Tyrone) which form Northern Ireland.

FROM THE MIDDLE AGES TILL NOW • For many centuries, large parts of Ireland were conquered by its more powerful neighbour, England. From the sixteenth century, when Europe became a battleground between Catholic and Protestant Powers, Ireland attracted even more attention. • In 1603, the Scottish and English crowns were united under James VI. The United Kingdom was Protestant; Ireland remained a Catholic country. James wanted more control over the Irish to prevent them making alliances with France or Spain. Especially important was Ulster, a stronghold of Irish culture. • In the 1611 James authorised a new takeover in Ulster. Landowners, mostly from lowland Scotland, were encouraged to take over large parts of Ulster. They confiscated the land, evicted the local people and installed their own tenants from Scotland in the farms and crofts. • These invasions were known as the Ulster Plantations. Descendants of these Scottish settlers still form communities in several places in Northen Ireland, Notably in Eastern Donegal around the Laggan Valley. • There now existed in Ireland a bitter division between two groups of people, one Gaelicspeaking and Catholic, the other English speaking and Protestant.

SOC 2-06a • All over Ireland, landowners were English or under English domination. Under Oliver Cromwell, any who still resisted were ruthlessly crushed. In 1798, an Irish rebellion was put down, with much bloodshed. Then in 1801, the Irish Parliament was abolished and Ireland was ruled entirely from London. • Conquered Ireland never prospered. Unlike Scotland, Ireland was not allowed to trade with the English colonies and so build up its own industry. It remained rural and poor.

SOC 2-01a Digging Deeper FIND OUT MORE ABOUT

• • • •

The ancient Irish Provinces King James VI and the Ulster Plantations Wolfe Tone and the rebellion of 1798 The Partition of Ireland

• Ireland had lost its independence and in the United Kingdom, they weren’t allowed to vote or to hold public office or to attend university. Throughout the nineteenth century, all these things were fought for. • It came to war between England and Ireland, often a very brutal war, and finally in 1921, Ireland regained independence. But it was not the whole of Ireland. Part of Ulster, the six counties where Protestants were in greatest number, resisted the struggle for independence. They stood apart from independent Ireland and formed the part of the United Kingdom called Northern Ireland. • Throughout this history, and since, the connection between Ulster, especially Donegal, and Glasgow has been very strong.

SOC 2-03a



SOC 2-02a RME 2-01b


• Instead, he was sent into exile. As a penance, he had to convert as many people to Christianity as he had killed in battle.

Saint Columba

• In 563, he arrived in Iona and founded the monastery, which to this day, remains a place of pilgrimage. Iona became a centre for missionaries, many churches being founded by its monks.

(Colum Cille, dove of the church) By the time Columba made his famous voyage from Ireland to Iona in 563, it is said that an area of Scotland was already settled by Irish people. They were known as the Scoti, and their territory, roughly modern Argyll, was called Dal Riata. Some people say the Scoti came across gradually for a century or more, and traded and settled. But the story goes that during the fifth century CE King Fergus Mor Mac Erc landed with an invading army and founded the kingdom of Dal Riata. • Columba was born in Gartan, Donegal in 521, of royal descent, the great, great grandson of Niall of the Nine Hostages. • He studied at Clonard Abbey, a great centre of Christian learning and became a monk and was ordained as a priest. Columba became one of the famous Twelve Apostles of Clonard. • It is said that in Ireland he founded several monasteries, which at the time, as well as being places of learning, were also the centres where the beautiful Celtic illuminated manuscripts were produced. • Columba means ‘peace’, but back home in Ireland, Columba was known for his hot temper. After being involved in a battle in which the son of King Diarmit was killed, he was nearly excommunicated from the church.

• Columba himself is said to have travelled to Inverness, the heart of the Pictish kingdom, in a mission to convert King Bridei to Christianity. • On his way to Inverness, legend says he encountered a monster which dwelt in a Scottish loch. • While in Iona, he still got involved in politics. He used his influence to have Aidan, his favoured candidate, crowned King of Dal Riata. • Columba died in Iona in 597 – one Donegal traveller who never went home.



OTHER PEOPLE IN SCOTLAND In the century before Columba arrived in Iona, the peoples in modern Scotland, England, and Wales were: The Picts - The Britons - The Scots. Just leaving were The Romans. Just arriving on the East coast were Germanic tribes, The Jutes, Angles and Saxons – for short, The Anglo-Saxons The Romans had occupied the land of the Britons for three hundred years, but had never managed to conquer the Picts. By 400, trouble was springing up everywhere in the Roman Empire. In Britannia, to the North of Hadrian’s Wall, now it wasn’t just the Picts who gave the Romans nightmares. The Scoti were sailing in from Ireland. In 410-415, the Romans abandoned Britannia, never to return. The Britons had gained their freedom. But now the island had new occupiers: the Scots to the North and, invading from the south and east, The AngloSaxons.




THINGS TO DO THE JOURNEY TO INVERNESS Diary Individual Imagine Columba and his companions have reached Balbeg on the shores of Loch Ness, half way up the Great Glen to Inverness. They are all knackered and so are the donkeys. Before the hike across Scotland, they had to row Iona to Mull, walk across Mull and then row to Oban It has already taken them 12 days. Imagine Columba writes up his diary (or his blog if it had been invented) that night, summing up the journey so far. Write in an ordinary, conversational way. What has it felt like? The forests and rough country .... the up and down tracks .... the weather .... the midges .... making camp at night .... the cold .... the loads they are carrying .... the parts of their body that are suffering .... the state of their shoes and clothes .... What have they seen and heard and smelt? Picts in the trees? .... animals? (some big ones, some wild ones) .... smoke .... What food are they living on? What have they brought with them? .... what food and drink are they finding on the way? .... how easy is it to cook? What is he thinking about? What is his mood? Are they going the right way ? .... should he keep going? .... fear? .... of what ? .... hopes?.... his worries about the others? .... Is he a good leader?

LIT 2-25a And maybe, if you like, he is writing after he had this experience – ON another occasion also, when the blessed man was living for some days in the province of the Picts, he was obliged to cross the river Nesa (the Ness); and when he reached the bank of the river, he saw some of the inhabitants burying an unfortunate man, who, according to the account of those who were burying him, was a short time before seized, as he was swimming, and bitten most severely by a monster that lived in the water; his wretched body was, though too late, taken out with a hook, by those who came to his assistance in a boat. The blessed man, on hearing this, was so far from being dismayed, that he directed one of his companions to swim over and row across the coble that was moored at the farther bank. And Lugne Mocumin hearing the command of the excellent man, obeyed without the least delay, taking off all his clothes, except his tunic, and leaping into the water. But the monster, which, so far from being satiated, was only roused for more prey, was lying at the bottom of the stream, and when it felt the water disturbed above by the man swimming, suddenly rushed out, and, giving an awful roar, darted after him, with its mouth wide open, as the man swam in the middle of the stream.

Then the blessed man observing this, raised his holy hand, while all the rest, brethren as well as strangers, were stupefied with terror, and, invoking the name of God, formed the saving sign of the cross in the air, and commanded the ferocious monster, saying, ‘Thou shalt go no further, nor touch the man; go back with all speed.’ Then at the voice of the saint, the monster was terrified, and fled more quickly than if it had been pulled back with ropes, though it had just got so near to Lugne, as he swam, that there was not more than the length of a spear-staff between the man and the beast. Then the brethren seeing that the monster had gone back, and that their comrade Lugne returned to them in the boat safe and sound, were struck with admiration, and gave glory to God in the blessed man. And even the barbarous heathens, who were present, were forced by the greatness of this miracle, which they themselves had seen, to magnify the God of the Christians. (Life of St Columba by Adamnan)



COLUMBA MEETS BRIDEI Role Play Groups of four Four Characters: Columba, Fergus (another monk), King Bridei, Queen Gruoch Spend some time talking over the scenes before starting the role play. The three scenes are for improvising. Just be the characters and say what comes to your mind.

LIT 2-02a LIT 2-07a • S  CENE 1 Columbus and Fergus arrive at the palace worn out after their journey. While they are waiting to see King Bridei, they try to agree what they will say to try to convert him. Bridei is a Polytheist. He believes in a lot of different gods. What can they say they think is wrong with that? What can they say is good about having one God. And why the Christian God? Remember, Columba might be willing to use any argument he can come up with – he’s got to achieve a certain number of conversions. But Fergus might not be so sure.

• S  CENE 2 Bridei and Queen Gruoch are having a discussion before they meet Columba and Fergus. Imagine Gruoch is quite open to new idea. She quite liked the last Christian missionary – the one who came from the Britons. But Bridei likes having all his different gods. He goes over his arguments. But ... he knows that the Picts could end up being the last non-Christians. Maybe he thinks the Scots would be good allies –especially if the Romans came back again. Maybe Bridei has heard that Columba was no angel when he was back in Ireland. • S  CENE 3 The meeting between the four people. Let it go any way you want. Maybe Bridei tries to persuade Columba and Fergus to take up Poly theism. Maybe Columba and Fergus react differently. Maybe Bridei and his wife have a disagreement in the middle of the argument. Let the sceneend whatever way you want.


3 Apart from Gaelic, what other language might Columba have spoken?


A Spanish, because he was related to Christopher


1 Why were these Gaels called the Scoti ? A The Picts gave them this name because Scott

seemed to be a common name among them, just like Jimmy later among Glaswegians. B Because their royal family had wee dogs they used for rat catching, and they called these dogs Scotties. C The Britons gave them this name because the area where they established their kingdom was dense with trees called scots pines. D It’s the name the Romans used. It seems to have meant ‘raiders’ or ‘pirates’.

2 How do we have all our information about Columba? A Before King Diarmit’s son was killed in the

battle, he was Columba’s friend, and he wrote the story of his life. B Recent excavation round his grave has uncovered an old cassette recording made by Columba and his disciples. It is the only recording we have of Columba’s voice. C A Life of St Columba was written by Adamnan (627 -702), the eighth abbot of Iona. D It comes to people in their dreams after they visit Iona.

Columbus who sailed from Spain in 1492 and discovered America. B Glaswegian, because Glasgow was the nearest big town to Iona. C Latin, because that was the language of the church. D Swahili, because that is an African language. Columba was a missionary, and missionaries went to Africa.

4 Columba would have crossed from Iona to Mull and then, to get to the Oban area, he would have gone – A In a boat with oars and sails B On horseback C By paddle steamer D By private jet 5 Which of these early Christians is also associated with the West of Scotland and is said to have met St Columba? A St Valentine B St Mungo C St Joan of Arc D St Francis of Assisi



History or legend? Extension work FIND OUT MORE ABOUT: the beautiful manuscripts produced in the old Irish monasteries and abbeys. For example, the famous Book of Kells. What is the connection with Iona? The island of Iona as it is today. How much of what is known about St Columba is real history, and how much we would call ‘legend?’

GO AND MAKE A LIFE FOR YOURSELF There is only a narrow strip of water separating Scotland from Donegal. For a long time, the favourite departure point for Donegal people was the town of Derry. If you set sail from Derry, the nearest big town to head for was Glasgow. Maybe that’s why the connection between this part of Ireland and the Clyde has lasted many centuries. Throughout the nineteenth century and into the twentieth century, workers came over from Donegal at harvest time to work on the big farms in the Scottish Lowlands. Small crofts with high rents back home simply couldn’t support whole families. During the terrible Irish potato famine in 1845, when a fungal infection wiped out an entire crop, Donegal was actually less badly affected than some other parts of Ireland. Nonetheless people faced starvation. Many Donegal people were among the folk who crowded on to the boats that headed for Glasgow. But it was the seasonal harvest work which became a way of life. Money could be made to send home to the family, or to carry back at the end of the season. The upsurge in demand for food had begun with the Napoleonic wars and it continued as the population grew. So the Scottish farmers had the chance to produce bigger crops. And for that they needed a lot of workers, especially at harvest time. In Scotland, crop cutting was called shearing. At first, the Donegal workers used sickles, which they carried with them on the Derry Boat at the start of each harvest. This movement continued into the twentieth century, but by then, there were other kinds of work. On the farms, there was more tattie (or tottie in Glaswegian) howkin and turnip lifting

than shearing. There was heavy manual work on the roads or in the mines or digging tunnels. For women, there was a variety of manual and factory work. Especially in farm work, the conditions were still very poor. By the 1950s, working conditions were getting better. And there was still demand for labour. People continued to come and work in a variety of factory jobs and on the Glasgow buses and trams. By now some had relatives living in Glasgow. Some more made Glasgow their home. But some continued to go back and forward between the two countries, or to work in Glasgow for a few years and then return to Donegal. In my time there were many people living on Gabhla. There were 200 people living on the island, and there were two teachers, who spoke Irish. I left school when I was fourteen, and did housework. There was plenty of fish on the island, and plenty of seafood. You could make a dinner of it – the clams, and dogfish – and there was plenty of potatoes, and vegetables. There wasn’t much money but you had your own milk and turf - no coal, and not much money. We used to cut turf and take it home with the donkey ... My mother died, that’s why I was running the house, I was fourteen years old, there was seven in the family. Nelly was the eldest, so she went to America, there was no work at all on the island for girls. The men went out fishing. There were three girls, I was the youngest, so when people were 16, they went away to find work. So when I was 16, I went over to Glasgow. Because my sisters were in Glasgow, living in the Southside, so that was where I wanted to go. Hannah McElhone

We had a good enough life, but we were busy. At home, before I came here, we used to take in a lot of lodgers in Rann na Feairste, me and my mother looked after them. I had two sisters, but they were at the factory in Croithlí, and we looked after the lodgers, up to 14 people stopping with us. At that time there was no water or anything, we had dry toilets, you had to get up in the morning and clean them all out, and bring water from the pump, and prepare for dinner, and lift potatoes for the next day, for mash - we had two cows and a goat, we had to look after them. We had no free time. We had to work to keep it going. My father died when I was kind of young, so we had to keep going. Padraig OGallchoir,

I came over here when I was 11 years of age with my family. My father was working here and my mother was at home herself in Gweedore, with the children. There was no work at home. My father was working here and my mother at home. My poor mother had all the work round the house to do. We were all young and there wasn’t much food about, it was during the war. Rose McGeady

My earliest recollections of Donegal are probably of when I was about three years old and that was goin to my grandmother’s home in Gweedore. It was a one-roomed cottage – thatched roof, peat fire, black pot, candlelight, rain coming in the door, smoke coming down the chimney, a sort of constant battle between either being soaked to death on the doorstep or smoked to death inside. It was like going into a different world. George Jackson, (from The Complete Odyssey ed Billy Kay)



My mum was from Gweedore, in the Gaeltachtd, right on the coast of Donegal. She was born in 1928, one of ten children of a poor family. Like most people living there had grown up with her father working away and then coming home – he came to Scotland and worked on the farms. So when she and her brothers got to the age of sixteen they were just encouraged to go off and earn money. They were encouraged to go and make a life for themselves, because there was nothing there except the land and, when you have ten children, there’s not enough to give them a piece of land, so they have to go. There was one factory in the area called the Crolly Doll factory - a wee village called Crolly (Croithlí) and they made these dolls, world famous dolls. And my mum worked in that factory for a couple of years. Lorraine McIntosh,

I remember it well, going half a mile up to the main road, 1956 I think, then in the morning going on the bus to Derry and coming over on the boat from Derry to Glasgow - it took about 12 hours. It would go between 5 and 6 in the afternoon, and it would be in Glasgow about 7 the next morning. Fearagail Mac Suibhne

I remember the master sending me up to wood near the school in Cashelgor. I had to cut a stick with which to beat the children. We also had to take a sod of turf to the school with us. The turf wasn’t to heat the classroom it was to heat the masters room. Jilie Mullaney

Many’s the time I travelled on the boat going back to Glasgow, on a cattle boat, and they called that part of the boat ‘Steerage’ ... I suppose now they’d call it second class. But the boats were always crowded in these days, as the man says, ye jist hid tae kip down where ye could. And there was always that smell of cattle on the boats. They used to clean them out right enough, hose them down inside, but there was always that smell of cattle about, and this would maybe make you sick, more than the sea waves. It got pretty packed at times, pretty rough, the water used to come in through the sides of the boat when they used to open the doors, to put the gangway up. If there was a heavy sea, the water used to bash in through the open doors – the place was pretty wet inside, you know. It was pretty rough, the cattle used to get sick – used to make a lot of noise, ye know. But the people used to be kept separate as much as they could, ye know, but you could hear them all night. I used to get sick myself and be walking about for two or three days, thinking I was still on the boat, ye know. Mr Kearney, Derry Boat (from The Complete Odyssey ed Billy Kay)

The Derry Boat TG4 by Kate Heany The stories of ten Donegal women who went ‘over by’ to Glasgow to earn a living in the 1940s to 1960s. This is a newspaper article describing a TV programme screened in 2007. Click on: DN/free/313827968342152.php

THE OLD PLACES Maps Pairs Skim read through the stories of the Donegal folk, including the article from the Dublin News. Make a note of all the place names they mention. Then go to Google and see if you can locate them on the map. Create your own Donegal map with these places included.

SOC 2-14a TCH 2-03a



THE SPECIAL CONNECTION Poster Individual Start by printing off a blank map of Britain and Ireland. Click on: resource/view.php?id=177 Mark in Glasgow and Iona. Iona’s not on this blank map. You’ll have to draw a tiny circle just off the South West tip of Mull Write in the names Glasgow, Donegal and Iona Draw a circle over the West of Scotland. The centre should be half way between Iona and Glasgow, and the circle should be just big enough to include Iona and Glasgow. Draw a wide two-sided arrow from Donegal to the edge of the circle. Now think of the best way to represent all the big movements of people between Donegal and the West of Scotland. Perhaps by drawing out spider legs from the arrow, with a box at the end of each. In each box you put the date and no more than 10 words of explanation. You should have one box for each of these dates:

400 (about)








SOC 2-02a

Matching Pairs Match these newcomers to Scotland over the last 1600 years with their descriptions.


looking for work in building trade

Xian Chang (19) from China 2009

driven to Scotland from hunger

Donald MacGregor (56) from Boston,USA

became nurse in N. H.S

Patrick O’Donnell (28) from Donegal, 1890

student who wants to learn English

King Fergus Mor Mac Erc

asylum seeker (looking for protection)

Congolese woman, from D.R. Congo 2001


Pavel Rutkowsky (34) from Poland 2007

leader of invading army

Fatima Malik, Pakistan, 1950s

seasonal harvest worker

O’Carrol family Ireland 1845

returning home for twilight years


WHY ARE YOU LEAVING ? Draw Work in pairs Imagine it’s 1946 and you have just turned sixteen. You have travelled from Donegal to Derry and are waiting for the boat to take you over to Glasgow where you hope you will find work and make some money. While you are waiting, a rich visitor from America appears on the dock and tries to speak to you. Unfortunately he doesn’t speak any Gaelic and you don’t speak any English. But you gather that he wants to know why you are leaving. You try to explain by using mime, but he’s no good at that. So you get some notepaper from him and draw the explanation. Use simple drawings (but, of course, no words) and signs like arrows and crosses. Take at least six things from all the bits of stories you can read here – things that mean you have to leave, e.g. • • • • • • •

small farm big family smoky house water pump outside candles no work one factory


In some places the tattie howkers were locked into the barn at night, a practice which resulted in the appalling tragedy at Kirkintilloch in 1937. There, ten people were burned to death, unable to escape when their sleeping quarters caught fire.

I was working as a waitress. You had to wear the big uniform with clean cuffs. I was there a couple of years, then the war came and you got called up. I went to Birmingham. I was in Glasgow in ‘41 when the air raids were on – the bombing of Clydebank. We were in a shelter, listening to the bombers. After that I was in Birmingham... it was worse there! But you kept going, you took it in your stride. I didn’t like the work in Birmingham. I was making pieces for tanks, you know, war work... and you couldn’t leave it. But after a year, I got a release - a Scottish doctor, he heard that I’d come from Glasgow, he thought I was from Glasgow... well, he let me go anyway. So I went on the tramcars – a conductress. I did 4 years. “Fares please!” You’d work shifts. Sometimes weekends. There were three shifts really - an early shift at You had to leave at three, because you had to walk to the depot. There was an afternoon shift at two, and later than that, another shift. There was an all-night car too.

(from The Complete Odyssey ed Billy Kay)

Helen mcElhone

The first job I had was cutting hair! I spent a year at that, and then I spent 3 or 4 years working outside, then I went to Singer’s, where they made sewing machines. I stayed there 7 years, then worked outside again. I spent a while working in Yemen and Africa too.

I was working in a slipper factory in Eglinton Street, I got married and I kept on working. I worked in a meat factory and in a factory making skirts and blouses. Then I was on the buses and in the schools.

Here are some things people have said about the work the Donegal people found in Scotland over the years: The original shearers had sickle hooks and they carried them with them from Ireland. Later, they had the scythes and - there were three in a squad - one cutting, one lifting and binding and the other stooking.

Patrick Roarty (from The Complete Odyssey ed Billy Kay)

Rose McGeady

Fearagail Mc Suibhne

I went to work in Killin in Perthshire. I worked there for a year, until I was injured and sent home. Then I came back, that’s how it went. I worked in Killin, and I worked in Inverary, and I worked in Lochawe, people from Rann na Feairste always with me. We were tunnelling, boring and cutting through the hills . When I came down to Glasgow the work was harder, not much was said unless you were doing something wrong. Padraig O’Gallchoir

When I came here first I got work in a big house. The people were very good and nice, there were only two of them in it. I had to get up every morning, I started my work at 8am, I had to do housework, dusting and things like that. When I was at home, I never lit a fire - you know, from the very start. When we were going to bed at night, we used to rake the fire, that was to put turf under the cinders and put the ashes round about then, when you got up the next morning the cinders were red - you had nothing to do but put the cinders standing and you had a fire, you

had no bother with it. So I had never set and lit a fire from scratch, I wasn’t used to it. I was well used to working with turf, footing it and turning it as there was plenty turf in Sleeghan where our home was. Mary O’Donnell

I was usually working underground because the money was better. I’d have preferred to be a carpenter but the money was better in mining. I worked in Chicago, Wales, the south of England. I was working here for about 20 years and then I had an accident, I was electrocuted by an electric cable ... 10,000 volts. I was with the Gas Board, laying pipes. The jackhammer went in a cable and 40% of my body was burnt. 13 weeks in the hospital and another 8 or 9 times to get things like skin grafts ... I’m alive! I was in the Burns Unit of the Western Infirmary and when I was there, a tunnelling accident happened. Those guys weren’t s lucky as I was. Three of them were killed, two the first day and another one after eight or ten days. He died on the first day of Christmas. Micheál Mc Suibhne 1950s

And read The Derry Boat TG4 by Kate Heany The stories of ten Donegal women who went ‘over by’ to Glasgow to earn a living in the 1940s to 1960s. This is a newspaper article describing a TV programme screened in 2007. Click on: DN/free/313827968342152.php



A JOB I FANCY/ DON’T FANCY Discuss Group In your group, make a list of all the jobs that are mentioned. Each person have a copy of the list and then, before you start the discussion, mark the jobs you would least like to do, and the ones you think would be best – or at least O.K. In the group, discuss why you made these choices. Notice that war work is mentioned. During World War Two, women often did work that men usually did. Now see what the group think of as many of these questions as you can deal with Do we work just to make money? Is it true to say that all jobs can be pleasurable? Should everybody get paid holidays? Should people be paid more for unpleasant work? Would it be good to be a casual/ seasonal worker or would it be better to have a permanent job? Would you be willing to travel to do seasonal work? What do you think is bad/ good about shift work? Is there such a thing as men’s work and women’s work? Do you think it was easier for men or women in the 1950s?


Each group choose one of these questions and put it into the form of a statement, for example: ‘Men should be paid higher wages than women.’

In debates, this is called a motion. The whole class should now vote which group’s motion they think would be best for a debate. Once this has been done, you have to decide whether you agree with the motion or not. Then you write down the points you think you can make to support your case. Then the class holds the debate. There should be a chairperson who controls the debate. You have to raise your hand when you want to speak, so that the chairperson can give you permission. You only speak once, so string all your points together. The chairman also ensures both sides of the argument are heard. You cannot interrupt when somebody else is speaking, or ask them questions. At the end, the chairperson calls a vote, and, when the count is taken, he/she announces whether the motion has been carried or defeated.

LIT 2-06a

SOC 2-16b



REMEMBERING Poem Individual Try this way of writing a ten line poem. Here are the rules: • It’s not a rhyming poem • The lines can have different numbers of words in them, but no more than seven. • A sentence can end at the end of a line, or run over into the next line. • You must use these ten words, in any order, but only one of them in each line: cattle, wave, stench, darkness, pressed, drag, factory, kitchen, boots, fire.

ENG 2-31a

MIGRANT WORKERS FIND OUT MORE There are many thousands of migrant workers in the modern world. These are the people who travel from other countries looking for ways of earning a living. Sometimes employers bring them in to do the kind of work other people don’t want to do. Often, their wages are very low, and their working conditions very bad. And sometimes, just as with the Kirkintilloch tattie howkers in 1937, there are tragedies. One example is the tragedy of the cockle workers in Morecambe Bay in 2004. Find out what caused this tragedy.

SOC 2-16b



OVER BY IN GLASGOW The Irish in Glasgow. Click on this youtube connection and hear some Donegal residents talking about their days in Glasgow before they returned home. watch?v=iqd2szfjXcI

TCH 2-03a The people who came to Glasgow from Donegal in the early twentieth century settled in the poorer tenement districts of the city. Gorbals, in particular, was a big Irish Community. After the second world war, Donegal people arriving in Gorbals would have felt very much at home. Here are some people looking back to the 1950s and before.

SOC 2-01a It was a Donegal community and is still ye know, although they’re scattered more out at all the housing schemes. But it, it was a good community. Well, on a Saturday night you might go down about the Gorbals. Ye might just fall out about something and ye would see a wee fight and that was that. But, for the rest of it, they were all good people ... Con Greene (from The Complete Odyssey ed Billy Kay)

The old tenements - they didn’t look too good on the outside, but when you walked into the houses, they all had lovely houses, and in these days there was no hot and cold water - no baths, but everything was nice, you know, inside. Mrs McGarvey (from The Complete Odyssey ed Billy Kay)

We had so many neighbours and friends who were here, that coming into Glasgow, especially the parishes of St John’s and St Francis’ in the south side, and St Luke’s, was like coming home because there was a strong Gaeltacht in Glasgow in 1950 when I came here. Patrick Roarty (from The Complete Odyssey ed Billy Kay)

There was a big difference between Glasgow and the place we were raised – a little farm in the Rosses. I was in Letterkenny or Derry once or twice before that, but not in a city like this, with industry and such things going on, and trams... there was a big difference. But we got used to it, and I’m here over 60 years, and I’m happy enough with everything! We had a room and kitchen, at first anyway, many people raised big families in the likes in cities like this. There were many who didn’t even have a kitchen, ‘single ends’ those were called, and families were raised there too. First we got a sub-let and we moved a couple of times and then we got our own house... we were here in the Gorbals for a while, and up in Townhead. There were loads of Irish folk in the area at that time, it was like home from home! There were loads of people from the Rosses, and Gaoth Dobhair and Chloch Cheann Fhaoilidh around this district. I was lucky to get into the Irish activities that were going on here. The first thing I took part in was an Fáinne. It was close to here in South Portland Street. It was the first Irish thing I took part in. I met nice people there, who spoke Irish well, and so forth. As you’d be walking down the street, you’d hear people speaking Irish ... Irish Culture was very strong then. There was a lot going on, sometimes there’d be five ceilidhs on a Sunday night here in Glasgow, and a band for each one. Most of the musicians were Irish, but there were people raised here playing Irish music too. I got into the Gaelic and Irish activities that were going on. There was good feeling between the Irish and Scottish Gaels at that time. There would be concerts and so on with the two groups.

I had a good enough life, speaking for myself, I had many friends here. Fearagail Mac Suibhne.

Well there was another woman, from the Rosses, she was the driver - because we could go to the ‘School for Driving’. She asked me to put my name down for driving, but I said no - Annie was a ‘spare’ driver. She always spoke Gaelic, no matter where she was. One time in the summer when my steady driver was off, Annie was my driver. She’d be shouting out to me in Gaelic, “Where are you going tonight? Are you going dancing?” I had to go upstairs, because I couldn’t stop laughing. It didn’t matter who was there, she’d talk to me in Irish! But we worked hard, because everybody used the trams. In the morning there’d be a queue from here to across the street. Many of the young men went home when the war started, but there were dances in Errol Street - at that time the pubs shut at half past nine, and the dances were done by 11pm. They were fun. There were dances in the city centre, dances with the big bands, like Joe Loss in the big halls. We went to the smaller halls because it was dear up in town. The only problem was that there was no light in the streets, there was a blackout.

Helen McElhone

I came to Glasgow then and I was staying in a room. There was no water in the room but I had a bucket for water. There wasn’t much else - there was a room with a bed and a gas ring, there was no cooker. I got married then and we only had a room. We went to the Barras searching for furniture. Times were hard but you soon forgot about them. Jilie Mullaney

OLD TENEMENT HOUSE Dream Story Individual Before you try this one, it would be good if you visited The Peoples’ Palace in Glasgow Green. You can see an example of an old Glasgow single-end, just like the kind people are talking about in old Gorbals. Some people were lucky enough to have a room and kitchen, but single-roomed houses were still around in the 1950s and even later. Imagine you’re the age you are now, but it’s 1949, and you’re in your single-roomed house in Gorbals. It’s a winter’s evening and your mum and dad aren’t home yet. It’s just you and your wee brother, and he’s asleep on the bed. Write down everything you’re aware of in that room. Try to describe all these things using words to do with sight, sound, smell, touch – and taste. Now you fall asleep. And your grandson/ granddaughter from 2009 appears to you in a dream. He/she transports you to their house one winter evening in 2009. They show you everything in the house – it’s got three bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen, a bathroom - and try to explain the things you don’t understand. Write down all the things you can see, hear, touch, smell, taste (eat) that are new to you. Is anything not there that you think should be? Then you are transported back and you wake up. Write down what you’re glad about in your own house compared to the one in the future. And also write down anything you think would be good – even though you might think it will never be possible.

SOC 2-04a ENG 2-30a



DO YOU REMEMBER? Interview Class or Group Can you make contact with somebody from another country who has been in Glasgow for thirty years or more? Perhaps somebody from Pakistan or Italy or China – someone who came here to work and has stayed. If you can, and if they would be willing to be interviewed, you could prepare for the interview this way: Make a list of all the good things and all the bad things mentioned by the Donegal people when they first came to the city. Prepare a list of questions in your groups. Then try to find out from your new interviewee what was similar for them, and what was different.

LIT 2-07a

A BIG DIFFERENCE Free Writing Individual Imagine the Donegal you’ve just left – a farm by the sea. Remember a summers’ evening when you used to walk along the shore. What did you see? Think of some details close to you as well as the distant views. What did you hear? Off shore/ on shore/close to you/ far away. Who did you see? What creatures? What did you feel? What about the weather? Beneath your feet? What were the smells? - from sea? from shore? from land? What could you touch? Imagine walking along your street in a summer afternoon in Gorbals in 1949. You are going for bread. Imagine what you could have seen as you pass the closes and occasional shop - the street lights, children playing, people on pavement, at windows, on road. Any animals? What can you hear? The voices? The languages? What can you smell? What can you touch? Try to get close details. Now write something that’s got two sections one about Donegal, one about Gorbals. It can be a poem, or a description, or just your thoughts.

ENG 2-31a




LIT 2-06a

LIT 2-08a


Adam McNaughtan wrote another song with a verse that goes:


Oh they’re tearin doon the building next to oors, And they’re sendin us to greenbelts trees and flooers, But we do not want to go, and we daily tell them so, While they’re tearin doon the building next to oors.

In the youtube film, the Donegal man remembers Gorbals as a place where you could leave your door open. The commentator at the end sees it as sad that the old tenement communities were pulled down when the housing schemes were built. Adam Macnaughtan, Glasgow poet and songwriter, has written songs about the Glasgow that began to disappear in the 1950s. You can hear one of the best known, Where is the Glasgow that I used to know? on youtube at: watch?v=YSQt37Q1Ins. Listen to what the song says is good about the old Glasgow (maybe the writer in thinking about the period just after the second world war – your grandparents’ time). Notice also what the streets are like at that time. Another songwriter wrote what he considered to be a reply to Adam McNaughtan’s song – things like there were only toilets on the stair, the houses were in bad condition and so on.

Maybe this is a later one, perhaps from the 1960s when some people began to realise maybe some things about the schemes weren’t as good as people first thought. So they wanted to stay in their old tenement. Imagine you were told that the building you live in has to come down. The Council calls a meeting to hear people’s views. You decide to go to the meeting and speak out against it. Make a note of all the things you like about where you are and why you don’t think you should be forced to move, and all the things you don’t fancy about the new plans. Then write out your speech as you’re going to say it at the meeting. It has to be quite forceful, because you want to convince other people. Or imagine you’re somebody who wants the old building knocked down. Prepare your speech in the same way. Make a note of all the bad things you think have to be said and how you think it’ll be good when you get to the new place. Then write out your speech – and make it forceful. Now read your speech to the group or the class.

TRADITIONAL STORIES Donegal is full of stories and storytellers. You can call their stories Traditional Stories or Folk tales or Fairy Tales or Tall Tales or maybe just Old Stories. The idea is to tell the story to a live audience, as people sitting round a fire have done for hundreds of years. There are many different kinds, some funny, some sad and some just a bit too gruesome to tell to your wee brother or sister!

ENG 2-03a



The Plaisham Making a play Group The first thing you have to do is listen to or read The Plaisham from Donegal Fairy Stories, told by Seumas MacManus. You can find it at: http:// manus&book=donegal&story=plaisham It has a very dark start, hasn’t it? Could be a murder story! Notice that there is a lot of this story that is talk, for instance the sharp, witty talk between Rory and Nancy. These bits of a story are called dialogue. There are other parts where somebody is actually telling us the story. These bits are called narrative. Can you see that the story is also told as if it’s a Donegal person talking? Rory is a ‘young streel of a fellow.’ Nancy calls Shamus ‘an ould crature’ The storyteller says things like: ‘so he up and says to Nancy ...’

Make a note of other examples of Donegal talk.

EXA 2-14a You need to be in groups of five, one for each of the parts: Nancy, Rory, Shamus, The Wee Red Man (or Woman) and the Prince (or Princess). Now you have to think of the story as a play. So, the important parts are all the parts where there is dialogue. You can miss out the narrative bits. Each section of dialogue is a scene. First of all, make a list, numbering all the scenes in the story and giving them a title. You would have something like: SCENE 1 The plot to get rid of Shamus, SCENE 2 Nancy visits the Prince, and so on. You’ll end up with quite a long list of scenes, so, it’s a long project to make a play of the whole story! Start with one scene ... and see how far you can go. First of all, in your groups, come up with ideas to make it into a modern,realistic story. The Plaisham uses Donegal kind of talk to make it witty and fastmoving. You use the language of modern Glasgow to do the same. Can you think of a way to get rid of the magic bits in the story? Or could you have some kind of magic that would work in a modern story? Who could the Prince be? Some local Mr Big? The person Shamus works for? What aboutThe Wee Red Man? Could he be some mysterious friend who turns up out of the blue? Somebody who’s got as much power as Mr Big? What about Shamus’s impossible tasks? Maybe, he’s a builder, but not superman – how could he build a house in a day? Or he’s just quite good at a lot of sports (snooker, tennis, darts and so on) - and they say he can beat anybody.

Now each group works out what happens in a scene. Then in your group, you practise acting it. You can change it and add new lines after your first attempt. If it works well, let the whole class see a performance. After that, you might decide to do a full length performance! Or, in groups or individually, write out the scenes as scripts.

SAME BUT DIFFERENT Storytelling Group/ Whole Class In your group, or in the whole class, somebody start by telling what they remember of the story ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’. The rest of the group or class listen and then add in the different details they might have heard when they were being told the story. Now, half of the groups go to: http://www. s&book=donegal&story=_contents And bring up the story, ‘The Bee, the Harp, the Mouse and the Bumclock.’ The other half go to: And choose: 5 ‘Jack and the Bean Tree’ The first story is from Donegal, the other from the Appalachian Mountains in America.

EXA 2-13a Each group has got to read, listen to, get to know just one of these stories. Then they have to practise telling it. Once you’ve got a good grasp of the main bits of the story, the group tells it to the whole class. You can do this by letting one person tell the story, with the rest prompting if the storyteller forgets some bits. Or somebody can start the story, tell a bit and then pass it on to the next person in the group. Some storytellers even add in their own new details! Of course, telling stories in your own natural accent is best. But, it might be fun to try ‘The Bee, the Harp, the Mouse and the Bumclock’ in a Donegal accent, and ‘Jack and the Bean Tree in an Appalachian Mountains accent – whatever you think that might sound like!



MORE OF THE SAME BUT DIFFERENT Thinking about Stories/Discussion Groups When you start to read traditional stories from different countries all around the world, you quickly realise that stories that are very similar keep coming up. In some cases, it is obviously just the same story with a few different details, as with the Jack stories, whether he climbed a beanstalk or a bean tree. Another example is seen in ‘The Mermaid’ from Donegal and ‘The Selkie’ (the seal) from Scotland. Noeleen Ní Cholla, a Donegal story teller and teacher of Gaelic, tells the outline of story of ‘The Mermaid’ and then she performs a song version. ‘The Mermaid’. The basic story is about a man

who hears a mermaid singing as he walks by the shore. When they see each other, they fall in love. The mermaid becomes an earthly woman so that she can marry him. They are happy and they have children, and all is well - until the children discover the secret: her mermaid’s tail (or in some versions a cloak) that was hidden in the attic. Once that happens, the woman has to become a mermaid again and return to the sea.

LIT 2-02a ‘The Selkie’. The man is walking along a lonely

shore one evening when he hears strange music and he sees people dancing in a circle. He knows these are seal people. He hides behind some rocks and creeps closer so to watch them. Suddenly, the music stops because the seal people smell the presence of a human being. They snatch up their sealskins from the rocks and run into the sea. All except one young woman, who can’t find hers. The man has it in his hand. Without her sealskin she can’t return to the sea, so she becomes his wife and they have children and she is happy. Then, one day, when the man and the children have gone away to spend a day at a fair, she finds the key to the chest where the man has hidden her sealskin. She is torn between the call of her people in the sea and her love for her children. Just as the man returns to the farmhouse, he hears music from the sea and he looks out and sees his seal wife swimming away from the shore. Discuss in your group: • What do you see as the main differences between the two stories? • Why must the mermaid return to the sea once her children find her secret? • Can you see any ‘meanings’ in these stories? • What feeling does each one leave you with?

Note ‘The Selkie’ is told in detail by Scottish writer George MacKay Brown in ‘Beside the Ocean of Time’ (pages 141 – 171). Another story, ‘The Seal King’ is told by George MacKay Brown in ‘The Two Fiddlers’ In this story, the lovers are an earthly woman and a seal man. This is the version of the story you usually hear in the song, ‘The Selkie Song’ which starts, ‘I am a man upon the land.’ This is a pair of stories which are obviously basically the same. If you search among other traditional stories, sometimes you find different kinds of similarities. Two stories might start the same way, but become different as they go on. Or they might work around the same idea. Or the main character might be the same kind of person. Sometimes you can find these very similar stories from different parts of the world. Here are another two to compare: ‘The Old Hag’s Long Leather Bag’ from Seamus MacManus’s ‘Donegal Fairy Tales.’ And ‘The Blue Rose’, an Algerian story from ‘Buffalo Horns’ (The Village Storytelling Centre) Discuss in your group: • What are the similarities between these two stories? Make a list. • Do stories travel across the world – and change on the way? • Do very similar stories come out of people’s heads in every country in the world?

SAD STORIES Noeleen Ní Cholla tells the sad story of the father whose son is drowned when they take different ways home (The First Tuesday of Autumn) and the gruesome/ scary story of the mackerel whose belly gives up bits of a dead man’s jumper. These are very sad stories! Stories about the sea and the losses people suffer when they live by the sea. And, then The Mermaid. Noeleen talks about changing the end of the Mermaid for young kids – just to make it a wee bit less sad. Of course, when some traditional stories were first being sung or told, in Donegal and elsewhere, they weren’t meant for children. Think about: Snow White. In the Disney cartoon, the wicked witch/ stepmother disappears after Snow White bites the apple. And then the Prince wakes her up and they get married and live happy ever after. But, in the old story told by the Grimm brothers, the stepmother turns up at the wedding! For her wickedness, she is made to dance in red-hot shoes until she falls over and dies.

Cinderella. Remember the ugly sisters trying to squeeze their big feet into the tiny glass slippers? In the old story, the first sister cuts off her toe to make the slipper fit. She is found out when she starts bleeding all over the carriage. The second sister tries the same thing, only this time it’s her heel she cuts off. Red Riding Hood. We all remember being told how Little Red Riding Hood is saved by the woodsman who kills the wicked wolf. But in the original version, told by Charles Perrault, the girl meets the wolf and gets false directions from him. He lies in wait and attacks her and eats her. And that’s the end. Would you tell any of these as bedtime stories ?



HAVE YOU GOT THE GAELIC? ‘Have you got the Gaelic?’ is what Irish people say rather than ‘Do you speak Gaelic?’ When referring to the Irish language, people pronounce ‘Gaelic’ as [Gailic], whereas, if it is Scottish Gaelic, the usual pronunciation is [Galic]. After Ireland became independent in 1923, the Irish government made a big effort to revive Gaelic. Certain places in the country were declared to be Gaeltacht areas . That meant they were areas where Gaelic was the main language. People from other areas of the country were encouraged to go there to improve their Gaelic. Sometimes they would lodge with local families for the whole summer so that they could be immersed in the language. Children got money for speaking it. It was usually in country areas, far from the cities, that Gaelic had managed to survive. West Donegal is one of the main Gaeltacht areas of Ireland. Gweedore is the largest Gaeltacht parish in Ireland. Irish Gaelic is a Celtic language. It is very closely related to Scottish Gaelic. First cousins to these two languages are the other Celtic languages Welsh, Manx, Cornish and Breton.

ENG 2-03a

The variety of Irish Gaelic spoken in Donegal is particularly like Scottish Gaelic. Many of the Donegal people who came to Glasgow in their teens spoke little English. A lot of them remember how good it was to hear their own language being spoken in Gorbals. But, as time went on, how easy was it to hold on to the old language? Some thought it important to pass Gaelic on to their children. Others seemed to think it would be better if English became their children’s first language. Just like all the other Celtic languages, Irish has been in retreat for centuries. The Gaeltacht areas contain only about 2.1% of the Irish population. Scottish Gaelic has even fewer speakers. Most live in the Western Isles. Worldwide, English is the powerful language. But some people are very keen to keep the language going. In Glasgow, The Celtic League (Conradh Na Gaeilge) run weekly Irish classes at four levels. Some of the people who attend are the sons and daughters of Donegal folk who came to Glasgow a generation ago.

ROOTS History is very complicated. Four hundred years ago Scottish settlers went to Donegal in the Ulster Plantations. They spoke the language of Lowland Scotland - what we call Broad Scots. This language has survived and now is part of the rich culture of Donegal. On its website, the East Donegal UlsterScots Association says: the next time you decide to holiday in Ireland why not consider the North West region and enjoy the tranquil beauty of the hills, valleys and coastline of Donegal where a yin hunnèr yin thoosan fair faa ye or céad míle fáilte awaits you When I came over, I lived in Townhead, there was a family there who only spoke Gaelic with their children, when they were out playing they shouted in Gaelic, and everyone else shouted in English. But they seemed to get on with everyone else. Padraig OGallchoir

My mum and Dad spoke Gaelic to each other and they spoke it to friends who were visiting from Donegal ... the odd time they would maybe throw in a phrase to us in Gaelic, but we were never expected to reply or to speak Gaelic. I think ... it was fine when they were behind closed doors or when they were in a safe environment, but outside the house they never spoke Gaelic. And we were never encouraged to speak it. We were able to understand it and when we went to Ireland, we were able to pick up what they were saying. But even in Ireland, no-one expected you to speak in Gaelic at all, not even a yes or a no or anything. It was very strange.

I would say that the Gaelic in Donegal is definitely weaker now. I mean we come to the Gaelic class every Friday night in the hope that when we go to Ireland we can use any skills we’ve picked up ... But no-one seems to want to speak it. Some places just don’t want the Gaelic spoken. So sometimes you can come back and you haven’t spoken any Gaelic at all, which is a real shame. I don’t know that I can tell you [why I want to learn Gaelic]. It’s just a feeling that I have that comes from my heart. There’s no expectation from anyone that I should be proficient in Gaelic, it’s just something I want to do ... It’s just something that is a personal interest and a personal passion of mine. I’m just sorry I left it so late. Grainne Cohen

Both my parents were from Donegal .... from a small croft in the Gaeltacht. They spoke nothing but Irish. When I came over, I didn’t have a word of English. But having said that, over there it was just the spoken word. I probably hadn’t seen much written Irish till I came to the classes here. Since coming to the class, I’ve learnt to read and write Gaelic – if I’ve got a dictionary beside me, because, there are words that I know how to say but I can’t spell them. The big problem I see is that the young ones over there are not interested in it. They tend to think of it as a paupers’ language. And to some extent that was true. If you speak to them now in Irish, they’ll answer you back in English. You’ll ask them the time in Irish and they’ll tell you it in English. And that’s a bit sad. Willie Boyle

My mum and her sisters all spoke Gaelic all the time, and my Gran’s English wasn’t that great I don’t think, but when we moved down to Ayrshire – Glasgow was full of Irish connections - there were very few Irish people. So my mum never spoke it in Cumnock because she had nobody to speak it to. Occasionally she would say wee things to us like ‘shut the door’, ‘sit down’, ‘good night’ and things like that ... but I don’t think she ever felt it was a language she should be teaching us, you know, that it would ever do us any good, not like French ... you’re going to be bilingual. I think she thought it was looked down on. Lorraine McIntosh

Click on connection to hear Noeleen Ní Cholla speaking in Gaelic as she introduces the DVD: An Tir ud Thoir



IRISH CONNECTIONS Find out about Pairs/ Groups • H  ow many people in the class have first or second names that are from Irish (or Scottish) Gaelic? Make a list of the names and see if you can find out how they would be spelt in Gaelic. Also, do they have a meaning in Gaelic? • Breton, Cornish, Irish Gaelic, Manx, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh. Can you put these Celtic languages in order in terms of the numbers of people who still speak them? Or, if the answer is none, which were spoken most recently spoken.

Keeping the Language Alive Discuss Groups • Would it be good if Ireland (and Scotland) had its own language? • What does it matter if your language dies out? – that’s the way it goes. Do you agree? • Why do you think so many people want to learn to speak Irish or Scottish gaelic? • Would you want to learn Irish or Scottish Gaelic? Why? • Should younger generation try to keep it alive? • Why from your study of history did it become a language that people thought of as a ‘paupers’ language? And the same for descendants of highland people here in Glasgow? • If you were given the chance to learn a language, would you choose a language from your heritage or a modern language? Why? • Is it good or bad that people should have different languages? Or is it best to let old languages die out?

ENG 2-03a



LANGUAGE CHART Display Group How many people in the class can speak another language? Or have other languages in their family, maybe spoken by their parents or grandparents. Starting with these, make a list of the languages spoken in Glasgow. Do some research. You should find quite a number. Try to find out how you say ‘welcome’ (céad míle fáilte in Irish) in as many of these languages as you can. Now design a wall chart to display this range of languages in a dramatic way.

SOC 2-16c

MY LANGUAGE? Interview Whole Class Try to make contact with two Glasgow residents whose first languages are not English, and who would be willing to come and speak to the class. If one could be a speaker of Irish, that would be particularly interesting. There are many other possibilities, e.g. Punjabi, Cantonese, Polish, Italian. Ask them some of the questions the class has already discussed, and perhaps to what extent they want to see their children continuing to speak the language. Speakers from African countries would be interesting, because many have at least three languages, e.g. English, French, Lingala (D.R.Congo). It would be interesting to explore their different attitudes to each of their languages. Which is their first language? How much do they still use that language? Which language is most important to them?

SOC 2-19a



COME TO DONEGAL Some Donegal people who came over in the 1950s got married and made their homes in Glasgow. Their sons and daughters, looking back on their childhoods, recall summer holidays spent with grandparents or aunts and uncles in country places and villages in Donegal. Click to watch interview with Lorraine McIntosh. People came to Glasgow because there was no work for them in Donegal. But what if their children, the people of the next generation, could go back to the land of their ancestors? Would they want to? Even if they had a nice house overlooking the sea? Here are some comments: “No. If I was retired, I would spend more time there. I would never retire there, because there wouldn’t be enough for me as a person to do.” “The best I could do would probably be six months in the summer time. The long winter nights I don’t think I could hack it over there.” “Yes, next year, all being well, I’ll have a house overlooking the Atlantic ... the Isle of Saints.” “Not living there full time. Scotland is my home. I’m very proud of my Irish heritage. I love Ireland. But I’m Scottish. But I would like, maybe some day, to have a wee cottage there so I could keep a connection with the place.”

SOC 2-19a

BACK TO YOUR ROOTS Email Pairs Imagine you’ve grown up. You’ve got Donegal ancestors and so has the person you’re married to. Then you win a lot of money, and you both decide to spend most of it in building a huge house beside the village your grandparents lived in. It’s in the middle of beautiful countryside and it’s overlooking the sea. You keep enough money so that you can live comfortably for 5 years – and you’ve got plans to start to make more money before your capital runs out. About a year after you’ve been living in Donegal, you get an e-mail from an old pal asking how it’s going. Now, think yourself into that situation. Decide yourself, in your own imagination, what this place is like for you.

TCH 2-08a Then reply telling him it’s great/ pretty good/ ok/ not so good/ awful – whatever your imagination has come up with. Think of how you’ve felt in the new house, how you’re getting on with your neighbours (how many do you know?), how you spend your time, what you get from living by the sea, what you see developing in the future – everything you can think of. And ask him how old Glasgow is doing. Say what you’re glad you’re out of or what you miss most.

He replies saying that’s great/ interesting/ sad/ awful. He wants to know more about some of these mad/frightening/ boring/ sad/ interesting/ funny/ kind/ wonderful neighbours you have. You reply telling him some of the stories about people you have met. He replies: so you’re never coming back? / so I suppose you’ll be back to Glasgow pretty soon? You reply ...



GEOGRAPHY OF DONEGAL Quiz Pairs In pairs, find out, work out, or guess the answers to these questions

1. The county town (the main town) is called

Leitir Ceanainn in Gaelic. What is its name in English?

2. Along Donegal’s coast, there are a lot of loughs. What are these?

3. What are the names of the two biggest loughs? 4. Donegal’s landscape is rugged and hilly. It has two big mountain ranges. Find their names.

SOC 2-14a 7. Donegal’s climate is affected by the Gulf

Stream. So that means it has (a) Tropical summers and Arctic winters (b) mild, damp summers and mild, wet winters (c) hot, dry summers and cold, dry winters (d) the same weather all year

8. The size of the population in the 2006 was 147, 264. In 1841, it was (a) ten times this number (b) twice this number (c) the same (d) half this number.

9. Which one of these do you think is an important part of Donegal economy? (a) coalmining (b) winemaking (c) farming (d) shipbuilding

5. The River Erne has been dammed so that it can

10. Donegal rivers are great for anglers.

6. Donegal is bordered by these counties: Derry,

11. Donegal is famous for seafood. Which one of

produce (a) a huge swimming pool (b) hydro-electric power (c) a beautiful sight for visitors (d) a habitat for crocodiles.

Fermanagh, Leitrim, Tyrone. Which one of these is part of the Republic of Ireland?

A favourite river fish is (a) mackerel (b) salmon (c) haddock (d) shark

the following is not seafood? : whelks, razor fish, coriander, mussels, scallops, lobster, crab

12. Donegal has the highest sea cliffs in Europe. What are they called?

DREAM HOLIDAY Letter Individual/Pairs Tourism is very important in Donegal. The brochures tell you you’ll find: • • • • • • • • • • • • •

peace and quiet wonderful sandy beaches magnificent cliffs and mountains beautiful countryside river fishing and sea fishing golf, hill-walking, pony trekking traditional fiddle music Gaelic football interesting, friendly little towns famous old historical sites and abbeys good food (especially fish) a chance to hear the old language ... and more

Suppose somebody who lives in Gweeedore in Donegal likes the life there well enough, but would like to go somewhere else, just for a holiday. Could you convince them that, for someone living in that quiet, country area, the ideal place for a holiday would be a big city? And what big city better than Glasgow? Think first of all about the things you personally like about living in Glasgow. Then of things you think might be appealing to somebody coming from a quiet place in Donegal. Then perhaps you could find out more about some of the city’s major tourist attractions.

SOC 2-10a Then, suppose this person in Gweedore is your own age and you’re going to invite them to live in your part of the city for a couple of weeks. In fact, you’re going to invite them (once you’ve got permission!) to stay with you in your house! Make a list of all the things you think your visitor will enjoy – about Glasgow, about your part of Glasgow, and about all the things you can do together during the holiday. Now write a letter to the boy or girl in Gweedore, making the forthcoming holiday sound as exciting as you can.



DREAM HOLIDAY The previous activity could be developed to include other curricular areas, in particular Maths and ICT, as follows: A holiday, in your own country, with someone from a different place, can be really rewarding, and it’s fun showing someone all the places that you are proud of- or not so proud, sometimes!! It is interesting seeing your own home town through the eyes of a friend from another place, especially when it is so different, eg a rural area, compared to a city.

TCH 2-03a

Evening - What leisure activities would you share

MNU 2-09a

with your visitor? Remember, you can chose to spend time at home or meeting with friends. What about a special meal? Maybe if other people in the class are doing the same as you, you could plan ‘events’ together. Eg a leaving party! It might look like this:-

MNU 2-10a


TCH 2-03b

MNU 2-10c Task 1

Glasgow green - Hampden

MORNING 10.00am-12.noon People’s Palace and outdoor playground

Your friend is coming from Donegal. Work out an imaginary 5 day programme, showing them some of the sights in Glasgow, and experiencing some of the things that you enjoy as a Scottish young person.


Remember all the things you have learned doing this project. Write a list of places that would be related to the project. Use a Glasgow tourist guide to help you. Include places you have been and enjoyed.

6.00pm- 8.00pm Tea at Granny’s- she’s from Ireland!!

Make a table with the headings, Area, Morning, Afternoon, Evening, Transport, Costs

Area - choose an area of Glasgow to explore,

remembering that you could waste a lot of time travelling if you keep crossing the city every day!

Morning, Afternoon – Consider how long it

takes to do something, including your travel time. Put in times, remembering am and pm: or chose to use the 24hour clock.

1.00pm.- 4.00pm. Hampden Football Ground and Football museum


TRANSPORT No. 23 Bus car

COSTS Fare: Entry: Drinks: Flowers:

2.00 0.00 1.20 1.50

Task 2

Your table may look something like this:-

Task 3

Your friend is coming from Donegal and wants to see something of Scotland. Use the Visit Scotland website to find places of interest.


Make a table with the headings:-Region, Morning, Afternoon, Evening, Costs.


Region - Put in which region you will visit

09.10-10.05: Glasgow Queen street- Edinburgh Waverly 10.30-11.30: Climb Scott monument

You are from Donegal, and your Glasgow friend has been working on this project and wants to visit. Use the direction above (1 or 2) to chose a suitable travel plan to show him/her the places they have been learning about. You will need to contact the Irish tourist board. Maybe you could set up a little travel agency, with booklets, leaflets and information.

each day. Think about what your regions have to offer for your visitor

Morning - Your first morning will be your first

journey. Where do you want to go? You can travel as much or as little as you like but it must be by train, and you must put in all your train timesdepartures and arrivals.

Afternoon - try to see as much as you can in the area you are visiting, but it has to be do-able!

Evening - you will have to check in at your

accommodation. Maybe it’s best to use youth hostels- you will find them on the internet and they are quite cheap. The last evening you will be back home- what special night would you plan?

Costs - Put in all your travel and accommodation

costs. You can make a daily budget for food. Decide what it is to be. Budget for 2 children and 1 adult.




13.00-16.00: Edinburgh Castle

TASKS 1 and 2 are differentiated to include children with different abilities in Maths and ICT, and could be simplified even further to support the Learning outcomes expected for different groups/ individuals

EVENING 18.00: Check in at Haymarket Youth Hostel 19.00: Cinema

COSTS Travel: 18.50 Entrance: 21.00 Accom.: 16.50

Task 3 can be approached in exactly the same way as 1 and 2, and it may be interesting to pair the children as ’pen pals’, sharing their proposed journeys. Alternatively, children could work in pairs, supporting each other in the decision making of their journeys



MUSIC, SONG & DANCE Traditional Irish music and dance is alive and thriving in Glasgow. And Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (Gatherting of Irish Musicians) aim to see that its good health continues. Comhaltas is a worldwide organisation dedicated to supporting and celebrating Irish language and culture. Their first branch outside Ireland was founded in Glasgow in 1957. The Glasgow Irish Minstrels is still going strong. Now there is another Glasgow branch, St James the Great, in Pollok. The branches have formed bands which give concerts and travel to competitions throughout the U.K. and Ireland. Their doors are open to people of any age.

Comhaltas gives tuition in: • The Irish language • Irish set dancing • Traditional musical instruments including fiddle, mandolin, flute, tin whistle, drums, bodhran, banjo, accordion – and also, harp and uillean pipes. And the teaching is free!

DONEGAL MUSIC Donegal has always been a great place for traditional music. For two years in a row, Letterkenny hosted the all Ireland final of the Fleadh Cheoil (Fla Cyol) , the festival of music run by Comhaltas. There is an old proverb that says: in Donegal, there’s a fiddle in every house. The art of the fiddler was prized above all others. Duo fiddling was a particular accomplishment. Old Donegal music often used only the fiddle and the pipes. Another difference between Donegal and other areas was to do with the pipes. Throughout Ireland, the uillean pipes are very common. Uillean means elbow, and the pipes are so-called because the piper uses his elbow to squeeze a bellows. To play the uillean pipes, the piper is always seated. But, in Donegal, the traditional instrument was the piob mor – the great highland bagpipe, which is very similar to Scottish Highland bagpipes. It was played by a standing piper. In modern Donegal music, of course, these very old traditional instruments have been joined by all the newcomers - the flute, the tin whistle, accordion and all the rest. Donegal is also noted for the accomplishment of its traditional singers in the art of varying basic melodies. Listen to Mairéad Ní Mhaonaig of Donegal band Altan doing some tricky Irish fiddling

IRISH DANCE Dance! Whole class People who came to Glasgow in the 1950s talk about going to céilís in their leisure time. Céilís were social get togethers where they could dance or listen to Irish music or just meet people. In Scotland, the word is written as ceilidh. Originally, it was any social gathering. At The Village Storytelling Centre in Pollok, there is a monthly ceilidh. There is some music, but the main activity is storytelling. But for the folk who came from Donegal in the 1950s, ceilis were mainly dancing. A particular kind of dancing at traditional gatherings was the Set Dance. This is the type of dancing taught by Comhaltas. If you watch the clip, you’ll see some skilled set dancers in action. As you can see, it is usually a dance involving four people moving together and forming artistic patterns. watch?v=Vj13osgy2M0

Step Dancing is something different. It was made hugely popular some years ago by big spectacular shows like Riverdance. But it has a long tradition. So, just for fun, watch first: Q&feature=player_embedded Then, take a quick lesson by watching this one: Then everybody try it. Just for fun, mind! Nothing competitive. Have a laugh!




Here’s the pattern:

Collecting/ Writing

I remember the heather On top of the Ben. I’m longing to be there And walk down the glen.

Group Donegal, like other parts of Ireland, has a lot of sentimental songs attached to it. There are: The Hills of Donegal, The Homes of Donegal, Dear Old Donegal, etc. These are usually quite modern songs, made up by people outside Ireland. Mostly these songs just use the name Donegal. They could be about anywhere in Ireland. The words of these songs are usually something like: I wish I was home in D or I’m going Back to D or I’ve wandered all over but D is the best place in the world. Can the group think of any similar ‘Take me Back’ to Scotland (or a bit of Scotland) songs? Maybe about the hills or the heather or home sweet home. Could you make up a song (the words to begin with) about coming back to Glasgow? After, say, you’ve lived in sunny Spain for a couple of years and you’re homesick and now you’re coming back?

So, verse one could be: For this is my city And these are my folk The rain always hits you And gives you a soak. Well, not very good. You have to make lines two and four rhyme, and try to make the lines go with the same dum di dums (or nearly the same).

As a group, have a go at finishing these verses: Go down to the Barras, It’ll make you feel fine They’ll sell .......... ........................................ You need a rhyme for ‘fine!’ I love all the patter, The way people talk But sometimes ........ ..................................... You need a rhyme for ‘talk!’ Or, if that doesn’t give you a good line, change talk to speak. Or change the line to ‘The things people say’. There’s Celtic and Rangers They’re known the world o’er or I’m sure you’ll agree or Two fine football sides ................................................ ................................................ Choose the line that gives you the best choice of rhyme. Can you try a verse of your own?

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS We wish to thank the following people: Colm MacCathmhaoil, Irish Language and Development Worker at The Gaelic League (Conradh na Gaeilge) for permission to use material from their DVD, An Tir ud Thoir. Copies of the DVD, which includes extensive interviews in Gaelic (with sub-titles), can be obtained from: The Gaelic League, Govanhill Neighbourhood Centre, 6 – 8 Daisy Street, Glasgow G42 8JL. Email: Phone: 0141 433 9495 Noeleen Ní Cholla for interview material and the recording of ‘The Mermaid Song’. Billy Kay for permission to quote from The Complete Odyssey (Polygon), edited by Billy Kay. Brian Boyle, Willie Boyle, Grainne Cohen and Lorraine MacIntosh for kindly agreeing to be interviewed.

ANSWERS WHO CAME UP THE CLYDE ON A BIKE? QUIZ 1D 2C 3C 4A 5B WHO CAME FOR WHAT? MATCHING Columba Xian Chang Donald MacGregor Patrick O’Donnell King Fergus Congolese Woman Pavel Rutowsky Fatima Malik O’Carroll family

missionary student returning home seasonal harvest worker leader of invading army asylum seeker looking for work in the building trade became nurse in N.H.S. driven to Scotland from hunger

GEOGRAPHY OF DONEGAL QUIZ • • • • • • • • • • • •

Letterkenny Sea lochs or inlets Lough Swilly, Lough Foyle Derryveagh Mountains, Bluestack Mountains (b) Leitrim (b) (b) (c) (b) Coriander Slieve League Cliffs

Donegal and the West of Scotland  

Educational resource tracing the connection between Donegal and the West of Scotland