Unique collection celebrates island wildlife and folklore


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Unique collection celebrates island wildlife and folklore Unique collection celebrates island wildlife and folklore

A new, unique collection of folklore and flora was launched last week on the Aran Islands, celebrating the richness of the wild flora and of the local dialect of Inis Meáin.

The booklet, Pabhsaeir Inis Meáin was compiled by folklorist and writer Aedín Ní Thiarnaigh, following field work conducted on Inis Meáin which focused on the folklore and local names for many of the island’s wildflowers. The project was co-funded by Pleanáil Teanga Inis Meáin and the Galway County Council Biodiversity Office.

Named for the local word ‘pabhsaer’, used on Inis Meáin instead of the more commonly used Irish word ‘bláth’, the bilingual booklet contains never-before published local names for the island’s wildflowers, as well as stories and local traditions associated with them.

The publication, which contains information on 32 local wildflowers, is a free public resource, available at no charge from the Inis Meáin Language Planning Office. A digital version is available online on the Galway County Biodiversity Office website and via Pleanáil Teanga Inis Meáin’s social channels.

“The richness of language and flower lore on Inis Meáin simply cannot be found anywhere else in the world,” said Aedín Ní Thiarnaigh at the official launch at Ionad Pobail Inis Meáin.

“These traditions and names are unique to the island and it’s a source of immense pride for me that this living heritage will be protected and preserved for years to come. We are especially proud that the booklet is a free resource, available to all.”

Inis Meáin Language Planning Officer Eoghan Ó Domhnaill agreed.  “This project is very special to us as it records folklore and information unique to Pabhsaeir Inis Meáin, he said. “It is great to have this information on paper  and in a format which is suitable for everyone, young and old, to be able to learn something new about our rare and fascinating flora.”

Galway County Council Biodiversity Officer Rosina Joyce praised the project as embodying the type of holistic approach “needed to  tackle the  biodiversity crisis, as outlined in the National Biodiversity Action Plan”.

Pictured: Wildflower walk led by Aedín Ní Thiarnaigh on Inis Meáin at the launch of Pabhsaeir Inis Meáin.


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