Border country

    Spotlight Audio 13/2020
    Carrickmacross Castle
    © Stefan Pechou/

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    Transcript: Border Country

    In the Travel feature, you can enjoy the best of County Monaghan, which is right on the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. To find out more about the county, listen to the following text. As you listen, try to answer these questions: How are drumlins created? What is Monaghan native Patrick Kavanagh famous for? What is the nicknameSpitznamenickname of the town of Castleblayney?

    County Monaghan is one of Ireland’s best-kept secrets. That’s part of Monaghan’s charm, however, because the county offers an authentic sliceTeilslice of Irish ruralländlichrural life. Known for its countless drumlins — rounded hills created by the movement of glacierGletscherglaciers — the Monaghan country­side is broken up into small units that have been traditionally difficult to farm. Patrick Kavanagh (1904–67), one of Ireland’s greatest poets, was born near the village of Inishkeen. His works describe the challenges facing the poor farming communities of his time. Listen to this from one of Kavanagh’s most famous poems “The Great Hunger”:

    clayLehm, ErdeClay is the word and clay is the flesh
    Where the potato-gathererKartoffelklauber(in)potato-gatherers like mechanised scarecrowVogelscheuchescarecrows move
    Along the side-fallFlankeside-fall of the hill…

    … Here crowKrähecrows to gabbleschnattern; hier: (sich)zankengabble over worms and frogs
    And the gullMöwegulls like old newspapers are blown clear of the hedgeHeckehedges, luckily.
    Is there some light of imagination in these wet clodErdklumpenclods?
    Or why do we stand here to shiverzittern, bibbernshivering?

    An information centre in Inishkeen celebrates Kavanagh’s life and the environment in which he grew up. Monaghan has produced other great writers including playwrightDramatiker(in)playwright Eugene McCabe and novelist Patrick McCabe, whose books The Butcher Boy and Breakfast on Pluto have been made into films.

    Monaghan town reflects a history of British settlement and the wealth brought by the linenLeinenlinen trade during the 18th and 19th centuries. The town’s County Museum features exhibits from the Stone Age up to modern times, including the Cross of Clogher, a medievalmittelalterlichmedieval bronze altar cross. Other county highlights include the lacemakingSpitzenklöppeleilacemaking centres of Clones and Carrickmacross and the attractive town of Castleblayney, Ireland’s capital of country music, also known as “the Nashville of Ireland”. Castleblayney is located on the shores of Lough Muckno, the largest of Monaghan’s many lakes and a paradise for anglers.

    Were you able to find the answers? Drumlins are created by the movement of glaciers. Monaghan native Patrick Kavanagh is famous for his poetry. The nickname of the town of Castleblayney is “the Nashville of Ireland.”

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