RadioMoLI Logo RadioMoLI Logo
RadioMoLI Live



Dúlra (The Elements, Nature)

Spreading the Words
Hear how the natural word is perceived by Irish writers in the past and present.

Clábar (Mud)

Spreading the Words
Irish clábar lies behind Hiberno-English clabber and clauber, but for how long have we been saying ‘clabber to the knees’?

Gé (Goose)

Spreading the Words
The sure signs of winter included the sound of a barnacle goose.

Immram (Voyage)

Spreading the Words
The theme of immram, or voyage, is central to a number of poems by Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill.

Behind the Words

Spreading the Words
Máire Ní Mhaonaigh and Sharon Arbuthnot tell Professor Margaret Kelleher about the making of the Spreading the Words series.

Lus An Chromchinn (Daffodil)

Spreading the Words
Over the centuries, some beautiful and memorable names of flowers and plants have been recorded in Irish.

Grá (Love)

Spreading the Words
Read by Caroline Lennon. An insight into the eighteenth-century poem made famous again by Doireann ...

Gaoth (Wind)

Spreading the Words
From 'the Night of the Big Wind' to Flann O’Brien’s description of wind-watching – how the wind has shaped Irish life and literature.

Leabharlann (Library)

Spreading the Words
Hear about how books were stored in medieval Irish libraries and about how we know of the existence of such places.

Amadán (Fool)

Spreading the Words
Unravelling the sinister history of amadán, the Modern Irish word for ‘fool’.

Craobh (Branch)

Spreading the Words
Find out why Douglas Hyde published verse under the pseudonym An Craoibhín Aoibhinn and why the All-Ireland Championship is referred to in Irish today as Craobh na hÉireann.

Crith Talún (Earthquake)

Spreading the Words
Medieval Irish chronicles and stories sometimes mention ‘the movement of the earth’, but was the north of Ireland actually struck twice by earthquakes in the early eighth century?

Nollaig (Christmas)

Spreading the Words
Thoughts about recent Christmas lights and the long, dark winters of Christmases past.

Teaghlach (Household)

Spreading the Words
In medieval Ireland, the hearth was at the centre of the house, but what kinds of households feature in Irish literature of the period?

Cró (Enclosure)

Spreading the Words
From cró madra ‘a dog kennel’ to cró snáthaide ‘the eye of a needle’, this episode takes us on a journey through the many uses of a truly versatile word.

Gorm (Blue)

Spreading the Words
Read by Deirdre Lewis. How colour is described is determined by cultural, as well as ...

Cuing (Yoke)

Spreading the Words
The Irish are fond of referring to an ‘ould yoke’, but how were words for ‘yoke’ used in Old Irish?


Spreading the Words
Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin’s poem Gloss/Clós/Glas explores the sound and meaning of three interconnected English and Irish words. Her wonderfully creative word-play is celebrated in this special episode of Spreading the Words.

Ulcha (Beard)

Spreading the Words
Beards are status symbols in the world of early Irish literature. Such is their importance that Ulster hero Cú Chulainn created an imitation beard for himself of berry-juice or enchanted grass.

Damhán alla (Spider)

Spreading the Words
The Irish term for a spider has long been a source of puzzlement.

Tarbh (Bull)

Spreading the Words
In early Ireland, many activities were not permitted on a Sunday; but you could still bring a bull to a cow.

Cleas (Trick or Feat)

Spreading the Words
The early Irish hero Cú Chulainn was accomplished in an array of feats including the all-encompassing ‘body-feat’.

Duileasg (Dulse)

Spreading the Words
In his poetry, Seamus Heaney referred often to ‘dulse’, but how does this edible seaweed feature in medieval Irish law, literature and medicine?

Bog (Soft)

Spreading the Words
Some shared insights into the relationship between the Irish adjective bog ‘soft’ and the English noun meaning ‘bogland’.

Snámh (Swimming)

Spreading the Words
Hear about traditions of wild swimming and the dangers of swimming on a full stomach.

Smugairle Róin (Jellyfish)

Spreading the Words
A look into the history of the Irish phrase smugairle róin, which is widely known and much-loved today as a name for a jellyfish.

Maighdean Mhara (Mermaid)

Spreading the Words
This episode explores the concept of fish-women and other sea-creatures mentioned in medieval Irish literature and historical records.

The Shambles of Maamtrasna

City of Books
The Maamtrasna murders, "one of the gravest miscarriages of justice in Irish history", are discussed by Professor Margaret Kelleher and Justice Peter Kelly. Presented by Martina Devlin.


Words Lightly Spoken
Poet Erin Fornoff reflects on the plight of undocumented citizens.

Dulra (Nature)

Spreading the Words
Learn about the word dulra or ‘nature’ and its etymology steeped in Irish history, poetry and mythic tale.