A young woman from the west of Ireland who has been living in Dublin for less than a month has began talking like Miriam O’Callaghan. 23 year-old Áine Ní Murchú grew up in the village of Dunloe in County Kerry and spent all her life sounding exactly the same as the Healy-Rae brothers. However after settling into her new life in the capital, the college student’s accent has undergone a dramatic transformation.
Áine made the move after securing a place in Trinity College where she will be studying for a bachelor’s degree in Business Studies for the next four years. So far she’s loving it.
“Yeah my new loife is totes amazeballs. I’m sharing a gaff on the south soide with fellow Trinners Julian and Gwendoline. Julian’s a ledge by the way. I get the dort into college every morning and at weekands I droyve the cor down home to see the folks.”
Áine made her first visit back home last Friday and her family and friends noticed the difference immediately. Her Mother told us “To be honest I thought she’d had a stroke ‘coz I couldn’t make out what the hell she was trying to say. I’m told she went down to our local pub and asked for Black Bean Soup with Gluten-Free Rye Bread and an Avacado Spread. They just assumed she’d gone mental and called an ambulance.”
Irish people changing their accent is nothing new of course. Actress Saoirse Ronan grew up in Carlow but for some reason now speaks like she spent her childhood riding horses around the Ballymun flats. Broadcaster Matt Cooper is from Cork but you’d never know it because he talks like he grew up in Foxrock with a silver spoon up his hole. So why do they do it? Linguist and UCD professor John Dolan has written a book on the subject.
“I’ve been studying and charting accent patterns in Ireland for several years now and after extensive research what I discovered is that if you speak differently from your family and your neighbours it’s because you’re a gobshite.”
‘Why Are You Talking Like A Twat?’ is published by Gill & McMillan and available in all good bookstores now.