This is Ireland: Northern Ireland is also called ULSTER and The Republic of Ireland, the Southern part, is also called EIRE .
Each has its own flag and its own capital. The EIRE (the South) is independent , while ULSTER (the North) belongs to the United Kingdom .
Why is the country divided? Because it was colonized by England and only the South got its independence in 1916 . That is when it became the Republic of Ireland . There are still people debating over whether the North should be re-united to the South as one and only country.
The colonization has had an impact on language speaking and nowadays most of Ireland speaks English (even in Eire though there are still Gaelic speaking regions called Gaeltacht, mostly in the West of Ireland ) but some grammatical structures of the Gaelic have invaded the spoken language such as in the expressions that you have just seen.
Questions: A) There wasn’t a want or anxiety on Owen and there was no envy on him -> Owen wasn’t in need of anything and thus wasn’t anxious about how to make a living. River Shannon and Castle of Limerick (2007)
as was the custom with them -> as was their habit/as they used to Rugby match Munster vs Ulster: Munster won! (2009)
The talk fell on dreams, and said Owen that he would like better than anything if he could only have one. -> They started/happened to talk about dreams, and Owen said that he wished he could have one/that his greatest wish was to have one (this also answers question E). Cliffs of Moher (2008)
He had one shoe on, but the point of the other struck Margaret, and ‘twas that which awoke her. (pay attention to the verbs here) -> He had only one shoe left, and the tip/point of the other one HAD STRUCK Margaret, and it was that which HAD AWAKENED her (use of the past perfect, past in the past). St Patrick’s parade, Limerick (2007)
Ireland has a tradition of oral transmission and tales are part of that tradition, so that, even though you see the tale in its written form, there are traces of Gaelic grammatical structures. They are not grammatically wrong but they are specific to Ireland. Kilkee (2007)
The POTATO is an important element in the Irish food. After it was introduced in the country in the 17 th century, it soon became STAPLE FOOD (=basic food) especially for the poor and during the winter.
When the potato got a disease in the 19 th century, a lot of people died of STARVATION (that is, of not eating). Those were THE FAMINE YEARS . Famine statues, Dublin
During these periods of famine, a lot of people EMIGRATED to other countries (went to live in other countries) such as CANADA , THE UNITED STATES, SOUTH AFRICA or AUSTRALIA .
Answer to question D: So, to come back to the potato, this is a representative element of Irish culture and within the story we come to know that Owen lives mainly on the potato culture too which proves that though he is not poor, he is from humble, modest origin . Also, he works for someone – ‘James Taafe’, ‘the gentleman of the place’, ‘his master’ . And he does not own a castle, a mansion or a huge house but a ‘nice little house’ . Cottage on Aran Island (2007)
Go raibh maith agat! (thank you) Slán (goodbye) Stone in the sea at the Cliffs of Moher (2007)