Iris na Gaeilge Lunasa 04 uimh 7
Liam Mac Lochlainn was born in Limerick city , the youngest of a family of five. The Irish language was omni-present in the home because his sisters used it exclusively when doing their homework. He regards this as a formative influence in his life.
He received his own education from the Irish Christian Brothers in Limerick. He has high praise for their integrety and idealism, and also, their dedication to work. Here he gained the Árd Teistiméireacht, with its then high standard of Irish.
His first employment was in Phoenix Park, Dublin where he was learning the skills of surveying and the art of map-making. Dublin itself , the GAA., and , of course, the Irish language, added spice to his young life along the Liffey. Despite having interesting work, he became curious about the policeman's life. So he joined the Garda Síochána in 1960. For six years he was on - the - beat in Chapelizod, then a growing suburb of the capital . Curious about the less quiet life of law enforcement elsewhere , he left the Gardaí in 1966 and came to Manchester where he joined the local police force there. This he enjoyed immenseley.
There had always been a tradition of learning and speaking Irish among exiles in Manchester. However, in 1988, Liam founded a branch of Conradh na Gaeilge in the city. It flourished, and still survives in meetings every Wednesday in the Irish World Heritage Centre. It has the usual three grades of classes: bun, meán and ard.
Liam enjoys teaching Irish. He taught, and helped enthusiastically, in the branch which he established. He also had the privilege of being invited to teach at the first weekend session of Coláiste na nGael at Hope, Derbyshire in 2001. Many would say that this Coláiste event was an historic occasion for the Language in the U K Always the pioneer, he has started a small, but growing , Irish class in Bolton.
He has a soft spot for the old Munster writers in the Language : Peadar O Laoghaire, An Seabhac, Tómas O Criomhthain. Caught in the rain in Venice one morning, he took shelter in a café and read Séadna. Liam is one of those reliable people we sometimes find in the Language movement who, despite the call of job or profession, can always be depended on to come to the support of Irish when needed . We need more people like him badly.