David and Stephen Flynn
The happy pear podcast logo
David and Stephen Flynn

The Happy Pear Podcast

“I was taught Irish as a weapon against the English”

To kick off our new series no better man to have then the wise monk himself – Manchán Magan. And guess what, it was in person! Whoop! Genuinely what a treat, and you can really tell!

His name, Manchán, literally means ‘little monk’ and if you were to meet him, there really is no better fitting name – Even how he holds himself has an air of soft wise intellect.

Episode 1 – Manchán Magan

We began thinking we were going to dive deep into the Irish language and all its nuances but wow did we get so so much more.

Manchán, is the type of person who will keep even the most highly strung business person on edge listening!! We navigate through this conversation from his time on the TG4 travel show taking him to all kinds of weird and wonderful tribes, to mingling with “The Screamists” (a cult who literally spend their time whaling and screaming), to mysterious forgotten histories, and his adventure to beat the mortgage ladder and find 10 acres for 10 grand.

Manchán is a writer, a poet and a deep thinker. His latest book 32 words for a field, has instilled in us a whole new passion for the Irish language. Give him 5 minutes of your time and I swear you’ll be downloading Duolingo beginner Irish!

According to Manchán the Irish language not only holds the secrets to the best places to find fish in the Irish countryside, or how to predict the weather, but also how to really connect. To connect us to this earth, to the people and inevitably to sustainable living.

“During the dark ages Europe lost all of its libraries, all of it was destroyed, all of its central regal systems. A new sort of violent force was taking over, all the philosophy and wisdom was gone, but Ireland still had it in their libraries because they were never part of that. Now that Christianity was male focuses, it was hierarchal, but it had a key. It had a beautiful visionary voice in terms of Jesus Christ at the beginning of it, and particularly Irish Christianity, because when St Patrick came in 430 AD, we took on some of that, just like the Taro Oman mountain runners in Mexico, took on some of the Jesuits stuff (their clothes etc..) but they kept their connection to the landscape. We did the same in Ireland, we took some of the rules of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary, but look at our Holy Wells… Our Holy Wells and our Holy Rivers, we realised that nature was sacred, so we brought some of this knowledge back to Europe. You can find it still in Monasteries in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, the teachings of Irish Monastic figures.”

A really wonderful episode from a phenomenal character. 

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Big love,

Dave & Steve


Available now from all good podcast providers:

listen on spotify

Manchán’s Book: Thirty-Two Words for a Field

Zach Bush MD

Taro Oman mountain runners – Book Born To Run

Richard Heinberg – Our Previous Podcast Episode

Helena Norberg-Hodge

Moy Hill Farm in County Clare