Neil McLeod wrote:
> arnarab foumus íar ngremaim,
> arnarab taithbech íar nadmaim,
> arnarab gáes íar mbaís
> "lest it be a case of inspecting after taking delivery, of backing-
> out after guaranteeing, of wisdom after folly"
Then there are these two, which like the first and third above are in
the general family of "shutting the barn door after the horses have
1. "Secht comarthai déc drochthacgrai" (The seventeen signs of bad
pleading), of which the last one is:
lugae íar mbreith = swearing after judgement (trans. Colin Ireland)
2. ba tinnsccra iar n-indsma = it would be (like) bride-price
#2 is one of a long litany of images of useless or impossible actions
found in "Aislinge Meic Con Glinne", all of which take the form "ba X
PREPOSITION Y". It's the only one with "íar", however.
"Écht íar n-athbrath" looks like a horse of another color. "Slaughter
after betrayal" (betrayal first followed by slaughter), seems more in
the natural, expected order of things, unlike "foumus íar ngremaim".
The meaning of "écht" seems pretty straightforward in our context. I
wonder if "athbhrath", however, means something other than what we