Translation:Conas atá mé?
It still is being applied, but it is a little hidden in this sentence. Literally what is being said is: How which I am?
atá = which is
So the verb is still coming first in the clause after "a" = which, that, who.
Here you have two elements: a + tá . The 'a' is actually a particle used to introduce relative clauses, similar to the use of 'that' or 'which' in English. The tá is the verb as you know. Only tá joins directly onto 'a'; all other verbs are written separate from the 'a'. When tá combines with 'a', it does not use the synthetic forms, so you are obliged in that case to use the analytic forms - i.e. employ the relevant personal pronouns: atá + mé/tú/sé/sí/muid/sibh/siad
Your pfp is just amazing. I got interested in Irish because of Jack, hahaha.