Not exactly. 'Ithim' is a 'synthetic form,' combining ('synthesizing') the verb and pronoun into a single word; in the case of 'ithim,' that 'm' at the end is the first-person singular pronoun, 'mé,' which becomes simply 'm' when synthesized with the verb. The 'analytic' form (the form that keeps the verb and pronoun separate) is 'itheann mé.' That analytic form is more common in some dialects, but I have read that the synthetic form is the 'official' standard.
Same goes for the first-person plural: the synthetic form is 'ithimid;' the analytic form is 'itheann muid.'
Yes. Irish, like English, has a distinction between 'Paul eats bread (habitually, generally, etc)' and 'Paul is eating bread'. Some linguists even theorize that the English progressive developed from contact with the Celtic languages (I disagree with that analysis, though, as similar developments are found in non-standard dialects of other Germanic languages, so it seems to be a natural development). To say the latter you would say Tá Pól ag ithe aráin, using the genitive (literally translates to 'Paul is at eating of bread')
You're not dealing with "most other languages" here. In both Irish and English, the Simple present (Itheann Pól arán/"Paul eats bread") is completely distinct from the present progressive (Tá Pól ag ithe aráin/"Paul is eating bread").
These tenses are not interchangeable in Irish or English.
More a problem with my English and it being influenced by my native language, but anyway: is it really wrong to say "Paul eats a bread"? Admittedly I was thinking of "a slice of bread" as in colloquial German you can leave out the "slice of". But still, it could be a small bread and/or Paul being very hungry. So, is it really wrong to add the indefinite article? I mean in Irish we do not have one, so it could be in the English translation!?
There are very limited technical situations where an indefinite article can be applied to "bread" in English, and this isn't one of them. A native English speaker would not use "a bread" in this translation, and it would be very misleading to non-native speakers to allow such a translation.
Yes, when I thought a bit further about it after posting, I realized that I still had fallen for the same trap my German language roots had set up. You either have slices or loaves of bread in English, hardly just a bread. I would have edited my original post, but did not have a good opportunity until now. And editing it now might be confusing, so this will have to do.
Sometimes the name Patrick is heard in Ireland, too… but Pól is certainly extremely important in catholicism, and catholicism is important in Ireland.
Could you elaborate on your question? Do you mean a special emphasis of „bread,“ or do you mean that a certain cruel piece of bread is eating poor Paul? So far I haven't seen your English word order with the first meaning but I am nothing but a poor E3L speaker.
As explained a few times already in the earlier responses, the Irish for "Paul is eating bread" is Tá Pól ag ithe aráin.
In both Irish and English the simple present (itheann Pól) and the present progressive (tá Pól ag ithe) are different tenses - they are not interchangeable. So "Paul is eating bread" is wrong because Itheann Pól arán does not mean "Paul is eating bread".