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New D15 website

April 12, 2011

A new website to promote and support the Irish language in the Dublin 15 area has been launched recently by a young Laurel Lodge man.

A lover of the language, Darren Mac an Phríora, has been involved in a number of projects to promote its use over the past number of years and the new website, bac15.blogspot.com, is already attracting a large number of hits from like-minded enthusiasts. Darren is a former Dublin committee member of the Cork-based Irish language marketing organisation Gael-Taca and one of his projects in that organisation was to arrange for the erection of Irish language signs in the Dublin 15 area. According to Darren, “I put up Irish language signs in around 30 places in Dublin 15 when I was in Gael-Taca. I am hoping to use the new website to highlight these places and the places who have their own Irish language signage such as Myos and the Roselawn Inn.”

Darren, who has a degree in journalism and presents a current affairs programme in Irish on NearFM, said “the site is a community website to support the Irish language in Dublin 15. I want other people to hopefully be inspired so that they can do the same work in other parts of Dublin and Ireland.” Stories covered on the site to date include news of the new Gaelscoil proposed for Dublin 15; a new naionra (playschool) in Tyrellstown; well known Irish speakers living in the Dublin 15 area; a new Irish language GAA club and much more besides. Anyone who wants to contribute to the site or would like further information can e-mail Darren (darrenjmacanphriora@gmail.com).

Community Voice – Fergus Lynch

Cruinniú Ginearálta faoi na Painéil Múinteoireachta

April 11, 2011

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Seirbhís Chúnaimh d’Fhostaithe sínte amach chuig Pinsinéirí

April 11, 2011

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Small is beautiful as country areas fight to retain schools

April 11, 2011

First the post offices closed, then the pubs. Are the last outposts of rural life doomed?

The new Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn, is likely to face one of his toughest political battles as his department moves to shut down tiny rural schools. Local communities will fight a rearguard action to retain small village schools, which are under threat of closure from recommendations in Colm McCarthy’s An Bord Snip report. The McCarthy report said there was scope to cut the number of primary schools. The report stated that there were 659 primaries with fewer than 50 pupils. If these were merged with other schools, Colm McCarthy estimated that this would save 300 teachers, or about EUR18m in annual salary costs. Further mergers of the 851 schools in the 50-100 pupil category would cut the number of teachers by 200, and save another EUR9m annually, according the McCarthy report.

Alarm bells have started ringing across rural Ireland over the past month as the department starts a ‘Value for Money Review of Small Primary Schools’. Figures provided by the Department of Education appear to show that many small schools are unsustainable. The 2010 figures showed that there were 15 schools with fewer than 10 pupils. Mantua National School near Elphin in Co Roscommon is believed to be one of the smallest in the country, with just six pupils. The Roscommon Herald reported last week that it was one of 41 primaries in the county with fewer than 50 children. Shutting down or merging small schools may look like a simple matter, but it is a political and administrative minefield. The savings may be much more limited than those envisaged in the McCarthy report, while the social costs are likely to be huge. Pat Goff, president of the Irish Primary Principals Network (IPPN), said: “There is no educational reason for shutting down small rural schools. All the evidence suggests that children do just as well or perform better in them. “When you shut down a school you are killing part of the rural community. Many communities have been left without a post office and a garda station. All that is left is the school.”

While it is inevitable that tiny schools will disappear, Pat Goff says there will be a lot of practical difficulties with large-scale closures. “In the short-term, there are likely to be extra costs involved, including new accommodation and transport.” If two primaries merge, the department may have to pay for extra classrooms. There is also the practical problem of staffing arrangements for the merged schools. Under the current system, when two schools amalgamate, both principals are retained; one is head of the school and the other is a “privileged assistant”. The INTO supports amalgamation of schools where this is the clear wish of the school community. But the INTO’s general secretary Sheila Nunan said financial issues should not be the only concern. She said: “Other considerations must be taken into account such as the adverse effect for the child who is being bussed to a different environment, the importance of the rural school to the community, and its role in the preservation of local history, culture, and folklore.” There are other complex issues that the Department of Education will have to deal with when considering the closure of small schools. Some small schools are under the patronage of the Church of Ireland, and there may not be a similar one within easy reach.

The INTO opposes amalgamation where the language of instruction in one school is English, and the other Irish. There is widespread acceptance that Irish in Gaeltacht areas was weakened in the 1960s and 1970s when different types of school were merged. Pat Goff of the IPPN said any programme of closures should be considered in conjunction with moves to take schools out of Catholic control. Many small schools have only recently been refurbished and provided with new buildings. Does it make sense to close these upgraded facilities? Helen Carroll, the Ear to the Ground presenter, sends her nine-year-old daughter Katie to a small 51-pupil national school in Johnswell near her home Co Kilkenny. “It is absolutely vital for the health of the local community that schools such as this are retained. It provides a very good education. “My daughter gets the sort of personal attention that you mightn’t get in a bigger school,” she says. Helen Carroll believes that there is an onus on parents to support their local schools. “People do not realise how important the local school or post office is to a rural community until it is gone, and then it is too late.” Ruairi Quinn will be keen to make savings, but he may tread warily when shutting down schools. As one seasoned observer of the education scene noted, “There is maximum political pain involved in this, and very little financial gain.”

Irish Independent

Bua do thuismitheoirí Ráth Tó

April 11, 2011

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Irish to remain as Leaving Cert core-subject- for now

April 5, 2011

Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn TD has confirmed that there will be no change to the official status of Irish as a compulsory examination subject.

This follows an undertaking made in the Programme for Government which promised improvement in teaching methodologies at second level and that no review of the status of the language in the education system would take place until such steps had been made.

Speaking in Dáil on 24th March, he affirmed that a review would take place but he didn’t indicate a timeframe for this review.

“We must face up to the fact that many children who commence school with a positive attitude toward Irish do not, for reasons I do not fully understand, retain that attitude. We must examine why that is the case,“ he said during questions on the future of Gaelscoileanna.

“We must consider, for example, the amount of time teachers spend teaching Irish relative to and in the context of the outcomes achieved and the ability of young people to speak the language in an enthusiastic fashion. We must approach this issue honestly”, he added.

Foilsithe ar Gaelport.com 05 Aibreán 2011

Ceoltóirí Reachrann, Scléip 2011 Winners

April 5, 2011

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Tráth na gCeist – Gaelscoil Thaobh na Coille

April 5, 2011

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Can You Turn Your Community Into TG4’s Next Top Irish Speaking Town?

April 5, 2011

TG4 and Adare Productions are producing a brand new series where non-Gaeltacht communities can compete against each other for the opportunity to call themselves The G-Team winners 2011 and win a €40,000 Foras na Gaeilge prize to use in promoting their local area. This new and innovative programme will be sponsorded by Foras Na Gaeilge.

‘The G-Team’ is a new 10 part series on TG4 that will feature non-Irish speaking communities from all over Ireland and challenge them to begin using their native tongue in their daily routines. Can your local butcher sell the Sunday roast in Irish? Can your local parents learn enough of the language to read their kids a bedtime story?

We are currently looking for Irish speaking Team Leaders in each region to put their town forward and spearhead their community’s effort as they work towards their very own G -Day (Gaeilge) Day.

G-Day is the day where the cameras will descend to watch the town in action as they hold a festival and use every effort throughout the day to use the Irish language.  The team leaders will be across all aspects of their preparations leading up to and including their G-Day. The team leaders will also be responsible for encouraging their town to embrace the G-Team challenge and use Irish in their daily routine in the weeks leading up to their G-Day and beyond.

Are you a team leader? Do you live in a community that would benefit and embrace The G-Team challenge. Can you organise, focus and drive your local community to put their best foot forward and compete in a truly national competition? If so, we want to hear from you….

On the 11th of April 2011 the G-Team application form will go ‘live’ via the TG4 website. Starting on that day, for a 2-week period only, applications will be invited. We are looking for team leaders from any and all non-Gaeltacht towns from all across the country to apply.

For further information, please contact:
Adare Productions on 01 2843877

Scléip 2011 Winners

April 4, 2011

Congratulations to everyone who took part in the final of the Scléip 2011 competition, we had a great day on April 2nd in the Axis theatre in Ballymun. 17 schools took part in the final, and the day was a huge success. We had three judges for the show, Ríonach Ní Néill, Martin Tourish and Ray Mac Mánais, and they had a hard job choosing winners as the standard was so high on stage on the day. After much discussion and debate, they announced the results to the audience. We’d like to thank them for all their hard work, and to thank the teachers, parents and enthusiastic audience too, who gave the participants such encouragement. We wish the participants themselves all the best for the future; you’ve certianly got talent and we look forward to seeing you onstage again, whether it’s at Scléip 2012 or in the o2, who knows!

The winners in each category were:

  • Traditional and/or Classical Music (solo) – Áine Ní Fhlanagáin, Coláiste Oiriall
  • Modern Music (solo) – Peadar Ó Goill, Gairmscoil Éinne
  • Traditional and/or Classical Song – Emma Ní Fhuaruisce, Pobalscoil Ghaoth Dobhair
  • Modern Music (group) – “Mo”, Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne
  • Traditional and/or Classical Music (group) – Ceoltóirí  Reachrann, Gaelcholáiste Reachrann
  • Creative Dance – Domhaintarraingt, Gaelcholáiste Cheatharlach
  • Variety – Gearóid Ó Gealbháin, Gaelcholáiste Chiarraí
  • Drama/Mime – Eva Ní Dhoibhlinn & Ciarán Mac a Gheimhridh, Pobalscoil Ghaoth Dobhair

Special Awards went to:

  • Mattie Barker, Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne
  • Grupa Thraidisiunta Colaiste FCJ Laurel Hill
  • “Ceathrar Leaids”, Scoil Chaitríona

Grand Prix 2011:

  • Ceoltóirí  Reachrann

There are photos from the event in the gallery. If you have any photos or video clips from the day, we’d be delighted if you could email them to us: cspainneach@gaelscoileanna.ie.

Scléip is the national talent competition catering specifically for Irish-medium and Gaeltacht post-primary schools. The competition began in 2005 and it has grown steadily since then. The aim of the competition is to encourage pupils attending Irish medium secondary schools to use their Irish through the various performing arts by giving them the opportunity to take part in a innovative and exciting event. We hope to encourage gaelscoil pupils to speak and use Irish in their music and drama. We would like today’s pupils to be inspired in the same way as ex-gaelscoil pupils before them, such as members of Kíla, the Frames and Dara Ó Briain. It’s a great opportunity for secondary school students to showcase their talent on stage in front of professional judges and an audience, and to win a prize for themselves and their school.

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