Text size

1,000 children attend Dept of Education & Skills funded Irish language summer literacy camps

July 19, 2012

This month, some 1,000 children are taking part in Department of Education and Skills week long Irish language literacy summer camps- Campaí Samhraidh.  A further 1,512 children will be attending English language literacy camps in August.

The Campaí Samhraidh initiative, which commenced in 2007, has catered for over 4,000 children so far, including the 1,000 seven to eleven year olds taking part this summer.

The courses, most of which are taking place this week, are in 29 schools across the country including in Dublin, Cork, Mayo and Louth. A number of these schools are hosting camps for the first time.

A new feature this year is the inclusion of a numeracy element, in line with the National Literacy and Numeracy Strategy.

The Programme for Government emphasises the Government’s commitment to improving students’ skills in the areas of reading, communication, writing and mathematics.

Last year, the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn, TD, introduced the National Literacy and Numeracy Strategy which sets ambitious targets and describes the actions that must be taken to improve the teaching and learning of literacy and numeracy. From last September, primary schools have had to spend 90 minutes on literacy and 50 minutes on numeracy each day.

The Minister said, “I am delighted to see the continued popularity of the Campaí Samhraidh.

“The camps are a fantastic way of taking lessons out of the traditional classroom setting, so that learning literacy and numeracy can be done in a fun and participative fashion.

“They also help to bring the Irish language alive for children in the context of their everyday lives.”

Children taking part in the camps are 4th to 6th class students from DEIS band 1 schools. The schools nominate pupils aged 7- 11 years who would benefit most from the initiative, with up to 36 participants in each camp.

The Department is providing funding of €335,000 in 2012 for the Irish and English camps, with €145,100 for the Campaí Samhraidh Initiative.


Cheaper to send photo than a fada, say texters

July 19, 2012

TEXTING as Gaeilge costs up to three times as much as English, because sending a fada uses up extra data.

Mobile phone users texting in Irish claim they are being ripped off for using the national language and claimed it can be cheaper to send a photo than a fada.

Vodafone confirmed yesterday that users would be charged for three text (SMS) messages if they included a single ‘sineadh fada’ in a text of 160 characters.

Mobile phone operators blame the costs on technical reasons — texts are charged according to the data used, rather than the number of letters or characters.

When mobile phone users switch from the standard English to use symbols from Irish or even another language such as Mandarin, this incurs a greater data cost.

A very short text, of less than 70 characters, can include multiple fadas and still be charged as one text.

However, additional costs arise if the text is what the industry considers a standard length, or 160 characters.

“If a customer is texting in Irish and they type the full 160 characters, a standard text message, that includes at least one fada, they will be charged for three text messages,” a spokeswoman for Vodafone confirmed.

Both Vodafone and O2 said they conformed to the standards set by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute.

Gaelscoileanna Teo, a support body for Irish primary schools, said many Gaelscoileanna regularly send group texts to parents and only recently have become aware of the costs.


They said that the fada was an integral part of the language and the extra charge discouraged its correct use.

The official language commissioner, An Coimisineir Teanga, said they could not intervene as mobile phone companies were private businesses.

There has been no action taken by communications regulator, Comreg.

Daithi Mac Carthaigh, a former president of Conradh na Gaeilge, which promotes Irish, said Comreg had a statutory duty to protect the consumer.

Under regulations in Turkey, both mobile phone device producers and operators must allow the devices to use Turkish characters without an extra charge. Any devices that don’t comply are not allowed on to the Turkish market. Similar initiatives have taken place in Spain and Portugal.

Ruaidhri Giblin

Irish Independent

Samhail mhaoinithe nua eile

July 19, 2012

Sorry, this entry is only available in Irish.

Múinteoir Eolaíochta agus Matamaitice

July 19, 2012

Sorry, this entry is only available in Irish.


July 18, 2012

Sorry, this entry is only available in Irish.

Scríbhneoirí Gaeilge á lorg ag TG4

July 17, 2012

Sorry, this entry is only available in Irish.

Irish medium primary school opens its doors in Cookstown

July 17, 2012

Gaelscoil Eoghain, the new Irish Medium Primary School in Cookstown, will open its doors for the first time on Monday, September 3.

Acting principal Caitríona Uí Dhoibhlin said this is a significant day for those who have an interest in the Irish language, culture and heritage and for those who appreciate children being given special opportunities in education. She said it will be a momentous occasion for the group of four-year-olds who will become the first pupils of Gaelscoil Eoghain.

In May this year, the Education Minister John O’Dowd approved a development proposal to establish Gaelscoil Eoghain and it is hoped it will build on the foundations created by Naíscoil Eoghain, the Irish Medium pre-school which opened in 2008 and is currently providing pre-school education to over 40 children from Cookstown and the surrounding area.

The new premises at Chapel Street, Cookstown, will be funded by the Department of Education and will be completed in August.

Principal Caitríona Uí Dhoibhlin, an experienced teacher of Key Stage 1, joins the school on secondment from Gaelscoil Uí Néill in Coalisland and will have the benefit of guidance and support from Conor McPhillips, the principal of Gaelscoil Uí Néill.

“I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to be the first teacher at Gaelscoil Eoghain and to provide local children with bilingual education,” said Caitríona.

She explained that the children in Gaelscoil Eoghain will have the opportunity to avail of their primary education with the benefits of bilingualism.

“They will follow the same curriculum as their peers in local primary schools, with the additional advantage of being taught through the medium of Irish. The ability to be bilingual and biliterate will ultimately give the children greater employment opportunities,” she said.

The principal pointed out that there will be parents in Cookstown unsure as to whether they can send their children to an Irish school if they don’t speak the language themselves.

“Dr Malachy Ó Néill, Head of the School of Irish Language and Literature in the University of Ulster and member of the Board of Governors of Gaelscoil Eoghain, said 95 per cent of parents whose children attend Irish medium schools have little or no Irish – and there are currently 36,000 pupils being educated in Irish medium schools throughout Ireland. Gaelscoil Eoghain will enable pupils to develop confidence and fluency in both English and Irish simultaneously,” said Ms Uí Dhoibhlin.

Parents too have welcomed this new primary school, with one parent, Laura Coey expressing her delight at her son having the chance to become bilingual.

“I’m delighted my son, Rian, has the opportunity to be in the very first class of Gaelscoil Eoghain. Before deciding to send Rian, I researched bilingualism at great lengths, which confirmed the many benefits of learning a second language at an early age,” she said.

“It’s also exciting to be involved as a parent – we have so much input into decisions about the running of the school, including opening time, lunch break, uniform colour, etc.”

The principal pointed out that with the class sizes smaller than most local schools, she will have significantly more time to devote to each child.

“Ultimately the quality of education the children receive is paramount and I am convinced all of our parents will be delighted with the choice they have made,” she added.

In recent years Mid-Ulster has experienced significant growth in Irish medium education.

Gaelscoil Uí Néill in Coalisland is now the largest Gaelscoil outside of Belfast, Gaelscoil Aodh Ruadh in Dungannon opened in 2011 and has doubled its intake in a year, and
St Joseph’s Grammar, Donaghmore, opened an Irish Medium stream in 2010, accepting children from local Irish Medium primary schools without the need to sit a transfer test.

Anyone requiring further information can contact the principal at gaelscoileoghain@yahoo.ie or 07739 006398.


Triúir múinteoirí Gaelscoile á lorg

July 17, 2012

Sorry, this entry is only available in Irish.

Múinteoir tacaíochta foghlama

July 17, 2012

Sorry, this entry is only available in Irish.

Múinteoir Gaelscoile

July 17, 2012

Sorry, this entry is only available in Irish.

« Previous PageNext Page »