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An Tionól Teagaisc – University College Galway

October 30, 2012

Last year over four hundred people attended the first ever Tionól Teagaisc conference for Irish language teachers and due to its great success this year’s Tionól Teagaisc is expected to attract the same level of interest.
This year the Tionól Teagaisc will take place in the Arts/Science building in University College Galway on Saturday 10th November 2012 and the theme of the proceedings will focus on the field of communications and the Irish language.

At 5pm on Friday 9th November in The Ardilaun Hotel in Taylors Hill, Galway Professor Gearóid Denver will officially open this year’s Tionól Teagaisc during the conference annual dinner. Dónall Mac Diarmada from the State Examinations Commission will give feedback on the 2012 leaving cert exam and in his talk he will discuss the changes implemented last year in awarding 40% in the Irish exam for oral Irish.

Various experts who deal with teaching will also talk at this year’s Tionól Teagaisc. As well as this many information stands will be there on Saturday and they will distribute and sell many useful resources for teachers. Teachers will get the opportunity to meet up with many other teachers from all around the country and exchange some wonderful ideas.

On Saturday many practical workshops will take place throughout the day which will be given by teachers and lecturers. Workshops will be given by Reuben Ó Conluain, Carmel Nic Eoin, Éamonn Ó Domhnaill, Bernardine Nic Giolla Phádraig, Ógie Ó Ceallachair plus many others.

For further information visit: www.tionolteagaisc.com

Looking for a job?

October 30, 2012

There has been much discussion in the media recently regarding the standard of modern languages in Ireland.

The discussion came to a head after PayPal admitted that they had to seek workers from abroad as the due to the lack of modern languages among the Irish workforce. There is no doubt that the demand for various languages is at an all-time high around throughout Ireland and Europe and judging by the jobs currently advertised on www.Gaelport.com, the demand for Irish speaking employees is just as high.

Foras na Gaeilge are looking to fill 3 vacancies in various locations around Ireland. An Executive Officer is required to cover maternity leave in Ráth Cairn; An Assistant Editor is required in Gaoth Dobhair to assist in the sorting, preparation and editing of texts; and the Dublin office is looking to recruit a Services Officer. Applications for each of these jobs will be accepted until Friday, 9th November 2012, poist@forasnagaeilge.ie.

The public consultation process regarding an Irish language strategy for Northern Ireland is currently underway and it would be presumed that any strategy put in place in the near future would have Irish medium education at its core. Comhairle na Gaelscolaíochta is a small Belfast-based company responsible for all matters relating to Irish language education throughout Northern Ireland. They are currently seeking 3 determined individuals to join their hard-working team in promoting Irish language education throughout the six counties. A Senior Development Officer is required who possesses management skills, knowledge of Irish medium education and a third level qualification. Comhairle na Gaelscolaíochta also require a Youth Development Officer on a 12-month contract and a Clerical Officer. The closing date for applications is Monday, 5th November 2012, pomordha@comhairle.org.

Naíonra Chaitlín Maude, based in Tallaght in South Dublin seek a full-time naíonra assistant. Working hours are 8:30am – 4:30pm, Monday to Friday and the successful candidate will earn €500 per week, naionra.cm@gmail.com.

Naíonra Phádraig na gCloch Liath, Co. Wicklow also require a naíonra assistant. Fluent Irish is essential for this job and all applicants are asked to include references and a CV, ciara_f@yahoo.com.

A family based in Dublin City Centre require an Irish speaking child minder to care for 2 children. The successful applicant will work a 4/5 day week and the job will begin in mid-January 2013, feighlipaistibac@gmail.com.

All information regarding these jobs and much more is available at www.gaelport.com/foluntais.

Gaelscoileanna ‘apartheid’ – Letter in the Irish Times

October 30, 2012

A chara, – The “To Be Honest” column by a parent (Education Today, October 23rd) was such a misrepresentation of Irish-medium schools that it cannot be allowed to go unchallenged. Its publication in the Education section of The Irish Times lends it an authority that is very damaging to the public perception of Irish-medium schools.

Irish-medium schools are united by their language ethos, but as diverse as any other arbitrary grouping of schools in every other way. A gaelscoil may operate under any patron body and may be denominational or not. Gaelscoileanna exist in every county in Ireland including Northern Ireland and they serve populations as diverse as their geographical locations; small towns, socially disadvantaged suburbs, rural communities, city centres or a “middle-class area of South Dublin” – wherever the local community has campaigned for a gaelscoil to be established.

Irish-medium schools are open to all pupils regardless of their linguistic and social background or their level of ability. They are as willing and well-equipped as any English-medium school to cater for all pupils’ educational needs. Communicating this to parents is made difficult when opinion pieces such as the aforementioned are published without information of substance on what an Irish-medium school is and how school enrolment policies work.

Parents and patrons alike have been calling for plurality and diversity in our education system for years. To have an inflammatory and misleading opinion piece about schools of a particular ethos published in the paper of record at a time when the Department of Education Skills has committed to providing for parental choice in the form of the surveys on diversity of patronage runs counter to everything the education community has been working towards.

The column did not recognise that many Irish-medium schools face considerable challenges. More than a third of Irish-medium schools are without a permanent school building; 39 per cent of primary and 36 per cent of post-primary Irish-medium schools. Ten per cent of Irish-medium schools are recognised as DEIS schools by the Department of Education Skills and are focused on addressing and prioritising the educational needs of young people from disadvantaged communities. That the demand for new gaelscoileanna remains high in spite of the difficulties the established schools often face speaks volumes about how parents have faith in the immersion-education model and community-led education.

While it’s true that most of the parents who choose Irish-medium education for their children do not speak Irish themselves, it does a great disservice to the parents of the 45,000 children who are attending Irish-medium schools at present to assume that their decision to enrol their child in a gaelscoil was made for elitist reasons. It does an even greater disservice to those parents who have chosen Irish-medium education for their children despite having neither Irish nor English as a first language, parents who appreciate that their children will start school on an even footing with other pupils who will also be learning through a language that is new to most of them, in a school where linguistic diversity is truly valued.

The story of how Irish-medium schools have grown and are flourishing is one rooted in community spirit and a sense of common purpose and the schools deserve to be celebrated for all they have achieved. – Is mise,

Acting CEO,
Institiúid Oideachais Marino,
Ascaill Uí Ghríofa,
Baile Átha Cliath 9.


HUNDREDS of Irish speaking zombies will be mingling amongst the hosts and ghouls in Londonderry this Hallowe’en

October 30, 2012

A 200 strong contingent of teenagers will be setting up camp in Londonderry for the duration of the holiday, as they attend the annual Oireachtas conference in Letterkenny.
They are planning to sample the best that scary Londonderry has to offer while they are here. According to the group’s spokesperson, Ríonach Ní Scolaí, this is the first time that Ógras have attended the festival. They hope to take in as many local Hallowe’en events as they can over the course of the Oireachtas.

“We have kids coming up from all parts of Ireland – from Maghera, Downpatrick, Dublin, Kildare, Naas, and all over – to take part in Scléip na hÓige the youth events at Oireachtas na Gaeilge, the Irish language and culture festival,” she explained.

“The festival takes place in Letterkenny, and we thought it would be a great opportunity to take in the carnival while we’re here, as we’ve heard so much about it and the members are all really excited about the trip.

“The young people are all aged between 12-18, and while we attend the Oireachtas each year this is the first time we will be taking part in the Hallowe’en celebrations.

“We’ve visited the city before and enjoyed a walking tour around the walls, so the kids are really looking forward to being part of such a huge local event.”

“Ógras is an Irish language youth organisation with youth clubs based throughout the country, and each year they attend the Oireachtas Irish Language Festival for a three day celebration of Irish culture, from sports to dancing. “We take part in the Oireachtas parade every year, so this year it’s great to take part in something different and the kids are all looking forward to dressing up as zombies for the parade,” Rionach said.

“We’ll stay in the city and spend Hallowe’en day in Derry sightseeing, watching the fireworks and enjoying the craic in the city centre. We’ve heard so much about the carnival and hope to catch as many of the events as we can while we’re in the city. So watch out for us in the parade – we’ll be the Irish-speaking zombies!”

For more information about all the events taking place in the city this Hallowe’en go www.derrycity.gov.uk/Halloween or follow the festival on Facebook at www.facebook.com/banksofthefoylehalloweencarnival


Omeath celebrates major milestone of its past

October 30, 2012

This year 2012 marks the centenary of the establishment of Coláiste Bhríde in Omeath.

In the early part of the last century, it was established that a small Gaeltacht survived In Omeath, with the older population speaking Gaelic.

A Gaelic college (Coláiste Bhríde) was established as an attempt to capture the remaining Gaelic which lived on among the older inhabitants of Omeath. This college was instrumental in ensuring that Omeath Irish lives on. A programme of events took place to celebrate the centenary.

The event was officially opened by Senator Marie Louise O’Donnell who explained her links with the village. Her mother came from Omeath and her grand-mother Louie Kirwen was in receipt of a silver medal won at Coláiste Bhríde. The family received a certificate for their dedication to Gaelic from Douglas Hyde.

The function room in the Granvue House was adorned with a series of pop-up posters which gave a dramatic visual enhancement to the event. These 6 foot high posters detailed many of the local characters who gave of their time to Coláiste Bhríde.

Other events included a guided tour of the cottages of the last Gaelic speakers, conducted by Eamonn Ó Gribín and Séamus Murphy of An Ciorcal Comhra Óméith. Cúchualinn Gaels re-enacted the famous Bavan Football match, with all stars from a number of different counties appearing in retro kit.

Paddy O’Hanlon, the great-grandson of the last native Irish speaker Áine Uí Annluain, read the poem which commemorates the match both in English and as Gaeilge.

A craft fair took place in the Dolmen Centre which saw a display of different crafts produced in the area. Perhaps the most exciting element of the celebrations was the revival of a Gaelic college in the village. For the first time since 1926 Gaelic was being taught again in a non-primary school setting.

Thanks to these teachers for their hard work and dedication to the language. August 2013 will see an extended cúrsa with not only the Gaelic language being taught, but also music, song and other traditional pursuits.


An Eaglais Chaitliceach: Osclóidh muid Gaelscoileanna

October 26, 2012

Féile na Mí 2012

October 26, 2012

14 November 2012 – 24 November 2012

This year’s Féile na Mí will host many cultural events all over the royal county from 14th-24th November 2012.

As part of this year’s Féile na Mí many sean-nós, music session and musical events are organised in the Gaeltacht of Ráth Chairn and other parts of the county. They will host many sean-nós competitions plus music session.

Many dancers from all over Ireland will flock to the royal county for a wonderful traditional weekend of music, dance, children’s show plus much more.

This year’s festival will be official opening on Friday 14th November in the Darnley Lodge Hotel in Athboy with a wonderful evening of music song, dance and finger-food.

The following evening the Railway Bar in Kells will host an evening of traditional music and Irish language conversational gathering which will give individuals to come along and practice their Irish language skills.

On Friday 16th November the competitions commence with a sean-nós singing competitions for young people and various awards will be presented to the crowned champions.

At 3pm on Saturday afternoon sean-nós dancing competition for children will take place and the winner will be presented with Corn Chuimhneacháin Mhicí Mac Donncha. Sean-nós dancing competitions for adults will take place at 4:30 and later in the evening sean-nós singing competition for adults will take place with the prestigue award, Corn Chuimhneacháin Choil Neaine Pháidín to be awarded to the crowned champion.

On Friday 23rd November the annual festival dinner will be hosted in the wonderful restaurant in Dunderry Lodge and an award presentation will take place with Gradam Uí Ghramhnaigh and Gradam Cultúrtha na Gaeltachta being presented on the night.
On Saturday night a bodhrán competition for people over 16 years will take place in memory of the musician Martin Kerrane.
Tickets for the dinner are available from Comharchumann Ratha Chairn plus any other information regarding any of the events: 046 943 2068

Further information visit: www.rathcairn.com

Thug scoláirí ón Ghearmáin cuairt ar Gairmscoil Mhic Diarmada mar pháirt den clár mhalartú scoile

October 25, 2012

Developments in Irish language education to be discussed at Education Conference

October 25, 2012

This year’s Irish Language Education Conference will take place on Saturday, 23rd November in the Ardiluan Hotel in Galway.

Eagraíocht na Scoileanna Gaeltachta Teo. and Gaelscoileanna Teo., the two main Irish language education organisations have come together organise a co-conference for the first time ever. At the launch of the conference programme, Máirín Ní Chéileachair, President of Gaelscoileanna Teo. said, “We are very happy to give an opportunity to the Irish language education community, both inside and outside of An Ghaeltacht, to come together and to learn from each other”.

Both groups have put an interesting programme in place for next month’s conference and a wide range of varied subjects will be covered throughout the day. The programme has been primarily based on improving literacy and numeracy with Gaelscoileanna and Gaeltacht schools and the topic is sure to encourage must discussion and debate throughout the conference.

Mairéad Ní Chualáin, Chairperson of Eagraíocht na Scoileanna Gaeltachta Teo. said, “This year’s programme covers many topics and is sure to cover all issues relating to Irish-speaking and Gaeltacht education”.

Dr Muiris Ó Laoire to begin proceedings with a discussion on the implementation of the literacy and numeracy strategy in Gaelscoileanna agus Gaeltacht schools from a language planning perspective.

Other topics that will be discussed on the day include: the recent reform of the Junior Certificate which will come into effect in 2014, language immersion learning, and the self-evaluation within schools.

The conference will take place on the 23rd November in the Ardiluan Hotel, Galway. For further information contact Gaelscoileanna Teo. on 01-8535191 or Eagraíocht na Scoileanna Gaeltachta Teo. on 026-65885.

Foilsithe ar Gaelport.com

Gaelscoileanna ‘apartheid’

October 25, 2012

Sir, In the “To Be Honest” column by a parent ( Education Today, October 23rd), a link is made, in the headline no less, between Irish-language education and “educational apartheid”.

Gaeloideachas is not in any way offered to people by dint of an accident of birth, but rather is open to anyone in this State who wishes to do so, based almost exclusively on a first-come, first-served basis.

That this system is often cynically manipulated in a self-serving manner by people seeking to give their children some perceived “better start” in life is not the fault of the State, or the system, nor is it deserving of the type of hyperbole inherent in the “apartheid” assertion.

This sort of unnecessarily emotive comparison is not worthy of a place in your newspaper, and it would give cause to wonder if a little more time spent listening in a school educating through any linguistic medium might perhaps have served the anonymous author better in the long run.

– Yours, etc,

Conchubhair Mac Lochlainn
East Road, Dublin 3.

A Chara,

Oh, God! Why does The Irish Times allow such badly researched opinion pieces about Gaelscoileanna? Once or twice a year your newspaper trots out some elephant to trample on the blossoming flowerbed of Gaelicmedium education.

“Gaelscoileanna are getting away with the worst kind of language apartheid.” At least 99 per cent of the pupils who attend Gaelscoileanna are bilingual by the end of the primary cycle. It is the English-medium primary schools that are guilty of language apartheid by allowing pupils to continue through the education cycle badly instructed in Gaeilge (one of the three core subjects). By producing an annual bilingual figure of less than 10 per cent, English-medium primary schools are putting pupils at an immediate disadvantage when beginning the secondary cycle.

“The language puts up a natural force-field that deflects students from various constituencies.” Gaelscoileanna operate an openarms policy and all constituencies are catered for. In Gaelscoil Chluainín, Co Liatroma, there are 17 nationalities, with all socio-economic groups and learning abilities represented, and this in a school of only 83 pupils.

“Parents are choosing Gaelscoileanna because their children will be educated among citizens from well- to- do backgrounds.” In Dublin alone, children are attending Gaelscoileanna in the predominantly working-class areas of Ballymun, Tallaght, Finglas and Inchicore.

“Gaelcholáistí give preference to children from Gaelscoileanna.” Diligent Dublin parents have had their efforts to establish more Gaelcholáistí continuously thwarted by the Department of Education with the effect that in Dublin there are only 2,000 places available in Gaelcholáistí (secondary), while there are 6,000 places in Gaelscoileanna (primary). This means that many bilingual pupils a year cannot continue their schooling through Irish, thus making it more difficult for children who haven’t yet been taught to spell in Irish to get a place.

The only “shame” attached to education through the medium of Irish is that only a small proportion of children are benefiting from this opportunity.

– Is mise,

Rossa Ó Snodaigh
Mainéar Scríneadh Scrínidh, Cluainín Uí Ruairc, Contae Liatroma.


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