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Dates for Tóstal na Gaeilge 2013 announced

November 28, 2012

The biggest Irish language conference of the year will take place on February 16th 2013 in the Hilton Hotel, Charlemont Place, Dublin 2.

The event will bring together Irish language speakers, activists and supporters of the language to discuss challenges as well as opportunities to develop the language in 2013. All are welcome to attend the event as headsets will be available to those who don’t have fluent Irish.

Tóstal na Gaeilge is a conference organised by Comhdháil Náisiúnta na Gaeilge, an organisation which represents the interests of 24 Irish language organisations, and it is hoped that this year’s Tóstal will provoke lively discussion and provide Irish speakers with the opportunity to share their views on the promotion of Irish and Government policy in matters concerning the language.

Recent developments such as the enactment of the Gaeltacht Act 2012 as well as progress in implementing the 20 Year Strategy for the Irish language shall be the focus of events on the day as well as discussions and debate on other areas of Irish language policy within the Gaeltacht, language promotion within the family and challenges posed by the technological age.

An Chomhdháil will celebrate its 70th anniversary since it was first founded in 1943 and the 2013 Tóstal will commemorate the work of its members and the Irish language voluntary sector .

A full programme of events will be announced on Gaelport.com over the coming weeks and on social networks under the hashtag #Tnag13.

Foilsithe ar Gaelport.com

An Gúm – Children’s books to be won!

November 28, 2012

This week one lucky subscriber will win a copy of the new books titled Nóinín agus Siar Aniar by Eibhlís Ní Dhonnchadha and Caoimhe agus an Bogha Báistí by Siobhain Grogan which were published by An Gúm.

We previously encountered Nóinín and her little friends in Nóinín agus Róllaí Póllaí. This time she’s back with some new friends and a new adventure involving an inquisitive dog, a crab and a magical tractor! Nóinín agus Siar Aniar is a delightful story combining prose, verse and music, wonderfully illustrated by Dómhnal Ó Bric. The book comes with a lively audio disc.

Caoimhe agus an Bogha Báistí by Siobhain Grogan is an attractive picture book with flaps. Oranges, apples and bananas – Yuk! Say’s Caoimhe.

Caoimhe doesn’t like fruit. But Caoimhe loves the colours of the rainbow. But Mamaí has a plan to change her mind. This is a bright and attractive picture book with flaps that reveal all our favourite fruits.

This is a gorgeous book with bright colours and pictures that will endear both young and old. This book was beautifully illustrated by Róisín Curé.

These books are suitable for ages 4 –7yrs

This week’s question: Which publishing company published the books Nóinín agus Siar Aniar & Caoimhe agus an Bogha Báistí ?

• Cló Mhaigh Eo
• Cló Iar-Chonnacht
• Futa Fata
• An Gúm

Please forward answers to duais@comhdhail.ie and have the words “Comórtas Gaelport” as the subject of your mail.

The closing date for receipt of entries is 12 noon Thursday 13th December 2012.

We are grateful to An Gúm who kindly supplied the prize for this competition.

Foilsithe ar Gaelport.com

Success of Irish medium education clear in 2012 School League Tables

November 28, 2012

The Irish Times recently published this year’s School League Tables and this year’s list includes 11 Gaelscoileanna with a progression rate of 100% of students who continue onto third level education.

The annual list focuses on the main feeder schools to universities from around the country and this year’s report shows a significant increase in the number of schools with a success rate entitling them to feeder school status.

As with most years, fee-paying schools lead the way on the 2012 School League Tables but this year’s report shows that the number of schools with a 100% progression rate has doubled in the last year from 56 to 121. This figure means that 17% of Ireland’s 724 secondary schools are now sending all of their students on to third level education and this year, there ar 11 Gaelscoileanna among that 17%:

• Coláiste Íosagáin, Stllorgan
• Coláiste Eoin, Stillorgan
• Coláiste Íde, An Daingean
• Gaelcholáiste Chiarraí
• Coláiste Ailigh, Letterenny
• Pobalscoil Ghaoth Dobhair
• Gairmscoil Fheichín Naofa, Corr na Móna, Galway
• Gaelcholáiste Cheatharlach
• Scoil Mhuire, Corcaigh
• Coláiste Laurel Hill FCJ, Limerick
• Coláiste Chomain, Mayo

Coláiste Íosagáin, Stillorgan has been named the school with the fourth highest progression rate to higher points courses in the country, 100% of 76 students were offered places. Coláiste Eoin (100%) was named as the school with the tenth highest success rate when it comes to higher points courses (98%) and both schools were included in the Top 5 schools in County Dublin. Coláiste Cois Life, Lucan, with an overall rate of 79% was listed as the twentieth highest rated school in County Dublin.

Gaelcholáiste Reachrann, Donaghmede (90%) was listed in the Top 5 schools in North Dublin and Coláiste Mhuire, Cabra came in at number 20 (68%).

The league was established a decade ago when the average progression rate in schools was 70%, a figure that has now raised to 80%. Fee-paying schools, Gaelscoileanna and State –run schools in prosperous areas have continuously dominated the league and the following results taken from this year’s table show that Irish medium education is continuing to thrive in schools all around the country:

Gaelscoileanna progression rates:

• Coláiste Ráithín, Bray – 96%; Coláiste Chroí Mhuire Gan Smál, An Spidéal – 96%; Coláiste an Phiarsaigh, Cork – 95%; Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne – 94%; Gaelcholáiste Mhuire, Cork – 91%; Gairmscoil Éinne, Inis Mór – 90%; Scoil Phobal Mhic Dara, Carna – 90%
• Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh – 88%; Coláiste Mhuire, Mayo – 88%; Coláiste Oiriall, Monaghan – 88%; Gael Choláiste Bhun Chranncha – 86%; Coláiste Chom Cille, Indreabhán – 85%
• Coláiste Ghobnatan, Baile Bhuirne – 78%; Scoil Chaitríona, Glasnevin, – 77%; Meán Scoil San Nioclás, Dún Garbhán – 73%; Gael-Choláiste Chill Dara – 73%; Coláiste Pobal Osraí, Kilkenny – 70%
• Gairmscoil Chú Uladh, Donegall – 69%; Coláiste de hÍde, Tallaght – 68%; Gairmscoil na bPiarsach, Ros Muc – 67%; Scoil Chuimsitheach Chiaráin, An Cheathrú Rua – 60%
• Coláiste Chillian, Clondalkin

Foilsithe ar Gaelport.com

Most people say they can speak some Irish

November 28, 2012

Population positive about language but only 27% want it as main spoken tongue
A large majority of adults say they are able to speak Irish but do not want it to be revived as the main spoken language, according to the Ipsos MRBI 50th anniversary poll.
The survey shows that a total of 74 per cent say they are able to speak some Irish.

Most of these people (55 per cent), however, say they can speak very little of it. A further 16 per cent say they can speak the language “fairly well”, while just 4 per cent say they can speak it “very well”. A total of 24 per cent say they cannot speak Irish at all.

Ability to speak Irish varies with age and geography, according to the poll results. In general, younger people are more likely to be able to say they can speak the language well.

A total of 27 per cent of those aged 18-34 are able to speak the language either “very well” or “fairly well”. The proportion is lower among older age groups such as those aged 35- 54 (16 per cent) and the over-55s (19 per cent).

Political parties

When the results on ability to speak the language are broken down by political party supporters, they show interesting differences. The proportion who can speak some Irish is l owest among Sinn Féin voters (75 per cent) and highest among Fine Gael voters (86 per cent).

The number of Irish-speaking Fianna Fáil supporters is 80 per cent, while the figure falls to 76 per cent among Labour supporters.

Not surprisingly, the highest concentration of Irish speakers is in Connacht/Ulster and Munster.

Students are more likely to be able to speak some Irish (85 per cent). The figures are lower for those who are working (80 per cent ) and not working (70 per cent).

People’s ability to understand spoken Irish on radio or television is comparable to their ability to speak it. Again, a majority of people – 74 per cent – say they can understand Irish.

When this overall figure is broken down, most of these people say they can understand “some” Irish (56 per cent). A further 14 per cent say they understand “most” of the language, while just 4 per cent say they understand all of it.

In general, younger people and those from Connacht/ Ulster and Munster were more likely to be able to understand the language.

Most people are positively disposed towards Irish and would like to see it used more widely – but only to a point. A majority say they do not want Irish revived as the main spoken language of the country.


‘Young and Irish’ – Gaeilge comes in first place

November 28, 2012

The President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins extended an invitation to 100 young people from different backgrounds to attend a bilingual seminar entitled ‘Young and Irish’ at Áras an Uachtaráin last Saturday.
Gaelport.com spoke to Paula Melvin who hosted the night about her role in the budding youth movement and the different events which took place on the day.
What spurred your initial interest in the project ‘Young and Irish’?
The president had organised four regional workshops leading up the seminar in the Áras – one in Dublin, one in Cork, one in Monaghan and one in Galway.

As it happened, I was working with Conradh na Gaeilge when the workshop was on in Dublin so I attended the one in Cork. 100 young people aged between 17 and 26 attended the workshops and 100 people were chosen from those workshops to visit the Áras. I then received a call asking me to be ‘bean an tí’ on the day which I was delighted about! It was an honour to be invited let alone present the event.

The president made sure that Irish would be promoted on the day so me and another presenter collaborated and made the event bilingual. On top of that, 800 people participated in the project, putting their views forward on what’s important to them.
Had the suggestions already been drawn together?
Yes and no. Some lecturers at DIT had gathered the submissions from the workshops and from individuals who couldn’t attend the workshops and they were all presented to us as a draft on the day.

Lots of new suggestions came in on the day about education, equality, employment, enterprise and human rights and all of us voted on the issues which were most important to us.

One thing which took me by surprise was that a suggestion regarding the Irish Language came in first place making it the most important issue of the day. It outlines that Irish should be taught in two separate subjects for the Leaving Cert, suiting the differing standards at English speaking schools and Gaelscoileanna.

Not only did the Irish come in first place but a second suggestion regarding more opportunities to speak the language came in third place. Unbelievable! I’m over the moon that out of all the views expressed on the day, a concern for the Irish Language came in first and third place.
Was there a positive attitude towards Irish among young people at the seminar?
Absolutely! I spoke strongly about Irish at the workshop in Cork and nobody argued against me but I did hear that there were some negative comments at the other workshops – only small ones. Irish was very close to the hearts of the young people who visited the Áras and it was clear that even people who didn’t speak the language were very positive.

The Áras had done a lot of publicity on radio stations and in the regional and national newpapers and it was clear that a huge effort was made to bring a mixture of people together from a wide range of backgrounds to offer their input. I feel the youth of Ireland were fairly represented, which is great news for the language.
What steps will the Government take to ensure these suggestions are followed through with?
Well, I’m very grateful to the President for giving myself and the rest of the young people involved the chance to express our opinions on such a prestigious platform.

Our vision for the country has been presented to all the State Departments and many political advisers and we hope these advisers will take the right steps in making this vision a reality.

This is only the beginning of a bigger movement. Following on from the good work at the Áras, we intend to start a youth group made up of people who wish to mould the future of politics in the country.
Foilisthe ar Gaelport

Amhras faoi thodhchaí Aonaid a sholáthraíonn leabhair scoile Gaeilge

November 28, 2012

Record numbers go on to third level

November 28, 2012

Private fee-paying schools, Gaelscoileanna and State schools in more prosperous areas are doing especially well, but the picture elsewhere is not as rosy

One of the striking features of the list is the strong performance of schools in Leitrim and Sligo, where virtually all schools have a 100 per cent progression rate to third-level.

An increasing number of Leaving Certificate students are proceeding to third- level education, according to the 2012 School League Tables. A decade ago, when The Irish Times first published these lists, the average progression rate was about 70 per cent; today most schools send about 80 per cent of their students on to third-level institutions.

The picture is very mixed, however. Three types of school tend to perform well in the league tables. These are private feepaying schools, Gaelscoileanna and State schools in more prosperous areas. The picture is much bleaker when you look at schools in disadvantaged areas, where progression rates of less than 60 per cent are not uncommon.

The picture is striking in Dublin. Belvedere College, the Jesuit secondary school near Parnell Square, has a progression rate of 100 per cent, but three other schools in the area, including O’Connell’s Christian Brothers school, have transfer rates of less than 60 per cent. Some schools in west Dublin have progression rates of as low as 30 per cent.

In Dublin, private fee-paying schools top the league tables in most postal districts. Many have a progression rate of 100 per cent, including Loreto Abbey in Dalkey; St Andrew’s College in Booterstown; Catholic University School on Leeson Street; Gonzaga College, in Ranelagh; the Teresian School, in Donnybrook; and Blackrock College.

That said, many non fee-paying schools in Dublin perform exceptionally well. These include Muckross Park College, in Donnybrook; St Benildus College, in Stillorgan; and Holy Faith Secondary School, in Clontarf.

Broadly, schools in south Dublin tend to perform better than their counterparts in north Dublin.

Galelscoileanna also feature strongly in the lists. Coláiste Íosagáin and Coláiste Eoin, which share a campus in Stillorgan, in south Co Dublin, both achieve a 100 per cent progression rate.

Outside Dublin, two Gaelscoileanna in Galway city both achieve 100 per cent transfer rates. Gaelscoileanna in Cork, Mayo and Carlow are among several others that also do well.

One of the striking features of the list is the strong performance of schools in Leitrim and Sligo, where virtually all schools have a 100 per cent progression rate. Sligo Institute of Technology appears to be doing well in attracting local students.

In Cork there is a mixed picture. Christian Brothers College on Sidney Hill, Scoil Mhuire Secondary School on Sidney Place and Presentation Brothers College in Mardyke are among the private schools that do well. Overall, 14 schools in the county have a 100 per cent progression rate. These include several non fee-paying schools, including Sacred Heart Secondary School in Clonakilty, St Francis College in Rochestown and Mount Mercy College.

The performance of schools in Co Mayo is also eye-catching. No fewer than 16 schools in the county register a progression rate of 100 per cent. In all, 24 or 26 schools in the county have a progression rate of more than 80 cent. This is all the more remarkable when one considers that Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology is the only major third-level college in the county.

Co Roscommon also does well. Six of the eight schools in the county have progression rates of 100 per cent, despite the absence of a local third-level college.

Overall, this year’s league tables show a rising tide. More and more students are progressing to third level.

And record numbers of schools are showing a progression rate of 100 per cent.


More cuts for Irish medium education

November 28, 2012

The Department of Education and Skills announced today that the Irish language council COGG is to merge with the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment.

A representative of the Department made the announcement to delegates of this year’s Irish medium education conference, organised by Gaelscoileanna and by Eagraíocht na Scoileanna Gaeltachta, held in Glaway.

COGG provides support services to Irish medium schools and post-primary Irish medium schools as well as Irish language resources and research in the area.

The body currently only employs two staff as the Department had ruled out filling internal vacancies in the organisation.
COGG was established under Article 31 of the Education Act 1998, after a long campaign by Irish language organisations
Comhdháil Náisiúnta na Gaeilge, Gaelscoileanna and Eagraíocht na Scoileanna Gaeltachta.

Speaking at the conference today, Seán Ó Foghlú, Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills stated: “These new arrangements will allow COGG to concentrate its resources on its core functions of providing teaching resources to support the teaching of Irish in tandem with the NCCA’s work on revising the curriculum. The general administrative functions, which are a considerable burden on a small staff, will now be provided by the NCCA,”

“In this new arrangement, COGG will retain a separate identity under the aegis of the NCCA. The move will strengthen its ability to support Irish-medium education and the teaching of Irish generally”, he said.

Foilsithe ar Gaelport.com

An Caifé Craosach – fís chluiche nua aimseartha ar fáil saor in aisce go hiomlán i nGaeilge

November 27, 2012

Leabhrán/CD nua “An tAifreann Naofa”

November 27, 2012

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