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Education Minister John O’Dowd praises Irish pre-school

June 25, 2013

Education Minister John O’Dowd has visited an Irish language nursery school in Tyrone to pay tribute to its staff and pupils.

He went to Gaelscoil Ui Neill in Coalisland yesterday where he met with children, its principal Conor McPhillips and staff.

He said: “Gaelscoil Ui Neill first opened its doors in 1995 and over the past 18 years the enrolment has steadily increased to its current 177 so there is no doubt there is a real demand for education through the medium of Irish in Coalisland and surrounding area.”


Foilsithe ar Gaelport.com 25 Meitheamh 2013

Spraoicheist Gael Linn 2013 i gCeatharlach

June 25, 2013

Online Irish courses for adults

June 25, 2013

We are delighted to be able to offer an exclusive deal for Gaelchultúr’s online courses again, as follows:

  • Gaeilge gan Stró! Lower Intermediate Level, TEG, B1: Give it a go. Pay €80, get €30 back*
  • Gramadach gan Stró! Grammer challenge—Bí crógach—Give it a go. Pay €80, get €30 back*

Eolas/ Info: 091-870718 / oifig@lochariach.com

This project is co-sponsored by Gaeilge Locha Riach and County Galway Vocational Education Committee (Bord Oideachais & Oiliúna na Gaillimhe agus Ros Comáin) for East Galway.

*Get €30 back if course is completed within six months.
NB: Registration must be done via Gaeilge Locha Riach
Info: 091-870718 / oifig@lochariach.com

Irish Summer Course, Athenry

June 25, 2013

1st – 12th July 2013
Agegroup: 12 – 18 yrs
Fee: €250 total
Organiser: Coláiste Néifinn, www.ColaisteNeifinn.com
Monday – Friday: 10 am – 5 pm
ACTIVITIES DURING THE COURSE: Spórt: Gaelic, Soccer, Basketball, Volleyball, Rounders, Tug of War, Rugby and Novelty Games; Dráma, Debating, Dancing, Singing, Music Recital, Quizzes and a Tour
An bhfuil spéis agat ann? Are you interested?
Info: 087-3903994 / colaisteneifinn@gmail.com

Music event for post-primary pupils

June 25, 2013

Foirm Iarratais

Free Events in Áras Chrónáin

June 25, 2013

Fleadh programme launched in Derry

June 24, 2013

The full programme for Derry’s historic Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann was launched in Derry last night.

Hundreds of people attended the launch party in Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin to start the countdown to the largest celebration of traditional Irish music in the world, which will be held in the city from August 11-18.

The programme includes large concerts featuring the cream of traditional music talent, as well as a range of other events including performances of specially commissioned pieces of music, exhibitions, talks, and a unique aerial dance showcase.

Around 300,000 people and 20,000 musicians are expected in Derry over the week of the fleadh and it is estimated that it will generate almost 40 euro for the local economy.
Speaking at the launch, the director general of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, congratulated everyone involved in organising the Fleadh and what he described as Derry’s “can do” attitude.

“When President Obama first came to Ireland he uttered that famous phrase ‘Is feidir linn’ – which translates as ‘We can.’ I have now come to the conclusion that he borrowed that from the fleadh committee in Derry because right throughout all of this happy exciting process I was hearing an echoes all the time of Is feidir linn,” he said.

Fleadh chairperson, Eibhlín Ni Dhochartaigh, said the fleadh will have something for everyone. “Our programme team have put together an events programme that is second to none. We will in this fleadh celebrate the journey of traditional music and all its nuances,” she said.

The Mayor of Derry, councillor Martin Reilly said the fleadh will be a highlight of the City of Culture celebrations. “This City of Culture year has already created some wonderful moments but I don’t think there is any doubt that Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann is the most eagerly anticipated event this year,” he said.

Vince Jordan, president of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, said Derry is an ideal location to host the fleadh. “It is a wonderful occasion that will take place in a wonderful city. One of the aspects that has been brought to my attention is the friendliness of the people that are here in this city and that will show its mark when the visitors leave here after experiencing a wonderful Fleadh cheoil.

It will be an absolute celebration of our arts and culture, a celebration of humanity and a celebration of inclusive Ireland,” he said.


Foilsithe ar Gaelport.com 24 Meitheamh 2013

Derry Journal – Michael McMonagle

The last place you’d expect a cúpla focal

June 24, 2013

Nicky Larkin is amazed to find the cupla focal being used as a healing device in fiercely loyalist East Belfast.

LINDA Ervine began to learn the Irish language two years ago. I started learning 26 years ago. But Linda Ervine speaks more Irish than me.

I sat in her office in The Skainos Centre – the East Belfast Mission. It is the brain-child and baby of Rev Dr Gary Mason, a Methodist minister, known as a critical friend to the UVF and the Red Hand Commando. Both groups chose his church for their weapons decommissioning in 2006.

A man of serious innovation, he raised more than £21m (€24.5m) to develop his community centre in the heart of loyalist East Belfast. He introduced me to Linda, who quickly put me to shame with more than just the basic cupla focal. Practically fluent in only two years, she is married to Brian Ervine, himself the former leader of the PUP party.

The famous family connections do not end there. Linda’s brother-in-law was David Ervine, the moustached late PUP leader whose face still adorns countless loyalist murals in East Belfast. In his younger days, David was a member of the UVF. He was sentenced in the 1970s to 11 years for possession of explosives.

However, later in life he became hugely respected both north and south of the Border as a progressive peace-making politician who turned his back on violence.

So why are these heavily-connected unionists – and in some cases former H-Block loyalist paramilitary prisoners – learning this language traditionally seen as the parlance of their mortal enemy?

More pertinently, why can they speak more Irish than me – a Taig from south Offaly with 14 years of Irish tutelage apparently under my belt?

The answer is simple. They want to learn it.

Linda approaches Irish as contemporary language, as opposed to the archaic methods used in most secondary schools down here to bash the Gaeilge into us. We are taught Irish as if it has no relevance to our daily lives – just a list of verbs on a board we are expected to learn by heart.

As a result, myself and my fellow hostages can now barely string a sentence together in our native tongue. I can speak much more French than Irish, despite the fact I spent five years learning French and 14 learning Irish.

Clearly that points to a serious problem in the mode employed down here to teach our own native language.

Linda has this problem sorted. She told me of former loyalist paramilitaries who now have adhesive notes attached all around their homes, to their milk and their butter, trying to learn the language in an everyday, relevant sense. They are learning Irish in a contemporary fashion, much in the same way secondary school students in the Republic learn French or German.

The demand grew so huge that Linda now runs five Irish classes a week, supported by Foras na Gaeilge. But what motivates her to spread the language? Is she not seen as something of a traitor by her unionist community?

Linda sees the Irish language as a healing device. She feels that depoliticising it is the basis for ordinary people from both sides of the divide to get together. She also feels she is providing the opportunity for people to re-connect with a part of their heritage they had lost, hijacked by violent nationalism and used as a tool of conflict.

Linda told me how she recently discovered there was a long Ervine family tradition of speaking Irish in the home. Trawling through the 1911 census, she was shocked to discover Brian’s grandfather and wider family members were all native Irish speakers.

She showed me the handwritten census pages, where Brian and David Ervine’s relatives’ names were listed in Irish, and under the “language spoken” column they were listed as bilingual. Those same men built the Titanic in a Protestant environment.

Later that night, I met Linda’s husband, Brian – the epitome of good craic. There is a sparkle in his eye, and he throws his head back with every belly laugh. We went for a few pints, Linda kindly offering to act as designated driver. After the beers, we drove through the streets of East Belfast.

As we passed a huge mural of David Ervine adorning the gable end of a house, Brian came out with one of the most profound statements I have ever heard. He said he was sick of it all – sick of the murals, sick of the glorification. He said we need to start living in the present if we have any chance of moving on.

He is right. Linda and Brian Ervine are a remarkable couple. Leaving Belfast that night, I felt that just maybe, if people like Linda and Brian are allowed to be heard above the cacophony of shaven-headed, tattooed cartoon characters we see on the news, a new day might be just around the corner after all these years of blood and tears.


Foilsithe ar Gaelport.com 24 Meitheamh 2013

Irish Independent – Nicky Larkin

Lúrapóg Larapóg – a new show for children by children

June 20, 2013

‘Lúrapóg Larapóg’ is the newest stage production to come from the Donegal Gaeltacht.

The show is for children, showcased by 4 children, aged between 7 and 11, from Gaoth Dobhair.

Material from 3 recently published children’s’ books as Gaeilge: Ící Pící, Ní Thuigimse Daoine Fásta agus Báidín Fheidhlimidh is used in the show, from newly composed works and traditional songs, to poems and rhymes. The show is full of comedy, and richness of language, and inspires the imagination and mind of young audiences.

Lúrapóg Larapóg is for all ages, little and big, young and old. Previous shows would suggest strong audience interaction with singing and dancing and even an open call to the stage to take part.

Storyteller Suzanna Ní Ghallachóír from Rann na Féirste adds to the show, telling tales of suspense, craic and mischief, which the audience enjoys thoroughly.

As well as live shows, Lúrapóg Larapóg also runs workshops for children based on the songs, stories and books used in the show, which are a great way to actively involve children in a fun environment, through singing and dancing.

Samples and more information on the books referred to above, as well as recording of the songs are available at www.eabhloid.com.

Lúrapóg Larapóg is ideal for festivals and special occasions, and the staging of the show as well as bookings can be discussed with Marina on 087-2350151.

Foilsithe ar Gaelport.com

Juvenes Translatores – 2013

June 20, 2013

The European Commission’s Juvenes Translatores competition is designed to promote multilingualism, language learning and careers in translation. Contestants are asked to translate a text of about one page from any of the 24 official languages of the EU into any other official language. The competition is open to second-level students who were born in 1996. One winner from each Member State will be invited on a three-day trip to Brussels, with an award ceremony in the headquarters of the European Commission.

Interested schools may register for the competition at http://ec.europa.eu/translatores from 1 September – 20 October 2013 and the competition will be held on 28 November 2013.

Further information about the competition, including links to previous translation papers, is available at: http://ec.europa.eu/translatores/index_en.htm

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