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Irish language careers roadshow visits North West

October 18, 2011

500 students from post-primary schools in the Northwest attended a careers information seminar, ‘Buntáiste Breise na Gaeilge’, which was organised by Comhdháil Náisiúnta na Gaeilge last week.

Teachers and students alike heard guest speakers discussing the advantages which the Irish language affords young people when choosing their careers.

TG4’s renowned sports presenter Mícheál Ó Domhnaill spoke about the advantages that Irish gave him when he went to live in Spain and began to learn Spanish. Ironically Micheal landed a post which required both Irish and Spanish when he started reporting on the Spanish league games on TG4.

Barbara Nic Dhonnacha PPI’s Music Broadcaster of the Year 2011 spoke about the skills she learned and the challenges she overcame since she first started broadcasting.  Barbara gave a wonderful account of her interesting job as a bilingual broadcaster on iradio.

Translation, drama, culture and traditional music were the topics under discussion by Athlone born  Freda Nic Giolla Chatháin.  Freda gave a great account of all the various opportunities the Irish language gave her and also spoke about  the various  travel and interview opportunities which her career gave her over the years as a translator.

Ciarán Mac an Bhaird who is a lecturer in business and management in Fiontar DCU  gave an inspiring insight into this own experience with the Irish language as a non-fluent speaker.  Ciarán gave an insight into the various options students have regarding careers if they are capable of speaking Irish. He encouraged the audience to embrace the language.

Ross Ó Snodaigh an accomplished musician with the world renowned band Kíla who hails from Dublin focused on his own experiences travelling all over the world as a musician and encourages students to embrace the language and speak it on a daily basis and told them that it was up to them to speak the language to keep it alive in the future.

In Carrickmacross on Wednesday morning at a similar seminar Gráinne McElwain who hails from Ballanode, Co Monaghan gave a wonderful insight into the advantage of Irish in the field of media and television and the role of TG4 and other independent companies as an opportunity. Gráinne discussed the role of the Irish language in her line of work and her work as a presenter on programmes such as Rugby Magners league Health Squad, Seó Spóirt on TG4 and Loach Gael.

Réamonn Ó Ciaráin from Armagh provided  the students  with an insight into the wide range of careers which can be achieved with the Irish language. Réamonn gave an account of his interesting work with Gael Linn in Ulster and the challenges he encounters on a daily basis.

Having worked in a library in Co. Cavan for twelve years Carmel Cusack Smith had many years of experience in dealing with the public and providing an Irish language service in a non Irish language speaking area. Carmel outlined  the challenges that came with building a gaelscoil in Cavan and also her challenging role in organising local events and also her work with Fleadh Ceoil na hÉireann.

Representatives from various third level institutes were also present with information stands and they distributed information regarding Irish Language third level opportunities available to those wishing to pursue their education through the medium of Irish.

Congratulation to Gráinne Carty from Pobalscoil Naomh Attracta who won the first prize €425 scholarship for a Gael Linn summer college at the event in Carrick-on-Shannon and to Fionnuala Ní Chathmhaoil from  Choláiste Oiriall who won €425 for a Gael Linn scholarship at the event in Carrickmacross.

Comhdháil Náisiúnta na Gaeilge has being organising these seminars for almost three years now and the sixteenth seminar of its kind will be hosted in Dungarvan  next month and so far the seminars have catered for 4,300 secondary school pupils around the country.

Comhdháil Náisiúnta na Gaeilge are very grateful to all our sponsors who sponsor great prises for these seminars: Gael Linn, Coláiste Uisce, RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, Freedom Surf School in Tramore.

Here is a list of the upcoming seminars:
Belfast – 17th November 2011 – Venue: Coláiste Feirste, Belfast
Limerick 22nd November 2011 – Venue: Strand Hotel, Limerick
Dungarvan, Waterford  – 23rd November 2011 – Venue: Park Hotel, Dungarvan

If your school would like to attend please contact Brígíd at 01 679 4780 or send an e-mail to brighid@comhdhail.ie