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Irish language classes for all levels in your area

August 30, 2012

IRISH language enthusiasts – as well as those who would like to start out on the path to picking up a ‘cúpla focal’ – are being urged to be on the lookout for a whole range of classes and social events in the Dungannon and Cookstown areas over the next weeks and months.

Among the events planned as part of the continuing Líofa 2015 project, the annual Irish Language Summer School at Termonaguirk, near the An Creagán visitor centre, is sure to be one of the biggest attractions when it takes place towards the end of this month.
Meanwhile, Josephine McCaughey, Irish Language Officer with Dungannon and Cookstown Councils, is hoping people will be encouraged by locally available classes which, she explained, will be advertised in newspapers and online over the coming weeks.
The Líofa Project, which will be celebrating its first birthday on September 22, had the original aim of encouraging 2015 people from all walks of life across the North to commit to becoming fluent by the 2015 deadline.
The project has proved hugely successful and since the original target has not only been reached but exceeded, a new target of 5000 people has now been set.
As the first anniversary approaches, an important step now for anyone who has signed up on the Department of Culture Arts and Leisure website, www.dcalni.gov.uk, or indeed for anyone interested in signing up, is to think also about registering with an Irish Language class to commence or recommence the journey to fluency.
According to Josephine: “An abundance of interesting and fun classes and events in which people from all age groups and backgrounds can participate are now available in Tyrone and incidentally, participation is one of the secrets to success.”
She adds: “Towards the end of September the annual Irish Language Summer School takes place at the homestead of the last native speaking seanchaí (storyteller) in the parish of Termonaguirk, Co Tyrone. It is situated about a mile from An Creagán visitor centre on the Omagh-Cookstown Road.
“The Summer School will cater for all levels of Irish Learners by day and will offer bilingual events at night so you don’t have to be líofa (fluent) to enjoy it. The best of good old Irish hospitality is second to none at this event and if you have never been you will know what is meant by this when you get there.
“Anyone who has ever attended will know that Scoil Samhraidh Peadar Joe Haughey is one of the best small festivals in the North. For more information you can contact Francis Clarke, Peadar Joe’s grandson, on 077 8894891.”
Local councils are working in partnership with Irish Language organisations including Foras na Gaeilge, the all-Ireland body responsible for the promotion of the language throughout the whole island of Ireland.
The role of the Irish Language Development Officer for Cookstown and Dungannon is to promote the language and culture to as wide an audience as possible.
The aim is to have classes and events, where there is appropriate community-led demand, not only in central town locations such as Cookstown and Dungannon but also in surrounding villages and rural community settings.
The Irish Language Development Officer aims to ensure that people are aware of the vast range of Irish Language classes and events happening in these two Council areas.
If you are organising Irish classes or an Irish Language event, you can contact Josephine with details so that this information can be shared and promoted in the local press and on the web over the coming weeks.   This can be done by emailing gaeilge@cookstown.gov.uk or gaeilge@dungannon.gov.uk or 079 200 16106.