Friday 20 April 2018 05:50:50 AM

ROI Goverment Supports Bliain na Gaelige Initiative
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Conradh na Gaeilge welcomes Taoiseach’s announcement of Government’s strong cross-departmental support for Bliain na Gaeilge.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD and Minister of State for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands, Joe McHugh TD, launched Bliain na Gaeilge 2018’s six-month programme of events for the first half of the year in the Government Press Centre at Merrion Street, Dublin 2, on Wednesday, 20 December 2017.

Conradh na Gaeilge is calling on schools, community groups, and individuals to get involved in Bliain na Gaeilge by organising an event in their own area, or by taking part in some of the events and competitions planned for the year.

Dr Niall Comer, President of Conradh na Gaeilge, said: “Conradh na Gaeilge welcomes the strong cross-departmental support for Bliain na Gaeilge 2018, as evidenced by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD, Minister for the Gaeltacht, Joe McHugh TD, and indeed the entire Government, and we hope that this will encourage public bodies, Government departments, and the general public to organise events and take an active part in the year.

“Not only does Bliain na Gaeilge offer us an opportunity to celebrate the Irish language and the Gaelic revival, but it also offers us a chance to focus on the current challenges faced by the language and by the Gaeltacht in the public discourse.

“This will be done by organising events and taking action on five core themes: the revival of the language over the last 125 years; the creativity of the language; the vibrancy of the language; the participation of the community; and the value of our Gaeltachtaí.

“Some of the key projects planned for the first half of Bliain na Gaeilge include a special programme called Fáilte 2018 which will be broadcast live on TG4 from Páidí Ó Sé’s in Corca Dhuibhne, Co. Kerry, on New Year’s Eve, launching the year’s event in exciting style. BEO – Gaelach agus Bródúil is a celebratory parade from Parnell Square to St Stephens Green planned for 3 March 2018 in Dublin.

“Under the title of PLÉ ’18, we are organising a series of monthly seminars around the world to discuss the history, heritage, and future of the revival. The public will have the chance to get involved in the conversation, and a key conference on language planning is also scheduled for 27 January 2018 in the Meath Gaeltacht of Ráth Chairn.”

The six-month programme of events launched by the Taoiseach today includes information on over 100 events taking place as part of Bliain na Gaeilge 2018. You can register your own events, or find more details on the year, at:

 www.gaeilge2018.ie.

Síomha Ní Ruairc, Coordinator of Bliain na Gaeilge, said:

“We are calling on every school, community group, and individual to take part in Bliain na Gaeilge by organising events in their own areas, by coming along to a national event such as the BEO parade, or by entering some of the competitions that we’ll be running.

“We are also working with RTÉ 2fm to make sure that every second-level student gets a copy of the new Irish-language album, CEOL 2018 le hEoghan McDermott, at the beginning of May so that the very best pop-music in Irish will be heard the length and breadth of Ireland!”

This is a community project that has seen over 50 Irish-language, Gaeltacht, and culture groups take part in the preparations to date, including the GAA, TG4 and RTÉ. The Irish Government has also given its official support to Bliain na Gaeilge and a committee has been formed to coordinate that support. The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht is providing funding via Foras na Gaeilge for the year as well.

And Bliain na Gaeilge offers us an opportunity to celebrate the vibrancy of our living language while also increasing the use and visibility of Irish in everyday life, normalising it, and seeing it in a positive light on a local, national, and international level.

Bliain na Gaeilge will kick off on New Year’s Eve with events in the Donegal and Kerry Gaeltachts of Gaoth Dobhair and Corca Dhuibhne respectively, and all information about the launch is available from:

 www.gaeilge2018.ie.