28 February 2006

Annual push for Irish language kicks off

Irish Examiner

28 February 2006
By Niall Murray

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usSCHOOLS, bars and sports clubs are among hundreds of venues being used to promote our native language when Seachtain na Gaeilge kicks off this weekend.
Running until St Patrick's Day, this year's event aims yet again to encourage all people at home and abroad to try speaking a 'cúpla focail'.

Launching Seachtain na Gaeilge 2006 at the IFI in Dublin yesterday, RTÉ's Sharon Ní Bheoláin said she was delighted to be involved.

"It's clear that the Irish language is growing from strength to strength and becoming more popular among both young and old," she said.

As well as a host of events for all ages around the country, there is an international flavour to this year's calendar of events.

A crash course in Irish followed by a traditional music session is lined up in Frankfurt next week, for example, while table quizzes, school visits and screening of TG4 coverage of All-Ireland games is planned in Newfoundland, Canada. The United States and England are also featured on the list of international events organised.

Closer to home, the music industry, Government departments, RTÉ and the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland are all making efforts to make this the best year yet for the promotion of the Irish language.

A musical treat is promised with the launch on Saturday of Ceol '06, a double-CD of music 'as Gaeilge', performed by Irish and international talents such as Aslan, Mundy and The Waterboys.

Seachtain na Gaeilge manager Orla Nic Shuibhne said the event listings are growing daily, with local groups, schools and organisations taking part.

"There's a great buzz being generated around Seachtain na Gaeilge this year and we hope to attract as many newcomers as possible it's there for all to enjoy," she said.

The status of Irish has been heightened by last year's decision to make it an official EU language while a growth in the number of Irish language programmes and personalities has also been witnessed in recent years.

For a full list of events log on to www.snag.ie.

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