The revival of the native language in the south county village of Kilnaleck continues apace this month with the opening of the first official Irish Summer Arts Festival.
Building on the groundswell of support that exists in the locality for the burgeoning monthly Cupla Focal night, the summer festival will not just celebrate a love of the mother-tongue but arts and culture as well.
Brainchild of Eugene Kiernan and Eugene Farrelly, members of the Kilnaleck Arts Committee, central to the weekend of events, taking place across the village between Friday June 30 and Sunday July 2, will be an Irish Language Summer School at the local Realtóg Centre.
Running on Saturday-Sunday July 1-2, from 10am-1pm, and 3-5pm, with lunch in between, the school is open to Irish speakers of all ages and ability, from complete beginners to fluent speakers. Cost is €30 for the two-days language tuition, to include light lunch on Sunday.
Opening the weekend of summer festivities will be the airing of a series of documentaries by award-winning filmmaker Jerry O’Callaghan at Lovette's bar on Friday June 30 from 8pm.
Originally broadcast on TG4, documentaries detailing the lives of two of the most extraordinary guerrilla fighters and leaders of the war of independence - West Cork’s Tom Barry in Guerrilla days in Ireland and Dan Breen in My fight for Irish Freedom will be screened.
On Saturday McCabe's Showroom on Main Street will host a free art exhibition from 1pm featuring the work of many local artists.
The Samhradh Arts Exhibition will be launched by Cavan County Museum curator, Savina Donohoe and include works by the likes of Pauline Halton, Michelle Harton, Rikki Van den Berg, Jackie O’Neill, and woodworker Joe Doherty.
In the evening, a talk on townlands by historian Brian MacDhomhail will be preceded by a unique photographic exhibition at Brady's Bar from 7am, curated by Ruth Brady, featuring the many patrons who had attended the popular social haunt down through the years.
Mr MacDhomhail's discussion meanwhile, from 8pm, will delve into the fascinating development of well-known townlands, their names, origins and indeed meanings.
"It’s about encouraging, and building on the love of the Irish language we have already developed here," explained Mr Farrelly.
"There is a great heritage here in Cavan, which is why we wanted to expand it beyond being just about the language, and use the festival as a celebration of culture and art as well."