Gaelbhratach mór agus beag á mbronnadh ar Niall agus Elisha, Coláiste Naomh Maodhóg, Co an Chabháin, ag Éadaoin Fitzmaurice, ar chlé, Réamonn Ó Ciaráin, Príomhfheidhmeannach Gael-Linn sa lár, agus Caitlín Ní Chonghaile, Feidhmeannach Foras na Gaeilge, ar dheis.Pic: Seán Ó Mainnín

Young Gaels capture the flag

Coláiste Naomh Maodhóg raised their Gaelbhratach flags at St Patrick’s campus, DCU, on Tuesday of last week, May 16. Over 200 students from Gaelbhratach committees in post-primary schools across the country gathered to celebrate their hard work in promoting Irish in their schools throughout the year.

Through workshops, craic and conversation, not to mention the brilliant music from Tadhg, the young gaels got a taste of the Irish language community – along with motivation to “raise the Irish flag” in their own lives. Congratulations and thanks are also in order for other schools in the area who were not able to attend the event.

Barry Ó Siochrú, the first Irish language officer in NUIG Students’ Union, was MC at the event: “I attended this event as a student myself and it is brilliant to see the young students now raising their Gaelbhratach just as I did. I am filled with optimism about the future of these students, and indeed about the future of the Irish language.”

An interesting and inspirational panel discussion was held; included on the panel were Éadaoin Fitzmaurice, founder of Fia Digital, podcaster and social media guru, Chloe Ní Ruairc, Gníomhaí Gaeilge coordinator with Conradh na Gaeilge, as well as Eoin Ó Catháin, political correspondent for RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta.

They spoke about the different careers available through Irish, their role in the Irish language domain, and the extra opportunities speaking Irish has afforded them. Mairéad, the manager of Gaelbhratach, said the aim of the programme is to "normalise spoken Irish" in schools nationwide: “Every school has its own story but the common thread between these groups is their recognition of the importance of the Irish language, and their efforts to promote it. How lucky are we to work with young people who energise us.”

She also thanked the funders - Foras na Gaeilge and the Department of Education.