Armagh Gaels look forward to Seachtain na Gaeilge

seachtain 2016 coverArmagh Gaels are gearing up for another jam-packed fortnight of events for the annual Irish language Seachtain na Gaeilge festival. The festival will get underway in Armagh on Monday 29 February when the bilingual exhibition by Conradh na Gaeilge on the role of the Irish language in the Easter Rising of 1916 comes to the city. The exhibition will be housed in the Pearse Óg social club on Monday and Tuesday and there will also be a film showing of Mise Éire to coincide with the exhibition at 7pm on the 1 March at Pearse Óg. The exhibition will then move to Armagh Harps social club on Wedneday 2 March and a 1916-themed bilingual quiz will be held at 7.30pm. The exhibition will remain at the Harps club on Thursday 3 March. There will be a special bilingual tour of Armagh Gaol at 6.30pm on Friday 4 March, The annual Ulster GAA Irish language quiz will take place that evening from 8pm in the Ceannáras building at the Athletic Grounds.

The new online Irish langauge radio station Raidió Mhacha will be launched at 4pm on Monday 7 March in St Catherine’s College. The young people involved in the project have been working hard over the past few months to finish their radio programmes before the launch. That same evening at 6pm, Armagh GAA will launch Seachtain na Gaeilge in the Athletic Grounds. There will be special Seachtain na Gaeilge sessions with Comhrá is Craic at Embers and Ciorcal Comhrá Ard Mhacha in the Station Bar on 8 March. Gerry Oates will be giving an Irish language talk on the Gaelic surnames of Armagh on Wednesday 9 March at 7pm in St Catherine’s College. The Ulster final of the Irish language schools drama competition Fhéile Scoildrámaíochta will take place in the Marketplace Theatre on Thursday 10 and Friday 11 March and Armagh Gaels are invited to come and watch the best young actors from right across the province.

Saturday 12 March will provide one of the highlights of th festival with the national Irish language fun run visiting the city. The Armagh leg of Rith 2016 will begin at 4pm at Pearse Óg Social Club, making its way through the town centre and finishing off at Armagh Harps social club. Later that same evening, there will be a multi-cultural celebration for Seachtain na Gaeilge at the clubhouse at Armagh Golf Club in conjunction with the local Bulgarian, Lithuanian and Polish communities. The annual commemoration of famous local raparee Séamus Mór Mac Murchaidh will take place at 12 noon on Sunday 13 March in the Hole in the Wall bar. Armagh GAA will also have a special celebration for Seachtain na Gaeilge at the Athletic Grounds’ double header in the Allianz Leagues, when the hurlers take on Meath at 12.45 and the footballers take on Galway at 2.30pm.

seachtain 2016 insideThe annual Irish language poetry and conversation competition Feis Ard Mhacha will take place in the Marketplace Theatre on Monday 14 March and on Tuesday 15 March. There will be an official launch of the commencement of the Aonach Mhacha building project at 1.30pm in the Marketplace Theatre. On St Patrick’s Day itself, there will be an Irish language mass in the cathedral at 9am and a bilingual service in the Church of Ireland cathedral at 10am. At midday, Cairde Teo will be taking out our newly-built currach on the Blackwater, a currach which is currently being built with Lough Neagh Boating Heritage Association in Maghery. On Saturday 19 March, the Seachtain na Gaeilge programme of events will be brought to a closure with an extravaganza concert featuring none other than Moya Brennan from Clannad in the Marketplace Theatre from 8pm.

For further information on the Armagh events during Seachtain na Gaeilge conctact Seán on 028 3751 5229 or sean@cairdeteo.com.

Seachtain na Gaeilge in Ard Mhacha

seachtain 2016 coverNí fada anois go mbeidh Gaeil Ard Mhacha ag ceiliúradh Sheachtain na Gaeilge le clár lán-imeachtaí d’achan aoisghrúpa. Cuirfear tús leis an fhéile in Ard Mhacha Dé Luain 29 Feabhra nuair a bheas taispeántas dátheangach Chonradh na Gaeilge ar ról na Gaeilge in Éirí Amach na Cásca 1916 ar an bhaile. Beidh an taispeántas lonnaithe i gclubtheach na bPiarsach Óg ar an Luan agus ar an Mháirt agus eagrófar taispeántas an scannáin Mise Éire ann ar 7pm ar an 1ú Márta. Beidh an taispeántas ansin ag bogadh go CLG Chláirsigh Ard Mhacha Dé Céadaoin 2 Márta agus beidh tráth ceisteanna dátheangach ann dírithe ar stair 1916 ar 7.30pm. Ar an Aoine 4 Márta, beidh turas speisialta dátheangach ar siúl ar 6.30pm i bPríosún Ard Mhacha. Eagrófar Tráth na gCeist Gaeilge CLG Uladh sa Pháirc Lúthchleasa an oíche chéanna ar 8pm.

Seolfar an staisiún nua ar líne Raidió Mhacha ar 4pm Dé Luain 7 Márta i gColáiste Chaitríona. Tá na rannpháirtithe ag obair go crua le tamall beag anuas le cláir a chur i gcrích roimh an seoladh. Ar 6pm an oíche chéanna, seolfaidh CLG Ard Mhacha Seachtain na Gaeilge sa Pháirc Lúthchleasa. Beidh seisiúin speisialta ag na ciorcail chomhrá Comhrá is Craic ag Embers agus ag Ciorcal Comhrá Ard Mhacha i mBeár an Stáisiúin ar an 8 Márta. Tabharfaidh Gearóid Oates léacht i nGaeilge ar shloinntí Ard Mhacha Dé Céadaoin 9 Márta ar 7pm ag Coláiste Chaitríona. Beidh Craobh Uladh den Fhéile Scoildrámaíochta ar siúl in Amharclann Phlás an Mhargaidh Déardaoin 10 agus Dé hAoine 11 Márta agus beidh fáilte mhór roimh phobal na Gaeilge in Ard Mhacha teacht isteach le h-amharc ar na h-aisteoirí óga is fearr sa chúige.

Beidh lá mór ann do Ghaeil Ard Mhacha Dé Sathairn 12 Márta nuair a bheas an rith náisiúnta Rith 2016 sa chathair. Cuirfear tús le seal Ard Mhacha den Rith ar 4pm ag Club Sóisialta na bPiarsach Óg agus rachaidh sé fríd an bhaile mhór le críochnú ag Club Sóisialta Chláirsigh Ard Mhacha. Níos moille an oíche sin, beidh ceiliúradh ilchultúrtha ar siúl do Sheachtain na Gaeilge ag an ghalfchúrsa i gcomhar leis an phobal Bulgárach, Liotuánach agus Polannach in Ard Mhacha. Cuirfear tús le comóradh bliantúil Shéamuis Mhóir Mhic Mhurchaidh ar 12 nóin Dé Domhnaigh 13 Márta sa bheár Pholl sa Bhalla. Beidh ceiliúradh speisialta ag CLG Ard Mhacha ar Sheachtain na Gaeilge ag na cluichí sraithe a bheas sa Pháirc Lúthchleasa an lá sin. Imreoidh iománaithe Ard Mhacha in eadán na Mí ar 12.45pm agus imreoidh na peileadóirí in eadán na Gaillimhe ar 2.30pm.

seachtain 2016 insideBeidh Feis Ard Mhacha ar siúl in Amharclann Phlás an Mhargaidh ar an Luan 14 Márta agus ar an Mháirt 15 Márta. Beidh seoladh oifigiúil de thús na n-oibreacha ar an chultúrlann nua Aonach Mhacha ar siúl ar 1.30pm in Amharclann Phlás an Mhargaidh. Ar Lá Fhéile Pádraig féin, beidh aifreann dátheangach ann san ardeaglais ar 9am agu beidh seirbhís dhátheangach in Eaglais na hÉireann. Ar mheánlae, beidh Cairde Teo ag tabhairt amach a gcurrach féin, atá á thógáil le cúpla mí, le dul síos an Abhainn Mhór. Ar an Satharn 19 Márta, beidh an grúpa cnocadóireachta ag taisteal go Sliabh Mis ar 10.30am le céimeanna Naomh Pádraig a leanstan. Cuirfear clabhsúr le ceiliúradh Sheachtain na Gaeilge ar 8pm Dé Sathairn 19 Márta le mór-cheolchoirm na féile nuair a bheas Moya Brennan i mbun ceoil ag Amharclann Phlás an Mhargaidh.

Le tuilleadh eolais a fháil ar imeachtaí Ard Mhacha le linn Sheachtain na Gaeilge, is féidir teagmháil a dhéanamh le Seán ar 028 3751 5229 nó sean@cairdeteo.com.

Céad shiúlóid na bliana

Banagher GlenBeidh an grúpa siúlóide as Ard Mhacha agus as Tír Eoghain i mbun cláir úir siúlóidí don bhliain, leis an chéad cheann ar an Satharn 30 Eanáir in Aillt na Péiste. Beidh an tsiúlóid ag dul trí cheann de na coillte darach is sine in Éirinn a fhad le dhá dhamba. Tá fánaí an ghleanna clúdaithe le crainn ársa, dair agus fuinseog, le crainn eile mar caorthann, coll, sceach gheal agus cuileann. Tá raithneach agus caonach flúirseach fá bhruacha na habhann.

Tá Aillt na Péiste lonnaithe gar do Dhún Geimhin agus beidh rannpháirtithe ag bualadh lena chéile sa charrchlós ar an Chraobh ar 10am le taisteal le chéile chuig an túsphointe ag an anaclann dúlra ar 11am. Beidh an tsiúlóid ag Aillt na Péiste ar an chéad cheann don bhliain, agus beidh siúlóidí eile sna Beanna Boirche, na Speiríní, na Cuaillí, na cnoic i nDún na nGall agus Sliabh Mis. Chuirfeadh an grúpa fáilte roimh bhaill úra theacht agus sult a bhaint as na siúlóidí. Más mian leat tuilleadh eolais faoin ghrúpa Siúil, is féidir teagmháil a dhéanamh le Seán sean@cairdeteo.com 028 3751 5229.

Armagh and Tyrone’s bilingual walking group Siúil are ready to embark on a new year of hillwalks, which gets underway on Saturday 30 January at the scenic surrounds of Banagher Glen. This beautiful walk makes its way through one of the oldest ancient oak woodlands in Ireland and meets the Altnaheglish Dam and the Banagher Dam. The steep sides of the glens are covered by mature trees, mostly oak and ash, with an understory of rowan, hazel, hawthorn and holly. Ferns and mosses also thrive in damp shady nooks along the river banks.

Banagher Glen is located near Dungiven and participants will be meeting up at the carpark in Stewartstown at 10am to travel together to meet at the starting point at the nature reserve at 11am. The walk at Banagher Glen will be the first of a series of walks for this year, which will include the Mourne Mountains, the Sperrins, the Cooleys, the Donegal hills and Slemish. The group would welcome new members to come along and enjoy the walks, which take place right across province of Ulster and further afield. If you would like further information on the Siúil group, you can contact Seán sean@cairdeteo.com 028 3751 5229.

Rith 2016 in Ard Mhacha

Rith 2014Beidh deis ag Gaeil Ard Mhacha páirt a ghlacadh san ollrith náisiúnta, Rith 2016, a bheas ar an bhaile ar 4pm Dé Sathairn 12 Márta i mbliana. Rith sealaíochta atá i gceist le Rith atá ar an fhód le 6 bliana agus an aidhm aige prófíl na Gaeilge a ardú ar fud an oileáin. Bíonn na mílte páirteach sa rith spraoiúil a thiomsaíonn airgead d’imeachtaí Gaeilge agus a iompraíonn teachtaireacht ó Uachtarán na hÉireann. Bíonn sé ar siúl achan dara bliain le linn Sheachtain na Gaeilge agus i mbliana, beidh lucht eagraithe an reatha ag tosú i gCill Droichead i gCill Dara ar an 4 Márta, ag clúdach 32 contae na hÉireann agus ag críochnú ag Ardoifig an Phoist ar Shráid Uí Chonailli mBaile Átha Cliath ar an 14 Márta.

Beidh cúrsa Ard Mhacha ag tosú ag club sóisialta na bPiarsach Óg ar 4pm Dé Sathairn 12 Márta agus beidh na rannpháirtithe ag rith suas Bóthar Dalton le tiontú ar chlé ar Shráid na nGael. Rachaidh na rannpháirtithe ansin ar dheis ag Sráid Ogle lena mbealach a dhéanamh trí lár an bhaile a fhad leis an timpeallán ag an Seamlas. Rithfidh siad as sin trasna na timpealláine síos Sráid an Iarnróid le tiontú ar chlé ar Bhóthar Lonsdale agus trasna chuig Bóthar Loch gCál le críochnú ag club sóisialta Chláirsigh Ard Mhacha.

Rith 2014 Ard MhachaTá Cairde Teo ag tabhairt cuireadh do phobal na Gaeilge, do chlubanna spóirt, clubanna óige, grúpaí pobail, eagraíochtaí cultúir agus scoileanna páirt a ghlacadh sa rith nuair a bheas sé in Ard Mhacha. Le tuilleadh eolais a fháil nó má tá suim agat cuidiú nó páirt a ghlacadh ann, is féidir teagmháil a dhéanamh le Seán ar sean@cairdeteo.com nó 028 3751 5229.

 

The Gaels of Armagh will habe an opportunity to take part in the national Irish language fun run, Rith 2016, which comes to the city at 4pm on Saturday 12 March. Rith is a relay run, which was first organised six years ago with the aim of raising the profile of the Irish language right across the island. Thousands have taken part in the run and carried the baton containing a message from the Irish President. The biennial event takes place during the Irish language festival Seachtain na Gaeilge and will this year commence in Celbridge, County Kildare on 4 March, covering every county in Ireland and finishing at the GPO on O’Connell Street in Dublin on 14 March.

Rith 2014 OgsThe Armagh leg of the run will begin at the Pearse Óg social club at 4pm on Saturday 12 March and participants will run on Dalton Road and turn left at Irish Street. The runners will then take right on to Ogle Street to make its way through the town centre as far as the Shambles roundabout. The run will continue on across the roundabout onto Railway Street and turn left onto Lonsdale Road, before crossing the roundabout onto the Loughgall Road, where it will finish up at Armagh Harps’ Social Club.

Cairde Teo are inviting the Irish language community, sports clubs, youth clubs, community groups, culture organisations and schools to take part in the Armagh leg of the run. To find out more or to express an interest in helping out or indeed in taking part, contact Seán at sean@cairdeteo.com or 028 3751 5229.

Aifreann na Gaeilge

Beidh Aifreann na Gaeilge ag toiseacht arís sa séipéal i gColáiste Phádraig Dé Sathairn 9ú Eanáir, agus leanfaidh sé ar aghaidh ar 5.30 i.n. gach Satharn go dtí 12ú Márta.
Ar Lá Fhéile Padraig, léifear aifreann Gaeilge ar 9r.n. in Ardeaglais Naomh Padraig.
Tosóidh sé aris i ndiaidh sos na Cásca ar an 9ú Aibreán.

The Irish language mass will recommence in St Patrick’s Grammar School on Saturday 9 January and continue each Saturday at 5.30pm until Saturday 12 March.
On St Patrick’s Day, an Irish language mass will be celebrated in St Patrick’s Cathedral at 9am.
There will be a break over the Easter period and the mass will recommence on Saturday 9 April.

Make learning Irish your New Year’s Resolution in 2016

irish class poster 2016A new term of Irish language classes for all levels of learners will begin in St Catherine’s College in Armagh on Wednesday 20 January at 7pm. The classes cater for lower and higher beginners, lower and higher intermediate and advanced levels and take place in the Irish medium unit of Coláiste Chaitríona on Convent Road in the city. The classes are extremely popular and focus on spoken Irish to help the learners obtain fluenct in the language. This term will finish on Wednesday 27 April and the cost for the 12 classes will be £30 or £15 concessions.

Cairde Teo are also offering an opportunity for those interested in learning Irish to attend one of a number of intensive language courses on Saturday 23 January in the Athletic Grounds in Armagh. There will be a class for beginners, intermediate and advanced levels. The courses, which are organised in conjunction with the Cultural Committee of Armagh GAA, take place from 11am to 4pm and the cost of £10 includes lunch. The intensive courses take place seasonally throughout the year and have received the backing of Armagh senior footballer Charlie Vernon and Armagh senior hurler Simon Doherty, who have pledged to encourage a number of their teammates to learn their native language during 2016.

If you are interested in improving your Irish or if you have made a new year’s resolution to learn something new, you can contact Seán on 028 3751 5229 or sean@cairdeteo.com or call in to the Cairde Teo office, which is located within the Irish language and Celtic crafts shop Cult Úr in Armagh City Shopping Centre. Cairde Teo support the Líofa initiative which was developed by the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure to encourage people to sign up to a personal pledge to learn Irish and attain conversational fluency in the language. As well as the various classes, there are also a number of conversation groups to help learners practice their language. Armagh’s long-established conversation circle Ciorcal Comhrá Ard Mhacha meet on Tuesday nights from 9.30pm in the Station Bar. There is also a conversation group in Embers’ café on Market Street each Tuesday evening between 7pm and 8.30pm.

Turas speisialta ag Gaeil Ard Mhacha chuig Daidí na Nollag

DSCF2415Tá dream mór de Ghaeilgeoirí óga Ard Mhacha i ndiaidh pilleadh ó thuras speisialta le bualadh le Daidí na Nollag ar oileán álainn agus stairiúil Inis Dairgreann ar Loch nEathach. D’eagraigh CAIRDE Teo an turas do pháistí ó Ghaelscoileanna an cheantair agus dá gcuid teaghlaigh i gcomhar lenár dteagmhálaithe sa Mholl Thuaidh. Bhí an turas ar siúl ar an Domhnach agus thaisteal an grúpa go Bá an Ghainimh cóngarach do Ghleann Abhaigh, áit ar bhuail siad le cabhlacán bád a thug na teaghlaigh ar an turas fiche bomaite amach chuig an oileán, a bhí breámhaisithe le soilsí Nollag.

Ar bhaint an oileáin dóibh, bhuail na páistí agus a dtuismitheoirí le síóga Dhaidí na Nollag a thug isteach iad le deoch te agus bia a fháil, sular thug said cuairt ar Dhaidí na Nollag féin a bhí ag fanacht i mbáirse athfhorbartha, a bhíodh in úsáid le guail a iompar ó Loch nEathach ar an Lagán. Bhí lúcháir ar Dhaidí na Nollag bualadh leis na páistí uilig agus d’éist sé leo ag ceol amhrán Nollag as Gaeilge. I ndiaidh dóibh neart bronntanas a fháil ó Dhaidí na Nollag, thug duine dá chuiditheoirí iad ar thuras thart ar an oileán ar threan cuadrothair le cuairt a thabhairt ar chloigtheach an oileáin. An ceannscríbe a bhí rompu ar an turas seo ná beárbaiciú le bia te a fháil agus tine campa le leamhacáin a rostadh.

DSCF2400Agus na teaghlaigh ar an bhealach ar ais thar Loch nEathach, labhair na páistí agus na tuismitheoirí faoin eispéireas iontach a bhí acu ag bualadh le Daidí na Nollag ar Inis Dairgreann. Ba mhaith le Cairde Teo buíochas a ghabháil le Daidí na Nollag as an am a thabhairt amach óna sceideal fíorghnóthach, leis na h-oibrithe deonacha uilig ó Thogra Oidhreachta Inis Dairgreann agus le cuiditheoirí Dhaidí na Nollag ar na báid agus ar an oileán féin.

 

A large contingent of young Irish speakers from Armagh has just returned from a special trip to meet Daidí na Nollag or Santa Clause on the beautiful and historic setting of Rams Island on Lough Neagh. Local community group CAIRDE Teo organised the trip for children from local Irish medium schools and their families, in conjunction with their colleagues in the North Pole. The trip took place on Sunday evening and the group travelled to Sandy Bay Marina near Glenavy, where they were met by a Christmas flotilla of boats who brought the families on the twenty minute journey out to the island, which was festooned with Christmas lights and decorations.

On arrival at the island, the children and their parents were greeted by Santa’s elves, who brought them inside for a warm drink and snack, before they went to visit Father Christmas in a redeveloped barge, which had formerly been used to transport coal from Lough Neagh up the River Lagan. DSCF2403Santa was delighted to meet all of the children and was delighted to hear them singing a number of Irish language Christmas songs. Having received plenty of gifts from Daidí na Nollag, the children then joined one of Santa’s helpers for a tour of the island on the Elf Quad Train to visit the island’s cottage and the round tower. The young Gaeilgeoirí arrived back to a barbeque and they were treated to some hot food and toasted marshmallows over the camp-fire.

As the families made their way back across the Lough, the children and indeed parents spoke of such a memorable experience meeting Daidí na Nollag on Rams Island or Inis Dairgreann as it is known in Irish. Cairde Teo would like to thank Daidí na Nollag for taking the time out of his extremely busy schedule, the volunteers from the Rams Island Heritage Project and all of Santa’s helpers on the boats and on the island itself.

Mórbhagairt roimh athbheochan na Gaeilge

IMG_1781-SPGLocally based Irish language community groups have reacted with anger and dismay at the latest proposed funding cuts to an Scéim Phobail Gaeilge (Irish language in the community scheme) by Foras na Gaeilge. At a meeting with Foras na Gaeilge (18/11/15), which was attended by representatives of the 11 groups currently funded in the north, the details of the future loss of services and provision were presented in the details of the new 2016-20 scheme.

Sue Pentel, Director of Ionad Uibh Eachach in West Belfast said:
“These current proposals are completely unworkable and will dramatically decrease and undermine the ability of locally based Irish language groups, including our own, to provide key services to our ever expanding community. We are being asked to cut the hours of our development workers to 4 days per week while completely decimating their community project costs, which include the provision of key services such as after youth provision, after-schools clubs, adult Irish language classes, summer festivals etc. The new scheme also proposes that development workers do more work over a larger geographical area involving the building of networks and partnerships with a drastically reduced budget. To add insult to injury, groups will be disqualified from all Foras small grant schemes but asked to facilitate groups from the English medium sector to make applications on behalf of the Irish language community. We are totally dismayed at the irrational and farcical nature of what is being offered.

‘In addition, many organisations will find their development officers out in the street under these current proposals which proposes a paltry sum for office and rental costs which will have catastrophic consequences for groups who are trying to maintain their own premises. Last year, Foras na Gaeilge proposed to derail the ‘Language in the community scheme’ entirely and aim towards an impracticable geographical spread that would have punished groups for being effective in areas of high demand and successful Irish language infrastructure. Groups across the country rallied and took an active part in last November’s consultation process which drew extensive submissions calling for existing provision and resources to be strengthened and supported. Here we are, one year later in the same precarious position. Firstly, letters were sent out announcing up to 31% cuts in our group funding from now until June 2016 which has completely eradicated all community programme costs and then the flawed and unworkable new scheme was announced from 2016-20.’

According to Gearóid Ó Machail from CAIRDE TEO in Armagh City, ‘Anyone with even the most basic knowledge of the Irish language community revival will recognise that these disastrous funding proposals will severely jeopardise essential community services and infrastructure and challenge the very survival of many of our locally based groups. These proposals indicate a total disregard for language planning and the strategic growth of the sector. They aren’t based on any form of research or service provision audit and represent a highly dangerous and risky approach which threatens the long –term sustainability of our groups and the projects we deliver at grassroots level on a daily and weekly basis. This could not only squander a viable community infrastructure, and years of hard work on the ground but also indicates a conscious lack of regard for the long-term investment that has been made in our locally based groups.

‘In times of funding cuts and reduced government budgets, basic logic would dictate the need to consolidate progress rather than a further thinning out of limited Irish language resources. We understand that the Foras budget is being consistently reduced, and we only call for a fair-minded approach that prioritises the community based revival and those groups, programmes and activities that make a demonstrable difference on the ground; empower children and youth people, parents and Irish medium school communities and bring our language to life. All the groups are now under huge pressure to submit our funding applications for the 2016-2020 scheme for December 17, despite the unworkable nature of the Foras proposals. We will be lobbying politicians and those with influence in the weeks ahead to allocate a common-sense budget for this scheme that preserves our community-based services and Irish language infrastructure.

Conradh na Gaeilge spokesperson, Ciarán Mac Giolla Bhéin, who advocate on behalf of community based language groups stated that, ‘The focus of Foras na Gaeilge and DCAL should to be on sourcing the increased investment necessary to sustain the existing network of language officers and to support developing areas with demonstrable demand. These groups are delivering high quality provision and, essentially, implementing the core objectives of Foras in terms of the Irish language, on the ground. This scheme has been an undoubted success and has led to a transformation in the areas they are located, in terms of the Irish language. These proposed cuts and the new scheme will place all of that in jeopardy.’

Gaeil Ard Mhacha sásta le bua na hÉireann

Gaeil óga Ard Mhacha i bPáirc an ChrócaighChuaigh scaifte de 30 Gaeilgeoir óg as Ard Mhacha le Cairde Teo chuig Páirc an Chrócaigh ag an deireadh seachtaine don chluiche sna Comhrialacha Idirnáisiúnta idir Éire agus an Astráil. Roimh an chluiche, bhí comóradh speisialta ann ar cheann de na h-imeachtaí is brónaí i stair an CLG agus I stair sport na hÉireann, Domhanach na Fola, nuair a dhúnmharaigh arm Shasana 14 imreoir agus tacadóir ag cluiche dúshláin i bPáirc an Chrócaigh idir Baile Átha Cliath agus Tiobraid Árann. I measc na ndaoine a dúnmháraíodh ar an lá sin, bhí Mícheál Ó hÓgáin, captain Thiobraid Árann, agus tá Ardán Uí Ógáin ainmnithe ina dhiaidh mar chomhartha ómóis dó.

Cluiche maith corraitheach a bhí ann, go háirithe sa chéad agus sa dara ceathrú nuair a bhí smacht iomlán ag na hÉireannaigh ar fud na páirce ar na h-imreoirí gairmiúla ón Astráil. Fuair Aodhán Ó Sé dhá chúl agus fuair Conchúr Mac Mánais ó chontae Mhuineachán cúl chomh maith. Bhí ríméad ar an scaifte tacadóirí Ard Mhacha go raibh Éire go maith chun tosaigh ag leathama ag 43 cúilín in eadán 23. Bhí an Astráil i bhfad níos fearr sa tríú agus sa cheathrú ceathrú agus bhí deireadh teann sa chluiche i ndiaidh do na cuairteoirí cúl a fháil le farasbarr trí chúilín a fhágáil idir na foirne. Le gríosadh an tslua de 38,000 tháinig Éire ar ais sa chluiche agus choinnigh siad an liathróid sa deireadh le Corn Chormaic Mhic an Ailín a bhaint ar ais. Tá an Corn ainmnithe i gcuimhne ar an laoch agus Gael uasal ón Bhreantair a cailleadh go tobann agus go tragóideach i mí an Mhárta 2004.

Brodie, Nicole & TiarnaBhí na tacadóirí óga as Ard Mhacha iontach sásta do bhainisteoir na hÉireann, Seosamh Mac Thiarnáin, a bhfuil an príomhdhuais sa sport buaite aige lena chlub Crois Mhic Lionnáin, lena chontae Ard Mhacha, lena chúige Uladh agus anois lena thír. I ndiaidh an chluiche, thug Páirc an Chrócaigh cuireadh don ghrúpa le Cairde Teo bualadh le h-uimhir 3 ar fhoireann na hÉireann agus imreoir lárpáirce Chontae an Chláir, Garaí Ó Braonáin, a bhí i ndiaidh dhá cheapadh iontach a fháil ag deireadh an chluiche lena fhoireann a ghríosú agus a spreagadh dul ar aghaidh agus an bua a fháil. Gaeilgeoir líofa agus múinteoir Gaelscoile é Garaí agus bhí áthas air bualadh leis na Gaeilgeoirí as Ard Mhacha. Chomh maith le Garaí, bhuail na Gaeil óga as Ard Mhacha le Conchúr Mac Mánais as Muineachán agus le Maitiú Ó Donnaile agus Niall Ó Muireagáin as Tír Eoghain a thug buíochas dóibh as teacht le tacú leo agus a chaith am leo le ligint dóibh grianghraif a fháil. Ach buaicphointe na hoíche a bhí ann do roinnt mhaith acu nuair a bhuail siad le imreoir uile-réalt Mhaigh Eo Aodhán Ó Sé, a labhair leo as Gaeilge agus a sheas isteach do ghrianghraif le achan duine acu.

Tuairiscíodh go forleathan gur éirigh leis an chluiche agus le scaifte maith ag freastal ar an chluiche i gceanncheathrú an CLG, is dócha go leanfar leis an tsraith. Bhí na Gaeilgeoirí óga as Ard Mhacha a d’fhreastail ar an chluiche uilig ar aon intinn gur cluiche maith atá ann agus gur chóir é a choinneáil. Ba mhaith le Cairde Teo buíochas a ghabháil leis na daoine óga a tháinig chuig an chluiche agus leis na daoine fásta a chuidigh leis an turas. Tá Cairde Teo an-bhuíoch do na h-imreoirí a bhí iontach flaithiúil ag caitheamh ama leis na daoine óga, do Pháirc an Chrócaigh agus do na maoir uilig, cuid mhór acu arb as Ard Mhacha iad, a chinntigh go raibh turas sábháilte agus compordach againn ag an chluiche.

 

Ultán, Tiarnán & TiernánA group of 30 young Irish speakers from Armagh joined local community development organisation CAIRDE Teo at the weekend to visit Croke Park for the International Rules game between Ireland and Australia. The game was preceded by a poignant commemoration of one of the most infamous events in GAA and Irish sporting history, Bloody Sunday, when 14 GAA players and supporters were murdered in Croke Park at a challenge game between Dublin and Tipperary.

The game itself was an exciting affair, particularly in the first and second quarters, when Ireland showed the professionals how to do it with Aidan O’Shea hitting two goals, as well as a third from Monaghan’s Conor McManus. Much to the delight of the Armagh contingent, Ireland were well and truly in control at half time 43 points to 23points. The third and fourth quarters were dominated by Australia, which led to an exciting final five minutes after the visitors got a goal to leave just three points between the teams. However, with the crowd getting behind them, Ireland rallied again and held on to claim the Cormac McAnallen Cup, named after the great Brantry Gael whose life was tragically cut short in March 2004.

Oisín agus Niall MorganThe young Armagh supporters were delighted for the Ireland team manager, Joe Kernan, who has won the ultimate prize for his club Crossmaglen, his county Armagh, his province Ulster and now his country. Following the game, Croke Park invited the Cairde Teo group to meet Ireland number 3 and Clare midfielder, Gary Brennan, whose two marks in the final five minutes spurred Ireland on to win. Gary is a fluent Irish speaker and a Gaelscoil teacher and was delighted to meet the young people from Ard Mhacha. As well as meeting Gary, the Armagh Gaels also got the opportunity to speak with Monaghan’s Conor McManus and Tyrone’s Mattie Donnelly and Niall Morgan who thanked them for coming down to watch the game and gave freely of their time so that everyone could get a photo. However, the highlight for many, was meeting Mayo All-Star Aidan O’Shea who spoke to the young Irish speakers as Gaeilge and posed for photographs with all.

The game was hailed as a success and with over 38,000 in attendance in GAA headquarters, it looks likely that the series will continue. All of the young Irish speakers from Armagh who made the trip to Croke Park are certainly in agreement that the game is an exciting spectre and should be retained. Cairde Teo would like to thank all of the young people who came along to the game and all of the adults who helped to ensure the trip was a great success. Cairde Teo are also grateful to the players who took the time to meet with the young people, to Croke Park for facilitating the meeting and to the many voluntary stewards, including the many familiar faces from across the county, who ensured the safety and comfort of all at the game.