The year long celebration of the Irish language, Bliain na Gaeilge, is well underway and Armagh Gaels are joining in on the festivities to mark 125 years from the modern Irish language revival movement. Events are taking place right across the country, ranging from talks on the early pioneers of the revival movement to celebrations of the Irish speaking Gaeltacht areas, which have retained the native Gaelic language and culture in spite of the numerous challenges, which continue to this day.
Armagh Gaels will have an opportunity to celebrate Bliain na Gaeilge with a series of pop-up Gaeltachtaí across the city throughout 2018. The pop-up Gaeltacht idea sprang up last year in Dublin and encourages Irish speakers and learners to come together at an informal occasion and use Irish to socialise. The pop-up Gaeltachtaí have proven to be extremely popular in the capital and have spread right across the island and have even appeared as far away as Paris, New York and even Hong Kong. Following on from last year’s family pop-up Gaeltacht held in the Marketplace Theatre on Culture Night, Armagh Gaels will have the opportunity to attend the first pop-up Gaeltacht of Bliain na Gaeilge in the Cúchulainn Bar on Thomas Street from 9pm on Friday 26 January. Irish speakers and learners are invited and everyone is encouraged to come along to try out their spoken Irish.
As part of the Bliain na Gaeilge celebrations, local organisation Cairde Teo are organising a trip for adults to visit the Donegal Gaeltachtaí of Gaoth Dobhair and Na Rosann at the end of May. The group plans to immerse participants in the language and culture of the Gaeltacht and to meet native speakers in Rann na Feirste, An Bhun Beag and Na Doirí Beaga. Participants will attend a special Irish language social night with entertainment being provided by artists and musicians from the Gaeltacht. The group will also visit the new theatre in an Bhun Bheag, known as Amharclann Ghaoth Dobhair, and visit the Irish language radio station, Raidió na Gaeltachta. Information on the Gaeltacht trip and other events to celebrate Irish language year will be available throughout the year.