Gaillimh le Gaeilge is taking to the airwaves this autumn for Galway’s very own bilingual business award - Gradam Sheosaimh Uí Ógartaigh.
The category winners and overall winners will be announced live on Galway Bay FM's Galway Talks with Keith Finnegan on November 5/6. The announcements will also be streamed live on the Gaillimh le Gaeilge, Galway Advertiser and Galway Bay fm Facebook pages.
The Gradam was postponed earlier this year due to the outbreak of COVID-19. It is the longest running award of its kind in Ireland, organised by Gaillimh le Gaeilge, in partnership with the Galway Advertiser and with support from TG4 and the Galway Chamber. It is named in honour of the late Seosamh Ó hÓgartaigh, founding member and company secretary of Gaillimh le Gaeilge.
Following a successful launch by Uachtarán Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, in the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway in January, 27 businesses and organisations, representing a wide range of sectors put their names forward for Gradam Sheosaimh Uí Ógartaigh 2020. Nineteen of the 27 entries are new for 2020 while eight are returning.
Companies competing to become the New Tribe of Galway include a bridal boutique, Ireland’s largest medieval parish church, a non-stop Galway Dublin coach service, an international arts festival for children as well as well-known hotels and bars in Galway city.
Príomh-Aoire an Rialtais & Aire Stáit do Spórt & don Ghaeltacht, Jack Chambers TD welcomed the announcement and said: “Cuirim fáilte roimh an dea-scéal seo go bhfuil Gradam Sheosaimh Uí Ógartaigh le fógairt beo ar Galway Bay FM sa bhFómhar. Tuigim go bhfuil obair thar a bheith fiúntach ar bun ag Gaillimh le Gaeilge chun an teanga a chothú agus a chur chun cinn i gCathair na Gaillimhe, agus go bhfuil ról lárnach ag na gradaim seo i saol na Gaeilge sa chathair.
“Gaillimh le Gaeilge has made great strides in working with companies across the city who are using their ‘Irish in Business’ service. I am delighted that these companies will have the opportunity to be recognized for their outstanding bilingual work with the announcement of these Gradam Awards.”
Speaking on Galway Bay FM media partnership with Gaillimh le Gaeilge, Keith Finnegan, CEO said: “Galway Bay FM, is delighted to be in a position to facilitate Gaillimh le Gaeilge to host Gradam Sheosaimh Uí Ógartaigh 2020 - Galway’s bilingual business award live on air this year. The Gradam is very much part of Galway’s Cultural Calendar of events and every year, I get a taste and the sense of excitement and pride when I interview those taking part.
"As a local radio station, we bring the news to the people of Galway. The work of these 27 businesses and organisations who are embracing the Irish language and helping to make Galway one of Ireland’s favourite cultural cities should be celebrated and we look forward to doing this live on air.”
Strength and resilience
Declan Varley, group editor of the Galway Advertiser, which is the main sponsor of the Gradam Sheosaimh Uí Ógartaigh award said that Gaillimh le Gaeilge played an important role in the visibility of the Irish language throughout the city, and this year, as they team up with Galway Bay FM to host the Gradam, the language would not only be heard on the streets of Galway but throughout Galway, over the air waves.
"Like the Irish language, businesses these past few months have shown strength and resilience when faced with new challenges - which nobody was prepared for. Businesses that (continue to ) use the Irish language, understand the importance of the language in Galway’s culture.
"Every time you change your menu, put up a sign in Irish, or say something quirky on social media, you are creating yet another reason why people want to work, live, and holiday here. By doing things the Galway way, you are adding to the attraction of the place.”
Speaking about the new plan for Gradam Sheosaimh Uí Ógartaigh, Cathaoirleach Ghaillimh le Gaeilge, Bernadette Mullarkey said: “We are looking forward to presenting Gradam Sheosaimh Uí Ógartaigh live on Galway Bay FM in November of this year.
“Galway Bay FM is the sound of Galway and it is an honour for Gaillimh le Gaeilge to be part of this sound. We would like to sincerely thank Keith Finnegan, Jon Richards and the team in Galway Bay FM for this opportunity to bring the Gradam to an audience of over 45,000 people and to give all those involved a fantastic platform to promote their bilingual endeavours.
“Míle buíochas chomh maith do na hurraí ar fad atá ag tabhairt tacaíocht dúinn - ní neart go cur le chéile.”
This year, Gaillimh le Gaeilge welcomes a new sponsor on board for Gradam 2020 –Video Sherpa. The main media sponsor is the Galway Advertiser; the company has supported the Gradam since its inception in 2002. TG4 joined the Gradam in 2016, and both media organisations are providing an advertising package for the overall winner.
The category sponsors for Gradam 2020 are as follows: Galway Bay FM, Fáilte Ireland, and Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh and Video Sherpa. Údarás na Gaeltachta are sponsoring the replicas of Gradam Sheosaimh Uí Ógartaigh, specially designed by the renowned artist Pádraic Reaney. The Galway Chamber will also provide sponsorship to the overall winner. Míle buíochas leo go léir!
All of the Gradam nominees will receive substantial publicity in the Irish and English language media throughout the Gradam campaign and the overall winner will recieve the prestigious title as the 15th Tribe of Galway for the year ahead. Go n-éirí go geal leo ar fad.