Seachtain na Gaeilge, the rather more than a week-long festival of events celebrating the Irish language, heritage, culture, and life, returns from March 2 to 17.
Events will take place across the city and county, involving music, dance, theatre, debates, competitions, and storytelling, culminating in the St Patrick’s Day Parade.
The festival was launched on Monday by TG4 presenter and Seachtain na Gaeilge ambassador Róisín Ní Thomáin, along with pupils from Gaelscoil Dara.
The theme for this year’s festival is ‘Give Irish a Go’. The emphasis is on public participation and is aimed at those with little or no Irish, the ‘cúpla focail’, or who are fluent.
Is leor Beirt - get talking as Gaeilge
The Is leor Beirt strand of the programme entails a small group of people meeting in a local cafe or in their workplace restaurant to chat together in Irish on a regular basis.
“There is no extra cost or time needed to get involved with the Is Leor Beirt network,” said Conradh na Gaeilge’s Siobhán Ní Dhubhfaidh. “The scheme revolves around coffee breaks or lunchtimes that people would be taking anyway, only now they’ll be relaxing in a new setting in the company of other people interested in Irish.”
Is Leor Beirt events will be taking place in Lohan’s and The Oslo Hotel in Salthill (Monday March 4, Monday 11, at 8pm ); Hennellys Pub, Corrundulla (Monday 4, 8pm ); McCambridges, Shop Street (Tuesday 5 and Tuesday 12, 10.30am ); Hope’s, Loughrea (Wednesday 6, 11am ); Loughrea’s Irish Office (Monday 4 at 10am, Wednesday 13, 11am ).
Similar events include a coffee morning with Age Action West and the Cumann Craic in the Age Action West office, the Small Crane, at 12 noon on Tuesday 5.
Club Áras na nGael will host oíche na bhfoghlaimeoirí social night with ceol agus craic for Irish language learners from 8.30pm.
On Friday 8 there will be a coffee morning and conversation at An Comharchumann, Cill Rónáin, from 11am; an Irish taster class in Teach na Gaeilge, Maigh Cuillin (3pm for beginners, 3.30pm learners, 4pm higher, 4.30pm grammar class ). Admission is free. For more information contact 086 - 00660483.
The public can also practice their Gaeilge at the coffee morning in The Galway Cakery, Moycullen (Saturday 9, 11am ); parent and toddler morning, Teach na Gaeilge, Maigh Cuilinn (Monday 11, from 10am ); coffee morning, Café Áras na Gaeilge, NUIG, (Monday 11, from 10am ); My First Gaeilge, Áras na Gaeilge, NUIG, (Monday 11, from 3pm ).
Coffee morning, Gaelscoil Riada, Athenry (Tuesday 12, 11am ); Ciorcal cómhra with wine and cheese reception, Aras na Gaeilge, NUIG (Tuesday 12, 3pm ); Ciorcal comhra with caint agus craftmaking in Teach na Gaeilge, Moycullen (8pm, also Tuesday 12, for more information (086-0660483 ).
On Wednesday 13 NUIG will host its ‘No English Day’; while Áras na Gaeilge, NUIG will hold an Irish breakfast (10pm ) and My First Gaeilge (3pm ); Oíche na bhfoghlaimeoirí in Club Áras na nGael, social night for Irish language learners, from 9.30pm.
Concerts, events and talks
SnaG begins on Saturday with NUI Galway’s Drama Festival for the Colleges, celebrating and hosting theatre as Gaeilge. For more information see www.drama-gaeilge.com On Tuesday 5 Club Áras na nGael on Dominick Street will host a Breton night from 8pm; and the Róisín Dubh will host an ‘Irish Silent Disco’ from 10pm.
On Wednesday 6 there will be a screening of the films Cré na Cille and Kings in Áras na Gaeilge, NUIG at 6pm; and Celtic rock band The Waylanders will play Kelly’s, Bridget Street at 9pm.
Thursday 7 will see an Irish trad session in The Western hotel, Prospect Hill, at 9.30pm and on Friday 8 there will be a talk entitled Cultural Resistance in the Basque Country in Áras na nGael, Dominick Street, at 7pm.
On Tuesday 12 there will be a music session in the Westside Library, Galway at 6.30pm; a lecture on the poet Raifteirí with NUIG’s Prog Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh at 8pm; and the Irish Silent Disco at the Róisín Dubh at 10pm.
Thursday 14 will see the sean nós night in Maigh Cuillin with Johnny Mháirtín Learaí, Josie Sheáin Jeaic, Máirtín Tom Sheainín, Máire Phete Uí Dhroighneáin, Treasa Bn Uí Chonaill, Treasa Uí Cheannbháin, Róisin Elsafty, Joe John Mac an Iomaire, Seosamh Ó Fátharta, Pól Ó Ceannbháin, and Catríona Ní Cheannbháin in Regans Pub at 9pm, admission is free.
That same evening will see a trad session in The Western Hotel, Prospect Hill (9.30pm ) and a céilí with JCI Galway, Club Aras na nGael, at 9pm. Dara Ó Cualán will give a lecture on the Galway Oireachtas 1913 in the Galway City Museum at 2pm on Saturday 16.
Music events for St Patrick’s Day (Sunday 17 ) include the St Patrick’s day Trad Music Session in Club Áras na nGael, from 2pm and Don Stiffe and Marcus Ó hIarnáin in The Forge, Moycullen, at 8pm.
Storytelling for children
SnaG will host storytelling events as Gaeilge for children in the Galway City Library (Friday 8 and Friday 15, 11.15am ), in the Westside Library (Friday 8 and Friday 15, at 3.30pm ), a reading morning for children in the Moycullen Bookshop (Saturday 9, 11am );