Mayor of Galway Cllr Pádraig Conneely announced an impressive list of sponsors for Gradam Sheosaimh Uí Ógartaigh 2014 at an information evening hosted by Gaillimh le Gaeilge in association with last year’s winners of the Gradam, the Galleon Restaurant, Salthill, Galway. There is a growing interest in this award and this was evident by the large crowd in attendance from all sectors of Galway life. The closing date for nominations for this annual bilingual business award is next Monday February 3.
The Irish Times was announced as one of the new businesses to support this prestigious award for the coming year and will help to give a national profile to the Gradam. Also on board this year are Galway.com and the Solution Guys. Additional prizes and benefits will be provided by the main sponsor of the award; the Galway Advertiser, as well as Fáilte Ireland, Galway Bay FM, Snap Galway, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh, Aró, Údarás na Gaeltachta and the Galway Chamber. The total value of the prizes and benefits is €20,000.
Last year’s Gradam winner, Roger O’Sullivan from the Galleon spoke on how they became involved with the Gradam last year and went on to scoop the overall award.
“The Irish language is part of the cultural DNA of Galway city, and with this conscious mind-set of the value of the Irish language, we decided to integrate the language into the Galleon Restaurant.”
Cathaoirleach of Gaillimh le Gaeilge, Iggy Ó Muircheartaigh also spoke at the event and gave advice for those considering entering: He said that it was important to “ensure that the Irish language has a ‘high visibility’ and that it also has an influence on your staff. Sometimes businesses may not yet have ticked all of the boxes for a bilingual business and that is OK too. The same business could have one very good idea that is innovative and new in the way that they use the language and that can make them ‘stand out’ from the crowd. Mar sin, cuir an cos is fearr chun tosaigh!”
The Gradam will consist of four categories; Retail, Hospitality/Tourism, Services and Other Companies. A winner will be chosen in each category and the overall winner will be selected from the four category winners. It is not essential to be a fluent Irish speaker to participate in this prestigious award.
The aim of the award is to recognize companies and organisations in Galway City that demonstrate a ‘visible’, ‘genuine’ and ‘creative use’ of the Irish language within their business, thus impacting on their staff and the bilingual image of the city.
The Gradam is open for nominations for businesses and organisations based in Galway city which are not subject to the Official Languages Act 2003. You can nominate your own business or someone for the award. Visit www.gleg.ie to enter online.