Programme includes events to raise awareness about Irish and put language at the heart of public discourse
Bliain na Gaeilge 2018 will unveil its preliminary programme at Oireachtas na Samhna in the Ballroom of Killarney’s Gleneagle Hotel, Co. Kerry, at 13:00 today (Saturday, 4 November 2017).
Bliain na Gaeilge 2018 is a year-long festival to celebrate both the Irish language and the 125 years since the beginning of its revival. The importance of the revival and its impact on the public will be celebrated in 2018, though current difficulties and challenges to the language will also be brought to the fore.
Dr Niall Comer, President of Conradh na Gaeilge said:
“125 years after the beginning of the Irish-language revival, Bliain na Gaeilge gives us the chance to celebrate all that has been achieved for the language since 1893. It is also a chance to put Irish and the challenges the language faces today at the heart of the national conversation. It’s fantastic to think that there are groups all around the globe getting involved and organising events for Bliain na Gaeilge 2018; huge credit goes to these groups working so hard to make the festival a success worldwide. We hope to see thousands of events being organised throughout the year.”
Chief Whip and Minister of State for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands, Joe McHugh TD welcomed Foras na Gaeilge's decision to provide special funding of €450,000 for Bliain na Gaeilge 2018, and said:
"I am delighted that this funding has been put in place to support Bliain na Gaeilge. The year ahead will provide a great opportunity to celebrate our language and our culture. A wide range of events are already being arranged both across the country and also worldwide. I would encourage everyone to take part, from the fluent to those who might only have "cúpla focal".”
Over 50 Irish-language, Gaeltacht, and culture groups are taking part in Bliain na Gaeilge 2018 to date. One such example is the Gaelic Athletics Association (GAA); the sporting organisation has a couple of key events in the pipeline and is planning to put even more emphasis on the language for Bliain na Gaeilge 2018.
Aogán Ó Fearghaíl, President of the GAA, said:
“The Irish language is central to everything we do in the GAA. For Bliain na Gaeilge, there will be a Lá Gaelach in Croke Park to celebrate all things Gaelic in March, and everything will be run through Irish on the day. We will also host a day-long seminar here on the 10th of February where we will look at the role of the GAA together with the promotion of the Irish language.”
The comprehensive programme of events for the year includes a variety of creative activities designed to raise awareness about the language, to inspire people to participate in the celebrations, and to highlight both the challenges and the achievements of the Irish language in the public discourse. A series of fun and engaging events will be organised locally, nationally, and internationally to encourage people around the world to use whatever Irish they have on a regular basis.
Bliain na Gaeilge offers an opportunity to celebrate the vibrancy of our living language while also increasing the use and visibility of Irish in everyday life, normalising it and seeing it in a positive light. This will be achieved in cooperation with Irish-language and English-language media such as RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta and 2fm.
Speaking at the Bliain na Gaeilge 2018 preliminary programme launch, Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh, television and radio broadcaster, said:
“It’s important to consider and reflect on language issues as part of the larger general discourse, in English as well as in Irish-language media. We have accomplished a lot in the last 125 years, but we are still struggling without many key essentials. We’ll have the opportunity to both celebrate those successes and to hack out the challenges we face together during Bliain na Gaeilge 2018, and I’m personally looking forward to that mix of conversation.”
The festival will be officially launched nationally on New Year’s Eve from a Gaeltacht location, and details of the launch will be available from www.peig.ie/2018 in the coming weeks.
BLIAIN NA GAEILGE:
Bliain na Gaeilge 2018 is a year-long festival to celebrate both the Irish language in 2018 and the 125 years since the beginning of its revival in 1893. A comprehensive programme of events is planned for the year. This includes a variety of creative activities designed to raise awareness about the language, to inspire people to participate in the celebrations, and to highlight both the challenges and the achievements of the Irish language in the public discourse. A series of fun and engaging events will be organised locally, nationally, and internationally to encourage people around the world to use whatever Irish they have on a regular basis as well. Gaeilge Bheo | Irish Belongs to Us All | #Gaeilge2018 | Further information: www.peig.ie/2018