Aontas Phobal na Gaeilge (APG) will run its most motivating language empowerment workshops with group leaders and students in Irish colleges across the country this summer, encouraging and enabling them to choose, use and inspire Irish in their everyday lives as part of the Ár dTeanga, Do Rogha campaign - our language, your choice.
Aodhán Ó Deá, coordinator of APG's Ár dTeanga, Do Rogha roadshow says: "Our roadshow visited 50 Irish courses over the course of three months alone last summer, and Conradh na Gaeilge's team of inspiring speakers talked to over 12,000 young people about their language rights and about opportunities for using Irish beyond the classroom. We are aiming to speak to even more young people again this year, students and course cinnirí included, encouraging and enabling them to always look for services through Irish from state bodies, public companies and European institutes - Irish is our language and it is your choice to speak it."
Ár dTeanga, Do Rogha is APG's motivational language-awareness roadshow that has been informing young people of their language rights in Ireland and in Europe for five years now; it is managed by Conradh na Gaeilge, run in association with Comhar na Múinteoirí Gaeilge (CNMG) and the Union of Students in Ireland (USI), and supported by The Department of Foreign Affairs. Young people are informed that they can get their age card, driver's licence and passport in Irish; that it is everybody's right to use the Irish version of their name; that car tax and eTolls can be paid online in Irish; and that everybody has the right to look for services in Irish from the likes of the Gardaí.
Not only does the APG roadshow encourage young people to consider requesting services through Irish from the state, but Ár dTeanga, Do Rogha informs the summer college students of the Irish resources available to them, and of the fun ways they can use their Irish outside of school. Ó Deá explains: "Aontas Phobal na Gaeilge has given out 30,000 Gaelchártaí to young people since the roadshow began last summer, a discount card which means Irish-speakers pay less for their meal in Captain Americas, or for the latest computer game that they buy in GameStop for example. The likes of Conradh na Gaeilge's Gaelchárta, or Raidió Rí-Rá's album of current music in Irish, show young people that they can use Irish in every part of their lives, every day, and that the choice is theirs to use it: Ár dTeanga, Do Rogha - our language, your choice!"
Conradh na Gaeilge also advises the Irish-speaking community of the advantages of having Irish as an official working language at a European level; of the services they are entitled to receive through Irish from public bodies at home in Ireland under the Official Languages Act of 2003; and of the job opportunities and chances for them to use the language in Ireland and in Europe through the Ár dTeanga, Do Rogha empowerment campaign.
Aodhán Ó Deá,
Student Coordinator, Aontas Phobal na Gaeilge.
+353 (0)1 4757401 / +353 (0)86 3102691
Julian de Spáinn,
General Secretary, Conradh na Gaeilge.
+353 (0)1 4757401 / +353 (0)86 8142757
ÁR dTEANGA, DO ROGHA! CONRADH NA GAEILGE @ SPLEODAR, ROS MUC
Conradh na Gaeilge team members conducting a motivational workshop on Irish-language rights in Ireland and in Europe with summer college assistants at the Spleodar course in Ros Muc, Conamara, Co. Galway, as part of the annual Ár dTeanga, Do Rogha roadshow in Irish colleges last year (15 June 2011).
Aontas Phobal na Gaeilge (APG) is an alliance of Irish-language organisations working to promote Irish across Ireland and the world through more strategic language-planning. Aontas Phobal na Gaeilge consists of Comhaltas Uladh, Comhluadar, Conradh na Gaeilge, Glór na nGael and Seachtain na Gaeilge, organisations dealing with different aspects of the promotion of Irish in the community that came together to form a working alliance that would ensure a better provision of services and more value for money. www.aontaspg.ie
Comhaltas Uladh is a provincial assembly of Conradh na Gaeilge and was founded in 1926 to administer the work of Conradh na Gaeilge in the province of Ulster, as well as Co. Louth. The organisation's main purpose is to promote the Irish language in Ulster. Comhaltas Uladh provides assistance to drama groups, preschools and other Irish language schools in the 10 counties, and works in partnership with universities and training colleges in Northern Ireland also. Comhaltas runs summer schools in Gaeltacht and non-Gaeltacht areas in the north and gives scholarship grants to learners of Irish every year. www.comhaltasuladh.com
Comhluadar was founded in 1993 to support parents who want to speak Irish with their children. Comhluadar works on an all-island basis as the primary organisation promoting the transmission of the Irish language from generation to generation and are a united voice in supporting the rights of families to public services in Irish. Parents and children are invited to a wide range of sociable and eductional events organised by Comhluadar every month. www.comhluadar.ie
Conradh na Gaeilge is the democratic forum for the Irish-speaking community working to promote the language. There are over 200 branches of Conradh na Gaeilge and since its foundation in 1893, members of the Conradh have been actively promoting Irish in every aspect of life in Ireland and especially its use in their own areas. Conraitheoirí are at the forefront of campaigns to secure and strengthen the rights of the Irish language community. It is also possible to register as an individual member of the Conradh. Conradh na Gaeilge runs Irish courses in Dublin, Galway, Mayo and other places throughout the country as well. www.cnag.ie/courses
Glór na nGael's vision is to develop people's ability and awareness of the language, so as they will be able to use it in every area of life, through a range of competitions between communities with partners local groups across the country in the promotion of the Irish language. Every year Glór na nGael award more than €150,000 worth of prizes to committees from around the country through the concept of a public competition, and Glór na nGael's evaluation process is the equivalent of a language-planning framework, the only language-planning system operating in Ireland. www.glornangael.ie
Seachtain na Gaeilge is a non-profit organisation, which promotes the use of Irish language and culture both at home and abroad within a two-week festival held in March every year. The festival gives everyone a chance to experiment and have with Irish, whether they are fluent speakers or only dipping their toe in the language for the first time. www.snag.ie
Comhar na Múinteoirí Gaeilge (CNMG) aims to promote the teaching of Irish and the development of Irish in the educational system; to provide professional services for teachers at every level of the educational system; to promote Irish with the most effective facilities and methods; to cooperate for the benefit of the teaching of Irish and teaching through the medium of Irish; and to participate completely with the educational institutes in implementing necessary reforms and reviewing the curriculum when required. www.cnmg.ie
The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) is the sole national representative body for students in Ireland. Founded in 1959, USI now represents more than 250,000 students in over forty colleges across Ireland. www.usi.ie
The Department of Foreign Affairs has provided support for Aontas Phobal na Gaeilge's Ár dTeanga, Do Rogha campaign through the Communicating Europe initiative which supports projects that explain the European Union to the Irish people, improve the quality of communication between the Union and its citizens, and celebrate the connection Ireland enjoys with Europe. www.eumatters.ie