Taoiseach & Eoghan McDermott Launch 110 Years of Seachtain na Gaeilge

The celebrity radio and television personality Eoghan Mac Diarmada is the ambassador for Seachtain na Gaeilge 2012, but he will have help inspiring everyone to take part in one of the longest-standing Irish-language festivals as the Taoiseach will be on hand to help launch the festival later today.

The biggest international Irish-language festival in the world is celebrating 110 years in existence this year and there are hundreds of events running worldwide as part of Seachtain na Gaeilge 2012 from 5 - 17 March 2012. For this year's launch of Seachtain na Gaeilge, there will be a brief photo shoot* with the Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD and television and radio presenter Eoghan Mac Diarmada in the courtyard of Government Buildings, Merrion Street, Dublin at 1.45pm this afternoon, Tuesday, 6 March 2012.

The official launch of the national festival will conclude in Club Chonradh na Gaeilge at 6.00pm later today at an event, MCed by Eoghan Mac Diarmada, where Minister of State Dinny McGinley TD and Ferdie Mac an Fhailigh, Chief Executive of Foras na Gaeilge, will talk about the role of Seachtain na Gaeilge in promoting the Irish language to the world since 1902.

Eoghan Mac Diarmada, ambassador for Seachtain na Gaeilge 2012 says: "The Irish language has a special place in my heart and I try to speak even a few words as Gaeilge every day, whether I'm DJing, acting or dancing, so I jumped at the chance to be this year's ambassador for Seachtain na Gaeilge."

Eoghan Mac Diarmada has made his name both at home and abroad as a TV presenter on the new RTÉ programme The Voice, and as a drive-time radio DJ on XFM in London. Mac Diarmada is also an actor and a choreographer that has starred in successful shows like the Irish-language drama Seacht and has danced with world-class superstars such as Rihanna, Pussycat Dolls and Chris Brown.

Mac Diarmada continues: "From my own experience, I've noticed we all have at least a little Irish, even if it's only a few words, everyone from politicians and musicians, to bus drivers and parents. I'm urging everybody at home and abroad to use whatever Irish they have in every aspect of their lives, as often as possible, and especially during Seachtain na Gaeilge."

There are over 800 events officially registered with Seachtain na Gaeilge for this year's festival, the complete list of which is available on-line at www.snag.ie. In addition to the official events that local councils, libraries, and a variety of other organisations register with Seachtain na Gaeilge's office each year, there are a multitude of local groups and thousands of schools that run events across the country to inspire Irish in their local communities as part of the national celebration of the language.

Brenda Ní Ghairbhí, Acting Manager of Seachtain na Gaeilge said: "This year is a milestone for the Irish-language festival; it not only marks 110 years of Seachtain na Gaeilge inspiring people to use Irish at home and abroad, but we're extremely proud to have events officially registered with us in every county in Ireland and in eight other countries, as far-flung as Australia, Cuba and the USA. Not only do we have the massive relay race and festival for the Irish language, Rith 2012, registered as one of the biggest, most exciting and innovative events being run as part of this year's Seachtain na Gaeilge as well, but we have surfing classes and speed dating in Irish on our programme of events too so check out www.snag.ie and get involved in events in your locality!"

As part of Seachtain na Gaeilge 2012, an Irish-language Lá Gaeilge day is being organised in the Houses of the Oireachtas tomorrow, Wednesday, 07 March 2012, where the Order of Business, Leaders' Questions, and statements on the Irish language will all be conducted through Irish in the Dáil and there are Irish-language debates scheduled in the Seanad as well.

FURTHER INFORMATION:

Brenda Ní Ghairbhí,
Acting Manager, Seachtain na Gaeilge
+353 (0)86 3649776 / +353 (0)1 4757401

Jen Ní Mhathúna,
Administrative Officer, Seachtain na Gaeilge
+353 (0)1 4757401 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

EDITOR'S NOTE:

PRESS PHOTOS: *Justin Mac Innes of Mac Innes Photography, 64 Lower Mount Street, Dublin will be sending the press photos from today's photo call to the media. www.mip.ie

Seachtain na Gaeilge is an international Irish-language festival promoting the use of Irish language and culture, both at home and abroad, running over a fortnight in March every year. Conradh na Gaeilge established the organisation in 1902. The festival has built up incredible momentum in recent years, becoming the largest celebration of our native language and culture held in Ireland every year and sweeping other countries up in the whirlwind along the way. The festival gives absolutely everyone a chance to enjoy the Irish language, be they native Irish speakers, language learners or those with only a few words. Organisations, local councils, schools, libraries, music, sporting and cultural bodies all register their Seachtain na Gaeilge events with the main office and this year's festival will run from 5 - 17 March 2012. www.snag.ie

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.

Associated Organisations of Conradh na Gaeilge