Tomorrow, TDs and Senators will get their first opportunity of many to speak Irish with the help of Conradh na Gaeilge this autumn, at an Irish-language breakfast which is being run for politicians in conjunction with the re-launch of Is Leor Beirt - the first national network of Irish-language conversation circles - in Leinster House on Thursday, 29 September 2011, at 9.30am.
Now that the Dáil and Seanad are back in session since earlier this month, this Irish-language breakfast is the first of many events planned by Conradh na Gaeilge to encourage the politicians in Leinster House to speak the language in a relaxed, informal setting.
Síne Nic an Ailí, Development Executive with Conradh na Gaeilge and co-ordinator of the Is Leor Beirt scheme says: "Conradh na Gaeilge hopes the conversation circle in Leinster House helps to boost Irish politicians' confidence in their ability to speak Irish so that they are comfortable using the first language of the State more frequently in the Dáil or in the Seanad in the future."
"It is easier to help people overcome their reluctance or fear of using the language in a friendly, informal setting such as this and in addition to the Irish breakfast this week, Conradh na Gaeilge is supporting the learning, the development and the use of Irish in the Houses of the Oireachtas in various other ways."
Both learners of Irish and fluent speakers alike are welcome to attend the breakfast organised by Conradh na Gaeilge, and information on Irish classes in Leinster House will be circulated amongst the politicians at the event, as well as a list of volunteers that are happy to arrange personal one-on-one conversation sessions with politicians looking to practise their Irish without necessarily taking up a regular class.
In addition to the breakfast morning in Leinster House, night-time conversation circles and Irish events in the afternoon have been added to the newly-developed Is Leor Beirt programme in time for its re-launch.
Peadar Mac Fhlannchadha, Conradh na Gaeilge's National Co-ordinator based in Galway says: "The Is Leor Beirt scheme is based on the simple idea that you only need two Irish speakers getting together to chat in Irish to set up a conversation circle, meeting maybe one a week in a local café or the canteen at work for example, and the scheme has gone from strength to strength since it was launched in association with Irish-Language Community Schemes across the country back in November 2009."
Síne Nic an Ailí
Development Executive, Conradh na Gaeilge
01 4757401 / 087 6546673
Peadar Mac Fhlannchadha
National Co-ordinator, Conradh na Gaeilge
091 567824 / 087 4188050
Conradh na Gaeilge launched the first national network of Irish-language conversation circles by the name of Is Leor Beirt in conjunction with Irish-Language Community Schemes across the country in November 2009. Based on the simple idea that you only need two Irish speakers to set up a conversation circle and to foster an Irish-language network in your locale, Is Leor Beirt gives everyone in the community a chance to use their cúpla focal on a regular basis and ensures that Irish will be heard in various public places across the country. In response to numerous requests from various politicians to set up an Irish conversation circle in Leinster House, Is Leor Beirt @ Teach Laighean began in March 2010 to give TDs and Senators a chance to practise their Irish in relaxed and informal setting, approximately once a month and at times that suit their demanding schedules. www.cnag.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 Galway and in other places across the country as well. www.cnag.ie/courses