With the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan TD, officially launching Dublin's 2011 Culture Night tomorrow (Wednesday, 17 August 2011), there has never been a better time for Conradh na Gaeilge's cultural centre to launch their own brilliant array of Irish-language events for the big night!
Top of the list are some events being organised for young people at 6 Harcourt Street, Dublin 2, throughout the day and night of the 23rd of September 2011, including an afternoon of sport with Ógras; a story-session for children with Comhluadar in An Siopa Leabhar; a radio skills workshop with the youth chartstation Raidió Rí-Rá; and a guitar workshop run by Seachtain na Gaeilge. As well as all that, there will be a sale on Irish-language products; a workshop for parents on the benefits of early bilingualism; an Irish class for adult learners with Conradh na Gaeilge; a music session in Club Chonradh na Gaeilge; and a free legal advice stand from 5 - 11pm as part of Culture Night 2011 too.
Síne Nic an Ailí, Development Executive with Conradh na Gaeilge says: "People's interest in Irish has grown considerably over the years and as such, it doesn't come as any surprise that the range of events we organise at 6 Harcourt Street for Culture Night is also growing year on year. Culture Night is a great way for both young and old alike to start enjoying the language in a sociable, welcoming atmosphere again here in Conradh na Gaeilge's cultural centre, and there's something for everyone on this year's programme - whether you enjoy music, stories, or sport, or you've an interest in radio affairs, in raising your family through Irish, or simply in the language, we have something for you!"
For the fourth year running, Nic an Ailí is in charge of coordinating all the events being run on Culture Night by the different Irish-language organisations in the building. No more than in previous years, members of the public will have the opportunity to take a bilingual guided tour of Number 6 Harcourt Street, Dublin 2, one of the most historical buildings in the city*, starting every 20 minutes from 5 - 11pm on the 23rd of September 2011. According to Nic an Ailí: "Anyone with any little bit of interest in history will jump at the chance to get inside Conradh na Gaeilge's headoffices on Culture Night 2011, to listen to the stories about the building and to check out the escape tunnels underneath that were used by members of the IRB, for example. It's not often a building can boast such an important and varied history as that which belongs to Number 6 Harcourt Street."
Síne Nic an Ailí
Development Executive, Conradh na Gaeilge
01 4757401 / 087 6546673
Templebar Cultural Trust
01 6772255 / 01 8883610
5.00 - 11.00pm Bilingual Guided Tour of the Historical Headquarters - Conradh na Gaeilge (Every 20 mins)
5.00 - 11.00pm Bargain Book Sale - An Siopa Leabhar
5.00 - 11.00pm Information Stand - An tIonad Saor-Chomhairle Dlí
3.30 - 5.00pm Games and Sport for Children (5 - 11 years old) - Ógras
5.00 - 6.00pm Story Session for Children (5 - 11 years old) - Comhluadar in association with
An Siopa Leabhar
5.00 - 6.00pm Radio Skills Workshop (11 - 18 years old) - Raidió Rí-Rá
6.00 - 7.00pm Beginners' Irish Class for Adults - Conradh na Gaeilge
7.00 - 8.00pm Dátheangach Ó Thús / Bilingual Beginnings - Comhluadar
A workshop in Irish and English for parents looking to raise their families through Irish
8.00 - 9.00pm Guitar Workshop - Seachtain na Gaeilge
9.00pm Music Session - Club Chonradh na Gaeilge
* PLACES MUST BE RESERVED FOR THESE EVENTS *
*Cardinal John Henry Newman once lived in Number 6 Harcourt Street, Dublin 2 and he played no small part in the founding of University College Dublin (UCD). The Catholic University opened its doors in three separate buildings on the 3rd of November 1854, Number 6 among them, and Newman's house was known as St Mary's.
The Sinn Féin bank was also run from here during the War of Independence, and it is from this very building that the results of the 1918 elections were announced.
Some of the most important people involved in the Easter Rising 1916 were also connected to the building, and the tunnel through which the likes of Michael Collins and other senior members of the IRB escaped from the British forces is still intact under the building.
The first Department of Finance under the Free State was also founded on the floors above this tunnel in later years.
Temple Bar Cultural Trust (TBCT) is a private limited company that works on a not-for-profit basis to support culture in Temple Bar in a variety of ways. TBCT organised the first Culture Night in Ireland in Dublin in 2006 and the celebrations have since spread across the country. www.templebar.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. www.cnag.ie
Club Chonradh na Gaeilge at 6 Harcourt Street, Dublin 2 is the main meeting place for the capital's Irish speakers. The bar is open to Club members 7 nights a week from 8.00pm and there is always music and chat in Irish to be heard here. A conversation circle is held here every Monday night, Tuesday is student night, Thursday is Cocktail Night and there are many more events organised every month, from Breton classes to dancing and card games. www.anclub.ie
An Siopa Leabhar is the Conradh na Gaeilge bookshop at 6 Harcourt Street, Dublin 2 and is one of Ireland's most renowned Irish-language institutions. It is a shopping facility of excellence for the Irish-speaking community, in the capital and further afield. Through the use of new technology, the range of goods and books available from An Siopa Leabhar online is ever-expanding at www.cnag.ie.
Conradh na Gaeilge founded Ógras in 1969 to give young people between 13 - 19 years of age the chance to come together and participate in youth clubs run through the medium of Irish. In 1988, Óg-Ógras was established for children between the ages of 8 - 12. Ógras organises a variety of fun, educational events for young people all over the country with an interest in being part of a vibrant Irish language youth movement. www.ogras.ie
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
Raidió Rí-Rá is a chart-station for young people playing all the latest music from the charts and broadcasting completely through the medium of Irish. You can listen to Raidió Rí-Rá all year round online at www.rrr.ie, on all Nokia phones, on the iPhone with the latest application available from www.rrr.ie/iphone/ and live on FM during the month of March. Listeners can get the latest celeb and sports' news, listen to the all the hottest hits, vote for their favourite songs, check out Top 40 Oifigiúil na hÉireann and download past programmes from the website. www.rrr.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