The Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Éamon Ó Cuív, TD, will re-open the historical head-office of Conradh na Gaeilge at Number 6, Harcourt Street, Dublin 2 on Tuesday, 23 February 2010, at 6.00pm after recent repairs.
The re-opening of Conradh na Gaeilge's head-office will be an occasion of great celebration, with all the rooms open to the public from 4.30 - 6.30pm to give people a chance to see the restored office and to take a guided tour of the building to learn about the central role it played in the fight for independence.
Some of the most important figures involved in the 1916 Easter Rising had connections with the Conradh and with the building at Number 6, Harcourt Street; six of the seven signatories of the Declaration of Independence were members of Conradh na Gaeilge, and the tunnel through which the likes of Michael Collins and other commanding officers of the IRB escaped from the British forces are still to be seen under the Conradh's head-office. In addition, not only was the first Department of Finance under the Free State founded in the building, but the Sinn Féin bank was also located in Number 6 during the War of Independence and the results of the 1918 were announced from the steps of the same building.
Conradh na Gaeilge received €238,186 through the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs from the Irish-Language Fund, Ciste na Gaeilge, which is part-funded by the National Lottery, towards restoring the historical building in Dublin. Conradh na Gaeilge also received generous contributions from branches of the organisation to help pay for some of the repair work and we will be fundraising more money in the near future to clear all the outstanding costs.
Pádraig Mac Fhearghusa, President of Conradh na Gaeilge says: "On behalf of Conradh na Gaeilge, I would like to sincerely thank both the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and all the branches of the Conradh that donated generously to the repair-fund to date to help restore the head-office at Number 6, Harcourt Street to its proper condition. The Conradh is also delighted to have Minister Éamon Ó Cuív re-open this hugely historical head-office for us when the Department's contribution to fund these essential repairs was so great."
There will be music and refreshments in the Club in the basement after the official re-opening of the head-office by Minister Ó Cuív, and every organisation based in the building will also have an information stand on display in the offices - Conradh na Gaeilge, Ógras, An tOireachtas, Seachtain na Gaeilge, An Siopa Leabhar, Club Chonradh na Gaeilge, Raidió Rí-Rá, Rith 2010, FLAC's Irish-language Ionad Saor-Chomhairle Dlí, and the Leinster branch of Glór na nGael included.
Julian de Spáinn, Conradh na Gaeilge General Secretary says: "Conradh na Gaeilge is the democratic forum for the Irish-speaking community and the organisation is committed to working with other Irish-language organisations to promote the language throughout the island. The re-opening of the Conradh's head-office is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the result of that continuing co-operation as we aspire to developing the building as an Irish-language centre in the capital for classes, events, conferences, etc."
MORE INFORMATION & RESERVATIONS:
Brenda Ní Ghairbhí,
Office Executive, Conradh na Gaeilge.
Julian de Spáinn,
General Secretary, Conradh na Gaeilge.