Biggest ever language challenge being run by Conradh na Gaeilge in 200+ schools
Over 25,000 pupils in more than 200 schools across Ireland are taking part in the Gaeilge24 challenge being run by Conradh na Gaeilge today (Tuesday, 10 November 2015), an Irish-language challenge that sees students raising money for the promotion of the language by speaking only Irish for the duration of the day.
This is the fourth year of this unique annual challenge and Gaeilge24 continues to go from strength to strength: there are schools from almost every county in Ireland and more people than ever taking part in this year’s Gaeilge24. The Gaeilge24 challenge helps to open the minds of young people to the language in a relevant and enjoyable way, and gives them a positive experience of using Irish in their own lives.
The aim of Gaeilge24 is to inspire young people to speak only Irish for 24 hours on a particular day, wherever they are and whatever they are doing: at school, at home, in shops and with local businesses, with their friends, around their hometown, in sports clubs, with their families, and with teachers.
Aodhán Ó Deá, Director of Development with Conradh na Gaeilge and Manager of the Gaeilge24 challenge says:
"Conradh na Gaeilge is normalising the use of the Irish language among young people thanks to Gaeilge24, and it’s fantastic that an additional 5,000 students have registered for this year’s challenge. We have sent thousands upon thousands of support packages to schools north and south in the past few days, and here in Conradh na Gaeilge we’re very excited to have over 25,000 students speaking Irish across the island throughout the day today!”
It is the Gaeilge24 challenge participants themselves that promote and spread the use of the Irish language within whichever community they are part of, encouraging other people to talk to them in Irish and supporting everyone around them to use whatever few words of Irish that they might have throughout the day. Money is also raised on the day to help the promotion of Irish, and the global community have the chance to take part in the challenge online by using the #Gaeilge24 hashtag on Twitter as well.
Martha Ní Chathasaigh, Irish teacher at St. Mark's Community School in Tallaght, Dublin, says:
“Gaeilge24 gives the entire school community – including pupils, teachers, and parents – the opportunity to experience Irish in a very positive way beyond the classroom. Everyone thoroughly enjoys Gaeilge24 and you could say the school becomes a small Gaeltacht for the day of the challenge. Gaeilge24 nurtures the pupils’ interest in the Irish language and in the long-term, events such as this really help the students to build up their confidence when learning the language.”
English-medium, Irish-medium, and Gaeltacht primary and post-primary schools the length and breadth of Ireland are all taking part in Conradh na Gaeilge’s latest Gaeilge24 challenge today (10 November 2015). Any profit from the day goes towards the registered charity Conradh na Gaeilge to support the promotion of Irish throughout Ireland.