Rith 2016 Gets 50,000+ Running for Irish Language

Rith 2016 going past the GPO, DublinBiggest festival & relay run for the Irish language to date visited all 32 Counties over the course of 11 days for first time ever

Crowds gathered in Dublin’s Trinity College for the closing ceremony of Rith 2016 and a free street concert by Seo Linn at 1.30pm today (Monday, 14 March 2016), at which the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Críona Ní Dhálaigh, read out a message from the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, written especially for Rith 2016. Over 50,000 took part in Rith 2016 from 4 – 14 March 2016, and the national relay run took in every county in Ireland over the course of 11 days for the first time ever this year.

Rith 2016 covered 700km in total and the national relay run was one of the main commemoration events of the 1916 Easter Rising. Kilometres along the Rith 2016 course were sponsored by individuals, schools, community groups, businesses and many others, and runners carried a baton containing a concealed pdfmessage of hope from the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins with them for the duration of the run. The baton was passed from person to person, from kilometre to kilometre, as far as the end of the Rith 2016 course and closing ceremony in Trinity.

The following is the original message written in Irish by the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins for the Irish-speaking and Gaeltacht community that took part in Rith 2016:

“Is fearr rith maith ná drochsheasamh. Ní hé gur rith maith atá déanta ag an bpobal breá daoine a ghlac páirt san éacht seo a bhfuil deireadh ag teacht leis anseo, ach rinne siad rith iontach. Agus tá sé lánoiriúnach go dtiocfadh siad go dtí an ceann scribe anseo I mBaile Átha Cliath, áit ar déanadh dea-sheasamh, seasamh misniúil cróga 100 bliain ó shin.

“Bhí sé riamh i gceist go mbeadh baint ag an nGaeilge le sláinte na tíre, sláinte agus folláine intinne agus meoin sa chéad áit, ach sláinte a rachadh chun sochair an phobail i gcoitinne ar gach slí. Bhain an Ghaeilge leis an athbheochan ghinearálta spride a thug ardú meanman don náisiún agus a bhfuil comóradh speisialta á dhéanamh againn air i mbliana. Agus tá feidhm ag an nGaeilge fós san athbheochan spride agus misnigh is gá a bheith againn sna blianta amach romhainn.

“Chuaigh an Ghaeilge amach ar fud na tíre ag tabhairt eolais agus féinmheas do na daoine i mblianta tosaigh na hathbheochana. Feicimse cosúlachtaí idir an teachtaireacht a scaip siad an t-am sin agus an gaisce taistil seo inar ghluais daoine le Gaeilge den scoth, nó le Gaeilge mheirgeach, nó le Gaeilge a bhí leathdhearmadta, nó iad siúd nach raibh acu ach an cúpla focal féin ó Chorca Dhuibhne go Carn Tochair agus na céadta áit idir eatarthu sna 32 contae den oileán seo ag taispeáint agus ag léiriú go bhfuil beatha agus tiomáint agus brí sa teanga in ainneoin cora crua na staire.”

Started in 2010, Rith is a biennial festival that aims to celebrate the Irish language within the community in an inclusive, visual and active way. 10,000 people took part in the first Rith in Ireland in 2010, while 27,000 people ran with Rith 2012 and 30,000 people participated in Rith 2014, but Rith 2016 has been the biggest celebration to date with over 50,000 people running for the Irish language as part of Seachtain na Gaeilge 2016, the international celebration of the language which runs from 1 – 17 March each year.

Rith 2016 ran with a vehicle convoy of Toyota cars thanks to Toyota Ireland.

Associated Organisations of Conradh na Gaeilge