The programme of events has been announced for 2011 Seachtain na Gaeilge, which will be launched in Ennis this Thursday by well-known Irish language writer and musician Maidhc Dainín Ó Sé and Bainisteoir Náisiúnta de Sheachtain na Gaeilge Órla Nic Suibhne.
Hundreds of people are expected to participate in a wide range of other events during Seachtain na Gaeilge 2011 at locations including Ennis, Kilkee, Kilrush, Shannon, Miltown Malbay, Tulla, Lisdoonvarna and Kilmaley (see www.clarecoco.ie for details).
Clare County Council, An Clár as Gaeilge, Clare County Library and a wide range of voluntary bodies have jointly assumed the role of co-ordinating a countywide programme for the annual festival.
Seachtain na Gaeilge will be officially opened on Thursday, at 8pm in Cois na hAbhna, with Maidhc Dainín Ó Sé, and the manager of Seachtain na Gaeilge Órla Nic Suibhne. Clare’s Re-Seisiún, a group comprising Clare County Council employees who played at the Celtic Cultural Connections evening in Brussels in October 2009, will provide musical entertainment for Céilí Mór na Seachtaine at 9pm, along with special guests.
Once again a large number of events will take place at primary and secondary schools throughout Clare this year with some schools hosting their own events including Réalt na Mara in Kilkee and Scoil Sheanáin Naofa in Kilrush. Workshops in singing and dancing have been organised to take place in schools throughout the county.
This year’s Seachtain na Gaeilge also coincides with the Ennis Book Club Festival featuring Eddie Lenihan in Scéal Eile Bookshop, Féile Scoldrámaíochta (March 1st), as well as Féile na hInse which is expected to attract in excess of 2,000 people to the town later this month and the Roibeárd Ó Cathasaigh devised Rabhlaí Rabhlaí in Glór, Ennis on March 31st
According to Ms. Emer Ní Fhlaitheartaigh, Oifigeach Forbartha Gaeilge, Clare County Council, “Seachtain na Gaeilge takes place less than a fortnight after Coiste Glóir na hInse won three national language awards for the promotion of Irish in the spheres of education, the media and public service.
“This success underlines the progress that is being made at a local level to encourage greater use of the Irish language in everyday life and greater participation in initiatives that take place throughout the year.”
“We anticipate that this year’s programme of events will again involve hundreds of people of all ranges of fluency. The vast range of events due to take place around the county demonstrates that the Irish language is vibrant, alive and exciting in the hearts of the people of Clare.
“Seachtain na Gaeilge puts a serious emphasis on the Irish language, incorporating both written and the spoken tongue, with abundant efforts from voluntary groups and officially organised activities.
“This year we are especially delighted to welcome so many high profile contributors from around Ireland and beyond to Clare. I have no doubt that the many and varied organised events will both entertain and educate those who attend them.”
Ms Emer Ní Fhlaitheartaigh paid tribute to the organisations, groups and individuals who had contributed to this year’s events programme, “Seachtain na Gaeilge – Clár an Chláir would not be possible if it were not for the partnership of public, community and voluntary bodies such as Clare County Council, Clare Library Service, Conradh na Gaeilge (various branches throughout the county), An Clár as Gaeilge, business premises supported by Ennis Chamber of Commerce, Cois na hAbhna and Glór Music Centre, as well as schools and voluntary groups.”
“We are very proud that there are so many special events this year. We always have a wide range of events, but this year we are hoping for the participation of more than ever before,” said Breandán MacFhionnghaile, Oifigeach Forbartha, An Clár as Gaeilge agus Leas Cathaoirleach Sheachtain na Gaeilge go Náisiúnta.
Events for secondary schools include a presentation by Maidhc Dainín Ó Sé who is on the Leaving Cert syllabus; Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh who will host creative writing workshops and Lisa Ní Laoire from Ros na Rún who will participate in a Q&A session on the life of an actress.
For primary schools there will be sean nós singing workshops with Deirdre Griffin, (March 7 and 11) and Clann Lir by Branar Drámaíocht in Cois na hAbhna on March 10 (www.branar.ie), and storytime sessions in the libraries with Teresa Carmody O’Shea and Séamus Ó Riain and scéalaí Niall de Búrca.
For adults the main events are a bilingual painting workshop with Andrew Newland on the 9 in Gaelscoil Mhíchíl Cíosóg, Ennis, coffee mornings (Ciorcal Cainte and Caifé) in the various locations including Glór Music Centre and The Town Hall Restaurant. The penultimate event of Seachtain na Gaeilge will be a very special evening of mythological stories on March 16 with Ennis native Diarmuid de Faoite (star of Corp’s Anam, Rásaí na Gaillimhe and Ros na Rún).
Seachtain na Gaeilge is a non-profit organisation which helps to promote the Irish language and culture both at home and abroad within a two week festival held in March every year. Since its foundation by Conradh na Gaeilge in 1903, the festival has progressed and developed not alone on a national level but in countries such as Germany, Brazil, Canada, America and England.
For further information on any of these events please see www.clarecoco.ie/www.snag.ie or contact Emer Ní Fhlaitheartaigh, on firstname.lastname@example.org or 065-6846512 or Breandán MacFhionnghaile, An Clár as Gaeilge ar email@example.com or 065 6864474.