Taoiseach Leo Varadkar speaking at the launch of “Bliain na Gaeilge 2018” at Government Buildings in Dublin. RollingNews.ie photo.
By Anthony Neeson
2018 is set to become the year of the Irish language in Ireland and overseas.
“Bliain na Gaeilge 2018” aims to celebrate the language and encourage the use of Irish.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has already given his blessing to the scheme which hopes to emulate the successful “Gathering” in 2013.
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2018 marks the 125th anniversary of the language revival movement with the founding of Conradh na Gaeilge – the Gaelic League.
“Throughout Bliain na Gaeilge we want to celebrate the Irish language and encourage as many people as possible to get involved,” said Mr. Varadkar.
“Whether you are a fluent Irish speaker, if you are just learning the language, or if you haven’t used your Irish in years, this is an opportunity to improve your fluency, learn more about the language and encourage your neighbors, friends and colleagues to embrace the language in their everyday lives.”
Niall Comer, President of Conradh na Gaeilge, said: “Bliain na Gaeilge will give those fluent and those with the cúpla focal, or those interested in the Irish language throughout the world, a fantastic opportunity to use the language more.
“We are inviting the public to get involved in events organized during the year, to use more Irish during the year and, similar to the Gathering in 2013, to host their own events, be it a coffee morning through Irish or something even bigger.”
As well as many fun-filled events, as part of the celebrations a parade will take place from Parnell Square to St. Stephen’s Green in Dublin on March 3 to celebrate the language, while a series of seminars will take place on a monthly basis around the world discussing the history, heritage and future of the revival of the Irish language.
Bliain na Gaeilge co-ordinator Síomha Ní Ruairc, said: “125 years after the beginning of the Irish language revival, Bliain na Gaeilge gives us the chance to celebrate all that has been achieved for the language since 1893.
“It is also a chance to put Irish and the challenges the language faces today at the heart of the national discourse.”