Irish was for many years considered a dead, or dying language, but one organisation is striving to make it more accessible.
Founded in 1953, Gael Linn aims to foster and promote the Irish language and its heritage throughout Ireland as a living language and as an expression of identity.
A €98,000 grant from the National Lottery via Foras na Gaeilge has helped Gael Linn to fund high quality entertaining events through Irish.
“Gael Linn provides an opportunity for young people to use Irish in social settings by creating events, such as regional drama festivals and annual debates for school pupils and university students,” explains Antoine Ó Coileán, Chief Executive of Gael Linn.
“It’s all about using Irish in a fun setting and creating a network of people who will continue to use Irish in everyday life situations.”
Funding has helped the Dublin-based organisation run events all around the country at minimal costs. “Tens of thousands of people across the 32 counties benefit from our events and with the growing demand, we’re very dependent on funding to keep expanding and developing our events,” says Antoine.
One of the most popular events for third-level students is the Irish language moot courts which is held in the four courts once a year. “This event allows law students to plead a case before actual judges through Irish. It’s a great opportunity for these students, last year we even had some supreme court judges involved. This type of thing helps to turn Irish into a working language by showing students how Irish can be used in real life, everyday situations."
“The challenge is to create Irish speakers by giving them the tools, motivation, network and skills to make Irish a living, modern language.”
Approximately 30 cent of every €1 spent on games go back to National Lottery funding for Good Causes in the areas of sport, youth, health, welfare, education, arts and heritage.
Over €5 Billion has been raised for Good Causes since the National Lottery was established 30 years ago. In 2016 alone, the National Lottery raised over €210 million for such good causes.