Ní Chuilín Hails Irish Language Archive

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Culture Minister Carál Ní Chuilín has hailed the first ever dedicated Irish language archive in the North

The archive, held at Coláiste Feirste and St Mary’s University College in Belfast, contains thousands of records and spans more than 100 years. It charts the revival of the language, in particular since the 1950s, and includes photographs, letters, books, newspaper clippings and other records of interest.

dn_screenSpeaking about the archive, the Minister said: “Irish is a language for everyone and is enjoying a huge upsurge in popularity. More people are taking up the Líofa challenge to begin learning Irish or grow their existing ability, and more people are speaking it in everyday life – in schools, cafés, in their social activities and in public forums like council chambers and the Assembly.

“It was not always like this, however. Although Irish has been spoken in Belfast continuously for centuries, by the 1950s its usage was confined to a small number of dedicated clubs and societies. Since then, thanks to the passion and commitment of a small group of Irish speakers, including those who founded the Shaws Road Gaeltacht, we have seen take-up of Irish steadily grow. Indeed we now have thousands of children receiving their education, from pre-school through to post-primary, through the medium of Irish and it is the fastest growing sector of the local education system.

“This new archive tells, for the first time all in one place, the full story of this revival, using artefacts that deliver a tangible and exciting connection to historical events. The archive will be of interest to future generations of Irish learners and historians, as well as to tourists and anyone seeking to find out more about Belfast’s rich cultural heritage.”

The Minister highlighted how the Líofa campaign has contributed to the recent increase in Irish speaking and said: “I launched Líofa in 2011 with the aim of making Irish accessible to all and increasing its general use. Since then more than 13,000 people have signed up and I recently set a new target of 20,000 people increasing their fluency by 2020.

“As the revival and growth of Irish continues, this archive will also grow and take on increased significance as more people seek to learn about the language’s history.”

The Minister added: “My congratulations and thanks go to everyone involved in establishing this wonderful venture, including all those who have contributed items for the archive, and to the Heritage Lottery Fund and Foras na Gaeilge for their financial support.”

http://www.forbairtfeirste.com

Molann an tAire Cultúir, Carál Ní Chuilín an chéad chartlann Gaeilge shaintiomnaithe sa tuaisceart

Tá an chartlann, ina bhfuil na mílte taifead a chlúdaíonn níos mó ná 100 bliain, á coinneáil i gColáiste Feirste agus i gColáiste Ollscoile Naomh Muire. Baineann na taifid le hathbheochan na Gaeilge, go háirithe ó bhí na 1950idí ann, agus áirítear orthu grianghraif, litreacha, leabhair, gearrtháin as nuachtáin agus taifid shuimiúla eile nach iad.

Ag caint ar an Chartlann, arsa an tAire: “Is teanga í an Ghaeilge don uile dhuine, teanga a bhfuil an-tóir uirthi i láthair na huaire. Tá níos mó daoine ag glacadh le dúshlán Líofa, le tús a chur le foghlaim na Gaeilge nó leis an Ghaeilge atá acu cheana a fheabhsú, agus tá níos mó daoine ag labhairt na Gaeilge i saol an uile lae – i scoileanna, i gcaiféanna, ina ngníomhaíochtaí sóisialta agus i bhfóraim phoiblí amhail seomraí comhairle agus sa Chomhthionól.

“Ní raibh an scéal i gcónaí amhlaidh, áfach. Cé go bhfuil an Ghaeilge á labhairt i mBéal Feirste leis na céadta bliain, faoi na 1950idí, ní raibh sí á húsáid ach ag dornán beag de chlubanna agus de chumainn thiomanta. Ó shin i leith, a bhuí leis an díograis agus an tiomantas a bhí ag scata beag de Ghaeilgeoirí, lena n-áirítear iad sin a bhunaigh Gaeltacht Bhóthar Seoighe, chonaic muid borradh seasta ag teacht faoi líon na ndaoine a bhí ag gabháil don Ghaeilge. Leoga, tá na mílte páistí againn anois a fhaigheann a gcuid oideachais, ó réamhscolaíocht go hiar-bhunscolaíocht, trí mheán na Gaeilge agus tá an Ghaelscolaíocht ar an earnáil is mó fás sa chóras oideachais áitiúil.

“Leis an chartlann úr seo, agus na hábhair uilig san aon áit amháin den chéad uair riamh, insítear scéal iomlán na hathbheochana nó is nasc follasach corraitheach le himeachtaí na staire iad na déantáin atá in úsáid. Is ábhar spéise a bheas sa chartlann seo do na glúine d’fhoghlaimeoirí Gaeilge agus de staraithe a thiocfaidh inár ndiaidh, mar aon le turasóirí agus duine ar bith eile a bheadh ag iarraidh níos mó eolais a chur ar oidhreacht chultúrtha shaibhir Bhéal Feirste.”

D’aibhsigh an tAire mar a chuir feachtas Líofa leis an bhorradh atá tagtha ar na mallaibh faoi líon na ndaoine a labhraíonn Gaeilge: “Sheol mise Líofa sa bhliain 2011 agus b’é ab aidhm leis an Ghaeilge a dhéanamh insroichte don uile dhuine agus úsáid choitianta na Gaeilge a mhéadú. Ó shin, tá níos mó ná 13,000 i ndiaidh clárú agus bhí orm, ar na mallaibh, sprioc úr a leagan síos, mar atá, 20,000 duine a bheas ag iarraidh cur lena líofacht sa teanga faoin bhliain 2020.

“De réir mar a leantar d’athbheochan agus d’fhás na Gaeilge, cuirfear leis an Chartlann seo fosta agus cuirfear béim mhéadaithe ar a thábhachtaí atá sí de réir mar a bheas níos mó daoine ag iarraidh eolas a chur ar stair na teanga.”

Mar fhocal scoir, arsa an tAire: “Gabhaim comhghairdeas agus buíochas le gach duine dá raibh baint acu le bunú an tionscnaimh iontaigh seo, lena n-áirítear gach duine a chuir ábhair ar fáil don chartlann, agus leis an Heritage Lottery Fund agus le Foras na Gaeilge as a dtacaíocht airgeadais.”

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