Irish language storytelling, arts and crafts sessions, céilís and visits to the Casement Aerodrome in Baldonnel are just some of the events planned for South County Dublin's Seachtain na Gaeilge.
The announcement of the Irish language celebrations follows yesterday’s official launch of the national 2014 Seachtain na Gaeilge. “We have a huge variety of activities going on in the area, for young and old,” said Aoileann Nic Dhonnacha, Irish language Officer for South County Dublin.
Cllr Dermot Looney, Mayor of South Dublin County Council, who launched the event in Tallaght's County Hall, spoke of the importance of "real community involvement" in the Irish language. "People don't have enough chances to speak Irish," said Cllr Looney. "These events give people that chance to speak and celebrate the language."
Cllr Looney said people should be “promoting” and “celebrating” their native language and echoed the slogan carried through Dublin city centre last Saturday as part of Lá Mór na Gaeilge - “the right to a language is a human right.”
Former professional boxer Bernard Dunne, who acts as a patron for the South County Dublin Seachtain na Gaeilge, started learning Irish when he retired from boxing." It's important to encourage people not to be self-conscious about speaking their own language," he said.
Many of the festival's events will take place in Áras Chrónáin, the Irish language cultural centre in Clondalkin. Brían Ó Gáibhín from the centre said the festival has been growing every year and will hold over 130 events this year. "This festival gives us a chance to show where the Irish language is going," said Mr Ó Gáibhín. "Áras Chrónáin is so important for the county, it creates an Irish language community," he added.
Donal Ó Corcoráin, who is taking Irish language classes in Tallaght library ,said he’ll be attending some of live music sessions, céilís and Irish classes taking place during the week. “It’s our native tongue and it’s also a beautiful language,” said Mr Ó Corcoráin.
Marie Keenan, who has also rediscovered Irish as an adult, said it is important to learn the language to help her children with homework. “I’m taking classes and now I love speaking Irish,” she said.
Seachtain na Gaeilge Átha Cliath Theas (SNAGÁCT) runs from March 1st to 17th.