Culture Minister in the Northern Ireland Executive, Ms Carál Ní Chuilín (SF), has hosted a musical event at Stormont this evening to celebrate Seachtain na Gaeilge and her department’s “Líofa” campaign. Ms Ní Chuilín said that Seachtain na Gaeilge was an opportunity to use and celebrate Irish, a language that “defines who we are in this part of the world. We use Irish every day. Many words in common use have a basis in Irish and Irish is also evident in many of our names and place names. This continues a shared tradition which can be traced back through history”.
The annual celebration highlighted that the language belonged to everyone, that it had been at the heart of society for centuries and that it would shape the future, she said.
Speaking about the Líofa project, which encourages people to become fluent in Irish, Ms Ní Chuilín said that almost 6,000 people “of all ages, backgrounds and abilities were learning Irish. They do so for many reasons, for the joy of learning, as an academic exercise, to understand our history and culture or because their friends and family can speak Irish. They are all pledging to become fluent together.”
Among those taking part were Scoil Ruairí Dhaill harpists, the Derry singer Brian Mullen, musicians from Comhaltas Chaisleán Uidhilín and the singer, JJ Ó Dochartaigh, who had composed a new song especially for the Líofa campaign.