Canadian school takes part in #Gaeilge24 challenge

Students join 24-hour Irish speaking challenge taking place in over 320 schools across Ireland

Coláiste Chiaráin, Luimneach.

Coláiste Chiaráin, Luimneach.


Irish speaking students at a high school in Canada have joined tens of thousands of students across Ireland in the annual Gaeilge24 challenge.

Now in its fifth year, participating pupils speak Irish for 24 hours as part of the Conradh na Gaeilge fundraiser.

Students at the Thistletown Collegiate Institute in northwest Toronto posted a video on YouTube in support of the initiative.

Speaking in Irish, several students delivered messages of support before a class performance of Clannad’s Dúlamán na Binne Buí under the stewardship of Niagara Falls-born teacher and Irish language speaker Matthew Tran-Adams.

Later on, the Irish Embassy in Canada tweeted its congratulations to the students. Elsewhere in Canada, students at Newfoundland’s Memorial University are planning an event on Friday in support of the event.

The Canadian students joined over 30,000 students across Ireland who are participating in the event.

Participating schools include English-medium, Irish-medium, and Gaeltacht primary and post-primary schools.

“Seeing 30,000 students taking part in Gaeilge24 is a testiment to the rising levels of interest in the Irish language. There are 20 per cent more students taking part this year than in 2015. This shows that young people are becoming more comfortable in using Irish in the daily lives, outside of the classroom,” said Aodhán Ó Deá, director of development with Conradh na Gaeilge and Gaeilge24 challenge organiser.

Students are encouraged to use Irish in all social settings and have been issued with a phrase book to help them with useful phrases and words.

Phrases that might be of use to students include:

An bhfuil an seomra folctha saor?/Is the bathroom free?

Tá traenáil peile agam ag a 6/I have football training at 6 o’clock.

An bhfuil sinseáil agat?/Do you have change?

An bhfuil an dinnéar beagnach réidh?/Is dinner nearly ready?

Schools from all over Ireland tweeted messages of support using the hashtag #Gaeilge24.

Ciarán Mac Raghnaill, Irish teacher at Drumshanbo Vocational School in Leitrim said: “Since Gaeilge24 started my students have always looked forward to taking part in the challenge. Not only do they enjoy the day but it also helps improve their spoken Irish.”

“Gaeilge24 is great for promoting the Irish language here in school and it also promotes the language locally here in Drumshanbo,” Mr Mac Raghnaill added.