Foras na Gaeilge and Bòrd na Gàidhlig are pleased to launch a new website today for the Colmcille programme, which links Ireland and Scotland. The newly designed site is launched on the 9th June, the Feast Day of St Colmcille. The website incorporates a new logo for Colmcille, the partnership programme linking Irish and Scottish Gaelic. The co-hosted site is available in Irish and Scottish Gaelic and English and is integrated with social media channels.Continue Reading
Iomain Cholmcille began with one international rules match between Micheal Breathnach GAA from Ireland and a Select team of Scottish Gaelic speaking shinty platers in Oban in 2007.
At the event’s heart was the Gaelic language, Every player had to have Irish or Scottish Gaelic and they had to use it as well. Everyone who played in this game loved it, but that wasn’t the end of the story.
After that first game, the project has grown over the course of a dozen competitions held in Connemara, Skye, Donegal, Glasgow and Fort William.
In 2015, the women’s competition, An Còrn Sgàthaich began, and youth competitions have always been a feature since the beginning. Coaching is usually provided to local youngsters by the visiting team and this raises the confidence of the local people.
There is a good standard of play in these games, with Gaelic speaking players who have played at the top level alongside players from smaller clubs. The games attract large crowds and has reputation as a great spectacle wherever it is played.
Music and craic are very important elements of the whole event as well, and many great ceilidhs have been held as part of the competition with players and officials getting the opportunity to speak and learn from each other.
The benefits of Iomain Cholmcille are long lasting with connections strengthened between Gaels within nations and between nations, with strong friendships established over the years.
The use of Gaelic and the building of confidence in using it are at the heart of everything Iomain Cholmcille does. It provides an opportunity and a place for young people with an interest in the sport of the Gael to use their language in a fun, informal situation full of energy and encouragement.
In Scotland, Iomain Cholmcille (Alba) also works with support from Bòrd na Gàidhlig to raise the status of Gaelic in shinty through youth competitions and community events.
Féile na Gealaí was founded in 2016 and the main objective of the organisers was to provide an all-Irish language camping festival for speakers of the Irish language to promote music, culture and all of the Irish language arts in a new and innovative way.
In addition to that it was also their objective to create a link with groups, people and artists who speak Scottish Gaelic fluently and who are willing to partake in the festival events. Some of the Scottish artists who have taken part in the festival to date are Niteworks, Griogair Labhruidh, Sian, Trail West and Whyte, to mention but a few. The Irish audience show a huge interest in the blending of electronic and sean-nós singing by Niteworks for example. There is no all-Gaelic festival in Scotland at present and Scottish Gaelic speakers greatly enjoy Féile na Gealaí.Continue Reading
It can be a challenge for teenagers to come together and use Gaelic, but an odyssey by bus and boat is helping a group in County Derry to meet that challenge.
For a number of years, a 50 seater bus from the Donegal Gaeltacht has been travelling to County Derry and onwards to the Isle of Lewis. The bus is full of teenagers and those helping them, and their face is set on Fèis Eilean an Fhraoich, the youth festival in Lewis, and on young people of their own age who speak Scottish Gaelic.
The journey is organised by a youth group, Club Óige Luraigh, one of a network of Irish language organisations which has developed in a rural area of County Derry. The club works in partnership with the Fèis in Lewis, and with Muintearas, a Gaeltacht youth organisation in Ireland: there are teenagers from the Donegal and Conamara Gaeltachts on the bus as well as from Derry.
The young people from Ireland take part in music activities and iomáin (hurling/shinty) in Lewis as well as language classes, and drama workshops help them to use Scottish Gaelic.
Joe Ó Dochartaigh, a youth worker at Club Óige Luraigh, says that the annual odyssey transforms the work of the youth club. Even though they have had Irish-medium primary education, those teenagers who do not speak Irish at home can succumb to pressure to speak English among themselves. But the annual odyssey to Lewis has its own effect: as the young people put effort into the feis and the long journey there and back, they choose to speak Irish among themselves, a choice they maintain on their return home to County Derry.
New friendships are another result of the odyssey; friendships between people in Lewis and County Derry, between teenagers in County Derry and in the Gaeltacht in Ireland. Young musicians from Ireland have been invited to play at the big Lewis musical festival, the Hebcelt; families from Lewis have come to visit families in County Derry. One young man who has been on the journey, Dubhaltach Mac Conmidhe is studying for a degree in Scottish Gaelic in Glasgow.