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06 Apr 2011
Bhí an t-ádh ar dháréag dalta as Ard Mhacha an tseachtain seo caite nuair a chuaigh siad ar thuras cónaithe chuig Doire agus Dún na nGall mar chuid de Scéim Fiontraíochta Cultúrtha a cheap agus a sholathair CAIRDE Teo – eagraíocht Gaeilge in Ard Mhacha. Thug na daltaí cuairt ar an fhiontraíocht tuaithe ag Carn Tóchair i ndeisceart Dhoire sula ndeachaigh siad ar aghaidh go chathair Dhoire le turas a fháil thart ar an ionad úrscothach, Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin. Cuireadh deireadh leis an turas le hoíche cheiliúrtha i nGaeltacht Thír Chonaill ag an imeacht cáiliúil i dTigh Hiúdaí ar an Bhun Beag, áit a raibh scaifte ann as Béal Feirste agus Doire agus ar ndóigh as Gaoth Dobhair féin.
 
Bhí sé mar aidhm ag an turas na daltaí a spreagadh le ceachtanna a fhoghlaim ó thionscadail gnó agus pobail a dhíríonn ar ráchairt chultúrtha agus oidhreachta na Gaeilge. Tá na daltaí A-leibhéil i ndiaidh ‘Bunchúrsa ar Fhiontraíocht Chultúrtha’ a chur i gcrích, cúrsa a bhí creidiúnaithe ag Ollscoil na Ríona agus a chlúdaigh ábhair éagsúla ar fhiontraíocht shóisialta, ar éagsúlacht chultúrtha, ar fhorbairt pobail agus ar thurasóireacht chultúrtha. Mhínigh Gearóid Ó Machaill, stiúrthóir an chúrsa agus bainisteoir forbartha CAIRDE Teo, na fáthanna a raibh gá leis an an chúrsa.
 
“Tá Ard Mhacha ar maos le gnéithe tábhachtacha oidhreachta cultúrtha agus tá deiseanna maithe fiúntacha ann leis na gnéithe seo a fhorbairt. Tá CAIRDE ag iarraidh a chur ina luí ar dhaltaí atá ag gabháil don Ghaeilge in Ard Mhacha go bhfuil roinnt mhaith roghanna gairme ar fáil do Ghaeilgeoirí nach bhfuil ar fáil do dhaoine nach bhfuil an dara teanga acu.
 
“Shocraigh CAIRDE cúrsa do dhaltaí na háite atá creidiúnaithe ag Ollscoil na Ríona a thabharfaidh cáiliocht bhreise luachmhar dóibh agus a spreagfaidh iad leas a bhaint as acmhainn thabhachtach nach dtugtar go leor airde air, is é sin oidhreacht chultúrtha Ard Mhacha.
 
“Daingneoidh an turas chuig fiontraíochtaí Gaeilge faoin tuath agus sa chathair na ceachtanna a d’fhoghlaim siad sa seomra ranga agus tabharfaidh sé inspioráid dóibh le smaoineamh ar bhealaí nua le geilleagar na hoidhreachta cultúrtha a fhorbairt ar ais in Ard Mhacha. Bhí muintir An Carn agus Chultúrlann Úí Chanáin iontach cuidiúil agus thaispeain siad do na daltaí an dóigh gur feidir leo a gcuid scileanna teanga a úsáid le cur le forbairt pobail nó fiontraíochta.
 
“Gabhaim buíochas le Príomhoide Choláiste Caitríona, Deirdre McDonald agus leis an Uasal Ó Máirtín as an seomra ranga a chur ar fáil dúinn do mhodúil teagaisc an chúrsa. Gabhaim buíochas leis an mhúinteoir ar an chúrsa, Seán Ó Maoilsté agus le Mary Prunty a chuidigh leis an chúrsa fosta. Ar deireadh, gabhaim buíochas lenár gcuid maoinitheoirí sa chás seo, Foras na Gaeilge agus UnLtd as an chuidiú agus an tacaíocht a thug siad le linn an tionscadail.”
 
Bronnfar teastais ó Ollscoil na Ríona ar na daltaí ag searmanas i rith na Cásca i ndiaidh dóibh cur i láthair a dhéanamh ar smaoineamh nua fiontraíochta cultúrtha dá gcuid féin.
 
Twelve lucky students from Armagh have just returned from a residential trip to Derry and Donegal as part of their participation in a ‘Cultural Enterprise Scheme’ devised and delivered by CAIRDE Teo – an Irish language company based in Armagh City. The students visited a rural community enterprise at Carn Tochair in rural Derry before travelling on to Derry City and receiving a guided tour of the new £4.2 million Irish language and cultural centre known as Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin. The students rounded off their trip with a stopover in Gaoth Dobhair in the Donegal Gaeltacht where they joined groups from Belfast and Derry at the famous ‘Cabaret Craicealta’ in Húdaí Beag’s pub in Bun Beag village.
 
The study trip was designed to encourage the students to learn lessons from business and community projects which draw on the cultural and heritage appeal of the Irish language for their success. All of the A Level students have recently completed an ‘Introduction to Cultural Enterprise Course’, accredited by Queen’s University Belfast which explored topics such as social entrepreneurship, cultural diversity, community development and cultural tourism. Course Director and Development Manager with CAIRDE Teo, Gearóid Ó Machail, explained the rationale behind the project.
 
“Armagh City is enriched with a hugely significant and potentially lucrative cultural heritage. CAIRDE is keen to impress upon local students of the Irish language in Armagh that their are a significant number of career options and life opportunities available to them as Irish speakers that are not available to others who don’t have the advantage of a second language. 
 
“CAIRDE Teo has devised a course for local students that has been certified by Queens University, and which will not only provide students with an additional, prestigious qualification, but that also will open to their eyes to the largely untapped economic resource of our cultural heritage in Armagh.
 
“The study trip to visit rural and urban Irish language and cultural heritage enterprises will consolidate the lessons learned in the classroom and will inspire them to envisage new ways of developing the cultural heritage economy back here in their own city. The people in both An Carn and in Cultúrlann Úí Chanáin were tremendously helpful in demonstrating to the students the ways in which their language skills could be used in an enterprise and community development context.
 
” I would like to thank the Principal of Coláiste Caitríona, Mrs Deirdre McDonald and An tUasal Ó Mairtín for the classroom space that they made available to host the theory modules of the course. I would also like to extend gratitude to our Course Tutor, Seán Ó Maoilsté and our Course Facilitator, Mary Prunty. Finally, I would like to thank our funders in UnLtd and Foras na Gaeilge for their tremendous help and support throughout the project”, Mr Ó Machail concluded.
 
The students will be presented with their Queens University certificates at a ceremony during the Easter holidays following a presentation of their own pioneering cultural enterprise ideas for Armagh.