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27 Jan 2012

Tá an tAire Cultúir Carál Ní Chuilín i ndiaidh an scéim Líofa 2015 a lainseáil in Ard Mhacha, agus í ar cuairt ar an chathair le hoifigí nua CAIRDE Teo agus an siopa Gaeilge Cult Úr a oscailt go hoifigiúil. Cuireadh fáilte mhór chroíúil roimh an Aire agus bhí scaifte breá i láthair le páistí agus daoine óga, príomhoidí agus múinteoirí ó Bhunscoil Chnoc Chaitríona, Scoil Ghramadaí Naomh Pádraig, Bunscoil Naomh Maolmhadóg agus ón Aonad Gaeilge i gColáiste Chaitríona. Tháinig Colm Ó Baoill, oifigeach sinsearach le Foras na Gaeilge an bealach uilig ó Ghaoth Dobhair le freastal ar an ócáid agus bhí an Comhairleoir Cathy Uí Raifeartaigh agus an Comhalta Tionóil Cathal Ó Baoilláin i láthair ag an imeacht fosta. Chuir Píobairí Ard Mhacha ceol ar fáil ag an imeacht agus bhí Comharchumann na nOibrithe Cruthaitheacha i láthair leis an imeacht a thaifeadadh mar chuid de ghearrscannán ar an Ghaeilge in Ard Mhacha.

Bhí Réamonn Ó Ciaráin, Cathaoirleach le CAIRDE Teo agus Bainisteoir Réigiúnda Gael Linn i láthair le fáilte a chur roimh an Aire agus roimh an slua a tháinig le chéile leis an oscailt oifigiúil agus seoladh an fheachtais Líofa a cheiliúradh. Ghabh sé buíochas leis an Aire Ní Chuilín as teacht agus dúirt sé go raibh lúcháir air an oiread daoine óga a fheiceáil ann. D’aithin sé ról tábhachtach Fhoras na Gaeilge sa tionscnamh seo leis an tacaíocht a thugann siad do Cairde Teo tríd an Scéim Phobail Gaeilge.

D’inis Gearóid Ó Machail, ComhStiúrthóir ar an fhiontraíocht sóisialta úrnua Aonach Mhacha don slua a bhí i láthair ag an siopa Cult Úr, go bhfuil pleananna á bplé le lárionad cultúir a bhunú i lár chathair Ard Mhacha a chuirfeadh oifigí ar fáil do roinnt eagraíochtaí Gaeilge agus cultúir, chomh maith le spás don phobal, áit súgartha, caifé, spas taispeántais, seomraí ranga agus seomra ilmheáin. Ghríosaigh sé achan duine le páirt a ghlacadh lena chinntiú go mbeadh an t-ionad lárnach i saol cultúrtha, eacnamaíoch agus sóisialta Ard Mhacha. Thréaslaigh sé leis an Aire as an tionscnamh Líofa 2015 a bhris na teorainn thrasphobail agus a chothaigh suim nua sa teanga, rud a thabharfaidh tuiscint nua dúinn ar luach na Gaeilge mar chuid dár gcomhoidhreacht chultúrtha.

“Tá dul chun cinn suntasach déanta ag roinnt grúpaí cultúir in Ard Mhacha cheana féin leis an mhíthuiscint agus buairt roimh an Ghaeilge a laghdú agus bhí Píobairí Ard Mhacha, Cleamairí Ard Mhacha agus an coiste cultúir de CLG Ard Mhacha ceannródaíoch san obair seo. Cuirfidh CAIRDE Teo agus Aonach Mhacha leis an obair thábhachtach sin leis an Ghaeilge agus an cultúr Gaelach a thaispeáint do dhaoine ó gach cúlra – ní amháin don dá phríomhthraidisiún in Éirinn ach do na pobail nua atá i ndiaidh teacht go hArd Mhacha le blianta beaga anuas. Tá oidhreacht shaibhir chultúrtha ag Ard Mhacha, agus caithfidh muid a chinntiú go mbeidh an oidhreacht sin chomh saibhir céanna do na glúnta atá le teacht”. 

Dúirt Seán Ó Maoilsté, Oifigeach Forbartha Gaeilge le CAIRDE: “Tá muid ag iarraidh ar dhaoine a n-ainmneacha a chur leis an fheachtas Líofa atá an tAire Ní Chuilín i ndiaidh a cheapadh agus beidh muidinne ag tacú le achan duine in Ard Mhacha atá ag iarraidh a gcuid Gaeilge a fheabhsú agus líofacht a bhaint amach trí ranganna oíche, dianchúrsaí deireadh seachtaine, tréimhsí cónaithe sa Ghaeltacht agus ábhair foghlama a chur ar fáil”. 

Féachann an feachtas Líofa le daoine ó achan chuid den tuaisceart a spreagadh le Gaeilge líofa a bhaint amach roimh dheireadh 2015. Ón uair a sheol an tAire an feachtas i mí Mheán Fómhair 2011, ghlac 1,350 duine leis an dúshlán le bheith líofa. Shínigh breis agus 300 duine don scéim thar thréimhse na Nollag agus na Bliana Úire le rún na hathbhliana acu Gaeilge a fhoghlaim.

Agus í ag labhairt faoin togra Líofa, dúirt Carál Ní Chuilín: “Creidim féin gur linne ar fad í an Ghaeilge agus gur gné lárnach dár gcomhoidhreacht chultúrtha í. “Bhí an-rath ar an fheachtas go dtí seo agus tá an rath sin ag cuidiú liomsa go pearsanta cloí leis na ranganna Gaeilge.

Labhair an tAire faoi oscailt an tsiopa nua CULT ÚR fosta. “Tugann fiontair mar seo in Ionad Siopadóireachta Chathair Ard Mhacha áit lárnach don Ghaeilge sa phobal. Seo an chéad chéim de phlean trí bliana leis an Ghaeilge agus an cultúr a fhorbairt sa chathair agus tá mé ag súil go mór le foghlaim faoin dul chun cinn.”

Culture Minister Carál Ní Chuilín has brought the Líofa 2015 roadshow to Armagh, coinciding with the official opening of local group CAIRDE Teo’s new offices and the opening of a new Irish language shop ‘CULT ÚR’ in the city. A warm welcome awaited the Minister as she arrived in Armagh City Shopping Centre with schoolchildren, principals and teachers from Mount St Catherine’s Primary, St Patrick’s Grammar, St Malachy’s Primary and Irish Medium College Coláiste Cháitríona forming a large section of the reception party. Colm Ó Baoill, senior officer with Foras na Gaeilge travelled from Gweedore in Co. Donegal to attend the event while the local council was represented by Councillor Cathy Rafferty with Cathal Boylan MLA also in attendance. Musical accompaniment at the well attended reception was provided by Armagh Pipers Club and the entire proceedings were filmed by the Creative Workers Cooperative for a promotional short film about the Irish language to be released in late 2012.

Réamonn Ó Ciaráin, Chairperson of CAIRDE Teo and Regional Manager of Gael Linn, welcomed the Minister and all those who had come to celebrate the official opening and the launch of the Líofa initiative in Armagh. Speaking in Irish, he thanked Minister Ní Chuilín for taking the time to come and open Armagh’s first Irish language shop. He also spoke of his delight at seeing so many young people at the reception and acknowledged the role of Foras na Gaeilge in providing support for the initiative and for funding the office of CAIRDE’s Irish Language Officer, Seán Ó Maoilsté.

Inviting the Minister to cut the ceremonial ribbon at the ‘CULT ÚR’ shop, Gearóid Ó Machail, Co-Director of Armagh’s newest social enterprise – Aonach Mhacha (Eng: ‘Macha’s Assembly’) – informed the gathering that plans were well under way for a new cultural hub in Armagh City centre which would provide offices for the many organisations connected with the Irish language and culture in Armagh and surrounding area as well as community space, play areas, cafe, exhibition area, classrooms and a multi-media suite. He encouraged everyone to play their part in ensuring that the proposed hub becomes an integral part of the cultural, economic and social life of Armagh. Commending the Minister for her Líofa 2015 initiative, Mr Ó Machail spoke of a new wave of interest in the language that crossed community boundaries and of a heightened curiosity about the language that could be harnessed to bring about a new understanding about the shared cultural heritage value of Irish language and music.

“Significant progress has already been made in Armagh by groups like Armagh Pipers Club, Armagh Rhymers and the cultural committee of Armagh GAA in challenging misunderstanding and apprehension about Gaelic cultural heritage. CAIRDE Teo and Aonach Mhacha will complement and build on that great work and open up Irish culture to people of all community backgrounds – not just to the two main traditions but also to the new communities who have made Armagh their home in recent times. Armagh has a rich cultural heritage, let us ensure that it has a rich cultural future”. 

Seán Ó Maoilsté, CAIRDE’s Irish language officer, added: “We encourage people to embrace Minister Ní Chuilín’s Líofa campaign and we will be supporting all those in Armagh who are seeking to improve their fluency in Irish by providing evening classes, weekend courses, Gaeltacht residentials, learning and support materials”. 
  

Líofa, meaning fluent in Irish, is aimed at encouraging people across the North to sign up to be fluent in Irish. Upon its launch by the Minister in September 2011, 1,350 people have taken up the Líofa challenge. This includes an additional 300 people who signed up over the Christmas and New Year period following the Líofa New Year resolution campaign.

 

Speaking of the Líofa initiative, Carál Ní Chuilín said: “I firmly believe that the Irish Language belongs to everyone and forms a vital part of our shared cultural heritage.

“The response to the Líofa campaign has been fantastic and I am personally greatly encouraged by the response to Líofa which is keeping me on track with my Irish language classes” she added.

The Minister also commented on the opening of the new Irish language shop, ‘CULT ÚR’ and CAIRDE Offices.

“Ventures like this one in Armagh City Shopping Centre, integrate Irish in the heart of the community. This is just the beginning of a three year plan for the development of the Irish language and cultural issues in the city and I look forward to hearing how you will take all of this forward.”