Local organisation CAIRDE Teo will be hosting a free Irish language family fun day on The Mall in Armagh City on Saturday 10 March between 1pm and 4pm. The fun day has been organised to welcome a major festival, Rith 2012 and to celebrate the achievements of the young, vibrant and modern Irish language community in Armagh. The day will also highlight the ancient connection between Armagh and Gaelic culture.
Giggles the Irish speaking clown will be joined by stilt walker Ariel Killick and children can enjoy bouncy castles, obstacle courses, balloon modeling, rodeo bull and puppet shows. Entertainment in the large marquee will include Irish language singing sensation JJ Ó Dochartaigh who will bring his fantastic array of modern pop and rock and Síoda from the Armagh Pipers Club who will provide the finest traditional music Armagh has to offer. Young members of the Cúchullain hurling club will pit their skills against a team from Naomh Bríd camogie club in a first exhibition of Gaelic sports on the Mall. A family céilí will keep everyone in the family busy and the day will wrap up with a special Irish language showing of The Secrets of the Cardboard Rocket in the Planetarium at 4.30pm. We will also be joined on the 10th March by Seachtain na Gaeilge personality and presenter of TG4’s Pop4 and RTE’s The Voice, Eoghan Mac Diarmada, who will help us to celebrate the language of the Gael.
Culture will be taking centre stage in Armagh city this year during Seachtain na Gaeilge, when the national Irish language marathon relay Rith 2012 visits the city on Saturday 10 March. Rith will be the biggest Irish language event to arrive in the city since the gathering of the Gaelic chieftains and clans at the historic Aonach Mhacha (located at what is now known as The Mall) and at the ancient capital of Ulster at Eamhain Mhacha (Navan Fort). Rith has received the backing of many Irish language and culture organisations throughout the country and in Armagh. The County GAA Board as well as schools, cultural organisations, youth clubs and community groups have weighed in behind the run with many GAA clubs looking forward to taking part and raising the profile of the Irish language.
The family fun day on the Mall has received financial backing from Armagh City and District Council, CAIRDE Teo and Foras na Gaeilge. The organisers would like to thank the Mall Trustees for their kind permission to host the event on the Mall and also Armagh Planetarium for their continued support.
The run begins in County Armagh in Derrymacash and makes its way into Lurgan, before travelling on to Armagh itself where the run recommences as participants run to Keady and on to County Monaghan at Tullynagrow. One of Armagh’s most famous sons, former All-Ireland winning manager Joe Kernan, also gave his support for the initiative, saying “The Irish language is really flourishing in our county and the visit of Rith and the Irish language fun day will only help to bolster the support for the language. I regret that I am not more proficient in the Irish language like my brother and his family who are fluent speakers, but I fully support this relay run as it is a positive step in the right direction for the continued development of our native language.”