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08 Jul 2013

DSC01744Tá pobal na Gaeilge ar chipíní go fóill i ndiaidh an campa samhraidh is rathúla a bhí ar siúl sa chathair riamh. Is é an eagraíocht Ghaeilge CAIRDE Teo a reáchtálann an campa, Campa Mhacha, a bhí ar siúl i mbaile ársa na nGael ag Eamhain Mhacha i mbliana, áit chónaithe ríthe Chúige Uladh.  Chreidfeadh an cuairteoir go raibh an t-am i ndiaidh dul siar na céadta bliain nó bhí an Ghaeilge bhinn le cluinstin go soiléir fán suíomh speisialta seo, díreadh mar a cluineadh í i ré órga na Rúraíochta. D’fhreastail Campa Mhacha ar pháistí ón bhunscoil áitiúil agus bhí campa amháin ann do pháistí idir Rang 1 agus Rang 3 agus campa eile do pháistí ó Rang 4 go Rang 7.

Seachtain lán-imeachtaí, spraoi agus turas a bhí ann don ochtó páistí a tháinig chuig an champa achan lá. Rinne na páistí ceardlanna ealaín agus ceardaíochta a chuir an múinteoir áitiúil ealaín Máire Ní Phronntaigh agus chuaigh siad ar thuras thart ar Ionad Eamhain Mhacha faoi threoir Róisín Ní Mhurchú. Lean rannpháirtithe an champa lorg Chú Chulainn féin nuair a d’fhoghlaim siad scileanna iománaíochta agus camógaíochta ó Rónán Mac Liaim, Gaeilgeoir as Ard Mhacha a oibríonn le Comhairle Uladh den CLG. D’eagraigh Cleamairí Ard Mhacha ceardlann drámaíochta agus ceoil do na páistí, agus iad díreach i ndiaidh pilleadh ón fhéile iomráiteach rac-cheoil ag Glastonbury.

Chuaigh na páistí ar roinnt turas le linn na seachtaine agus bhí an-chraic ar fad acu ag Feirm Ainmhithe C&J taobh amuigh de Phort an Dúnáin agus sheas roinnt mhaith acu fá choinne grianghraf leis an réimse nathracha agus laghairteanna a bhí ann. D’fhoghlaim na páistí faoin nadúr thart ar Loch nEathach nuair a thug siad cuairt ar Ionad Loch nEathach ag Eanach Loiste taobh amuigh den Lorgain agus chuaigh siad ar shiúlóid dúlra ar bhruach an locha. Bhí lá iontach foghlama agus spraoi ag na páistí nuair a thug siad cuairt ar W5 i mBéal Feirste agus ghlac siad páirt i gceardlanna éagsúla le foghlaim faoin eolaíocht agus faoin saol thart timpeall orainn.

Cuireadh clabhsúr speisialta leis an tseachtain nuair a chuir Tura Arutura, cara mór linn in Ard Mhacha, nuair a chuir sé ceolchoirm spleodrach ar siúl so na páistí. Gaeilgeoir líofa is é Tura, arb as Contae an Dúin dó agus an tSimbáib ó thús, agus d’éascaigh sé ceardlanna rince do na páistí uilig sula ndeachaigh sé ar an ardán le mórtaispeántas dá stíl rince nua-nóis a chur ar fáil chomh maith le cuid dá amhráin uirbeacha Gaeilge Bhí peileadóirí Ard Mhacha Finnian Ó Muircheartaigh agus Ruairí Ó Gruagáin i láthair fosta le duaiseanna a bhronnadh ar na páistí a rinne an iarracht is fearr Gaeilge a úsáid i rith na seachtaine, agus labhair Finnian i nGaeilge agus i mBéarla faoin ghrá a bhí aige don Ghaeilge agus le cur in iúl go raibh sé bródúil go bhfuil na páistí chomh tiomanta sin don Ghaeilge.

DSC01696Mairfidh lorg Campa Mhacha 2013 i bhfad i gcuimhne na bpáistí agus ba mhaith le lucht eagraithe an champa buíochas a ghabháil le gach duine a chuidigh lena chinntiú gur éirigh chomh maith sin leis. Ba mhaith le Cairde Teo buíochas a ghabháil le Rannóg Óige Bhord Oideachais agus Leabharlann an Deiscirt, le Foras na Gaeilge agus le Comhairle Ard Mhacha a chuidigh le costais an champa. Ar son na bpáistí uilig, gabhann muid buíochas leis na múinteoirí: Caitríona; Mícheál; Bróna; Áinín agus Mícheál agus leis na daoine óga uilig a chuidigh linn i rith na seachtaine. Tugann muid buíochas do Chleamairí Ard Mhacha, do Rónán agus Máire, don fhoireann ar fad ag Feirm C&J, ag W5 agus ag Ionad Loch nEathach. Gabhann muid buíochas fosta le Róisín, Damien agus an fhoireann ag Eamhain Mhacha, lenár dtiománaithe bus Jerome agus Seán Mac Carthaigh, le peileadóirí sinsear Ard Mhacha Finnian Ó Muircheartaigh agus Ruairí Ó Gruagáin agus le Tura a chuir deireadh iontach le campa rathúil eile. Ba mhaith le Cairde Teo buíochas ó chroí a ghabháil leis na Gaeil óga iontacha a d’fhreastail ar an champa a bhí iontach maith an tseachtain uilig agus a rinne sár-iarracht an Ghaeilge a chur chun cinn. Níl amhras ar bith orainn ach gurbh é Campa Mhacha 2013 an campa is fearr go dtí seo agus tá muid ag súil go mór le Campa 2014 cheana féin.

 

The Irish language community in Armagh is still buzzing following the most successful summer camp ever held in the city. The camp, Campa Mhacha, is organised by local Irish language social enterprise CAIRDE Teo and the children felt at home as it was held at Eamhain Mhacha (Navan Fort) this year, seat of the ancient kings of Ulster.  For the visitor, it felt like time had turned back as the Irish language resonated across this special setting, just as it did during the period of the Ulster Cycle. Campa Mhacha catered for children from the local Irish medium primary school with one camp for Rang 1 to Rang 3 (P1-P3) and a second for Rang 4 to Rang 7 (P4 to P7).

It was a fantastic week packed full of activities and trips for the eighty children to attended each day. The children benefitted from arts and crafts classes provided by local arts tutor Máire Ní Phronntaigh and toured the Navan Centre led by Róisín Ní Mhurchú. Participants in the camp also followed in the footsteps of Cú Chulainn himself, when they learnt hurling and camogie skills from Rónán Mac Liaim, an Irish speaker from Armagh who works for the Ulster Council of the GAA. The fantastic Armagh Rhymers organised a song and dance workshop for the children, following their successful appearances at the world-reknowned rock festival at Glastonbury.

DSC01691The children also enjoyed a number of trips throughout the week with a visit to C&Js Animal Farm outside Portadown proving to be a big hit with many of the children posing for photographs with the array of snakes and lizards on show. A trip to Oxford Island and the Lough Neagh Discovery Centre informed the children of the wildlife associated with the lough and a nature trail was enjoyed by all. The children also visited W5 at the Odyssey Centre for a very enjoyable day of learning and fun and they took part in various workshops learning about Science and the World Around Us.

The week was wrapped up in style when Tura Arutura, a good friend of Armagh, visited to put on a special concert for the children. Tura, a fluent Irish speaker from County Down and originally from Zimbabwe, facilitated dance workshops for all of the children, before going on stage to perform his inspiring mix of modern and sean-nós dance as well as some of his urban Irish language hits. Armagh footballers Finnian Moriarty and Rory Grugan also made an appearance to present awards to the children who made the best effort to speak Irish all week, with Finnian speaking in Irish and in English of his admiration for Irish and his respect for the children’s commitment to the Irish language.

Campa Mhacha 2013 will live long in the memory of all those who were in attendance and the organisers would like to thank everyone who helped to ensure its success. Cairde Teo would like to thank the Youth Division of the SELB, Foras na Gaeilge and Armagh and City District Council who contributed towards the costs of the camp. On behalf of all of the children, we would like to thank the múinteoirí (the teachers): Caitríona; Mícheál; Bróna; Áinín and Mícheál and all of the young people who helped out during the week. We would like to thank the Rhymers, Rónán and Mary, the staff at C&Js, W5 and the Discovery Centre at Oxford Island. Thanks to Róisín, Damien and the staff at the Navan Centre, our bus drivers Jerome and Seán McCarthy, Armagh senior footballers Finnian Moriarty and Rory Grugan and Tura who did workshops with the kids and brought the camp to closure in style. Cairde Teo would also like to thank the children who were brilliant all week. We are in little doubt that Campa Mhacha 2013 was one of the best ever and we can’t wait to next year’s camp already.