Armagh Gaels are gearing up to celebrate the annual Irish language festival Seachtain na Gaeilge, which takes place in the Cathedral City during the month of March. Local language and cultural organisations have come together to offer a jam-packed programme of events locally between Monday 2 March and Friday 20 March. The Armagh programme for Seachtain na Gaeilge will be launched by Lord Mayor, Councillor Cathy Rafferty, in the Lord Mayor’s Parlour at the Palace Stables at 1pm on Monday 2 March, as part of a special Irish language pop-up café.
As well as the weekly Irish language classes, youth clubs, conversation groups and fitness club, local organisation CAIRDE Teo are organising a number of special events to celebrate the vibrancy of the Irish language community. The monthly hillwalking group Siúil will be organising a special walk at Poll na gColm in County Fermanagh to celebrate the Irish language festival. Poll na gColm, which means Hole of the Doves, is located in the Tullybrack Hills at Boho and participants in the walk can enjoy the fantastic scenic beauty of the karst limestone landscape and enter the cave alongside the picturesque waterfall.
The highlight of Seachtain na Gaeilge in Armagh will undoubtedly be the appearance of the world-reknowned Irish traditional band, Kíla, who will visit the Marketplace Theatre on Thursday 12 March. Kíla are one of the most innovative bands on the Irish music scene and have won national and international acclaim for their brand of funky trad. Tickets are priced at just £10 and are available from the Marketplace Theatre. This is Kíla’s first appearance in Armagh and it is sure to be a night to remember.
CAIRDE Teo are organising a bilingual tour of the Church of Ireland cathedral at 4pm on Friday 13 March. This is an opportunity for Gaels of all denominations and none to come and enjoy the beautiful surrounds of one of Ireland’s most historic churches. A special Irish language family trip will take place on Saturday 14 March for children from local Irish medium schools and their parents. Participants will visit Aunt Sandra’s, a sweet shop and factory in Belfast, where the children will receive a guided tour of the sweet and chocolate-making facilities in the factory, as well as make their own sweets. Spaces are limited and those interested in attending must contact Seán on 028 3751 5229 or firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 27 February.
A number of other cultural organisations are also planning events to highlight Seachtain na Gaeilge. Ciorcal Comhrá Ard Mhacha will hold their annual commemoration for Séamus Mór Mac Murchaidh on Sunday 15 March, starting at the Hole in the Wall pub at 12 noon. Armagh GAA will also add their support to the national festival with a special guest making an appearance during the Allianz Hurling and Football League double header on Saturday 7 March. Comhrá agus Craic will hold two special nights of Irish language music, poetry and story in Bake My Day café in Armagh City Shopping Centre at 7pm on Monday 2 and Monday 9 March. The celebrations for Seachtain na Gaeilge will come to a close on Thursday 19 and Friday 20 March when the Marketplace Theatre hosts the Ulster final of the annual Irish language School Drama Competition, Féile Scoildrámaíochta and Armagh Gaels will have the opportunity to watch the best young actors and actresses from right across the province.
For further information on Seachtain na Gaeilge or to book a place at any of the events, you can contact Seán, Irish language development officer with CAIRDE Teo at email@example.com or 028 3751 5229.