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08 Dec 2015

DSCF2415Tá dream mór de Ghaeilgeoirí óga Ard Mhacha i ndiaidh pilleadh ó thuras speisialta le bualadh le Daidí na Nollag ar oileán álainn agus stairiúil Inis Dairgreann ar Loch nEathach. D’eagraigh CAIRDE Teo an turas do pháistí ó Ghaelscoileanna an cheantair agus dá gcuid teaghlaigh i gcomhar lenár dteagmhálaithe sa Mholl Thuaidh. Bhí an turas ar siúl ar an Domhnach agus thaisteal an grúpa go Bá an Ghainimh cóngarach do Ghleann Abhaigh, áit ar bhuail siad le cabhlacán bád a thug na teaghlaigh ar an turas fiche bomaite amach chuig an oileán, a bhí breámhaisithe le soilsí Nollag.

Ar bhaint an oileáin dóibh, bhuail na páistí agus a dtuismitheoirí le síóga Dhaidí na Nollag a thug isteach iad le deoch te agus bia a fháil, sular thug said cuairt ar Dhaidí na Nollag féin a bhí ag fanacht i mbáirse athfhorbartha, a bhíodh in úsáid le guail a iompar ó Loch nEathach ar an Lagán. Bhí lúcháir ar Dhaidí na Nollag bualadh leis na páistí uilig agus d’éist sé leo ag ceol amhrán Nollag as Gaeilge. I ndiaidh dóibh neart bronntanas a fháil ó Dhaidí na Nollag, thug duine dá chuiditheoirí iad ar thuras thart ar an oileán ar threan cuadrothair le cuairt a thabhairt ar chloigtheach an oileáin. An ceannscríbe a bhí rompu ar an turas seo ná beárbaiciú le bia te a fháil agus tine campa le leamhacáin a rostadh.

DSCF2400Agus na teaghlaigh ar an bhealach ar ais thar Loch nEathach, labhair na páistí agus na tuismitheoirí faoin eispéireas iontach a bhí acu ag bualadh le Daidí na Nollag ar Inis Dairgreann. Ba mhaith le Cairde Teo buíochas a ghabháil le Daidí na Nollag as an am a thabhairt amach óna sceideal fíorghnóthach, leis na h-oibrithe deonacha uilig ó Thogra Oidhreachta Inis Dairgreann agus le cuiditheoirí Dhaidí na Nollag ar na báid agus ar an oileán féin.

 

A large contingent of young Irish speakers from Armagh has just returned from a special trip to meet Daidí na Nollag or Santa Clause on the beautiful and historic setting of Rams Island on Lough Neagh. Local community group CAIRDE Teo organised the trip for children from local Irish medium schools and their families, in conjunction with their colleagues in the North Pole. The trip took place on Sunday evening and the group travelled to Sandy Bay Marina near Glenavy, where they were met by a Christmas flotilla of boats who brought the families on the twenty minute journey out to the island, which was festooned with Christmas lights and decorations.

On arrival at the island, the children and their parents were greeted by Santa’s elves, who brought them inside for a warm drink and snack, before they went to visit Father Christmas in a redeveloped barge, which had formerly been used to transport coal from Lough Neagh up the River Lagan. DSCF2403Santa was delighted to meet all of the children and was delighted to hear them singing a number of Irish language Christmas songs. Having received plenty of gifts from Daidí na Nollag, the children then joined one of Santa’s helpers for a tour of the island on the Elf Quad Train to visit the island’s cottage and the round tower. The young Gaeilgeoirí arrived back to a barbeque and they were treated to some hot food and toasted marshmallows over the camp-fire.

As the families made their way back across the Lough, the children and indeed parents spoke of such a memorable experience meeting Daidí na Nollag on Rams Island or Inis Dairgreann as it is known in Irish. Cairde Teo would like to thank Daidí na Nollag for taking the time out of his extremely busy schedule, the volunteers from the Rams Island Heritage Project and all of Santa’s helpers on the boats and on the island itself.