Local community group CAIRDE Teo is again celebrating, having received a national award in recognition of its work in promoting the Irish language in Armagh. The city-based cooperative was recognised for its innovative approach to community development work at the recent Glór na nGael awards ceremony held in Dunboyne Castle in County Meath. The event, which was hosted by TG4 personalities Páidí Ó Lionaird and Éimear Ní Chonaola, was attended by Irish language groups from right across Ireland as well as a number of groups who promote the language abroad. Cairde Teo received a gold medal and a prize of €4,000 for promotion of the Irish language in a town with a population over 10,000.
Cairde Teo’s Irish language officer Seán Ó Maoilsté received the award from guest speaker Seán Ó Fearghaíl, ceann comhairle in the previous government at Dáil Éireann. Armagh was well-represented at the awards ceremony with Emma Ní Mhaoilsté and Aoibhinn Nic Géidigh picking up an award for An Cumann Gaelach, the Irish language society at Queen’s University Belfast, and Caoimhe Ní Loingsigh picking up an award for the Irish society at St Mary’s University College. Other award winners on the night included the Cultúrlann in Derry who won the main award of €20,000 for best overall group, Comhlucht Forbartha na nDéise in County Waterford who won the Gaeltacht section of the award and Glór Charn Tóchair who won the section for an area with a population below 10,000.
The Armagh group is already looking ahead to next year’s Glór na nGael Irish language competition, as Cairde Teo Youth Officer Caoimhe Ní Loingsigh explained: “This award is an important recognition of the hard work that CAIRDE Teo and others have been putting into the promotion of the Irish language around Armagh. We have come away with €4,000 that will be used to develop more language and cultural initiatives in Armagh in 2016. The Glór na nGael awards ceremony was a really fantastic occasion and a great opportunity to network with all the key players in the sector from right across Ireland. CAIRDE brings together a vibrant and energetic group of language activists from all age groups and backgrounds. Rest assured that we will be redoubling our efforts in the coming year and that we will be back in Dunboyne Castle again next year vying for the overall prize,” she concluded.