The Irish language will yet again feature prominently in Armagh’s celebrations for Culture Night, with a number of local organisations coming together to offer a special Irish language open night programme at 6pm on Friday 22 September. The event, which is being coordinated by local Irish language community group CAIRDE Teo, will take place downstairs in the Marketplace Theatre and will music from members of Ciorcal Comhrá Ard Mhacha, a conversation circle for learners and Irish speakers, information stands on Irish language classes and events across Armagh and face-painting and storytelling for kids, as well as a finger buffet and tea and coffee.
Amongst the information stands which will be there on the night, there will be information on Irish language classes across Armagh, Irish medium youth clubs in Armagh, the Siúil bilingual hillwalking group, the Raidió Mhacha Irish language radio project, Irish language social events and opportunities and the latest news on Armagh’s planned cultural centre, Aonach Mhacha. With Irish classes getting underway this week in Armagh and Keady, the event will serve as a welcome event to new learners to encourage them to practice speaking Irish outside of the classroom and in a more relaxed social environment. There will also be other social opportunities for Irish learners and speakers to take part in over the coming months, including the weekly conversation groups on Tuesday evenings, a book launch at the Navan Centre on Thursday 28 September, a hillwalk on Slieve Binnian on Saturday 7 October, a more gentle walk at Gosford Forest Car Park on Saturday 14 October and some of the Irish language and bilingual events that will take place during the William Kennedy Piping Festival from 16 to 19 November.
The Armagh pop-up Gaeltacht is part of a series of Irish language events taking place on Culture Night right across Ireland. The Armagh event has received part-funding from Armagh, Banbridge and Cragavon Council and from national Irish language organisation Oireachtas na Gaeilge. While the pop-up Gaeltacht event on Culture Night is free of charge, a collection box will be available for donations to Armagh’s latest Irish medium pre-school, Naíscoil na Caille, which opened on Monday 4 September on Cathedral Road. If you are interested in learning about the additional benefits of an Irish medium education for your child, come along to the pop-up Gaeltacht to speak to some parents whose children have attended Irish medium schools.