Another fun and rewarding summer of courses at Oideas Gael came to an end this August. For thirty years now, people have travelled to Gleann Cholm Cille and to Gleann Fhinne to enjoy the best of Ireland’s modern native culture. We sincerely thank all those who visited us this year, including friends old and new. Don’t forget either that you have one more chance to do a course with Oideas Gael this year. Although we did take a short (a very short) break, we were not idle for long! Read on to find out what we’ve been up to…
A Summer in two Glens
This was a unique summer in a number of ways. We said goodbye to some of our longest-standing teachers, the renowned artist Kenneth King and Professor Emeritus Michael Herity who directed our Archaeology Summer School for some 29 years. They will be with us again, no doubt, as part of the Oideas Gael family, and next year we will be delighted to welcome some skilled new educators in their place (more on this subject in a future blog). It was wonderful to see so many new participants coming through our doors in 2014, while one new student – Minister of State Joe McHugh, T.D. – attracted much attention to Southwest Donegal. Minister McHugh is not the first well-known guest we have had over the years, of course, and we appreciate some recent praise we received from John Finn, star of the television series Cold Case and the new Tom Collins movie An Bronntanas:
“I had been to Irish classes at the Irish Arts Center in New York over the years, but my visit to Glen was a huge leap and Liam (Ó Cuinneagáin) makes it such a great experience. I want to thank him, Colette (McDevitt), Siobhán (Ní Churraighín), Gearóidín (Nic Ghongail) for all their help.”
Our only disappointment this year was the premature end that came to Beo! (www.beo.ie), an online magazine published by Oideas Gael since 2001. Beo! is recognised as one of the most successful and innovative publications in Irish of all time. We warmly welcome, however, RTÉ’s new online news service, the new online newspaper Tuairisc.ie, and the brand new Nós* website that is to be launched soon. Oideas Gael has amassed a wealth of experience and research as result of our 13 years publishing Beo! and we will keep a keen eye on the Irish language media sector over the coming months to ensure that the Irish language community is served well at home and around the world.
The Global Gaeltacht
We always enjoy the opportunity to meet our friends worldwide at this time of year. Liam was present at the Féile Interceltique Lorient in Brittany this August. This marked our first visit to the festival and it was indeed a fantastic cultural event. In September Oideas Gael teachers took part in Deireadh Seachtaine Gaeltachta San Francisco, an important event on the US West Coast with which Oideas Gael has a long-established relationship. Afterwards, Liam spoke at the transatlantic Golden Bridges conference in Boston. And, for the first time, the Irish Festival of Oulu, Finland, played host to a Deireadh Seachtaine Gaeilge in cooperation with Oideas Gael.
Looking Backwards, Moving Forwards
Our courses have not yet finished for the year 2014, however. We have both a weekend Irish language course and a weekend course in Flute and Whistle Playing to come from 24-27 October, followed by a SCG/OCG Exam Preparation Course for teachers from 26 October – 1 November.
As well as all this, details of our 2015 courses are available on our website now with even more info coming soon on this blog!