Éasca Péasca: (Easy Peasy) Get Your Irish On- H2P

Éasca Péasca: Get your Irish on – H2P
By Marie Young

Fáilte ar ais- welcome back!

Summer is quiet for us at the University of Pittsburgh in the Irish department. The students take that well needed and deserved break (and teacher too!!) and we look towards the start of the FALL semester 2022.

I think it is safe to write now that we will be back in person after three years of remote/masks/zoom upscutle  We made it work and for that I am so proud of my students, fellow colleagues (and my hairdresser for keeping me somewhat presentable!).

I look forward to a new school year- I have my very first Level 7 student, Margaret Gralinski, and will welcome back over twelve students and a fellow FULBRIGHT Summer Scholarship awardee, Patrick Miller, returning from four weeks in the Gaeltacht of Ireland.

Maybe this is my year to allow the inmates to run the prison!! We also look forward to restarting our study abroad cultural experience to Ireland May 2023, hoping all will go well.

As we broach the new school year, we want to highlight the ways to which you can immerse yourself in the Irish culture here at the University, both with class opportunities with yours truly and with University approved outside organizations.
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI)
at the University of Pittsburgh is a thriving and vibrant membership-based community of adults, age 50 and better, who are passionate about learning. While there are no tests, no grades, and no degree requirements, I do encourage/expect them to participate alongside my students who are enrolled for credit. I have had many students pass through my classes through OSHER and have much respect for their determination and input during class.

Club Cúla Búla, The Irish Club at the University of Pittsburgh  
The Irish Club at the University of Pittsburgh has come a long way since it was founded in 2019. What started as a small group of students meeting weekly to share their mutual interest of Irish culture has developed into a club of over fifty members, led by a board of five dedicated students, with the goal of spreading awareness and nurturing appreciation for Irish media, sports, dance, language, and more.

We hold monthly events centered around Irish holidays and traditions, at which we encourage all attendees to take advantage of our educational resources to learn as much as possible about Ireland and the Irish community in Pittsburgh. In 2022, the club adopted our official logo and motto: Faoin Ardeaglais, tuarfaimid an t-ádh. “Under the Cathedral, we predict fortune.”

It is a nod to both the location of Irish studies in the Less Commonly Taught Languages Department in the basement of the Cathedral of Learning at the University and to the fact that as students united by a common interest, we foresee exciting things in the future of our club. In the 2022-23 academic year, the club plans to continue its monthly events, which are open to all who are interested and to strengthen its connection with the greater Pittsburgh Irish community. [email protected]

The Pitt Hurling Club
Coming up on the club’s tenth season, the Pitt Hurling team was founded in 2012 with the help of the Pittsburgh Pucas, the city’s hurling team. The team competes under the National Collegiate Gaelic Athletic Association (NCGAA), where we have been fortunate enough to win the past three national championships (2019, 2020, and 2022 – 2021 was canceled for Covid). 

The hurling team currently has twenty-five members, and is looking to expand to incorporate Gaelic Football within the next couple of seasons. If you or someone you know attends Pitt and would be interested in joining, please reach out to our team’s Instagram @pantherhurling.  Or contact us [email protected].

The Irish dancing Club- Rince Na gCathrach Cruach
Rince Na gCathrach Cruach, Gaeilge for “Steel City Dance,” is the official competitive Irish dance team at the University of Pittsburgh. Every Monday night, students come together to choreograph, learn, and teach each other the skills that they have learned over the course of their Irish dancing careers.

They are fortunate enough to dance in many shows for the University and compete in intercollegiate competitions such as the Villanova Intercollegiate Irish Dance Festival. With a team of eighteen dancers for the 2021-2022 school year, many continued to compete in the CLRG, competing at their Regional Oireachtas, North American Irish Dancing Championships, and the Oireachtas Rince na Cruinne, also known as the World Irish Dance Championships.

As of this past year, there were six World Qualifiers and eleven National Qualifiers amongst the team. While many of the dancers have competed and continue to compete at these national and international levels, all skill levels are welcomed and encouraged to participate in the organization. 

All of these dancers are dedicated to practicing the craft of Irish dance and sharing Irish culture with the Pittsburgh community. The team plans on competing at the 2022 Villanova Intercollegiate Irish Dance Festival and cannot wait to share their journey with you over social media. You can find their Facebook and Instagram under the team name @rincenagcathrachcruach.

Irish Nationality Room
On the first floor of the Cathedral of Learning is the Irish room, one of thirty-one Nationality rooms within the Cathedral of Learning. In 1957, the Irish community in Pittsburgh banded together to fund and develop this project. It is a celebration of Irish heritage and a connection for us all to our homeland. IT is a must if you are visiting the University or Oakland. 

Irish Academic Program 
For the past sixteen years, I have been offering credited language classes to university students from Level 1 through to Level 7. Students studying with me can receive an Irish minor after four levels of the language – what better way to lay claim to our Island. Tír gan teanga, Tír gan anam – a country without a language is a country without a soul.

I also offer an Irish culture class in the Spring Semester. The link below will guide you to many things Irish at the University and throughout Pittsburgh

The University will hold an open to all activities fair August 27th,  12-3pm on the Cathedral Lawn. Please check back with us monthly, where Easca Peasca features personal stories from my students of their journey with the Irish language and culture 

Scaip an scéal- spread the story. Tapaigh an deis – seize the opportunity 

Please send any Pittsburgh area events for publication in iIrish to my email: [email protected]

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