CURRENT ISSUE:  OCTOBER 2023

‘One Hundred Thousand Welcomes’ for New Communities Learning the Irish Language 

‘One Hundred Thousand Welcomes’ for New Communities Learning the Irish Language 
Conradh na Gaeilge awards Igbo, Arabic & Ukrainian communities who took place in Céad Míle Fáilte initiative 

Groups from Ireland’s New Communities were in Dublin on Saturday for Conradh na Gaeilge’s Céad Míle Fáilte event, which brings people together from various backgrounds to celebrate the Irish Language. Guests from various groups and language backgrounds, including Igbo, Ukrainian and Arabic, took part in the event and in Irish classes organised over the last number of months. 

The initiative comes as an increasing number of people coming to Ireland are showing an interest in Ireland’s language and culture. The Céad Míle Fáilte campaign aims to entice people from different backgrounds to the Irish language.

As part of the project, a series of Irish classes has been organised, scholarships to attend Gaeltacht courses have been granted, a series of workshops has taken place looking at the correct terminology in Irish to use with our New Communities, and a booklet to raise people’s awareness of the Irish Language has been produced in various languages.

Speaking today, Paula Melvin, President of Conradh na Gaeilge, commented:
I was delighted to be part of this very important project. Modern Ireland boasts a very diverse, multicultural, multilingual society, and the Irish language is a valuable cultural asset that we can share with everyone. Everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy an Ghaeilge. The Irish language has an important role in helping our New Communities integrate into Irish society.

Conradh na Gaeilge aims to support local communities in developing a positive image of the language for every one who lives here. This initiative is central to that aim and I would especially like to thank Foras na Gaeilge for funding the campaign in 2022. 

Hafi Saad, facilitator with the Syrian community in Downpatrick, Co. Down: 
“The Syrian community that I work with are very much enjoying learning Irish and about Irish culture. Ireland is their home now and they are delighted being part of the community here and experiencing every aspect of the culture here. 

The Céad Míle Fáilte project has helped them to understand how the Irish language is central to Irish culture and identity. I know I speak for all the various communities here today in thanking Conradh na Gaeilge for creating this space for all of us to value and enjoy the Irish language.

The Céad Míle Fáilte project in 2022 was funded by Foras na Gaeilge. 

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