CEARTA AGUS CEILIURADH.
This blog is very indebted to a wee man called Beausang. He was a Christian Brother and a champion of the Irish language. He was my ticket to the Gaeltacht in Donegal when I was a young student. A summer vacation with a bunch of other gaelgeoiri in DerryBeg was my first introduction to that wonderful county and to the magic world of an Irish speaking community. We went to Eoin Ellen Boyle’s house, eight or nine young Belfast boys bunked up in two back bedrooms. The small allowance given to the host families provided some economic subsidy for them in what were very lean times. Summer in the Gaeltacht was brilliant. Why do I tell you all this?
Well Brother Beau died some time ago and among his belongings and books and other bits and pieces was the certificate he gave when I passed my exam for a silver fáinne. A fáinne is a small lapel pin which some Irish speakers wear to let other speakers know that they are gaelgeoiri. The silver one is for those who are fairly proficient in the language. The gold one is for those who are more proficient. I was delighted to get the certificate. Here it is with my thanks to Brother Beau. And to the kind person who sent it to me.
By the way I had a lovely Friday morning in the Whiterock Library with youngsters from Naiscoil an Sleibhe Dhuibh as part of Book Start Day. This very fine charity was set up to introduce children to books and to encourage them and their parents to join and use our libraries. When I was asked to attend the event I asked if it could be bilingual and the organisers readily agreed so we all had a good time reciting and singing Irish Nursery rhymes and listening to some very fine stories.
Well done to Bookstart, to the staff at the Whiterock Library and to our friends at Sleibhe Dhuibh.
If you are in Belfast on Sunday 11th October there is a big Irish Language Day at St George’s Market. It starts at 1.00pm and the official opening will be by Alun Ffred Jones, the Welsh Heritage Minister. The event is organised by Pobal and will include:
Workshops on dance, arts, historical tours: The Irish language and St George’s Market, An Snáthaid Mhór, Éamonn Maguire, Tura Arutura,
Music – Cór Loch Lao, Coláiste Feirste and the musical grease, Bunscoil Phobail Feirste Choir,
High flying circus spectacle with the Belfast Circus,
Dance – The fabulous Celtic Storm,
Ceilí with Máire Ua Bruadair and John McGurren Céilí Band,
Origami, Na Bopóga, Henna hand painting, Face painting, Exhibitions, Food, Information stalls, plus surprises and lots more.