Historical Step for Irish Language Speaking Communities outside of the Gaeltacht

For the first time in the history of Ireland official national recognition will be bestowed on communities outside of the Gaeltacht who support the daily use of the Irish Language in their community.

Five communities have been chosen: Belfast, Co. Antrim; Loughrea, Co. Galway; Carntogher, Co. Derry; Clondalkin, Co. Dublin; and Ennis, Co. Clare, to submit an application to the Minister to be officially recognised as an ‘Irish Language Network’ community/area.                        

The Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, will bestow the official recognition of an ‘Irish Language Network’ on the communities when an Irish Language Plan, a plan which will be implemented over 5-7 years, has been agreed with the Department for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, and Foras na Gaeilge.

An imaginative public campaign has been created to inspire and encourage communities to use more Irish every day. ‘Gaeilge le Chéile’ -  Three easy steps: Use Irish every day, everywhere, with everyone.

Simply what we hope to achieve is that more Irish will be heard and seen in our communities through creating and encouraging more opportunities to use Irish every day in our lives, starting with the easy step of using ‘Go raibh maith agat’ and ‘Slán’ every day, everywhere, with everyone.  Our communities will benefit from this planning process and future investment as a result”, Brian Ó Gáibhín, Clondalkin Líonra.

‘Gaeilge le Chéile’ and ‘the Irish Language Networks’ was officially launched on Thursday 22 February 2018 in Croke Park at 11.00 a.m. by special guest Bernard Dunne. Minister Joe McHugh TD was also be in attendance. 


Brian Ó Gáibhín:  +353-87-2844195 /

Pádraig Ó Tiarnaigh: +44-77-16690237 /

See also: / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter - @ GaeilgeLC


Appendix 1: 

‘Irish Language Network Status’ GAELTACHT ACT 2012

11.—(1) The Minister may by order designate a specified community, other than a community in a Gaeltacht Language Planning Area or a Gaeltacht area, to be an Irish Language Network.

(2) A community specified in an order made under subsection (1) shall be a community which—

(a) supports the use of the Irish language, and

(b) has agreed to the implementation of an Irish language plan

Appendix 2: 

Foras na Gaeilge will bestow the status of ‘Irish Language Network’ on a community in Northern Ireland, when an Irish Language Plan, a plan which will be implemented over 5-7 years, has been agreed with Foras na Gaeilge.

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Scléip 2018

Scléíp is an inspiring and energetic talent competition for post primary Irish schools. It places emphasis on the contemporary and creative arts and the participants. It gives students the opportunity to bring their music, songs, choreography and new sketches to the stage before professional judges and a live audience around the country!

More Information

Scléip Gallery 2018


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Press Releases, News

All-Star Use of Irish Language Award 2018

Foras na Gaeilge will be sponsoring an award at the Business All Stars 2018. This is a new award that recognizes businesses who use the Irish language as a marketing tool.

The All-Ireland Business Summit will be held in Croke Park on 19th April 2018. 21 awards will be presented on the day, including the All-Star Use of Irish Language Award 2018.

If you have a business that uses Irish on signage or packaging, a website or social media, or even if you have a service to provide through Irish, we recommend you apply!

Please note, although the 12th of February is mentioned, applications will be accepted until next Monday, 19th February.

Further information and the application form is available here.

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Press Releases, News

A new era for Foras na Gaeilge as new head office is officially opened by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD

A new period in the history of Foras na Gaeilge was marked as An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD opened Foras na Gaeilge’s new head office at 63-66 Amiens Street at a special event tonight.  An Taoiseach toured the new offices which include new Raidió na Life studios and was very impressed by the facilities. Government Chief Whip and Minister of State at the Department of Culture with responsibility for Gaeilge, Gaeltacht and the Islands, Joe McHugh TD, accompanied An Taoiseach at the event.

Foras na Gaeilge Chief Executive Seán Ó Coinn said, “I am delighted that we have found a permanent home for our Dublin staff, who had been previously located in two separate offices, especially given the present high demand for office space in the capital. We have now found a long-term office space, close to the city centre and public transport hubs, which will be easily accessible for the public and staff alike. The offices are suitable for the nature of Foras na Gaeilge’s work, and have facilities the public can use. I hope that the city’s Irish language community can make this building their own as they did 7 Merrion Square, and we can therefore create a new history for the building in what is Bliain na Gaeilge 2018 … the beginning of a new era for the Irish language in the capital.”

Ó Coinn gave particular recognition to former Chief Executive Ferdie Mac an Fhailigh, who saw the need for and started the search for a new head office as far back as 2015, and to all, both staff members, board members and others, who had an input into the move to Amiens Street.

A mix of employees, former employees, current and former board members, ministers and departments of state, lead organisations and Irish language organisations as well as organisations based in the area attended the launch of the head office of the all-island organisation in Dublin 1. Gráinne McElwain, television producer and presenter and current board member of Foras na Gaeilge, lead the proceedings as bean an tí. Award winning Irish language band IMLÉ brought the event to a close with a special performance of the song Críochfort, which won Song of the Year at Nós Music Awards 2017.

Notes to the editor:

About Foras na Gaeilge

Foras na Gaeilge, the body responsible for the promotion of the Irish language throughout the whole island of Ireland, was founded on the second day of December 1999.

In the Good Friday Agreement, it was stated that a North/South Implementation body be set up to promote both the Irish language and the Ulster Scots language. Under the auspices of this body, Foras na Gaeilge carries out all the designated responsibilities regarding the Irish language. This entails facilitating and encouraging the speaking and writing of Irish in the public and private arena in the Republic of Ireland, and in Northern Ireland where there is appropriate demand, in the context of part three of the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages. The staff of Bord na Gaeilge, An Gúm (Publishers), and An Coiste Téarmaíochta (Terminology Committee) and their activities have all been transferred to the new body.

Foras na Gaeilge is proud of its role in advising administrations, North and South, as well as public bodies and other groups in the private and voluntary sectors in all matters relating to the Irish language as well as the supportive projects it undertakes with grant-aiding bodies and groups throughout the island of Ireland.

About 63-66 Amiens Street

Since Foras na Gaeilge was established the cross-border body’s head office was in the premises previously occupied by Bord na Gaeilge at 7 Merrion Square, Dublin 2. Bord na Gaeilge came to an end when Foras na Gaeilge was established in 1999, and Bord na Gaeilge staff transferred to Foras na Gaeilge. The old Georgian house on Merrion Square had a long history and some staff members were based there from 1981 until Dublin staff transferred to 63-66 Amiens Street, Dublin 1, in October 2017.

The facilities at 63-66 Amiens Street include the innovative radio studios of the Raidió na Life, 106.4fm, and a venue where Foras na Gaeilge and Irish language organisations will hold events.

Clúid Housing was based at 63-66 Amiens Street in recent years and is now based on Sheriff Street Lower, Dublin 1.

About IMLÉ:

IMLÉ is an unconventional band with a unique sound arising out of the diverse backgrounds of the three singers. Poetry, rap and pop are woven together in the band’s sound in a new style not heard before – especially through Irish. The otherworldly voice of Ferghal Moloney is mixed with the lithe addictive rapping of MC Muipéad.

‘To create something different, uncompromising and honest’; this was the band’s mission statement when the bass guitarist Cian Mac Cárthaigh first set up the band, and their first album looks at the big questions in life: the meaning of life, our relationship with the planet and finding hope in hopelessness.

Further information:

Anna Davitt, Programme Manager: Communications, Marketing & Awareness, Foras na Gaeilge

Tel: 0035387 673 6175    



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Press Releases, News

More than €1.2 million in grants approved by Foras na Gaeilge board at last meeting of the year

Foras na Gaeilge is pleased to announce that grants worth €1,215,491 have been approved at a Foras na Gaeilge board meeting today. Grants in the areas of literature, publishing and community were approved along with significant funding which will consolidate the programme of events for Bliain na Gaeilge 2018.

€389,209 was approved for the lead organisation Conradh na Gaeilge to provide a comprehensive and versatile programme during Bliain na Gaeilge 2018. As part of that grant Foras na Gaeilge has approved a grants fund which will provide small grants to groups which organise events throughout the country. Funding will also be provided for the Bliain na Gaeilge 2018 Creative Programme along with the Fund for School Prizes as part of the international celebration of the Irish language.

€40,000 has been approved for an art, theatre and music production, Aisling?, based on a newly composed work by renowned Gaeltacht artists. The project will be directed by dramatist, writer and film maker, Darach Mac an Iomaire, and will be performed in more than ten venues north and south during Bliain na Gaeilge 2018.

As well as funding for Bliain na Gaeilge 2018 Foras na Gaeilge has approved grants to the value of €112,310 to promote reading and literature in Irish, and €644,885 for Irish language publishers, including: Coiscéim, Cló Iar-Chonnachta, Futa Fata and Leabhar Breac.

Welcoming the board’s decision today, Foras na Gaeilge Chief Executive Seán Ó Coinn said, “We congratulate all those organisations for whom Foras na Gaeilge has approved grants today for their work and creativity. The most important role of Foras na Gaeilge is promoting the use of Irish in the community. Through the grants approved today by Foras na Gaeilge we will be helping Irish language organisations to continue with their great work publishing excellent books, presenting them to the public, and we will be ensuring that all of the public on the island can take an active part in Bliain na Gaeilge 2018.”



Note to the editor:

TG4 will bring in Bliain na Gaeilge 2018 with a live programme sponsored by Foras na Gaeilge, Fáilte 2018, which will be broadcast on New Year’s Eve 2017 from the Dingle Peninsula, Co. Kerry.


Further information:

Anna Davitt, Programme Manager: Communications, Marketing & Awareness, Foras na Gaeilge

Tel: 0035387 673 6175    




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Examination for the Seal of Accreditation for Irish Language Translators Announced

The examination for the Seal of Accreditation for Translators will take place in early December in the National University of Ireland, Galway. This examination is aimed at those with a high standard of Irish and who have not yet gained the Seal of Accreditation for Translators. The examination will take place on Saturday 2 December 2017 in two venues in the university:

  • The Galway City campus
  • The University Centre, Gaoth Dobhair, Co. Dhún na nGall

The Seal of Accreditation for Translators is a recognised professional qualification for Irish language translators which was set up by Foras na Gaeilge in 2006. Since the inauguration of this accreditation process 194 people have succeeding in gaining the Seal. The Seal is the most important of all professional awards for freelance Irish language translators seeking work from organisations in the public sector and from other clients. The name and contact details of all those who gain the Seal are placed on a panel of accredited translators which Foras na Gaeilge publishes, and Irish language translators are mostly recruited from this panel.

There is a limited number of places available for this examination; priority will therefore be given to the earliest received applications. Applications will not be accepted after 4 p.m. Thursday 16 November 2017.

Further information on the Seal of Accreditation for Translators is available here.


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Press Releases, News

More than €5 million in grants approved by Foras na Gaeilge Board

Foras na Gaeilge is pleased to announce that spending of €5,405,000 has been approved at a Foras na Gaeilge board meeting today at Oireachtas na Samhna in Killarney today.

Welcoming the board decision today, Foras na Gaeilge Chief Executive Seán Ó Coinn said, “We are pleased to announce this large sum of money approved today. This is the largest portion which will be approved from the 2018 budget and the funding covers wide range of grants including the budgets of the Irish language Lead Organisations, for which €4,646,547 was approved. The grants approved today depend on the sponsoring departments deciding on funding for Foras na Gaeilge in 2018; the departments have given confirmation that that funding will be made available to the cross-border body to fulfil its statutory duties in 2018”.

As well as the Lead Organisations’ grants, grants were approved for St. Mary’s University College for the Irish-medium Áisaonad (£272,486), for Gael Linn for the Irish Language Flag project (€120,000), and to the Irish language media sector through Rua Media (NÓS)(£68,700), Comhar Teo (€120,000) and (€126,285).

The Board of Foras na Gaeilge approved the Scheme for the two Cultúrlanna in the North 2018-2020, which will provide an opportunity for funding to Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich in Belfast and Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin in Derry City from January 2018 to December 2020. A fund of a total budget up to £672,000 will be made available through this scheme over a three year period; an annual budget of £222,400.

Foras na Gaeilge Chief Executive, Seán Ó Coinn, said, “Foras na Gaeilge wants to emphasise the development of the Irish language at community level, and partnership with other interested parties in the community, something which is vitally important to influence the community.  All Foras na Gaeilge schemes provide the public with opportunities to foster and consolidate the Irish language, and all information on schemes in the various areas, as well as our first online scheme, Groups with Irish, is available on the Foras na Gaeilge website.”



Note to the editor:

Breakdown of the grants approved at the Foras na Gaeilge board meeting, 3 November:

Glór na nGael


Conradh na Gaeilge


Oireachtas na Gaeilge


Gael Linn




Cumann na bhFiann



An tÁisaonad


Gael Linn (Gaelbhrathach)



Rua Media (NÓS)


Comhar Teo. (COMHAR)


Tuairisc (



Further information:

Anna Davitt, Programme Manager: Communications, Marketing & Awareness, Foras na Gaeilge

Tel: 0035387 673 6175    



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Press Releases, News

Foras na Gaeilge announces tour

Foras na Gaeilge is pleased to announce a series of information nights to promote funded schemes available from the north/south Irish language body in 2019. The first will take place at Aonach an Oireachtais at Oireachtas na Samhna in Killarney on 2 November.  At these nights Foras na Gaeilge will share information on the organisation’s work, its funding scheme and the supports available. The public will have an opportunity to give feedback on the use and promotion of Irish in their own area.

 Foras na Gaeilge Chief Executive, Seán Ó Coinn said, “We have recognised certain areas north and south where the number of applications to various funding schemes has been relatively low in recent years. To tackle this, visits were organised in February and November 2017 to speak with the public in these areas with the aim of raising awareness of the opportunities for funding and support available. These sessions were very beneficial as the participants shared valuable feedback with us which we have taken on board. We look forward to engaging with the public again with this third series of visits to present the 2019 funding schemes.“

Among the schemes to be discussed are the Youth Activities Scheme, the Summer Camps Scheme and writing schemes. Foras na Gaeilge will also provide funding in the business, arts, media and publishing sectors. Visit the Foras na Gaeilge website,, for a full list of the available schemes.


Foras na Gaeilge will present the following sessions in the coming weeks:







Killarney, Co. Kerry

Aonach an Oireachtais, Oireachtas na Samhna, Gleneagle Hotel, V93 V6WF



Kilkenny City

Springhill Court Hotel, R95 NX32



Cookstown, Co. Tyrone

Burnavon Theatre, BT80 8DN



Portlaoise, Co. Laois

Maldron Hotel, R32 HKN3



Letterkenny, Co. Donegal

An Grianán Theatre, F92 RV1F



Sligo Town

Sligo Southern Hotel, F91 EW24



Galway City

Tionól Forbartha Gaeloideachas, Clayton Hotel, H91 D526


* Ends *

About Foras na Gaeilge

Foras na Gaeilge was founded under the Good Friday Agreement and are responsible for the following:

  • promotion of the Irish language;
  • facilitating and encouraging its use in speech and writing in public and private life in the South and, in the context of Part III of the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages, in Northern Ireland where there is appropriate demand;
  • advising both administrations, public bodies and other groups in the private and voluntary sectors;
  • undertaking supportive projects, and grant-aiding bodies and groups as considered necessary;
  • undertaking research, promotional campaigns, and public and media relations;
  • developing terminology and dictionaries;
  • supporting Irish-medium education and the teaching of Irish.


Further information:

Anna Davitt, Programme Manager: Communications, Marketing & Awareness, Foras na Gaeilge

Tel: 0035387 673 6175    



Colm Ó hArgáin, Higher Executive Officer: Education, Foras na Gaeilge

Tel: 00353 1 639 8400


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Press Releases, News

Grúpaí le Gaeilge 2018: New scheme announced by Foras na Gaeilge

Foras na Gaeilge has announced a new scheme today which supports opportunities for using Irish and applications will be accepted from now until 1 December 2017.  The basic aim of Grúpaí le Gaeilge (Groups with Irish) is to support opportunities for use in the community by providing funding for groups to run a programme of activities in connection with a particular interest they have through Irish. It will support different groups who use the Irish language but whose particular interest is not only Irish.

Foras na Gaeilge Chief Executive, Sean Ó Coinn said, “There are groups throughout the island who come together to engage in a common interest through Irish and we are happy that we can enable these groups, as well as new emerging groups, through this scheme. We aim to support groups that take part in different activities, whether that be yoga, sporting activities or a book club, to encourage the use of Irish as a social and community language. We have developed an online application process for the scheme and, for the first time ever, Foras na Gaeilge will be accepting applications from the public through our website. This is an important development because the system will facilitate the application process for the grantee as we move towards more innovative processes as technology develops. We are greatly looking forward to sharing information on the scheme with the public at a series of information evenings which will be announced shortly.”

An tOireachtas has an advisory role in the running of the Grúpaí le Gaeilge as well as providing support, advice and assistance to community groups interested in applying for the scheme.

Announcing the scheme Liam Ó Maolaodha, Director of An tOireachtas, said, “I am delighted that An tOireachtas have an advisory and support role in Grúpaí le Gaeilge. The scheme will provide an opportunity to networks with a particular interest throughout the country to create opportunities for using Irish as well as providing a clearer structure for the events provided. An tOireachtas hopes that this scheme will encourage a wide range of applications including opportunities to use Irish and for the public to enjoy the language. The development of walking, running, cooking clubs and many more special interest groups around the country is particularly important and worthwhile. Grúpaí le Gaeilge will greatly support the recognition and encouragement of these valuable networks.”


Queries about the scheme:

Foras na Gaeilge:  | 353 1 639 8400

An tOireachtas: | 353 1 475 3857

Media queries:

Anna Davitt, Programme Manager: Communications, Marketing & Awareness, Foras na Gaeilge

Contact: 0035387 673 6175 | Email:


Press Releases, News

Arts Fair run by An tOireachtas in County Derry

On Thursday 12 October the Irish language community and the arts community will come together in An Carn, Carntogher, in County Derry to discuss opportunities to promote the arts through Irish in the north. Oireachtas na Gaeilge is running this event in conjunction with the Northern Ireland Arts Council and Foras na Gaeilge, and as Majella Ní Chríocháin, the Oireachtas na Gaeilge Activities Officer, explained:

‘This arose from a discussion between ourselves, the Arts Council and Foras na Gaeilge about how best to develop Irish language arts in the north. We agreed that an opportunity should be given to Irish language organisations and to Irish language officers, and to arts organisations which are not Irish language organisations, to come together and to present them with examples of high standard Irish language projects. The visual artist Nuala Ní Fhlathúin will speak about a community arts project in which she dealt with the importance of Irish for a small rural community. The choreographer Ríonach Ní Néill will show her short film I Modh Rúin– Incognito about women in the 60s, 70s and 80s who raised their children with Irish, and about how her arts work is connected to the promotion of Irish. The title of the presentation which the poet and musician Marcus Mac Conghail will make is Buail Aríst Mé – Dé hÍde agus an Dúitseach.

As for giving a stage to Irish language arts, Aisling Ní Labhraí from the Cultúrlann in Belfast will speak on the role of the venues; Rossa Ó Snodaigh (KÍLA, and founder of the Irish Language Tent at the Electric Picnic) will give an account of the opportunities for including Irish language activities in the programme of arts festivals; and the singer and musician Dermott Mulholland will discuss the difficulties of developing an audience for the arts in rural areas.’

Edel Ní Chorráin, Deputy Chief Executive of Foras na Gaeilge, said of the event:

‘This day, organised by Oireachtas na Gaeilge, is a great opportunity to promote two aspects of Irish culture, the Irish language and the arts. We are very happy to be involved in the first event of its kind in the north and we hope that there will be further opportunities in the future for more projects with the Arts Council and Foras na Gaeilge working together.’

All the presentations will be made in Irish and there will be a simultaneous translation system available for those not fluent in Irish. The Fair will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 3.30 p.m. and tickets can be reserved free of charge at A free lunch will be provided as well and people will have an opportunity to share information about their own organisations at lunch time.

Nothing like this has ever been organised before and An tOireachtas, the Arts Council and Foras na Gaeilge hope that people will take part in the fair and that it will give rise to other arts projects.


Further Information:

Majella Ní Chríocháin Events & Attendance Development Officer

+353 (0)87 977 6852 | |

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