Press Releases, News

Diarmuid de Faoite selected to go to Macedonia during the summer

Foras na Gaeilge is delighted to announce that they have selected Diarmuid de Faoite to spend time in Macedonia as part of the Other Words project  this summer.  Diarmuid  will be based in Bitola , and he will focus on his own writing, keeping a blog and participating in events connected with minority languages, especially Macedonian, while he is there.

Diarmuid is an actor, writer and dramatherapist and is also a drama teacher at all education levels and in the professional sector as well. His written plays include Pádraic Ó Conaire, Paris Texas (Diarmuid’s staged version of the film) and Foxy Jack – Giolla Éireann (in conjunction with Seán Ó Tarpaigh).

In 2016 he featured in Macalla 1916 and Seachtar Fear – Seacht Lá/Seven Men – Seven Days for Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, Death Row Memoirs of an Extra Terrestrial for Music for Galway, Foxy Jack – Giolla Éireann for Gnó Mhaigh Eo/Westport Art Festival and The Playboy of the Western World – The Musical for the Town HallTheatre, Galway.

Diarmuid has worked for many television companies but is mostly known as Pádraic Ó Conaire in Pádraic – an Fear, Jack in Ros na Rún and Cathal in Corp agus Anam. He wrote and directed TG4’s first drama commission, Une Histoire d’Amour.

In 2017 Diarmuid will feature as The Captain in the new film release Pilgrimage. Diarmuid wrote the radio play Pádraic for BBC NI, his musical version The Playboy of the Western World - a Radio Musical, in conjunction with Justin McCarthy, for RTÉ, and he wrote and recorded a sixteen part storytelling series, Tuatha Dé Danainn, for Raidió na Gaeltachta recently.

He featured in Duairceán and Casadh an tSúgáin for RTÉ and Hairs and Races for Galway Bay FM. He edited Rogha Scéalta by Pádraig Ó Conaire (Cló Iar Chonnachta 2008) and recently translated Seacht mBua an Éirí Amach/Seven Virtues of the Rising (Arlen House, 2016). He wrote the short stories Never Smile at a Crocodile (Crannóg Magazine) and Bealtaine (The Irish Times) and some of his poems have been published in Feasta, The Galway Review and North by Northwest Words.

Diarmuid was nominated for an IFTA for his role as Cathal in Corp agus Anam in 2012, he won the best actor award at the Media Awards, 2011, the best documentary award for his programme, Pádraic - an Fear with Johnny White at the Celtic Media Festival in 2008 and the Stewart Parker prize for his play Pádraic Ó Conaire, 2002. The Playboy of the Western World - a Musical for Radio won a bronze medal at the New York Festival's World's Best Radio Programs and a silver medal at the PPI Awards. 

More information is available at and


Press Releases, News

Both challenges and opportunities in the 2016 census

Census 2016 Summary Results - Part 1 was published today and gives the first results on the use of Irish among the Republic of Ireland’s population of 4,761,865.  1,761,420 (39.8%) of respondents said that they were able to speak Irish, a small fall of 0.7% on the 2011 figure. Out of the 1,761,420 people who were able to speak Irish, 73,803 of them spoke Irish daily outside of the education system, a decrease of 3,382 on the 2011 figure.

Speaking today on the publication of the results, Seán Ó Coinn, Chief Executive of Foras na Gaeilge, said that the fall in the number of people able to speak Irish demonstrates “the challenges and the opportunities facing Foras na Gaeilge and the Irish language sector in the coming years. Although the figures show that there is a small fall, there are still 1,761,420 Irish speakers in the Republic of Ireland, and that is cause for hope”.  He said, “the fall of 11.2% in the number of daily Irish speakers based in Gaeltacht areas is a cause for concern, especially in counties Mayo, Donegal and Kerry. These figures show us how fragile Irish is in the Gaeltacht. That said, the full population stands at 96,090 and 66.3% of that population has Irish. We have to take the opportunity through the language planning processes to influence the 33.7% that are not speaking Irish.”

Referring to the 20 Year Strategy for Irish 2010-2030 Ó Coinn said, “The development of the strategy had a weak start in the early years due to economic factors but 6 Irish language lead organisations were established in 2014 which focus specifically on different areas of work which provide opportunities for the use of Irish. With the basic structures of the 20 Year Strategy for Irish 2010-2030 having been implemented, language planning processes are in place, including Language Planning Areas, Gaeltacht Service Towns, Irish Language Networks and the Policy for Gaeltacht Education. These are structures which are being developed to build on the number of Irish speakers in the Gaeltacht and outside of the Gaeltacht.”

Referring to the education system, Ó Coinn said, “the number of young people (69.9%) between 10 and 19 who can speak Irish is a cause for hope and shows that teachers in many schools are succeeding in influencing young people. It is clear, however, that it is necessary to look at the education system to find out how the third (30.1%) of that age group who believe that they can not speak Irish after having come through the education system can be addressed.”

Foras na Gaeilge warmly welcomed the additional funding of €750,000 approved by the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs in December 2016, in the department’s announcement today.  Ó Coinn said, “it is clear that the period of cuts has come to an end and that we will have an opportunity, along with our partners in the language sector, to take on the challenges indicated by the census figures in 2017.”

Foras na Gaeilge will analyse the results along with the Irish language lead organisations, the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, the Department of Education and Skills, as well as other interested parties in coming months.




Further Information:

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

Tel: 0035387 673 6175    


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Press Releases, News

Bilingual Packaging: a guide for best business practice launched by Minister of State Seán Kyne T.D.

Séan Kyne T.D., Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs, launched the ebook Bilingual Packaging: a guide for best business practice at an event yesterday in Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), Aungier Street, Dublin 2.

Bilingual Packaging: a guide for best business practice is the second in a series of guidance ebooks published by Foras na Gaeilge for the business sector focusing on the principles of bilingualism in signage and packaging. The guidebook aims to recognise best practice in the use of Irish in packaging and to show the business community that the language is a valuable resource that can be used to attract consumers to their products. The ebook was a joint venture between Foras na Gaeilge and DIT, who carried out the primary research for the publication.

Speaking at the launch Minister Kyne said that the ebook was a ‘big step’ focusing on the area of ‘bilingual labelling and packaging’ specifically mentioned in the 20 Year Strategy for Irish 2010-2030. He warmly welcomed the publication and emphasised the particular importance of empowering businesses catering for customers in Irish and in English in Gaeltacht Service Towns and Language Planning Areas with a practical guidebook such as this.

Seán Ó Coinn, Chief Executive of Foras na Gaeilge, said ‘Foras na Gaeilge recognises the importance of using Irish in all aspects of society, and the guidebook greatly supports the use of Irish as a marketing tool in the business commerce sector.’ Ó Coinn said that Foras na Gaeilge is currently developing a new system for businesses called Q-Mharc Gnó le Gaeilge, ‘which will give recognition to businesses which focus on providing services of bilingual best practice to customers’. More information on this major scheme will be available from Foras na Gaeilge later this year.



Notes for the Editor:

  • The President of DIT, Professor Brian Norton, Dr. Máire Mhic Mhathúna, Chairperson of the Languages Act Committee, DIT and Dr. Brian O’Neill, Director of Research, Enterprise and Innovation, presented an exhibition from students, entrepreneurs and staff members to Minister Kyne and Foras na Gaeilge executives at the same event. Projects from MSc students in Cookery Innovation and Food Products Development, DIT Irish Language Office, the Irish Language Society an the TAIRSEACH magazine were among the exhibitions.
  • Jean Cahill, Head of Enterprise, Research and Development, Sciences and Health and Dr. Olivia Freeman, lecturer, DIT School of Marketing, carried out the primary research for the ebook Bilingual Packaging: a guide for best practice.


More information

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

Tel: 0035387 673 6175    




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Press Releases, News

More than 8,000 young authors take part in Scríobh Leabhar 2016/17

At an event on Tuesday 4 April in Gaelscoil na Dúglaise prizes were presented to some of the 1,000 children who created, designed and published their own books in Irish as part of the Foras na Gaeilge Scríobh Leabhar project in County Cork. The musician and singer John Spillane was in attendance as special guest on the night along with local musicians to celebrate the children’s achievement with them. Speaking at the awards event the Director of Cork Education Support Centre, Niamh Ní Mhaoláin, said that she was ‘delighted’ about the high quality of the books and about the ‘positive attitude the project created towards the Irish language in schools’.

In total this year 121 schools and more than 8,000 children took part in the project and more than 5,000 books were written. There will be other events like this one in other areas in coming weeks to celebrate what young pupils throughout the country have achieved. Foras na Gaeilge organises the Scríobh Leabhar project in conjunction with the Education Centres: Clare Education Centre, West Cork Education Centre, Dublin West Education Centre, Carrick-on-Shannon Education Centre, Laois Education Centre, Tralee Education Centre, Kilkenny Education Centre, Cork Education Support Centre, Gort an Choirce Teachers’ Centre in Donegal and An tÁisaonad in Belfast.

More than 50,000 pupils have taken part in the Scríobh Leabhar project since it was set up in the 2006/2007 school year.  Not only do pupils write their own book as part of this project but they also have the opportunity to read and discuss stories by children from other schools.  It gives an exciting opportunity to children to express their feelings through Irish. As well as that, it fosters cooperation between school communities and makes the children aware of the concept of peer review and it especially fosters creativity and a holistic approach to child development. Teachers also have a central role in the Scríobh Leabhar project, and they are given inservice training to help them help the children in their efforts. 

“This is a great opportunity for children to enjoy Irish and at the same time express their imagination,” said Aedín Ní Bhroin, Director of the Irish Language Books Programme of Foras na Gaeilge. “They write about all kinds of subjects, from their holidays with their families, their adventures with their friends, their pets and the world through their own eyes. Not only does this project allow them to create their own book, both writing and illustrating it, but it is a great way also to foster their confidence in their Irish language ability”, she said. 

“The Scríobh Leabhar project gives an opportunity to young children to show their ability, their creativity and their enthusiasm for Irish from a very young age. One of the aims of Foras na Gaeilge is for young people to have opportunities to speak and write and this aim is clearly achieved by Scríobh Leabhar. There has been a great deal achieved when you look at the number of children and schools that have taken part in the project since it started more than ten years ago”, said Seán Ó Coinn, Chief Executive of Foras na Gaeilge. “We are indebted to the Cork Education Support Centre and all the other centres for taking part again this year. The centres deserve fulsome praise, as do the children and teachers for the exponential growth of the project”, he said.

* Ends *


Further Information:

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

Tel: 0035387 673 6175    


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Spotsolas: Gaelchultúr

Gaelchultúr was established in 2004 with the aim of promoting the Irish language and various aspects of Irish culture, including music, song and dance, in Dublin and other parts of Ireland throughout the country.


Gaelchultúr provides Irish language courses and learning resources of the highest quality, aimed at adults worldwide who have an interest in Irish.Our goal is to offer first-class services to learners and fluent speakers to inspire them to improve their knowledge of Irish. Gaelchultúr are running courses around Ireland, taught by able teachers, and our e-learning website,, gives learners all over the world the opportunity to add to their Irish.

Since 2005, Gaelchultúr has been providing specialised Irish language courses to public sector bodies to help them fulfil their obligations under the Official Languages Act 2003. Most of the courses are aimed at staff who are in regular contact with the public and the aim of the training is to enable those staff members to provide customer service through Irish.

Since 2011, Gaelchultúr has been selected by Foras na Gaeilge to develop courses for the public sector. Under this scheme, Gaelchultúr has developed the Certificate in Professional Irish (CPI). The CPI is very popular and the number of people taking the course is growing continuously. Gaelchultúr ran the course for the first time, at level 4 of the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) in autumn 2012, with four  students attending. Now, the course is available at levels 3, 4, 5 and 6 on the NFQ and is being run in various locations all over the island. In 2016 more than 280 public sector employees took these courses.

In the summer of 2013 Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) awarded Gaelchultúr the status of third level institute. They also gave the company permission to deliver the Postgraduate Diploma in Translation at level 9 on the National Framework of Qualifications. Coláiste na hÉireann, the first Irish-medium third-level institute was then established. Since that time, three groups have completed this postgraduate diploma and the fourth group are currently undertaking the programme.

Through the company’s e-learning website,, adult learners of Irish all over the world have an opportunity to improve their ability in the language. In 2016 more than 4,000 people took courses on the site.


Gaelchultúr has published a number of publications, between books for adult learners and resources for primary schools. The most popular of these publications by the company is Gramadach gan Stró!; the fourth edition of this grammar was published in 2016 and more than 20,000 copies of the book have been sold to date. These publications, along with many others, are available through the company’s online shop,

With the support of Clár na Leabhar Gaeilge, Gaelchultúr runs an online Irish book club,, to support and help the reading and publication of Irish language books. A book is chosen each month to read and discuss and there are nearly 2,000 members registered with the club.

Gaelchultúr always seeks to make sure that learners enjoy and benefit from those of our classes they attend and that they regard the learning of Irish as a pleasure rather than a chore.

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Foras na Gaeilge wishes to announce a public consultation period for the Irish Language Officers Scheme

We would like the public’s opinion on the on the future of the  Irish Language Officers Scheme in local government in Northern Ireland.

Scéim na nOifigeach Gaeilge - Doiciméad Comhairliúcháin_eng

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TEG Examinations 2017: DATES & CENTRES

TEG Examinations 2017 will take place in the following centres:


An Spidéal











New York




B2   1 April 2017*

B1   13 May 2017

A2   27 May 2017

A1   10 June 2017


B2    12 August 2017*

C1    18 & 19 August 2017


*TEG Level B2 satisfies the Irish language entry requirement for courses in primary school teaching in the Colleges of Education and Hibernia College and is also an accepted qualification for translation and interpreting courses in various colleges.   

The closing date for applications is 1 March 2017.  A later closing date will apply to the August exams which will take place in Maynooth only.  Further information here.


Work on your speaking skills! PARTIAL CERTIFICATION AVAILABLE  

Partial certification is available for learners of Irish who prefer to focus on their oral language skills.  Candidates will have two options:

Take the full TEG exam and get full certification;


Take the oral exam only and get partial certification.

TEG staff will be happy to arrange oral exams for groups at other times of the year in centres throughout the country. Call (01) 708 6417 for more information.

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Fun in Donnaghmore with the Youth Events Scheme

Foras na Gaeilge visited Bardic Educational Arts and Media in the Torrent Complex in Donnaghmore, where the young people enjoyed the Irish language, dance and music which was provided by their facilitator for them.
Irish on the Move is the name of the project funded under the Youth Events Scheme 2016-17, where the young people learn Irish in various real life situations e.g. out at the shops and in the theatre.
Although the night was bitterly cold, the young people were cosy and warm inside while they were dancing and singing whilst learning directions in Irish.
Well done Tyrone Gaels!

Photographs from the night:




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Press Releases, News

Your Career with Irish: Grad Ireland #FYI and Language Fair, 8 February

Foras na Gaeilge are pleased to launch Do Ghairm le Gaeilge (Your Career with Irish) awareness campaign in association with Grad Ireland. This campaign is aimed at undergraduates and will seek to draw attention to the benefit of working with bilingualism and fluency in Irish in the workplace, whether by encouraging students to mention Irish language competency on their CV when applying for posts, using their Irish in the jobs they will have in the future, choosing postgraduate degrees in Irish as well as applying for jobs in the Irish language sector.

Speaking today the CEO of Foras na Gaeilge, Seán Ó Coinn, said “We hope that the campaign will influence young people as they consider the long-term relationship they will have with the language. We would like to show students how worthwhile it is to develop their fluency so they understand the various possibilities for working in different areas through Irish, including teaching, translation, law and media.

To that end the guidebook Do Ghairm le Gaeilge (Your Career with Irish) has been published online. It gives practical advice and valuable information on training courses and work opportunities through the Irish language. As well as that online material has been developed, including videos of interviews with careers ambassadors from different fields in which they describe the advantage the Irish language has given them in their working life to date.

As part of the campaign Foras na Gaeilge will have a stand at the #FYI Careers Fair and the Grad Ireland Languages Fair in the RDS on the 8 February 2017 and there will be a strong team to speak with students about the various training, employment and voluntary opportunities available through Irish. Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh (RTÉ board member and broadcaster) will present a seminar at 1.30 PM as well which will focus on experience and practical advice on working with Irish from the video participants.


More information on the seminar and registering for the fair is available here:


Foras na Gaeilge welcomes all to the occasion and particularly welcomes students, employers and 3rd level educators.

* Ends *

Further Information:

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

Tel: 0035387 673 6175    


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Other Words

Call for applications for an 8-week literary creative residency, 11th June to 6thAugust, in Leeuwarden for Irish language writers


Deadline for applications is 1 p.m.20th March 2018.

The Other Words literary project is a partnership programme between cultural and language organisations in European regions which aims to establish a network of creative placements for European writers in small and minority languages. The partner organisations are:

  • Donostia Kultura and San Sebastian 2016 (Basque Country)
  • Foras na Gaeilge (Ireland)
  • X-OP, eXchange of art Operators and Producers (Slovenia)
  • Youth Forum na Mladi (Macedonia)
  • Leeuwarde/Ljouwert 2018 (Friesland).


The objectives of the project are:

  • To help literature written in small and minority languages to become known further afield.
  • To highlight the importance of language diversity.
  • To shed light on the literary creation process.
  • To draw attention to social themes, issues and social groups connected to small languages.
  • To promote cooperation between writers and artists in literature in small and minority languages.
  • To give writers the opportunity to benefit from a literary placement to help them develop in their literary career.


The components of the project are:

  • Placements: This is the essence of the project, which is based on the exchange of writers between different regions. Each participating region will send two writers to complete an eight week placement in two partner regions in each of the three years, and each region will also host two writers per year from partner regions. There will be a total of 10 writers participating each year.


  • Creative literary projects: During the placements, the writers will work on subjects dealing with themes, issues and social groups connected with lesser used languages, the result of which will be a literary text dealing with these subjects, maintaining at all times contact and cooperation with the host community and shedding light on the creative process. To help achieve this the writers will participate in a series of initiatives during the placements.


  • Translations: As stated one of the goals of the project is to foster literature produced in minority or small languages and to promote collaboration between writers. All of the texts created during the placements will therefore be translated into the languages of the partners and into English. This will enable us to share “other words” and “the words of others”.



  • Website: The works produced under the Beste Hitzak/Other Words project, and the creative process itself, will be published on a specially created website. This website will provide a platform for dissemination of the project content.


We wish to encourage all writers to respond to our open call. This is an excellent opportunity to create a literary work and to become familiar with another region. As already stated, the selected writers will live in another region for eight weeks, all expenses paid. They will also receive financial remuneration.

There will be more placements and events in the future, which will be announced at the appropriate time.

For further information email or  go to,

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