Monaghan v Donegal | St. Tiernach’s Park, Clones | Sunday 18th March | 2pm
The first ever Pop-up Gaeltacht at a G.A.A. match will take place at the Allianz league fixture between Monaghan and Donegal on the Sunday after St. Patrick’s Day. The event is being organised by the Culture and Irish language committee of Monaghan G.A.A. County Board. The Irish Language will be given pride of place on the day with an all-Irish-speaking area being allocated behind the Gerry Arthur’s Stand for Irish speakers, learners and fluent speakers alike, before and after the match.
This new idea of a ‘Pop-up Gaeltacht’ first appeared in Dublin in November 2016. Peadar Ó Caomhánaigh along with Osgur Ó Ciardha organised the first Pop-up Gaeltacht in a bar in the city and the idea has grown exponentially since then. Nowadays Pop-up Gaeltachtaí take place on a monthly basis and Gaeilgeoirs come in their hundreds to them. The aim of such events is to create an all-Irish-speaking environment to give people an opportunity to speak Irish at their ease under no pressure. Up until now the Pop-up Gaeltachtaí have been constrained to the confines of pubs and the concept has not yet reached G.A.A. grounds around the country. However, Monaghan G.A.A. County Board are attempting to establish a new trend and they even have big plans for the Ulster Final itself.
The committee hopes that an all-Irish-speaking environment will be created around St. Tiernach’s Park on the day. All the announcements will be as Gaeilge; There will be an Irish-speaking-only tent behind the stand; and there will be more Irish than ever before visible around the grounds. As well as that, there will be traditional music, tea, coffee and plenty of freebies given out in the tent. This historic occasion coincides with Monaghan G.A.A.’s huge efforts in promoting Bliain na Gaeilge 2018. It is hoped that there will be more opportunities for the Irish Language community to come together and converse as Gaeilge at G.A.A. matches in the future. Who knows, perhaps a few more Pop-up Gaeltachtaí will appear at big championship matches in the Summer?