Unfortunately folks, as for #CreidimIonat, we have come to journey’s end. The campaign is over and our mentees have acheived their goals and, hopefully, so have all of you. But this doesn’t mean that your own language journey has come to an end! We hope that Creidim Ionat is only a start for you as you continue with the Irish language. So here is a list of different ways that you can Gaelicise your life and continue on your Irish language journey. Of course, these are only a few suggestions, but it doesn’t matter where you are in the world, we hope that there is something there for you!
If you live in Ireland (or, indeed, in many other places around the globe), there is a good chance that there are already people in your area meeting together regularly to speak in Irish socially, whether at a conversation circle, coffee morning or Pop Up Gaeltacht. So the first thing to do is find out where are they. You can do that here, here and here. If there isn’t a group meeting in your area already, anyone can organise a Pop Up Gaeltacht anywhere!
Conradh na Gaeilge has three kinds of membership: organisational branches, joint branches and single members.
The organisation is owned by the branches and the individual members, and the organisation implements the motions the members put forward. So, whether as a branch or a member, you will be able to promote the wishes of the community you are working in and put them on the Conradh na Gaeilge agenda.
The voice of the community you are working in will be heard as we represent the Irish language and Gaeltacht community with government ministers, various government department officers, with the private sector in general etc.
You can find more information on membership or register as a member or club here.
Irish Language Week with Energia, one of the biggest celebrations of our native language and culture that takes place each year in Ireland and in many other countries, is an international Irish language festival. The festival lasts from 1 to 17 March each year. The festival gives an opportunity to everyone to enjoy the Irish language, for native speakers, learners and those who have a couple of words.
How can I prepare for the Irish Language Week with Energia 2023?
We in the Irish language community are very lucky that there are more social and entertainment events than ever taking place regularly around the globe! We have events that move around the country such as REIC, the poetry, spoken word and rap night; events that are rooted in one place such as plays in An Taibhdhearc theatre in Galway, or Amhránaithe an Chlub singing club in the Conradh na Gaeilge club in Dublin; and events which spring up in certain places at certain times such as Féile na Gealaí in the Ráth Chairn Gaeltacht, or the Irish language tent at the Electric Picnic. There are a couple of ways to find events in your area. PEIG.ie is great for this. Events can be seen on an interactive map on it. Another way is to follow on social media some of the places that have most events taking place in them, for example, An Taibhdhearc and Áras na nGael in Galway city, Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich and Áras Mhic Reachtain in Belfast, the Conradh na Gaeilge club, Club an Chonartha, and Áras Chrónáin in Dublin, or Gaeltaca in Cork. The Irish language venues around the country can be found on PEIG.ie as well.
A great way to maintain the language in your life is to play a sport in that language. As well as that, you will meet with other speakers and you will create new relationships in the target language! If you live in Dublin, Belfast or Galway city, you are lucky, because there are Irish-medium GAA teams there already. These are na Gaeil Óga in Dublin, Laochra Loch Lao in Belfast and Gaeil na Gaillimhe in Galway. If you are in a Gaeltacht area, or near one, there is a very good chance that there will be a GAA club operating through Irish near you already. If you are not near an Irish medium GAA team, there are many also other sports that can be done through Irish in various places throughout the country, such as boxing, karate, yoga and rugby.
We as Irish speakers are lucky that there are so many kinds of media available to us through Irish. These include television programmes from TG4, RTÉ and the BBC, great radio programmes and podcasts on Raidió na Gaeltachta, Raidió na Life, Raidió Rí Rá, and fantastic journalism and writing on tuairisc.ie and nós.ie, or in the Comhar magazine, among many others. You can easily listen to one podcast or radio programme a day and it will greatly increase the amount of Irish in your life and your ability to understand spoken Irish. As well as that, there are tens of thousands of active Irish speakers writing and interacting together on social media. There are groups such as Gaeilge Amháin (which has more than 10,000 members) on Facebook, and strong communities on Twitter and Instagram as well. If you start following Irish language accounts and tweeting in Irish, there is a good chance that other Irish speakers will start interacting with you.
When all is said and done, the most important thing is to speak Irish. If a mentor was helping you to reach a goal for Creidim Ionat, could you keep on speaking Irish with that person? Do you know another Irish speaker in your life who you could speak Irish with? If you know someone who speaks Irish, explain to them that you want to increase the amount of Irish in your life and speak Irish with them as often as possible! There is every chance that they will be very happy to help you. Do you have children attending Irish-medium education? If so, we have many facilities to help you to Gaelicise your relationship with them and give you the gift of bilingualism!