Seachtain na Gaeilge, the annual nationwide celebration of the Irish language, is now underway.
Musician Imelda May, Limerick hurling captain Declan Hannon and presenter Bláthnaid Treacy have joined forces as language ambassadors for this year’s festival, which runs until 17 March.
The Seachtain na Gaeilge campaign aims to encourage people of various levels of Irish to get involved. The annual international festival runs annually with a program of Irish language events organised by community groups, schools, cultural and sporting groups in Ireland and internationally.
At the launch of this year’s Seachtain na Gaeilge, Uachtarán na hÉireann, Micheál D. Ó hUigínn spoke of the importance of Irish and its value in Irish life.
“While many of us have the opportunity to use our Irish regularly, there is a real value in having an annual festival to encourage those who are new to the language, or who have not used what they have for some time. Irish is such a beautiful, expressive medium of communication, that connects us so deeply with our surroundings, with our past with nature and with each other.”
Speaking ahead of this year’s Seachtain na Gaeilge, Bláthnaid Treacy said: “I am delighted to have been appointed as an ambassador for Seachtain na Gaeilge le Energia this year and am especially delighted to be sharing my ambassador duties alongside Declan and Imelda, two standout individuals in their respective fields. It is a great honour to have the platform to promote the Irish language and it was a real moment of pride for me when I got to announce this year’s ambassadors on my RTÉ 2FM show, StaidAir. I’m really looking forward to this year’s festival and hopefully seeing more people make use of their cúpla focal!”
Imelda May echoed Bláthnaid’s words saying: “For Seachtain na Gaeilge le Energia I want to be an ambassador for people like me, people who have struggled with Irish in the past but have a huge interest in learning more of the language. I want people to join me on my journey with the language, to build up their confidence and to use whatever Gaeilge they have without worrying about making mistakes.”