Year 10 Irish class win Conradh na Gaeilge


At a special School assembly on Tuesday our Year 10 Irish class were announced as County Derry winners of a Conradh na Gaeilge competition to help promote the Irish language.

Bliain na Gaeilge is a year-long celebration of the Irish language organised around five key themes - the revival of the language over the last 125 years; the creativity of the language; the vibrancy of the language; community participation; and the value of Gaeltacht areas.

Earlier this month, students in 340 schools across the country as well as participating groups abroad took part in an annual challenge in which participants were encouraged to speak Irish for 24 hours. Schools across the country have received awards for taking part in the Gaelfhíseán competition which was run as part of Bliain na Gaeilge.  The video competition attracted many high-quality entries from a wide range of schools, and a winner was selected in each county.

Gaelfhíseán na Bliana, held by Conradh na Gaeilge, attracted over 300 entries with students from primary and secondary schools participating in the competition. Schools were invited to create a short video featuring a song in Irish and students had to produce, record and edit the final product.

Earlier this term the Year 10 class, with the support and encouragement of their teacher, Mrs McErlean, decided to enter this competition. After careful deliberation, the Avicii Song “Wake Me Up” was selected and the group set about translating the song into Irish and putting together the video.

Mrs McErlean described the motivation of the pupils and explained how she was, “So very, very proud of the collaborative efforts of the pupils and how hard they worked together to bring their goals to fruition. I am so pleased for them to have been announced the regional winners. A special mention goes to Liam Broadway, U6, for helping the group produce their promotional video”.

Our special guest on Tuesday was our Mayor, Mrs Brenda Chivers who came to Dominican to express her support and congratulations to the pupils and staff. Reflecting on her own days learning Irish at school, the Mayor encouraged pupils to “keep up your language” and how she hoped to be able to be involved in working on a project with the group at some later date.

The school was also delighted to welcome Seán O’Murcha, Awareness Raising Officer with from Conradh na Gaeilge into school to present the winning pupils with their cheques for one thousand euros. Seán explained the vision of Conradh na Gaeilige as one of wishing to develop and promote the Irish Language and how this was the 125th anniversary of the movement to revive the Irish language.

Seán told Dominican pupils, "The Gaelfhíseán contest was highly competitive and the standard of entries was excellent.  It is clear that students really enjoyed taking part in the competition and the teachers all deserve recognition of the effort they put in to the competition.  More than 10,000 people have taken part in Bliain na Gaeilge competitions since the beginning of the year, which is remarkable.”

A fund of 32 thousand euros was gathered this year to allow the organisation to promote the language, within and beyond the school. Concluding his presentation, Seán stressed his hope that he would return again to Dominican in the future as the school continued its positive relationship with Conradh na Gaeilge.

Very well done to Mrs McErlean and her Year 10 Irish pupils.