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Celebrating the Irish language in 2018

13 February 2018
3 min read

2018 is officially Bliain na Gaeilge, with our native language being celebrated at home and abroad.

With this year marking 125 years since the Gaelic revival, the Conradh na Gaeilge movement that encouraged the speaking of Irish and its use in literature, arts and culture, it’s a fitting time to celebrate and promote the Irish language nationally and internationally.

Bliain na Gaeilge 2018 promises a year-long programme of creative, artistic and community-based events and activities that encourage us all to celebrate and use our unique language. With President Michael D. Higgins as the initiative’s patron, 2018 will see the language’s achievements recognised and reflected upon, while shining a spotlight on the vibrancy and usage of Irish in our modern world.

An opportunity to reflect on all that Irish has achieved since the historic language revival of 1893, Bliain na Gaeilge 2018 may also place the role and challenges of Irish in the 21st century at the forefront of public discourse. Niall Comer, President of Conradh na Gaeilge, hopes that “Bliain na Gaeilge will give those fluent and those with the cúpla focal, or those interested in the Irish language throughout the world, a fantastic opportunity to use the language more.” With Irish a huge part of our cultural and linguistic wealth, the year’s aim is to promote the language, support those already using it and to bolster its image and visibility.

With Irish a huge part of our cultural and linguistic wealth, the year’s aim is to promote the language, support those already using it and to bolster its image and visibility.

The year’s programme will be overseen by a specially-formed committee that includes representatives from the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Conradh na Gaeilge, Foras na Gaeilge and Údarás na Gaeltachta. Bliain na Gaeilge 2018’s many events will also be organised under five specific themes: The revival of the language over the last 125 years; the creativity of the language; the vibrancy of the language; the participation of the community and the value of the Gaeltacht.  

The programme of diverse events encompasses everything from pop-up Gaeltachts and social evenings to large-scale public events like BEO: Gaelach agus Bródúil – a day-long event and parade on 3 March in Dublin City – and Lá le Márta, a day as Gaeilge hosted by Croke Park. A series of monthly seminars will also be held around the world, discussing the history, heritage and future of the modern revival of Irish.

Find out more about Bliain na Gaeilge 2018