Celebrating Irish Language in Belfast City Hall
13 Mar 2019
A celebration of the Irish language highlighting its importance and the role it plays in day-to-day life across the city has taken place at Belfast City Hall.
Seachtain na Gaeilge, is an all-Ireland series of events celebrating Irish in daily life. The City Hall event was part of Belfast City Council’s Language Strategy and was organised by Belfast City Council in partnership with Conradh na Gaeilge.
Belfast Lord Mayor, Councillor Deirdre Hargey, welcomed guests and said: “Belfast is a diverse city with many languages and it is part of our Language Strategy to raise awareness of their importance and reflect that linguistic diversity.
“It is especially wonderful to have children at today’s Seachtain na Gaeilge event because it is they who will help the language to continue growing to become even more integral to daily life and living in Belfast.
“As a council we are committed to Belfast becoming a more inclusive city, as outlined in the ‘Belfast Agenda’ the development plan for Belfast which aims to improve the economic, environmental health and wellbeing of everyone who live, works in or visits Belfast.
“We are already an open welcoming city as shown by our success in attracting increased economic investment and that can only be boosted by promoting language diversity,” added the Lord Mayor.
“It’s great to see so many people enjoying today’s event and I am sure we will see many more in the future.”
President of Conradh na Gaeilge, Dr Niall Comer and Áine Walsh, the Head of the Irish Language Broadcast Fund also spoke at the event where school choirs provided the entertainment.
Dr Comer said: “As Uachtarán of Conradh na Gaeilge, it’s a great honour to be invited here today by Belfast City Council to celebrate Seachtain na Gaeilge le Energia with the Lord Mayor and with Belfast’s vibrant Irish Language community. We in Conradh na Gaeilge are delighted that Belfast City Council recognises the importance of Seachtain na Gaeilge, Ireland’s largest community festival, as part of the city’s cultural calendar.
“Last year over 3000 public events were held for Seachtain na Gaeilge and I have no doubt that we will hit that figure again this year as the festival expands even further not just here in Ireland but throughout the world. Just over a week ago we did the international launch of Seachtain na Gaeilge in the London Irish Centre and before the festival is over, events will have been held as diverse as Edinburgh, Paris, Madrid, New York, and Hong Kong.
“For the Irish speaking community, Seachtain na Gaeilge is a chance to celebrate all that is great about our wonderful language. It’s a chance for us to put the language centre stage in a fun and festive way, and to show the world that everyone owns the language. Bringing Irish into your lives will only add to all what makes Béal Feirste such a great city. Enjoy an Ghaeilge, but most importantly Bain triail aisti- try it out!” he added.