Date: 14 Mar 2023
Children’s author Máire Zepf and artist/illustrator Andrew Whitson were in Belfast City Hall today for an event to mark Seachtain na Gaeilge/Irish Language Week.
Máire read from her ‘Rita’ series of books, written in Irish, and Andrew gave a live illustration of characters from the book to local primary schoolchildren who were special guests. There were also games and music in Irish at the event.
Seachtain na Gaeilge is an international Irish language festival celebrating Irish language and culture running from 1 to 17 March 2023.
The event in City Hall was organised by Belfast City Council as part of its language strategy to reflect on and celebrate the diverse nature of the city and its different languages and cultures.
Speaking at the event, Lord Mayor Councillor Tina Black, said: “I’m delighted to be at this special event in City Hall today to mark Seachtain na Gaeilge/Irish Language Week.
“Irish language impacts on all communities in the city and it is a huge part of the rich, shared history of Belfast.
“It’s wonderful to see so many children here today who not only speak the Irish language but want to ensure it develops and is integrated in communities.
“It is these young people with their vibrant and positive attitudes that will continue to boost and promote language diversity in our city. This event is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate all that is great about the Irish language.
“As a council, we are committed to Belfast becoming a more inclusive city, as outlined in our community plan ‘Belfast Agenda’ and are delivering on ensuring language equality and diversity be at its forefront.”
The primary schools in City Hall today were Bunscoil Mhic Reachtain, Bunscoil Phobal Feirste, Gaelscoil na Móna, Bunscoil an tSléibhe Dhuibh, Bunscoil Bheann Mhadagáin, Scoil an Droichid, Gaelscoil an Lonnáin and Scoil na Fuiseoige.
More information on the council’s language strategy is available at www.belfastcity.gov.uk/languagestrategy