BÉAL FEIRSTE LE GAEILGE

Beidh ócáid mhór i mBéal Feirste amárach (1 Deireadh Fómhair). Tabharfaidh Marcas Ó Murchú léacht ar a athair: ‘Alf Ó Murchú agus Cumann Chluain Ard’ ar 7.30 sa Chumann. Bhain Alf Duais an Oireachtais 1960/61. Beidh cuimhne ag pobal Feirste ar an obair mhór a rinne Alf ar son na teanga ar feadh a shaoil.

Beidh taispeántas grianghraf ann agus nochtfar leac agus portráid i gcuimhne Ailf. Beidh oíche cheoil sa Chumann ina dhiaidh.

Ni raibh mórán Gaeilge i mBéal Feirste caoga bliain ó shin. Bhi ról lárnach ag Cumann Chluain Ard san athbheochan. Nuair a bunaíodh an chéad bhunscoil Ghaeilge i 1971, ní raibh ach seisear daltaí ar an rolla.

Anois tá fiche naíolann Ghaeilge sa chathair, chomh maith le naoi mbunscoil agus meánscoil, Coláiste Feirste. Tá 530 dalta ag freastal ar an Choláiste agus tá timpeall is caoga múinteoir ar an fhoireann.

Chruthaigh muintir Bhéal Feirste a nGaeltacht féin dóibh féin agus dá bpáistí. Ní maith liom comparáid a dhéanamh. Mar sin de ní déarfaidh mé rud ar bith ar an fhaillí náireach a dhéantar sa Ghaeloideachas inár gcathair bheag Ghaelach féin.

Deascéal eile ó Bhéal Feirste: athchóiríodh Cultúrlann McAdam – Ó Fiach ar na mallaibh. Istigh tá caife, siopa leabhar, amharclann (le compántas aisteoirí!), Oifig Fáilte, Raidió Fáilte, agus oifigí d’eagrais éagsúla, Pobal, Taca, agus Tobar ina measc.

Tá níos mó ná seasca duine fostaithe san ionad, agus faigheann sé 80,000 cuairteoir sa bhliain. Cuireann an Chultúrlann go mór le geilleagar Iarthar Bhéal Feirste.

BELFAST AND IRISH

There will be a special event in Belfast tomorrow (1 October). Marcas Ó Murchú will give a lecture on his father: ‘Alf Ó Murchú and Cumann Chluain Ard,’at 7.30 in the Cumann. Alf was awarded the Oireachtas Prize 1960/61.

The people of Belfast will commemorate the work that Alf did for the language throughout his life. There will be a photographic exhibition, and a plaque and a portrait will be unveiled in his memory. There will be a musical night in the Cumann afterwards.

There was not much Irish in Belfast fifty years ago. Cumann Chluain Ard had a central role in the revival of the language.

When the first Irish primary school was set up in 1971, there were only six pupils on the roll. Now in the city, there are twenty Irish nurseries, nine primary schools, and a secondary school, Coláiste Feirste.

There are 530 pupils attending the college and around fifty teachers on staff. The people of Belfast created their own Gaeltacht for themselves and their children.

I don’t like making comparisons, and so I will say nothing about the disgraceful neglect of Irish medium education in our own little Irish city.

Another piece of good news from Belfast: Cultúrlann McAdam-Ó Fiach was renovated recently. It has a café, a bookshop, a theatre (with a theatre company!), a tourist office, Raidió Fáilte, and offices of various organisations, including Pobal, Taca, and Tobar.

There are more than sixty people employed in the centre, and it has 80,000 visitors per year. The Cultúrlann contributes greatly to the economy of West Belfast.