Beo – marbh

Tá clú agus cáil ar Oideas Gael mar eagraíocht oideachasúil.

Bliain i ndiaidh bliana, tagann daoine as gach uile ard go dtí an lárionad i nGleann Cholm Cille le snas a chur ar a gcuid Gaeilge - as Éirinn, ón Eoraip, ó Mheiriceá, ón Astráil, ón tSeapán – téann an liosta ar aghaidh agus ar aghaidh. Bíonn daoine de gach aicme ann – ón chosmhuintir go Máire Mhic Giolla Íosa. Chuaigh an tÁire Gaeltachta ansin i rith an tsamhraidh chun a chuid Gaeilge a athbheochan.(Dála an scéil, dúradh liom go mbeidh an tAire Airgeadais ag dul ar ais ar scoil chun a tháblaí a fhoghlaim, ach sílim go raibh siad ag magadh fúm.) Bhunaigh Liam Ó Cuinneagáin agus an tOllamh Seosamh Watson an coláiste. Is múinteoirí den scoth an bheirt acu.

Chomh maith le cúrsaí teanga, eagraítear siúlóidí sléibhte, cúrsaí ceoil, agus cúrsaí ceardaíochta traidisiúnta. D’éirigh thar barr leis an eagraíocht: sular thosaigh Oideas Gael a chuid oibre, bhí Gleann Cholm Cille ina Bhreac-Ghaeltacht lag.

Ach tá Gaeil ar fud na cruinne faoi chomaoin ag Oideas Gael i dtaobh tionscnaimh eile. D’fhoilsigh Oideas Gael beo.ie den chéad uair i mí na Bealtaine 2001. Mheall an iris Idirlín na scríbhneoirí Gaeilge is fearr sa tír seo agus i dtíortha eile ar fud an domhain. Bhain meánscoileanna agus ollscoileanna úsáid as an fhoilseachán. Bhí éagsúlacht ábhair ann: cúrsaí reatha, spórt, taisteal, na healaíona, eolaíocht, teicneolaíocht, litríocht agus a lán eile. Tionscnamh rathúil, meas tú? Bhuel, ní hea. Chaill beo.ie a dheontas agus is é eagrán na míosa seo an t-eagrán deireanach. Fágfar cartlann beo. ie ar an Idirlíon mar áis do mhúinteoirí agus do mhic léinn.

Mar sin de, bain sult as an eagrán reatha: tá sé ar fheabhas, mar is gnách.

Cuirtear agallamh ar Edwina Nig Eochaidhean, an rinceoir ar an sean-nós a bhí sa chomórtas Rós Thrá Lí anuraidh. Tá alt ann ar John Redmond agus an dóigh ar spreag sé na hÓglaigh le Gaeilge a fhoghlaim. Tá alt eile ann le Cáit Ní Cheallacháin ar dhraíocht na Gaeltachta- alt le scríbhneoir óg a scríobh sí díreach nuair a bhí beo.ie ag imeacht den saol. Scríobhann Breandán Delap ar an turasóireacht: ‘Cá bhfuil ár dTriall?’ an teideal atá ar an phíosa. Ceist mhaith do lucht na Gaeilge.

Beo – dead

Oideas Gael has a huge reputation as an educational organisation. Year in, year out people come from all over to the centre in Gleann Cholm Cille to improve their Irish – from Ireland, Europe, America, Australia, japan – the list goes on and on. People from every social class attend- from ordinary people to Mary Mc Aleese. The Minister for the Gaeltacht, Joe Mc Hugh went there during the summer to resurrect his Irish. (Incidentally, I have been told that the Minister of Finance is going back to school to learn his tables, but I think they were kidding me on.) Liam Ó Cuinneagáin and Professor Seosamh Watson set up the college. They are both excellent teachers.

As well as language courses, Oideas Gael organises hill walking, music courses, and courses in traditional crafts. The organisation has been outstandingly successful: before Oideas Gael began its work, Gleann Colm Cille was a mixed Irish/English speaking area, in which the Irish language was weak.

But Irish people the world over are indebted to Oideas Gael for another initiative. Oideas Gael produced the first edition of beo.ie in May 2001. The Internet magazine attracted the best Irish writers, here and throughout the world. The magazine was used by secondary schools and universities. It dealt with a variety of topics: current affairs, sport, travel, the arts, science, technology, literature and much more. A very successful project, don’t you think? Well, no: Beo.ie lost its grant, and this month’s edition is the last. The beo.ie archive will be kept on the Internet as a resource for teachers and students.

So enjoy the current edition: it is excellent, as usual.

There is an interview with Edwina Nig Eochaidhean, the sean-nós dancer in last year’s Rose of Tralee competition. There is an article on Seán Redmond, and how he encouraged the Volunteers to learn Irish. There is another article by Cáit Ní Cheallacháin on the magic of the Gaeltacht – an article by a young writer which she wrote just when beo.ie was about to cease publication. Breandán Delap writes an article on tourism: ‘Where are we heading?’ This is a good question for Irish speakers.