St. Mary’s and Magee Irish language events backed as part of Council Seachtain na Gaeilge programme

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Derry City and Strabane District Council is in the early stages of developing a programme of events to celebrate Seachtain na Gaeilge (Irish Language week), which runs over March 1-17 and coincides with the annual St. Patrick’s Day Spring Carnival in the city and district.

The council has agreed to support an exhibition on ‘The Story of Things,’ a collaboration with St. Mary’s College in Derry and Coláiste Feirste in Belfast, which, using artefacts and narratives relating to the Irish language will tell the personal stories of young people and their relationship with the Irish language.

A series of langage awareness events for Council staff will take place between March 5 and March 12 and a Fáinne Award Scheme for employees will be facilitated.

And the local authority will once again support Éigse Cholm Cille, a two-day literary conference at Magee on March 9 and 10.

Members of Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Governance and Strategic Planning heard this week that Conradh na Gaeilge wrote to the Council Chief Executive, John Kelpie in January asking that councillors consider supporting events during Seachtain na Gaeilge.

Ellen Cavanagh, Lead Democratic Services and Improvement Officer, reported that “Council has committed in-principle to supporting the promotion of Irish Language Week within the budget allocation set aside for the St. Patrick’s Day Spring Carnival celebrations which happen to coincide with the closing of Irish Language Week onMarch 17.”

She said that the Council works with community partners to jointly create a programme of events to celebrate Irish Language Week across the city and district every year.

There is no “dedicated budget for the festival” and funding is likely to come from a range of partners.