Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure, Carál Ní Chuilín MLA has launched Seachtain na Gaeilge 2013 (Week of Irish 2013) in the North at a special ceremony in Stormont. Líofa 2015, a project of the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure to encourage people to learn Irish, will be promoted as part of the festival.
Presenters Evanne Ní Chuilinn, RTÉ, and Róisín Ní Thomáin, TG4, will be using their Irish to get the public motivated and speaking the language at the Seachtain na Gaeilge 2013 launch in Dublin.
Evanne Ní Chuilinn, one of the Seachtain na Gaeilge 2013 ambassadors, said, "I am very proud that I was asked to be an ambassador for this year's festival as I have always had a huge interest in the language. Indeed, I had a son almost a year ago and I'm speaking in Irish with him lately. I think that the language has strengthened in recent years and Seachtain na Gaeilge is key to this development."
Established by Conradh na Gaeilge in 1902, Seachtain na Gaeilge is the biggest international Irish-language festival promoting the use of Irish language and culture, both at home and abroad, and there will be events organized nationally and locally across the globe for this year's festival running from 4 - 17 March 2013. Despite being one of the longest-standing Irish-language festivals, there is nothing old-fashioned about the festival's brand new website at www.snag.ie or the new smartphone application available for Android from Google Play and for the iPhone from iTunes.
Brenda Ní Ghairbhí, Manager of Seachtain na Gaeilge said: "We have over 750 events officially registered with Seachtain na Gaeilge for this year's festival from 4 - 17 March in places as far removed from each other as Australia and Armagh, Corca Dhuibhne and Canada, Newry and Norway, Dáil Éireann and the Northern Ireland Assembly; all the information on events in your own local area can be found on our new website at www.snag.ie. Now that our new Seachtain na Gaeilge 2013 app is available for the iPhone and Android phones by simply searching for SnaG 2013 online, it has never been easier for people to take part in this year's events and to inspire the use of Irish in their own communities!"
As Conradh na Gaeilge is also marking a milestone since its establishment in 1893 this year, Seachtain na Gaeilge 2013 will be at the heart of the year-long Bliain na Gaeilge festivities celebrating 120 years of the revival of the Irish language in 2013, encouraging people to use whatever Irish they have by organising and registering fun new events on www.gaeilge2013.ie.
Both Seachtain na Gaeilge and Bliain na Gaeilge 2013 are aiming to enable and to inspire everyone - fluent speakers, learners and those who have even just a few words alike - to use their Irish on a regular basis. Seachtain na Gaeilge is working with The Gathering Ireland tourism initiative to attract people abroad back to Ireland in 2013 too.
In addition to the official events organized by local councils, third level colleges, libraries and various other organizations registered the Seachtain na Gaeilge office every year, there are many more local groups and thousands of schools across the country that run their own events to inspire the use of Irish in their own locality as part of the national celebration of the language.
The renowned Irish musician Colm Ó Snodaigh will launch Kíla's World Tour of Dublin alongside Seachtain na Gaeilge 2013 at Mansion House, Dawson Street.
Here's Ireland's President Michael D Higgins speaking about Seachtain na Gaeilge: