New York’s Irish-American community has a long history of maintaining the Irish language as a spoken tongue in the Big Apple. The city’s community boasts of one of the country’s most extensive lists of Irish-language events, classes, and meet-ups in North America. Here’s what’s happening, and what’s not, in Irish-America as Gaeilge (in Irish).
Irish Arts Center, West 51st Street
The Irish Arts Center is probably the City’s first stop for aspiring gaelgoiri (Irish speakers). Four weekly classes are offered by Alexei Kondratiev and Elaine Ní Bhraonáin ranging from beginners to advanced level. Classes are open to both members and non-members of the Center.
The courses vary from $120 to $170 for non-members and $90 to $140 for members. A popular Tae agus Comhra (Tea and Conversation) is held for free every Wednesday night to perfect language skills learned during the formal classes.
For more information contact the Center on 212-757-3318.
Glucksman Ireland House, NYC.
New York University’s Center for Irish Education offers a series of Irish language classes. The House’s resident Irish language expert is Pádraig Ó Cearúill, won a student-voted Golden Dozen teaching award, for his teaching and co-ordination of the Irish language program at NYU.
Although the formal language program is only open to enrolled NYU students, informal events, such as La Gaeilge (Irish Day), are often open to the general public. A five-hour long session was hosted there this February. Almost all the three floors of the linguistic and cultural center were filled to capacity.
Other events, such as the Gaelic Festival of Greenwich Village have been co-organized in the past by Ó Cearúill and the Irish language faculty at NYU.
To watch out for upcoming Irish language days, visit www.irelandhouse.fas.nyu.edu.
New York Irish Center, Long Island
The New York Irish Center, located on Long Island City’s Jackson Avenue, puts on a series of classes every Tuesday from 6:30pm-7:45pm (beginners), and 8:00pm-9:15pm (intermediate).
The classes are aimed at improving the level of the Center’s visitors, and encouraging the broader community to get involved in learning Irish.
For more information on the next series of classes, contact Maura on 201-869-6717
Fordham College, West 60th Street
The college has previously run a Saturday morning beginners class in Irish at the Lincoln Center Campus. For more info on the classes, contact: 212-636-6372
The following locations may offer classes or be able to point you in the direction of an institution or person who does:
The Irish Bookshop -580 Broadway Rm 1103, New York, NY 10012, 212-274-1923.
An Scoil Ghaeilge, P.O. Box 21184, Midtown Station, New York, NY 10129. Maura Mulligan 201-869-6717.
Cumann na Gaeilge, John Jay College, 445 West 59th Street, New York, NY 10019. Seán Gillen 212-654-9553.
Gerry Tobin Irish Language School, Babylon, NY.
This voluntary organization puts on occasional Irish language events around the city. It’s affiliated with the Irish Philo-Celtic Society and is run by Pat Clifford. An out-dated classes calendar is posted on the site, though there does seem to be a good deal of activity in the group.