Seven US and two Canadian Irish language learnerss were presented with awards at Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, in An Cheathrú Rua in the Connemara Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking area). Those nine are among the 62 American and 18 Canadian award-winners who will be welcomed to the Gaeltacht in 2016.
These awards are the result of the ongoing collaboration between the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, the Ireland-United States [Fulbright] Commission for Educational Exchange, and ICUF, and in partnership with institutions in both the US and Canada. They reflect the huge interest in the Irish language in North America where, every year, many Irish language learners choose to attend courses at the National University of Ireland Galway, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge and other venues.
Four Irish Language Instructors were also presented with awards to teach Irish in Canada in 2016-2017 through the ICUF Irish Language Instructors Awards, seven instructors will take up these awards in total. Similarly, nine Irish Language Teachers will go to the US this autumn through the Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistantship (FLTA) Awards.
The Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs & Natural Resources, Seán Kyne T.D. said, “We hope that your love of Irish continues to grow during your time here and that you will continue to nurture the language when you return home.”
Speaking about the awards, US Ambassador to Ireland Kevin O’Malley said, “These awards support Irish language learners and teachers in the US, and offer exceptional immersion experiences in Irish language learning, as well as traditional Irish music and storytelling, in some of Ireland’s most idyllic locations. It is wonderful to see wwardees from so many States. I am certain that they will benefit enormously from their award and go on to share their experiences with many others at home.”
Executive Director of the Ireland – United States [Fulbright] Commission for Educational Exchange, Dr Dara FitzGerald said, “This year we welcome 62 US citizens from Vermont, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Washington DC, Michigan, Wisconsin, California, Dallas, Missouri and North Carolina. These awardees come from diverse walks of life – some are students of Celtic Studies, others are teachers, actors, poets and writers.
“While some have Irish heritage, others, following a growing trend, have simply taken an interest in Irish as foreign language. They will attend Gaeltacht courses in Oideas Gael in Donegal, FEICIM on Inis Oírr, NUI Galway International Summer School, An Cheathrú Rua, Cólaiste na Rinne, Waterford, and Baile an Fheirtéaraigh, Co. Kerry. Tá an-áthas orainn faoin rath atá ar an gclár seo.”
Gaeltacht Summer Awardees 2016:
- Kevin Corcoran is an undergraduate student of History, Education and Irish Studies at Elms College in Massachusetts. He will take the Irish language course with NUI Galway’s International Summer School in An Cheathrú Rua for his Gaeltacht Summer Award.
- Matthew Doyle is an undergraduate student at the School of General Studies at Columbia University in the City of New York and has studied Irish at New York University at the Glucksman Ireland House. He is majoring in Political Science with a concentration in American Politics and plans to attend law school after graduation. He will take the Irish language course with NUI Galway’s International Summer School in An Cheathrú Rua for his Gaeltacht Summer Award.
- Brennan Fahselt is a student at the University of California, Berkeley studying Civil Engineering with a minor in Celtic Studies. He will complete his Gaeltacht Summer Award at the NUI Galway International Summer School in An Cheathrú Rua.
- Brendan Murphy is an undergraduate at Manhattan College in New York City, studying Government and Literature. For his Gaeltacht Summer Award he will take an Irish language course at Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, NUIG in Carraroe.
- Renata Rua is a community language teacher, language activist, and assistant director for the Irish Center of Kansas City, MISSOURI. She has a B.A. in Celtic Studies from the University of California, Berkeley and an M.Phil in Sean-Ghaeilge from University College Dublin. She will take an Irish language course at the NUI Galway International Summer School, An Cheathrú Rua for her Gaeltacht Summer Award.
- Davis Sandefur is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, where he majored in physics and minored in Irish Language and Literature. In the coming academic year, he will be studying Nua-Ghaeilge (Modern Irish) at the National University of Ireland as a Fulbright Student awardee. He will complete his Gaeltacht Summer Award at Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge in Carraroe.
- Rosemary Weston PhD, Assistant Dean and Department Head of World Languages at Eastern Michigan University is developing, in partnership with the Detroit Irish Music Association, the only university Irish language program in the state of Michigan. She will take up her Gaeltacht Award at the National University of Ireland in An Cheathrú Rua, Co.Galway.
Ireland Canada University Foundation Awardees:
Canadian Scholars 2016:
- Rachel Hoffman studies Anthropology and Canadian Irish Studies at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec. She is also a filmmaker exploring the historical roots that link an Irish-speaking past with a present-day Quebec. This is Rachel's second time to attend a course in the Acadamh.
- Terry McBride is from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and is a financial planner. For three years, Terry has been attending Irish language classes provided through the Claddagh Branch of Comhaltas in Saskatoon. His grandparents from Donegal emigrated to Canada about 100 years ago.
Irish Language Instructors awarded to teach Irish in Canada 2016-2017:
- John Prendergast is from Tralee, Co. Kerry, and has just returned from a year in the University of Cardiff in Wales, where he completed an MA in Welsh and Celtic Studies, and taught the Irish Language. John will be the ICUF Teagascóir Gaeilge in St. Mary’s University Halifax.
- Ian Mac Gabhann received a BA degree in Media Studies, Nua-Ghaeilge and Music from Maynooth University, and a MA in Communications through Irish from NUIG. Ian will be the ICUF Teagascóir Gaeilge in St. Thomas University, New Brunswick.
- Éilis Nic Aodhagáin, from Athboy, Co. Meath, has a BA International in Spanish and Irish and an MA in Modern Irish, both from UCD. She has taught Irish in Gaelchultúr, UCD and in the University of Montana, and will be the ICUF Teagascóir Gaeilge in the University of Toronto.
- Eoin Mac Gearailt is from Coirce Dhuibhne region of Kerry. He graduated in 2012 with a BA from Mary Immaculate College and recently completed an MA in Oideachas Lán-Ghaeilge in Mary Immaculate College. Eoin will be the ICUF Teagascóir Gaeilge in Memorial University, Newfoundland.
- Eoin Ó Beaglaoich is a from the Coirce Dhuibhne region of Kerry, and has been working as an Irish Language teacher since 2008, with Maynooth University for the past five years. Eoin will be the ICUF's first Teagascóir Gaeilge appointed to the University of Prince Edward Island.
- Siobhán Ní Mhaolagáin is from Dublin and has a Profession Diploma in Education and a MA in Scríobh agus Cumarsáid na Gaeilge. Siobhán is being reappointed for a second year to Concordia University, Montreal.
- Cáit Ní Shiúrtáin is from Cork and is a primary school teacher. Cáit qualified with an M.A. in Irish Language Teaching from NUI Galway in 2011. Cáit is being reappointed for a second year to the University of Ottawa.
The application period for the 2017 Summer Gaeltacht Awards will open in January 2017, if you are interested in applying please check www.fulbright.ie/gaeltacht-summer-award - exact application dates will be confirmed in the coming months.