A new Irish language primary school is using Christmas cards to help promote the use of the Irish language.

Parents at Gaelscoil Áine on Mobhi Road, Dublin, are using specially designed Christmas cards to spread the use of Gaeilge and to raise funds for the school.

“Wishing someone a happy Christmas by saying nollaig shona helps to keep the beautiful Irish language alive,” said Tarsila Krüse, a children's book illustrator and a parent at the school.

Krüse has designed a series of Christmas cards (cartaí na nollaig) with Irish greetings that are being sold to raise funds for the school.

She said she hopes the cards help to spread the use of the Irish language as well as festive cheer.

“Irish language Christmas cards are usually hard to find and I wanted to create a variety that would look cheerful and festive and that would suit a wide variety of people,” said the artist.

Krüse, who is originally from Brazil but has lived in Dublin for nearly 15 years, is a renowned artist and children’s book illustrator whose work includes the RTÉ Guide Christmas magazine covers in both 2019 and 2020.

Her illustrations can also be found in books including My Little Album of Ireland, Percy Péacóg and both award-winning Ná Gabh ar Scoil and CD-book Bliain na nAmhrán.

“The cards are made to the highest standard of quality and include a cute fox and hare sitting under the stars on a log in the snow sharing a mug of hot chocolate," she said.

“The cards cover different aspects of Irish culture at Christmas with elements that are both traditional and modern and that look and feel welcoming.

“We are selling them as a pack of ten cards for €10 to help Gaelscoil Áine raise funds for important resources at the school, though I also believe it is a sweet way to bring a little Irish into people's lives.”

Gaelscoil Áine opened in September 2019 offering parents a new Irish-speaking co-educational school that is both multi-denominational and multilingual. 

The school is under the patronage of An Foras Patrúnachta, a management body founded in 1993 to promote education through the medium of Irish.

The school is temporarily located in the third-level Whitehall College building on Mobhi Road, Drumcondra, while it waits for a permanent location.

It currently has 70 pupils with a huge demand for places in the school.  

All proceeds from the sale of Gaelscoil Áine cartaí na nollaig will go to the school to fund much needed educational resources, such as books and sports equipment. 

You can purchase the cards online at Shop in Ireland or on Tarsila Krüse’s website .

The cards will also be sold at the Outdoor Christmas Craft Market at the National Botanic Gardens in Dublin on Saturday, December 11 and Sunday, December 12 from 10am to 4pm.