Pictures: Cork school in round-the-clock effort for Conradh na Gaeilge initiative

Some 75 first-year pupils engaged in a number of fun activities while speaking Irish for 24 hours on the annual speak Irish for a day initiative organised by Conradh na Gaeilge.
Pictures: Cork school in round-the-clock effort for Conradh na Gaeilge initiative

First Year students from Coláiste Muire, Réalt na Mara jumping for joy as they take part in Gaeilge24, with the aim is to challenge students to speak Irish for 24 hours. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

FIRST-years from Coláiste Muire, Réalt na Mara, Crosshaven, participated in Gaeilge24 on Tuesday.

Some 75 first-year pupils engaged in a number of fun activities while speaking Irish for 24 hours on the annual speak Irish for a day initiative organised by Conradh na Gaeilge.

The Cork secondary school was one of 300 schools nationwide that participated in Gaeilge24.

Teachers from Coláiste Muire, Réalt na Mara, from left, Máire Ni Laoi, Kieran Enright, Anna Ní Shúilleabháin, organiser and Helen Ni Uidhir as they take part in Gaeilge24, with the aim is to challenge students to speak Irish for 24 hours.
Teachers from Coláiste Muire, Réalt na Mara, from left, Máire Ni Laoi, Kieran Enright, Anna Ní Shúilleabháin, organiser and Helen Ni Uidhir as they take part in Gaeilge24, with the aim is to challenge students to speak Irish for 24 hours.

The aim of the challenge is to encourage young people to speak Irish non-stop for one whole day through a variety of fun-filled methods designed to foster a greater appreciation of our native language.

The challenge seeks to open the minds of young people and allow them to experience the Irish language in a unique way.

First Year students from left, Andrew Ryan, Aoife Kissane, Maeve Henderson, Charlotte Fleming and Aaron Ahern from Coláiste Muire, Réalt na Mara as they take part in Gaeilge24, with the aim is to challenge students to speak Irish for 24 hours. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
First Year students from left, Andrew Ryan, Aoife Kissane, Maeve Henderson, Charlotte Fleming and Aaron Ahern from Coláiste Muire, Réalt na Mara as they take part in Gaeilge24, with the aim is to challenge students to speak Irish for 24 hours. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Anna O’Sullivan who teaches Irish and business in Coláiste Muire, Réalt na Mara, said the day proved a huge success.

“The students loved it. They really enjoyed the day. They had a ball. This was our second year participating in this event. We wanted to make it a fun day for the students while encouraging them to use their cúpla focal.”

The first-year pupils engaged in a number of activities while speaking as Gaeilge throughout their school day on Tuesday. They held an outdoor céilí and indoor activities such as bingo, a quiz, and a poster competition while also watching short films in Irish.

First Year students from Coláiste Muire, Réalt na Mara in Crosshaven doing Irish dancing as they take part in Gaeilge24, with the aim is to challenge students to speak Irish for 24 hours. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
First Year students from Coláiste Muire, Réalt na Mara in Crosshaven doing Irish dancing as they take part in Gaeilge24, with the aim is to challenge students to speak Irish for 24 hours. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Ms O’Sullivan said the main aim of the challenge is to create a ‘positive’ message about our native language.

“The aim of the challenge is to get students to speak Irish for 24 hours and create a bit of positivity around Irish. We did a number of fun activities that required the students to speak Irish throughout the tasks and the day. It is great to promote the language. It is our aim to make it as cool and fun as possible.

First Year students from left, Andrew Ryan, Aoife Kissane, Maeve Henderson, Charlotte Fleming and Aaron Ahern from Coláiste Muire, Réalt na Mara as they take part in Gaeilge24, with the aim is to challenge students to speak Irish for 24 hours.
First Year students from left, Andrew Ryan, Aoife Kissane, Maeve Henderson, Charlotte Fleming and Aaron Ahern from Coláiste Muire, Réalt na Mara as they take part in Gaeilge24, with the aim is to challenge students to speak Irish for 24 hours.

“Our aim is to create a positive light around the language. It will hopefully inspire the students to enjoy it and speak it as much as possible in their daily lives. I have a great passion for the language as it is such a beautiful language.

“We also got a number of well-known Irish sports personalities such as Seán O’Donoghue, Ciaran Kilkenny, and Greg O’Shea who made videos wishing our students the best of luck on the day which was gratefully appreciated.

First Year students , with teacher Anna Ni Shúilleabháin from Coláiste Muire, Réalt na Mara in Crosshaven doing Irish dancing as they take part in Gaeilge24, with the aim is to challenge students to speak Irish for 24 hours. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
First Year students , with teacher Anna Ni Shúilleabháin from Coláiste Muire, Réalt na Mara in Crosshaven doing Irish dancing as they take part in Gaeilge24, with the aim is to challenge students to speak Irish for 24 hours. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

“The staff also participated in the event. It was great to hear Irish being spoken and well-known phrases as Gaeilge being used in the staff room,” she added.

Ms O’Sullivan said the first-year students were chosen to participate in Gaeilge24 so they can develop a grá for their native language.

“We picked the first-year students as they are starting off in their school journey and we want to get the message across.”

The theme of wellbeing also had a prominent role in this year’s Gaeilge24.

First Year students from Coláiste Muire, Réalt na Mara in Crosshaven doing Irish dancing as they take part in Gaeilge24, with the aim is to challenge students to speak Irish for 24 hours. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
First Year students from Coláiste Muire, Réalt na Mara in Crosshaven doing Irish dancing as they take part in Gaeilge24, with the aim is to challenge students to speak Irish for 24 hours. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Ms O’Sullivan was delighted to incorporate this element into the whole concept.

“Taking care of yourself is so important, especially for young people, from exercise to mindfulness, to ensure you’re in full health. Doing fun activities through the medium of Irish was great for the students.”

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