Taoiseach Launches Bliain na Gaeilge 2018

As one of his final official duties of the year, An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, T.D. launched Bliain na Gaeilge 2018 in Government Buildings today.

An Taoiseach, together with Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands, Joe McHugh T.D., announced that 2018 would constitute a special year to celebrate our national language.

Following on from the success of the Ireland 2016: Centenary Programme, An Teanga Bheo, and in view of the fact that 2018 marks the celebration of the 125th anniversary of the language revival movement by Conradh na Gaeilge, Bliain na Gaeilge 2018 is seen now as a timely initiative to celebrate the Irish language, both nationally and internationally.

Speaking at the event in Government Buildings An Taoiseach said:

“Throughout Bliain na Gaeilge we want to celebrate the Irish language and encourage as many people as possible to get involved. Whether you are a fluent Irish speaker, if you are just learning the language, or if you haven’t used your Irish in years, this is an opportunity to improve your fluency, learn more about the language and encourage your neighbours, friends and colleagues to embrace the language in their everyday lives.”

Joe McHugh T.D., Minister of State for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands also spoke at the event.

I am excited by the opportunity presented to us in 2018 to revitalise love for the language among the Irish people, because the language is an integral part of our identity as Irish people.  I would particularly like to thank the various bodies who have worked together to bring the vision of Bliain na Gaeilge to fruition, including Foras na Gaeilge, Conradh na Gaeilge, Údarás naGaeltachta, RTÉ, TG4, officials from my own Department and, indeed, the many other groups who have worked tirelessly to bring the vision of Bliain na Gaeilge to fruition.

A wide programme of events has already been developed to get the year started, but I would encourage individuals and groups at home and abroad to get involved

A year-long programme of creative, artistic and community activities and events is being planned to celebrate the Irish language and to encourage increased participation in the language.   The programme, with President Michael D. Higgins as Patron, will recognise and reflect on the achievements of the past, but will also focus on the vibrancy of the language to increase its usage, positive image and visibility.

Included in the programme for Bliain na Gaeilge 2018 will be:

  • Fáilte 2018, TG4 will have a special broadcast on New Year’s Eve from Tigh Pháidí Ó Sé in Corca Dhuibhne to provide an exciting start to Bliain na Gaeilge and ensure that people around the world have access to the first event of the year.
  • BEO – BRÓDUIL AGUS GAELACH, On 3 March 2018, a celebratory parade will take place from Parnell Square to St Stephen’s Green, followed by a concert, speeches and family events
  • PLÉ ’18, a series of seminars will take place on a monthly basis around the world, discussing the history, heritage and future of the revival of the Irish language. The seminar will have a wide range of speakers and topics discussed and the public will have the opportunity to participate in the discourse.
  • A Schools’ Creative Programmewill be organised from the beginning of January. This programme will include the creative video competition, ‘Gaelfhíseán’, for every school and an art competition for all primary schools.

–     More than 100 groups have already given their support to Bliain na Gaeilge.  Groups can register their events at www.gaeilge2018.ie


Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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