22/08/2013: Irish Language and Culture in Sydney Australia – Minister Deenihan meets students and teachers at the Celtic Studies Foundation

Thursday 22 August 2013:  Jimmy Deenihan T.D., Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht met with academics and Irish language students at the Department of Celtic Studies in  the University of Sydney.  Minister Deenihan also met Ms. Clare Dunne, President of the Celtic Studies Foundation.

Minister Deenihan is in Sydney as part of the programme of events leading up to the International Famine Commemoration on Sunday, 25th August 2013 at Hyde Park Barracks.

Sydney University offers a Modern Irish Language and Culture Course with the help of a grant from the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht under the Scéimeanna Tacaíochta Gaeilge Scheme.  In this course the Irish language is studied in depth in the context of Irish history and culture.  Sydney is the only university in the Southern Hemisphere where Irish studies is offered as an essential part of a university degree.

Speaking today, Minister Deenihan said: “My visit to Sydney marks not only the International Commemoration of the Great Irish Famine, but also celebrates the tremendous impact that Irish emigrants have made to their adopted homelands. I am therefore delighted that the Irish language, which so many emigrants sadly lost when they left Ireland behind, is alive here in Sydney. It is wonderful to hear that the Irish language and the study of Celtic Civilisation is popular with students and I earnestly hope it will continue to be”.

Minister Deenihan continued: “I’d like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to Professor Anders Almqvist who has done a fantastic job as the Sir Warwick Fairfax Professor of Celtic Studies at the University of Sydney. He has played an important and active role since his appointment and I sincerely thank him on behalf of the Irish community and the Irish Government for this. Go raibh maith agat as ucht do obair díograisach agus tábháchtach”.


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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