An Taoiseach and Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs launch Irish language strand ‘An Teanga Bheo’ as part of Ireland 2016

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, T.D, and the Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs, Joe McHugh, T.D., today (29 October 2015) officially launched An Teanga Bheo (the Living Language), the Irish language strand of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme at Oireachtas na Samhna in Citywest Hotel, Co. Dublin.

An Teanga Bheo (the Living Language) features high profile events; a digitisation programme; online learning resources; lectures, debates, seminars; arts events and media partnerships. Over 40 events are confirmed as part of the programme which includes an exciting mix and range of activities designed to appeal to as wide an audience as possible.

Special events and initiatives included in the programme include:

  • Ravelóid 2016, an outdoor festival of music presenting the language in a modern context, will be held in Dublin during summer 2016. This one-day music festival, organised by Glór na nGael, will feature such artists as the Hothouse Flowers, Kíla and Seo Linn.
  • Ealaín na Gaeltachta will organise a series of five concerts in autumn 2016 showcasing the unique language and culture of the Gaeltacht. Binn agus Beo 2016 will tour to Galway city; Baile Bhuirne, Co. Cork; Daingean Uí Chúis, Co. Kerry; Béal an Mhuirthead, Co. Mayo and Gaoth Dobhair and Letterkenny, Co Donegal.
  • Irisleabhar na Gaedhilge, an Irish language periodical published between 1882 and 1909 with regular contributions from the leaders of the Rising, will be digitised and published online by the Royal Irish Academy.
  • Conradh na Gaeilge will deliver a programme of special events for 2016 including Plé 2016, a specially commissioned series of seminars to mark the importance of the Irish language at home and overseas, as well as the role of Conradh na Gaeilge and the cultural revival as sources of inspiration for the organisers of the 1916 Rising.
  • The national Irish language theatre, An Taibhdhearc, in partnership with the drama company Moonfish, will stage An Piarsach – cé hé?
  • Gael Linn will remaster and provide in DVD format the iconic film Mise Éire.
  • Foras na Gaeilge will develop a portal website for Irish on gaeilge.ie to provide open access to all materials and resources for and in Irish. Improved accessibility to a wide range of online learning resources will be developed on www.gaeilge.ie to further support and encourage engagement with the Irish language.
  • RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta will organise a national competition for post-primary schools to produce Irish language radio programmes around the theme of the Easter Rising. The programmes will be broadcast from 21-25 March 2016. An awards ceremony for the winning entries will be held in Dublin on Easter Monday 2016 as part of the RTÉ programme of events.

Speaking at the launch event, An Taoiseach said: “The revival of the Irish language was a core ambition of what came to be known as the Revolutionary Generation. The vision of an independent Ireland with its own spoken and written language as the foundation stone of its unique culture informed much of the thinking of the 1916 leaders. An Teanga Bheo offers a unique opportunity to reflect on this and to celebrate and present our national language in the context of the Centenary Programme as a unique, vibrant and treasured part of our culture and identity.”

Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs said: “An Teanga Bheo represents the culmination of close engagement with a range of key stakeholders, working in partnership at community and national level to deliver a comprehensive Irish language programme which will stimulate public awareness, participation, debate, reflection and re-imagining around the Irish language; its past, its present and its future.”

Full details of An Teanga Bheo (the Living Language) and the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme is available at www.ireland.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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