Galway to become a central Technology and STEM hub for young Irish speakers

TechSpace Hub – the first of its kind in Ireland – opened by Minister Kyne in Galway

 Government Chief-Whip and Minister of State for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands Seán Kyne T.D  will this morning open an Irish languageTechSpace hub in the heart of Galway city.

The new Irish language centre, which opens in Áras na nGael under the Techspace programe, will be available free of charge to young people who speak Irish. They will have access to a wide range of technological and digital materials including filming equipment, video, music and coding software, and a recording studio.

It is envisaged that the hub will be available as a weekend drop-in space for young people interested in the Irish language and technology, and that it will be available, free of charge, to schools and youth groups from Galway city, Galway county and the Gaeltacht.

The hub is a one-year pilot project.

Minister of State  Seán Kyne T.D has so far approved a grant of €419,000 Department of Culture, Heritage and Gaeltacht funding this year for the TechSpace programme throughout the country.

During the launch, the Minister of State Seán Kyne T.D. said,

“I am honoured to officially open this new centre in Áras na nGael, a historical building of Conradh na Gaeilge. I am pleased that my Department was able to provide funding for TechSpace during the past year in Connacht, Munster and Ulster up to now and that I am able to provide more extra funding this year to expand the programme to other parts of the country. It is important that such events and innovative materials are made available to young people through the medium of Irish, especially as Galway city is recognised as a Gaeltacht Service Town under Acht na Gaeltachta 2012. 

A working group has been established to undertake the project.  The working group is made up of the following groups: Áras na nGael, Camara Education Ireland, Clár TechSpace, Conradh na Gaeilge, Foróige agus Ógras. As the old saying goes “ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine” and that is true. This is a good example of the teamwork which cultivates the Irish language.

Séamus Ó Fátharta of Camara Education Ireland said:

This new hub is a wonderful opportunity for us to provide a wide variety of training schemes for youth workers, teachers and young people in Galway city centre.  We will be focusing on a range of activities that will engage young people and that we already know young people will be interested in. We are also delighted to have so many partners supporting this project and I envisage a great future for the TechSpace Hub in Áras na nGael.”

Peadar Mac Fhlannchadha of Conradh na Gaeilge said:
“Research from the Gaeltacht language planning process shows that a language hub is essential for young people if we wish to boost the usage of Irish within this age group. The research also shows the attraction of Galway city to this age group, from every area of Connemara’s Gaeltacht, and that it is necessary to take this into account in the provision of such a space. It is clear to us the need to provide a hub and supports that are attractive to young people, and that we can do this through the development of a TechSpace Hub in Áras na nGael.”

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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