Seachtain na Gaeilge 2024 in Fingal Celebrated with a fantastic concert in County Hall

The Atrium in County Hall Swords came alive to the melodious sounds of traditional music at a ‘Ceol, Craic agus Gaeilge’ celebration for Seachtain na Gaeilge on Wednesday, March 13, 2024.

Seachtain na Gaeilge County Hall 24 - 9

The Atrium in County Hall Swords came alive to the melodious sounds of traditional music at a ‘Ceol, Craic agus Gaeilge’ celebration for Seachtain na Gaeilge on Wednesday, March 13, 2024. Brought to you by Fingal County Council and the Seamus Ennis Arts Centre the concert was attended by Mayor of Fingal Cllr Adrian Henchy, Chief Executive AnnMarie Farrelly, Councillors Paul Mulville and Darragh Butler as well as a hugely enthusiastic audience. The entertainment was provided by three hugely accomplished musicians, Ellie Níc Fhionnghaile, Dónal Kearney and Fergus Cahillane

Ellie Níc Fhionnghaile is a traditional fiddle player and singer from Gleann Cholm Cille, a Gaeltacht in Southwest Donegal where she learned from local musicians such as the late James Byrne, Mick Brown and the late Cití Seaín Uí Chuinneagáin.  Dónal Kearney is a singer from County Down formerly a soloist with ANÚNA who has made Fingal his home and is co-founder of the Irish Institute of Music & Song in Balbriggan and of Skerries Folk Club.  Fergus Cahillane who performs under the moniker FARÓ is the host of the TSEAC Singing Sessions and has toured across the U.S, Europe and Asia as both singer and multi-instrumentalist.

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It was a wonderful evening where the singers performed their beautiful, often ancient Irish songs and shared the stories behind them in both Irish and English with the delighted audience, some of whom joined in with songs of their own.  Also in attendance was Alannah, one of the recipients of the Fingal County Council Gaeltacht Scholarship Scheme.  In a new scheme introduced in 2024 Fingal County Council awarded 10 partial Gaeltacht Scholarships of €500 each to Second Level Students.  There was huge interest in the scheme with over 500 applicants and it is in intended to make this an annual award.

Ellie Níc Fhionnghaile who grew up in the Gaeltacht, congratulated Alannah and assured her she would have a fantastic time on her course. She talked about a family she knew who had started going to the Gaeltacht and now the tradition had followed through to their children and their own families who returned to the same area every year as the love of the Gaeltacht and the language was passed down through the generations.

Gaeltacht Scholarship 2024 Alannah

Mayor of Fingal Cllr Adrian Henchy spoke of his own efforts to improve his Irish language skills and he praised the work being done by Fingal County Council through Chief Executive AnnMarie Farrelly and Irish Officer Bernie Kelly, in relation to promoting the language including through events like this during Seachtain na Gaeilge and through the Gaeltacht Scholarship scheme. 

Mayor Henchy continued: ‘Seachtain Na Gaeilge is an opportunity for everyone, even those of you who might be new to the language, to embrace it and try the Cúpla Focal. I am delighted to see the enthusiasm for the language here tonight I would like to compliment you on the work you are all doing to promote the language in your own communities and households in Fingal.’

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Speaking about Seachtain na Gaeilge, Chief Executive of Fingal County Council, AnnMarie Farrelly, said: “Our language and culture are very important and it is wonderful to celebrate and support this with the many events taking place during Seachtain na Gaeilge. We also provide training for staff and I am pleased to say that another 14 of our Staff have just commenced the Certificate in Professional Irish course.  I would also like to compliment all the fantastic community groups in Fingal who are working to promote the language not just during Seachtain na Gaeilge but throughout the year."

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Fingal Libraries also hosted many events for Seachtain na Gaeilge including traditional music sessions, Bodhran Beats workshops, family storytime, folklore stories, bilingual poetry and an opportunity to view Ar Ais Arís Film in Irish on 3D headsets.  Other events included a bilingual walk in Ardgillan Demesne, a pop Gaeltacht and showing of An Tine Bheo in the Seamus Ennis Arts Centre and many more events throughout the county.


Seachtain na Gaeilge 24 County Hall -06
Seachtain na Gaeilge 24 County Hall