GNÓ Mhaigh Eo, in association with Conradh na Gaeilge, are launching a scheme in Caisleán an Bharraigh this summer that will see businesses in the town offer their services ‘as Gaeilge’ to those who wish to use their cúpla focal on a regular basis.
The scheme is being launched following the great success of its implementation in Claremorris, with Ballina and Westport earmarked to also introduce the scheme in the near future.
The idea of the ‘Oscail an Doras’ campaign is to create an environment where people feel comfortable using the Irish they have, in a natural, relaxed setting.
“I think people are sometimes hesitant to use the Irish they have for fear of being judged, or for fear of making a mistake. The idea of this scheme is to eliminate those fears, to create a more open attitude to the use of Irish in the town and, in turn, enhance the presence and use of the language across the county,” said Daithí Ó Gallachóir, development officer with Gnó Mhaigh Eo.
“It’s time to acknowledge the fact that we have over 56,000 Irish speakers i Maigh Eo. Tá said lán abálta Gaeilge a labhairt, anois tá sé in am dúinn scéim a chur le chéile chun freastal orthu, to give them the opportunity to practise and improve their fluency in their native language”.
The scheme will see at least 15 businesses take part, where certain employees will volunteer as the designated Irish speaker and provide their services to the public ‘as Gaeilge’.
For many of us, our experience with Irish stopped at the classroom door, but with this latest initiative the people of Castlebar will see the language integrated amongst private enterprises in the town.
“This is a very innovative scheme that has a proven track record, following its adoption in Claremorris. Now is the chance to once again break down some of the barriers associated with the Irish language, to take it to the public and make it more accessible and more engaging.”
Speaking ahead of the launch of the scheme, Freda Nic Giolla Chatháin, CEO of Gnó Mhaigh Eo, said: “Cleachtadh a dhéanann máistreacht (practice makes perfect), and with a little more cleachtadh, Maigh Eo can become a stronghold for the provision of Irish language services in the private sector.
“The scheme will be officially launched in early June, agus tá muid cinnte go n-éireoidh go geall léi!
“We have identified a number of willing participants, but we feel there might be plenty more out there that we are unaware of, so we ask any cainteoirí Gaeilge to contact us if they would like to be part of this innovative scheme in the town.”
To find out more, or to offer up your seirbhísí, dean teagmháil le Gnó Mhaigh Eo on (094) 9010140 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.