New Irish language conversation circle for east Mayo

A NEW Ciorcal Comhrá, an Irish language conversation circle, is being set up in May.

A meeting takes place at the Moy Hotel, Foxford, on Saturday, February 4, at 12 noon and will return each Saturday at 12 noon.

Behind the initiative is Lauren Ní Mhaoileanaigh, Bohola, a Trinity College graduate who works as an executive with Gael Linn in Dublin.

She stated: “I am deeply passionate about our native language and promoting its use. The Irish language is a gift to anyone who is lucky enough to have it.

“Not only is it a major part of our culture, there are endless opportunities available to those who speak the language.

“I did not complete my primary or secondary education through the medium of Irish, nor did I grow up with Irish in my household. I fell in love with the language by chance and decided to study it in college.

“I took a year out upon completing the Leaving Cert and was eager to improve my language skills before beginning my degree.

“One of the key experiences that helped me grow my language ability was the Ciorcal Comhrá, which takes place every Wednesday at 11 am in the Linenhall, Castlebar.

“The idea of ​​a Ciorcal Comhrá (conversation circle) is for people to gather over a cup of coffee and simply enjoy a chat, as Gaeilge!

“There is no pressure to contribute to the conversation until you feel ready. It is a fabulous, relaxed environment for learners of all levels but is also an extremely enjoyable experience for fluent speakers.

“Not only did I notice my confidence grow while speaking Irish at the Ciorcal Comhrá, I have met so many fantastic people too. Even though I am now Dublin-based, I still look forward to dropping in when I am at home. This Ciorcal Comhrá has been and still is such an integral part of my learning experience.

“I wanted to give back and provide others with the opportunity to try out a Ciorcal Comhrá. It can be challenging for those working full-time and those attending school and college to take time out during the week for extra-curriculars such as a Ciorcal Comhrá.

“Therefore, I have decided to develop a Ciorcal Comhrá of my own. I hope that this can be of use to those who may not be available to attend others like it that take place around Mayo, or to those who want to attend another in the week.

“Brídín Ní Cheallaigh of Conradh na Gaeilge Mhaigh Eo and Fionnuala Nic Pháidín of Mayo County Council have been so supportive.

“I have been able to turn to them for advice and with any questions I have had while organizing this project. I am so grateful to them both. What they do to promote the use of our language is inspirational, to say the least.”

Everybody is welcome to the Foxford gathering.

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