A picture of Liam Ó Dochartaigh at the UL event
Liam Ó Dochartaigh at the special event to mark 21 years of Aonad na Gaeilge, the Irish Language Centre at University of Limerick
Friday, September 16, 2022

A special event has taken place to mark 21 years of Aonad na Gaeilge, the Irish Language Centre at University of Limerick.

As the University marks its fiftieth anniversary this year, the organisers were very lucky to have Liam Ó Dochartaigh, a stalwart in the history of the University - and Thomond College/NIHE - present to give a wonderfully rousing interview on his life and fond memories of UL.

The event was held in the Bourn Vincent Gallery this Thursday where Cúirt an Mheán Oíche / Midnight Court, a visualisation of Brian Merriman’s poem, by Pauline Bewick is being exhibited until October 7.

To document the story of the promotion of the Irish language in Thomond College of Education (TCE) and in UL over the years, the celebration opened with a live public oral history interview with Liam Ó Dochartaigh.

At the time of the amalgamation of TCE in UL, Liam tried to ensure that the foundations laid in TCE in relation to Irish as an academic field, Irish in teacher education, and having an Irish language presence on campus, would be secured and safely transferred into UL. This was by no means guaranteed at the time, but it was achieved, and Liam is extremely gratified to see how Irish had prospered on the Plassey campus since his time.

RIAN, a series of 21 short videos was also launched as part of the event. RIAN, meaning to leave a mark or trace, celebrates innovation and impact in teaching and learning, language support, research, and community engagement at Aonad na Gaeilge 2001-2022, and the growing support of University of Limerick for the Irish language.

The inspirational address given by the late Professor Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin at the 10th anniversary celebration of Aonad na Gaeilge in 2011 was shown during the launch and warmly received by the audience. This address has been packaged as one of three feature videos from archived material in the RIAN series.

The second feature provides an overview of how Aonad na Gaeilge has showcased the life and work of Pádraig Ó Siochfhradha, An Seabhac over the years; while the third is from a more recent event, that of the launch of the Limerick Knowledge for Change Hub in 2019, a global UNESCO initiative which promotes and values the Irish language in university-community partnerships and projects.

Students, staff, researchers, community partners, and members of the public who have engaged with the Centre in various ways over the 21-year period participated in the RIAN series.  

RIAN captures stories of some of those, who through their interactions with Aonad na Gaeilge, chose new directions in personal or professional lives – for example a change of occupation, becoming new speakers of Irish, deciding to raise children through Irish and so on. It also documents stories of well-being, growing confidence and belonging to a vibrant language community.

RIAN was produced by Dr Deirdre Ní Loingsigh, Stiúrthóir na Gaeilge and Ciara Considine, Oifigeach Margaíochta and Riarthóir Feidhmiúcháin in conjunction with Crude Media. It features photography by Maurice Gunning and Éalú, a track from the Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh and Pádraig Rynne Aeons album.

The RIAN series (21 videos) will be released from September 15 – December 15 on the Aonad na Gaeilge Vimeo channel and social media as part of the UL50 programme of events. The project is funded by HEA Special Provision for the Support of the Irish Language 2021.

For more, contact: deirdre.niloingsigh@ul.ie or ciara.considine@ul.ie.

21 bliain ag tacú le pobal na teanga Ceiliúradh Aonad na Gaeilge, Ollscoil Luimnigh

Rinneadh ceiliúradh ar bhliain is fiche d’Aonad na Gaeilge, Ollscoil Luimnigh ar an bhfód Déardaoin, 15 Meán Fómhair 2022, bliain ina bhfuil an leathchéad (1972-2022) á chomóradh ag an Ollscoil chomh maith.  Tionóladh an ócáid i nDánlann Bourn Vincent, ionad ina bhfuil Cúirt an Mheán Oíche / Midnight Court le Pauline Bewick ar taispeáint go dtí 7 Deireadh Fómhair.

Cuireadh tús iontach spéisiúil leis an ócáid cheiliúrtha 21 le hagallamh beo ar Liam Ó Dochartaigh, iarchomhghleacaí Ollscoile, mar gheall ar a shaol gairmiúil san Ollscoil, agus a chuid stocaireachta ar son na Gaeilge san Institiúid ach go háirithe.  Cúis áthais do Liam an borradh atá tagtha ar an nGaeilge san Ollscoil ó bunaíodh Aonad na Gaeilge.

Seoladh RIAN, sraith de fhíseáin ghearra mar chuid den chlár imeachtaí chomh maith.  Déantar ceiliúradh sa tsraith ar thionscantacht Aonad na Gaeilge, Ollscoil Luimnigh agus ar thionchar obair an Aonaid ar chúrsaí teagaisc agus foghlama, tacaíocht teanga agus ar an gcomhpháirteachas pobail sa tréimhse 2001-2022.

Seinneadh an t-aitheasc spreagúil ar thug an tOllamh Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, nach maireann, ag ceiliúradh 10 mbliana Aonad na Gaeilge (2011) mar chuid den teacht le chéile 21ú, agus d’imigh sin i bhfeidhm ar gach éinne. Tá an scannán seo i measc trí fhíseán de chuid RIAN atá bunaithe ar ábhar ó chartlann na hOllscoile. Seoid eile atá sa chnuasach ná físeán a léiríonn iarrachtaí chun saol agus saothar an tSeabhaic (Pádraig Ó Siochfhradha) a chur i mbéal an phobail thar na blianta. Baineann an triú físeán le bunú Mhol Knowledge for Change (K4C) Luimnigh sa bhliain 2019, togra UNESCO domhanda a chuireann luach na Gaeilge chun cinn i gcomhpháirtíochtaí agus i dtograí ollscoile-pobail.

Mic léinn, baill foirne, taighdeoirí, páirtnéirí pobail agus baill den phobal a phléigh leis an Aonad i slite éagsúla thar na blianta atá le feiscint sa chuid eile den tsraith RIAN. Scéalta faoin tionchar ar imir a gcuid teagmhála le tograí an Aonaid orthu atá sna ráitis. Leagann cuid mhaith de na rannpháirtithe an-bhéim ar na deiseanna líonraithe agus tacaíochta a bhíonn acu mar chuid de phobal an Aonaid ach go háirithe.

Léiritheoirí na sraithe RIAN ná An Dr. Deirdre Ní Loingsigh, Stiúrthóir na Gaeilge agus Ciara Considine, Oifigeach Margaíochta & Riarthóir Feidhmiúcháin, Aonad na Gaeilge i gcomhpháirt le  Crude Media, Luimneach. Íomhánna le Maurice Gunning atá le feiscint sa chnuasach agus an t-amhrán Éalú ón albam Aeons le Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh & Pádraig Rynne atá mar fhuaimrian leis.

Tá blaisín RIAN ar fáil ANSEO

Is ag an nasc sin agus ar na meáin shóisialta a fhoilseofar na físeáin ar fad (21 físeán) idir 15 Meán Fómhair agus 15 Nollaig 2022 mar chuid de chlár imeachtaí UL50. Tá an tSraith maoinithe ag an Scéim Soláthar Speisialta don Ghaeilge ag an Údarás um Ard-Oideachas 2021. 

Teagmháil: deirdre.niloingsigh@ul.ie/ciara.considine@ul.ie.