Thank You Réaltín, for a Special Lá na Gaeilge

Word of the ICC’s Language Day in May 2022 drew Irish Language enthusiasts from Manchester, England; Toulouse, France; and various towns throughout western Massachusetts, New York, and Connecticut. More than sixty people attended our annual event on Zoom.

Although we would have preferred to engage our learners in person, the technology enabled participants to listen to, ask questions of, and think about four fabulous presentations that focused on the placenames, food, language, and music of the Inishowen Peninsula in Ireland. Paddy Doherty, William McElhinney, Manchán Magan and Clodagh Warnock gave thoughtful and spirited presentations.

Réaltín Nic Giolla Chainnigh organized the theme, recruited the speakers, and flawlessly managed the day’s events. A native of the peninsula, her love and pride of place and language was evident through her selection of presenters. By the end of the day, participants had a deeper appreciation and understanding of the cultural ties that bind Inishowen’s inhabitants together.

The feedback from the day was very positive. Several participants noted that the speakers were offering ways to slow down and observe the importance of simple pleasures. Take the time to consider a townland’s name; be thankful for eating the natural bounty of the area with family. Listen to traditional music, live sustainably, and be connected to the landscape.

Each presentation is on the ICC’s YouTube channel.  Make time to watch them if you were unable to attend the day.

Joe O’Reilly from Manchester was surprised to see the great support from the general Springfield area. He particularly enjoyed the presentation on placenames and the new word that he learned – spág. Come to our Irish language classes, and you can learn what it means. Deirdre Godfrey, a language student from Chicopee, found the day to be “incredibly stimulating and fascinating. It was quite difficult to turn off the computer and reenter daily life.”

The program’s impact was felt by many people united by a love of the language and culture. Réaltín’s management of the process was greatly appreciated. She admirably fulfilled her role as the cultural ambassador from Inishowen.

– Written by ICC Language Instructor Gerald Costello

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