Congratulations to all of the schools and students who took part in 'Gaeilge 24' recently. Photographs from Gaelscoil Chill Dara, Gaelcholáiste Chill Dara and Coláiste Ghlór na Mara can be seen below.
More than 20,000 students all over the country took part in the Gaeilge24 challenge this year on 11th November – speaking Gaeilge non stop for a full 24 hours. This is the third year it has taken place and this year saw more people than ever taking part. Pupils from every county in the country were speaking only Gaeilge for the day in school, at home, in shops, with their friends and with their families.
This challenge is a great way to encourage school pupils and the general public to use the language more often in their everyday lives. Gaeilge24 normalises the language. It was the participants themselves who spread Gaeilge wherever they went, urging others to speak Gaeilge with them and support them by using their own cúpla focal throughout the day.
This year saw a certain emphasis on Gaeilge on social media – it’s worth following #Gaeilge24 on twitter to see the reactions and thoughts of the people taking part, state minister Joe McHugh included.
According to all the feedback, the school pupils really enjoyed the day. A couple of schools managed to organise Gaelach tours for the day, to ensure that only Gaeilge would be spoken by the students. Other schools like Gaelscoil Chill Dara did a “sleepover” in the school to achieve the full 24 hours.
Not only were school pupils in Ireland taking part in the challenge – there was interest worldwide, with a group from Toronto University in Canada taking part as well, and one lone person in Australia who was determined to complete the challenge on his own!.
Aodhán Ó Deá, Development Director at Conradh na Gaeilge, said:
“We’re delighted with the incredible growth the challenge has shown, with 20,000 taking part this year. It’s clear the pupils wanted to speak Gaeilge for the day, and the challenge is a great way to show them that they can do it.
We sent thousands of t shirts to pupils all over the country, from them to wear them on the day and draw attention to the challenge. We’re very happy that State Minister McHugh took part as well – I’m certain Joe and the other 20,000 who took part in Gaeilge 24 this year enjoyed and benefited from speaking Gaeilge for 24 hours!”
Minister for Gaeltacht Affairs, Joe McHugh, said at the launch of the challenge:
“I was happy to take part in this inspiring challenge organised by Conradh na Gaeilge. I strongly believe that there’s no better way to learn the language than to speak it.”