Clondalkin area in the running to receive Irish language recognition

By Aideen O'Flaherty

CLONDALKIN has been named as one of only five places on the island of Ireland, outside of the Gaeltacht, that is now in the running to receive official recognition for supporting the daily use of the Irish language in their community.

The use of Irish in Clondalkin has been steadily increasing following ambitious efforts by Muintir Chrónáin, the group who run the Áras Chrónáin Irish Cultural Centre in Clondalkin, to engage the community in learning a cúpla focal and to encourage the use of Irish.

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Last week representatives from the five communities which are all outside of Gaeltacht areas, with Clondalkin being the only area in the capital that has made it to the shortlist, were at the launch of Gaeilge le Cheile in Croke Park.

The areas have been selected to make an application to the Minister of State for Gaeilge, Gaeltacht and the Islands, Joe McHugh TD, in order to be officially recognised as an Irish Language Network area.

Brian Ó Gáibhín from Áras Chrónáin told The Echo: “This is a new scheme, and we’re one of the first five towns to be selected to go forward to achieve recognition as an Irish Language Network area.

“The launch was fantastic, and it was lovely to be selected – it’s recognition of all of the hard work that Muintir Chrónáin has done over the years.”

He added: “Clondalkin won’t be a Gaeltacht, we’re just trying to get Irish to be more widely spoken here.

“The whole area of Clondalkin won’t become fluent, but we hope that the Irish language will be more visible and audible here.”

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Former boxer Bernard Dunne

Next step

The next step will be for Clondalkin to develop an Irish Language Plan which will be implemented over the next five to seven years, and now locals are being encouraging to follow three easy steps, to use Irish every day, everywhere, with everyone.

Mr Ó Gáibhín explained: “I firmly believe that if people take that first step, they’ll be more receptive to further steps.”

He added: “It would be fantastic if we could achieve recognition as an Irish Language Network area.

“We’re trying to encourage people to be prouder of their language and heritage, we believe it will really benefit the community.”

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