Minister McHugh’s love letter shows his ‘grá’ for the Irish language

first_imgDonegal Minister Joe McHugh has led the launch of a new initiative to show the love to the Irish Language for Bliain na Gaeilge.A love letter challenge and the events programme for the second half of Bliain na Gaeilge were launched this week in Oideas Gael, Gleann Cholm Cille, Donegal.The‘Litir Ghrá’ challenge encourages Irish language speakers and students in Gaeltacht summer colleges to reflect on their Irish journies. McHugh first set out to reimmerse himself in the Irish language in 2014, when was appointed as Minister of State with responsibility for Gaeltacht Affairs, but was not fluent. He went back to the classroom and soon discovered a love for the language.Donegal Bliain na Gaeilge Launch: Aodhán Mac Cormaic, Julian de Spáinn, Síomha Ní Ruairc, Aire Stáit don Ghaeilge don Ghaeltacht agus do na hOileáin Joe McHugh T.D., Pól Ó GallachóirGovernment Chief Whip and Minister of State for the Irish language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands, Joe McHugh T.D. wrote in his love letter:A chara,Thit mé i ngrá leis an Ghaeilge don chéad uair i 2014. Ní ghrá den chineál chomh luath is a leag muid súil ar a chéile a bhí ann mar gur thug sé ar ais droch-chuimhní de nár gcaidreamh roimhe sin. Rinne mé cinneadh an uair seo go ndéanfainn gach iarracht léi. Rinne mé cinneadh fosta a bheith beagáinín níos ionraice faoin am a chuaigh thart. Cosúil le B a fháil sa Ghaeilge ag gnáthleibhéal i mo Ardteist. Rinne mé cinneadh freisin nach gcuirfeadh mo iar- chaidreamh isteach ar mo chaidreamh nua. Agus thar achan rud eile, bhí mé ag iarraidh cur in iúl don domhan go raibh mé chun caidreamh buan agus fadtéarmach a bhaint amach.Mar sin, thosaigh an réiteach. Agus thosaigh rudaí ag teacht le chéile. Bhí mé ag foghlaim rudaí cosúil leis an sean-Ghaeilge ar ‘road’ ná ród. Agus gur tháinig ‘shanty towns’ ó sean-tithe agus tháinig abairtí cosúil le ‘do you dig it’ as ‘an dtuigeann tú, agus tháinig ‘smithereens’ ó smidiríní nó ‘galore’ ag teacht ó go leor.Go tobann, bhí mé tugtha leis an leagan nua seo agus don chéad uair tháinig an tuiscint go bhfuil ár dteanga i bhfad níos tabhachtaí ná uirlis cumarsáide. Ár stair atá i gceist. Ár nasc leis an t-am a chuaigh thart. Ár n-Oidhreacht. Agus an phribhléid iontach don léargas seo a bhaint amach.Mar sin, an bhfuil críoch shona anseo?Oh tá A chara,I fell in love with the Irish Language for the first time in 2014. It wasn’t love at first sight as it brought back very bad memories of a previous relationship. I decided this time I would make it work. I also decided to be a bit more open about my past. Like getting a B in pass Irish in my leaving Certificate. I also made a conscious decision that my new relationship wouldn’t be shaped by my past experiences. And most of all I wanted to tell the world that I was going to make this a lasting and long term relationship.So the ground work started. And things began to click. Learning things like the old old Irish for road is actually ród. And that Shanty towns came from Sean tithe (old houses) and phrases like ‘do you dig it’ came from ‘an dtuigeann tú (do you understand) and smithereens came from smidiríní’ or galore coming from go leor (plentiful)Suddenly I was addicted to this new set up and for the first time I started to understand that our Teanga is much more than a communication tool. It’s about our past. Our connection to our past. Ár n-Oidhreacht. Our Heritage and our legacy. And what a wonderful privilege to have experienced this insight.So, is there a happy ending here? Oh yes! JoeSpeaking at the launch, Minister McHugh said: “The Irish language has allowed me to believe in myself and believe in my county and to know and understand my county a lot more than I would have done if I hadn’t immersed myself in the language. It was the most wonderful experience ever.”Lynette Fay, Ambasadóir Bhliain na Gaeilge_ Joe McHugh, Aire Stáit don Ghaeilge don Ghaeltacht agus do na hOileáin_ Síomha Ní Ruairc, Comhordaitheoir Bhliain na GaeilgeAs well as the Minister, love letters from Eoghan McDermott, RTÉ 2fm, Lynette Fay BBC Radio Ulster, Micheál Ó Ciaraidh, TG4, were sent.Síomha Ní Ruairc, Bliain na Gaeilge Coordinator said: “Community groups from all over the world and schools in Ireland have been showing their love for An Ghaeilge through the various events they have already organised during Bliain na Gaeilge. This support will continue in the many events included in the Official Events Programme from July – December which is being launched today. “Many large groups such as Electric Picnic, the IRFU, GAA and FAI will also show their love of the language with the events and projects that they will be organising before the end of the year. For example, Raidió Rí-Rá, RTÉ 2fm and Conradh na Gaeilge will be sending a copy of the album CEOL 2018 (with songs in Irish from Wheatus, John Gibbons, The Coronas, Kodaline and many more) to every secondary school student this September. More information about Bliain na Gaeilge can be found at www.gaeilge2018.ie”There has been wide ranging participation in Bliain na Gaeilge in the first 6 months of the year, especially on social media. The official hashtag of the year #Gaeilge2018 has made 50 million impressions and the hashtag has been used in tweets in over 30 countries. These numbers are increasing steadily as the year progresses.Lynette Fay, Bliain na Gaeilge ambassador, was bean an tí at the launch today, and the speakers included the Chairman of Foras na Gaeilge, Pól Ó Gallchóir, the General Secretary of Conradh na Gaeilge, Julian de Spáinn, and the Bliain na Gaeilge Co-ordinator Síomha Ní Ruairc.Minister McHugh’s love letter shows his ‘grá’ for the Irish language was last modified: July 26th, 2018 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Bliain Na Gaeilge 2018irish languageMinister Joe McHughlast_img read more