MINISTER of State for the Gaeltacht, Dinny McGinley, T.D., welcomed nine U.S. Citizens to Gleann Cholm Cille, Donegal today (Monday).
The Americans are winners of the Gaeltacht Summer Awards grant and are now studying Irish in Oideas Gael. These awards are grants from the Ireland-United States (Fulbright) Commission for Educational Exchange and offer U.S. citizens, currently studying Irish in the United States, funding to participate in Irish language courses in Ireland’s Gaeltachtaí during the summer.
The awards are supported by the Department of Arts, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht and the National Lottery. Awardees have received a monetary award, which covers tuition and accommodation for the course of their choice in Ireland, but are responsible for their own travel and other related costs.
The nine students are; Jessica Alden (Howard University), Emma Carlson (New York University), Barbara Cunningham (University of Texas at San Antonio), Paul Ferris ( Daltaí na Gaeilge), Maggie McGwin (Univesity of Wisconsxin-Milwaukee), Audrey Nickel, Michael O’Regan and Karen Reshkin (At Large).
The nine awardees are among a group of 30 total awardees who will study in Gaeltachtaí throughout Ireland this summer, includingAcadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, Carraroe, Co. Galway; International Summer School, National University of Ireland, Galway, Carraroe, Co. Galway; and Oidhreacht Chorca Dhuibhne, Ballyferriter, Co. Kerry.
Commenting on the awards, Minister McGinley said, “I am thrilled to welcome the Americans to Oideas Gael this summer. The Gaeltacht Summer Awards are a creative and important opportunity to support the Irish language, both at home and abroad. The connection between Ireland and the U.S. has always been strong, but especially in the year of the Gathering I am delighted to see so many people interested in reconnecting with their heritage through the Irish language.”
Ms. Colleen Dube, Executive Director of the Ireland-United States (Fulbright) Commission for Educational Exchange also commented on the awards, saying, “the Gaeltacht Summer Awards offer U.S. citizens a wonderful opportunity to study the Irish language in a Gaeltacht region. Now in their third year, the strength of the applications and amount of interest continues to grow. We are thrilled to be able to offer, in partnership with our sponsors and the awardees themselves, this unparalleled immersion experience.”
The Gaeltacht Summer Awards are annual awards for U.S. Citizens to come to Ireland to study the Irish language. Applications typically open in the spring for a summer start. For more information please see www.fulbright.ie.