Picture Special: Drama, music and poetry as Rann na Feirste celebrates Seachtain na Gaeilge

TO celebrate another fantastic year of Seachtain na Gaeilge the community of Rann na Feirste gathered at the Áislann Gaoth Dobhair recently.

The committee from Club Óige Rann na Feirste organised a weekend filled with drama, music and poetry.

They had great help and support from local Irish language organisations Múintearas, Seachtain na Gaeilge, Foras na Gaeilge and Meitheal Pleanála Teanga.


The event was opened with a presentation ceremony followed by the Club Oige Rann na Feirste Pearsa na Bliana Award which was presented to Sarah Rua Nic Grianna.

Her son Donnacha O’Baoill collected the award on her behalf.

The children from Scoil Oilibhéir Pluincéid then shared brilliant performances of their well-rehearsed plays and poetry with their proud parents who watched from the packed audience.

The special guests at the opening included Bríd Anna Ni Bhaoill, Óisin Mac Eo, Donall Mac Giolla Bhride, John Ó’Dónaill, Caolán Mac Grianna, Donall Ó Cnaimsi, and Rose Ní Dhonaill.

Seachtain na Gaeilge is an important celebration of Ireland’s native language and culture.

It offers an opportunity to show people that Gaeilge is a living language throughout the country and abroad, but most importantly in Gaeltacht areas.

The two week festival runs from the start of March to St Patrick’s Day every year.


Its main aim is to promote the language as well as inspire and encourage people to speak or learn Irish, even if it’s just cúpla focal.

With the festival growing from strength to strength in recent years, its duration has been extended from a week (or a seachtain) to a jam packed fortnight.

But the brand name remains the same because it is so widely recognised since its launch in 1902.

Last week saw the Irish language head to the hills, not of Donegal but Hollywood for the Oscars with the cinematic masterpiece An Cailín Ciúin.

It was the first Irish-language feature film ever to secure an Academy Award nomination.

Closer to home and five celebrities challenged themselves to learning more than just a cúpla focal during an immersion course at Coláiste Bhríde, Rann na Feirste in Réaltáí na Gaeltachta which aired on RTÉ One during Seachtain na Gaeilge.

Locals became well acquainted with sports broadcaster Des Cahill, Tik Tok star Lauren Whelan, comedian Fred Cooke, Mayo footballer-turned-AFL-player Oisín Mullin and writer Amanda Brunker who spent a week reconnecting with their native language in the gorgeous Donegal Gaeltacht.

They stayed with two local Bean an Tí, Caitlín Nóra Frainc and Maighread Mhic Grianna, they danced the night away at ceilís and got stuck in to their copy books during intensive Irish classes with Múinteoir Niall Ó Sluain.

It was a fantastic opportunity for locals to showcase the beauty of the Gaeltacht region and their beloved language to a national audience.

Caolan O’Donaill all smiles on stage in the drama at the opening of Deireadh Seachtain na Gaeilge in Rann na Feirste.

Platform guests at the opening of Deireadh Seachtain na Gaeilge in Rann na Feirste – Brid Anna Ni Bhaoill, Oisin Mac Eo, Donall Mac Giolla Bhride, John O’Donaill, Caolan Mac Grianna, Donall O Cnaimsi agus Rose Ni Dhonaill.

Annemarie Ui Shuilleabhain (right) presenting flowers to Rose Ni Dhonaill.

The Club Oige Rann na Feirste Pearsa na Bliana award was presented to Sarah Rua Nic Grianna. Her son Donnchadh accepted the award on her behalf from Brid Anna Ni Bhaoill.

Eva, James and Francesca Doherty at Deireadh Seachtain na Gaeilge in Rann na Feirste.

Helen Sweeney with daughters Hollie, Stephanie, and Torrie in Rann na Feirste at the weekend for Deireadh Seachtain na Gaeilge.

Cliodhna Kavanagh, Caitriona Campbell, Mary O’Donnell, and Eabha Campbell at Deireadh Seachtain na Gaeilge in Rann na Feirste.

Rose Ni Dhonaill, John O’Donaill, Maureen Ni Fhearraigh, and Oisin Mac Eo.

Bridie Gallagher and daughter Eillen smile for the camera in Rann na Feirste enjoying the Deireadh Seachtain na Gaeilge weekend.

Orla Ni Dhonaill and Ciaran O’Baoill with their furry elephant friend at Deireadh Seachtain na Gaeilge in Rann na Feirste.

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