LETTERKENNY businesses explored the countless benefits and opportunities of trading through Irish during a recent event held to promote the use of the language locally.
The drop-in networking event, hosted by Líonra Leitir Ceanainn, offered local businesses information and advice on how to avail of the many supports available such as the Foras na Gaeilge Business Support Scheme, the Glór na nGael GRADAIM business awards and the Letterkenny Chamber Gnó le Gaeilge Award.
Amongst those in attendance was Cijo Jose, who owns Royal Spice Land in Letterkenny. Mr Jose told the Donegal News that he plans to include Irish language signage in his popular Asian food store. He said this is an important step to welcome and encourage more local customers.
Sorcha McElhinney, Manager of the Doorway Project also attended the event. Promotion of the Irish language is part of the ethos of the community project based at the Long Lane.
Ms McElhinney said they have held Irish language youth clubs and classes in the past, and hope to again focus on the promotion of the language with the help of Líonra.
Other local businesses and organisations that attended included the Donegal ETB, Michael McGinty from professional web design company MeanIT, staff from the AIB branch in Letterkenny, Fionnuala Rabbitt, CEO Highland Radio and staff from the Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce.
Bairbre Uí Chathail, Irish Language Plan Coordinator at Líonra Leitir Ceanainn said that there was a massive interest from the local businesses in attendance.
She said from a practical pragmatic business angle, it makes sense to look at marketing, branding and signage in Irish.
“Research that Foras na Gaeilge carried out showed that even if something is slightly more expensive but it has Irish packaging on it, people were more inclined to buy it.
“That is because people have a sense of identification and a sense of ownership of it,” Ms Uí Chathail explained.
Last year the Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce worked closely with Líonra, together they developed the Gnó le Gaeilge Award, which encourages Donegal based businesses to trade though Irish.
The Chamber highly praised Bairbre Uí Chathail for her hard work and commitment to the promotion of the language locally.
“We love the level of promotion that they have for the Irish language regionally. They are a truly fantastic organisation for any business to get involved with if they are interested in using Irish in their business,” said Marie Shields, Business Development Executive with the Chamber.