A LIFE-LONG immersion in and passion for an Gaeilge culminated in an Oireachtas award for Rathkeale-born Irish language journalist Seán Tadhg Ó Gairbhí. Seán Tadhg was presented with the Journalist/Columnist of the Year award at a function in Galway at the weekend.
The son of Mary and Seán Garvey, Seán Tadhg has worked in Irish language journalism for the past 12 years and is the newly appointed editor of Comhar, the Irish literary and political monthly which last year celebrated its 70th anniversary.
But, Seán Tadhg explained this Wednesday, the award was mainly for his journalism in The Irish Times, where he is a regular contributor of news articles, features and opinion pieces. And he welcomed the recent decision of that newspaper to publish one page as Gaeilge every Wednesday. “There is no Irish language newspaper in Ireland now,” he said.
But he was delighted with his award. “With TG4 the written word tends to be overlooked and it is good the Oireachtas awards recognise that,” he said.
Seán Tadhg began his journalism career with Foinse, which closed as a separate entity in 2009, and now works on a freelance basis and as editor of Comhar.
“My father is a very proud Kerryman and my mother taught Irish for many years. We always spoke Irish and we were sent to the Gaeltacht as children,” he said.
Educated at primary level in Rathkeale and later in Ard Scoil Ris, he graduated in Irish and English from UCG in 2001 and has continued to live in Galway since, where he is now married to Connemara woman, Emer Ni Dhomhnaill. They have one daughter.