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19 May 2022

Local Limerick group ignites a grá for the Irish language

Local Limerick group ignites a grá for the Irish language

Comhluadar Luimnigh members pictured at an event at Curraghchase organised by the network

COMHLUADAR Luimnigh is a small but thriving and growing community of people spread throughout the city and county who have an interest in the Irish language and want to be able to use Irish in their everyday life as much as possible.

Just up and running for the last four years, upwards of 200 people are now involved in the network “It is about providing the right opportunities in an accessible way, something that suits people’s lifestyles and is of interest,” says committee member and lecturer Róisín Ní Ghairbhí, explaining the concept behind the Comhluadar.

It organises events for both individuals and families such as sports days, coding workshops, coffee meet-ups and social outings for adults as well as annual Christmas, Halloween and St Patrick’s Day parties for families and individuals. Under Covid restrictions, many of these events were online.

“There been a real blossoming of Irish in the home in the last ten or 15 years,” says Róisín, and this is not confined to parents of children attending Gaelscoileanna. “It is coming from the parents themselves who have a strong sense of wanting their children to have access to Irish in their everyday life.”

Another aspect of Comhluadar’s activities is partnering with other organisations with several members providing opportunities to engage with the Irish language in GAA, camogie and Ladies Football clubs in Ahane, Adare, Pallasgreen and Mungret.

There have also been link-ups with the library service in the Granary, Dooradoyle and Adare and Comhluadar has also partnered with Conradh na Gaeilge, the University of Limerick and Mary Immaculate College.

Now, Comhluadar is on the cusp of a big breakthrough, as it prepares to appoint a full-time development officer.

“We came together informally at the beginning,” explains Róisín, and social media played an important role in building up the network, “The committee has been very effective but there is a limit to what people can do in a voluntary capacity,” she continues. “But to bring our organisation to the next level and to make sure we would be able to reach out to new communities and organisations, we need a full-time person.”

Happily, Comhluadar Luimnigh was successful in winning funding from Foras na Gaeilge, in what was a very competitive funding round. The grant will allow them to employ a full-time development officer for the next three years.

“We are now at a very exciting stage of development where we are ‘ready to grow and make an even bigger impact, in a more structured way” says Comhluadair’s cathaoirleach Breandán Ó hAnnaidh.

“The organisation is looking for someone with energy and passion to ‘Cuimhnigh ar Luimneach/ think about Limerick’ and help Comhluadar Luimnigh enact their three year plan for forging new Irish language networks in the city and county.”

A love for Limerick, and a passion for igniting a grá for the Irish language in Limerick communities are among the criteria for the job. ‘We are looking for someone with excellent social and organisational skills’ , says committee member Denis Kelly.

“This is a proactive role, in the community; the new officer will be building partnerships and planning and running events of all kinds - sporting, cultural and social events.”

In another happy partnership, Conradh na Gaeilge will give office space to the new development officer in their historic premises in Thomas St.

For more information on this position email eolas@comhluadarluimnigh.ie Applications close on January 28.

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