Declan Hannon and Paul Conroy at the Croke Park launch
LIMERICK All-Ireland winning captain Declan Hannon has been appointed an ambassadors for the GAA’s campaign to encourage members and people who attend games to wear the Fáinne.
The Adare man was back Croke Park this week for the launch of the new GAA initiative, along with Galway footballer Paul Conroy.
Adare's Hannon who has a cúpla focal Gaeilge will be the GAA’s ambassador for the Fáinne Airgid, the silver Fáinne that signifies some level of proficiency in Irish.
The gold Fáinne or the Fáinne Óir signifies that a person has fluent Irish and Conroy, a fluent Irish speaker, is the ambassador for that Fáinne.
"The Irish language is a massive part of our culture and heritage, and its definitely at the back of my mind a lot of the time when I’m going to different events, that you have your ‘cúpla focal’ and you’re able to converse a bit with the Gaelgeoirs that’ll be at these events and give it the respect it deserves,’’ said Declan Hannon at the launch.
At the announcement of the plan GAA President, John Horan said that thousands of members of the Association are Irish speakers and regularly attend games. The GAA would like to encourage these people to wear the Fáinne so as they can identify other Irish speakers and subsequently for more Irish to be spoken at games and events organised by the Association.
This initiative is being undertaken in partnership with Gael Linn and Conradh na Gaeilge, the national Irish language organisations that supply and distribute the Fáinne.
Events and competitions are planned for the year ahead to promote the Fáinne and members and counties throughout the country will be encouraged to take part.
At the announcement of the plan GAA President, John Horan, who is himself currently attending a higher-level Irish class in Croke Park, said the Irish language has a very important role in the GAA.
"Every week thousands of Irish speaking members attend our games and there is no doubt that more Irish would be spoken at these games if Irish speakers could identify one another. We hope this plan will encourage people to wear the Fáinne," said Horan.
The Fáinne can be purchased from Gael Linn https://siopa.gael-linn.ie/ga/an-fáinne and from Conradh na Gaeilge at https://www.cnag.ie/ga/scoileanna/acmhainní-scoile/fainne.html