The New Irish/Na Nua-Éireannaigh: Pop up to the Pop-Up Gaeltacht
2018-12-01 13:43:57 -


By Jessica Ní Mháirtín


You’ve heard of the Gaeltacht – but have you ever heard of the Pop-up Gaeltacht?

For those of you that have attended, it was surely an unforgettable experience. And for those of you that don’t know what this new revelation is, clear the last Thursday of this month in your calendar because that’s when the next one is happening.

In a nutshell, the event takes place at a different pub once every month in this-far successful attempts to gather large crowds of Irish speakers.

The people who attend range from those of all nationalities who are fluent in the language to those who are attempting to use their ‘cúpla focal’ — and it’s the best craic ever.

The initiative was begun by Osgur Ó Ciardha and Peadar Ó Caomhánaigh, who both felt that there was an urgent demand for a new and more social way for people to have a chat as Gaeilge, outside of education or work.

Osgur tells Metro Éireann about the crowd that gathers at these events. “As you would imagine, most of the people that attend the Pop-Up Gaeltachts in Dublin are Irish, but that’s not to say there aren’t any immigrants attending.

“I’ve met English, American, French, Polish, Scottish and Albanian people [at the events] who have all had different levels of ability and interests.”

Osgur says that anyone learning a new language should have “a basic understanding of grammar and phonetics”. He advises going to for free language learning resources, and searching for the hashtag #DIYGaeilge on Twitter where learners will have more advice and suggestions available.

The diversity of nationalities creates opportunities to expand cultural understanding of not just the Irish but of immigrants who are settling into Ireland.

In an interview with RTÉ, Peadar described how disheartening it was to see across all platforms of media that there was no way forward in a social aspect for the Irish language.

“We were looking at a lot of stuff in the media that was basically, telling us that we — urban Irish speakers who use the language daily and outside the education system, or crucially outside of paid, Irish language — didn’t exist. That felt like a kick in the face to our identity.

“People were writing in national newspapers that we were literally worthless. That’s rubbish. We decided as an answer to show that we simply existed,” said Peadar.

It seems in recent times that Irish speakers are willing to speak the language more openly and there have been small communities outside the Gaeltacht areas across the country that are focused on speaking Irish.

These communities are progressing naturally, and although there are many other languages in Ireland now than before, there are more Gaelscoils and Meánscoileanna lán-Ghaeilge than ever. At the same time, people from different nationalities living here in Ireland are open to learning the language.

The Pop-Up Gaeltacht idea isn’t just limited to Dublin — they’re appearing all over the country. For details on upcoming events, look for popupgael on Facebook or Twitter - and maybe make some new Gaeilge friends along the way. Bain taitneamh as!


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