It’s a well-known fact that the Leaving Cert Irish syllabus doesn’t agree with everyone. Maybe you got lucky and went to a Gaelscoil, or had an opportunity to actually engage with the literature on a level beyond being able to recite Géibheann in your sleep.
For a startling majority though, Irish isn’t so much an exercise in language learning as it is in rote learning, with a large amount of people not even encouraged to speak it outside of their oral exam. As someone who has studied Irish both inside and outside the Gaeltacht, I’ve seen firsthand the massive difference this makes in approaching the language. Enthusiasm is key, people.
Perhaps you’re thinking that your Irish-language ship has sailed, with the signatories of the proclamation waving forlornly from the deck. Maybe you feel like Gaeilge only has a faint, waning pulse, and there’s no point in engaging with it. I am delighted to tell you that this isn’t the case.
For anyone who has the slightest flicker of interest in this beautiful language we call our own, arriving at Trinity College can open an array of exciting doors — the most exciting being the door to Conradh na Gaeilge. Nestled beneath the madness of Harcourt Street, the Conradh is a place filled with reasonably priced pints and Gaeilgeoirs galore.
It’s a place where knowing all the words to C’est La Vie by B*witched can forge lifelong friendships. What’s not to like? Gaeilge is very much alive in Dublin city, and there are plenty of young people who are wholeheartedly dedicated to keeping it this way. Pop-up Gaeltachts occur frequently in pubs and clubs all over Dublin, enticing young Irish speakers from all over the city.
Gaeilge-oriented music festivals sweep the city, and the Irish-language music scene is chock full of incredible acts, honoured once a year by the Nós Awards, an evening which promises fantastic Gaelic contemporary music.
Trinity’s Cumann Gaelach is definitely the society to join for all things Gaeilge, and this year they are really spoiling you lucky kids. The Cumann Gaelach are beyond excited for all you young ‘uns to arrive and to show you the time of your lives.
Be sure to go visit the stand during the Freshers’ Fair. They don’t care whether you are a proud fáinne óir owner or a proud speaker of the cúpla focal. They want nothing more than to welcome you into Trinity’s dysfunctional but lovable teaghlach. We are ar bís to meet you all.