On Thursday evening, 28th February 2008, the launch of Seachtain na Gaeilge 2008 in Mayo took place at Ireland West Airport Knock. The festival was officially launched by Seán Bán Breathnach of RTE’s Radio na Gaeltachta and Celebrity You’re a Star. The master of ceremonies for the night was Radio na Gaeltachta presenter, Mattie Joe Sheamuis. Seachtain na Gaeilge is a National Festival organised by Conradh na Gaeilge and activities in Mayo are being co-ordinated by Togra Mhaigh Eo of Conradh na Gaeilge in conjunction with Coiste Dúiche Mhaigh Eo. This year’s festival will be celebrated from the 3rd to the 17th March. The festival promises to an action filled fortnight with a comprehensive series of events featuring music, song, dance, games, sport and fun activities taking place in towns, villages, museums, libraries, schools and sport pitches throughout County Mayo to celebrate all that is good of our national language and culture.
Commenting at the launch, Máirtín G. Ó Maicín, Chairperson, Coiste Duiche Mhaigh Eo said: “Seachtain na Gaeilge is organised on a national basis and is in being since the early eighties. Togra Mhaigh Eo are delighted to be associated with what is one of the most successful ventures ever undertaken in this county, namely Ireland West Airport Knock founded by Monsignor James Horan. Management and staff at the Airport have been very supportive of the launch as this is the first time that Seachtain na Gaeilge has had such a high profile launch in the county. Having Ireland West Airport Knock as our launch venue has given Seachtain na Gaeilge a whole new image; an image of prosperity and success; an image of progression and hope; an image of limitless possibilities and a bright future. Seachtain na Gaeilge and Ireland West Airport represent progress, and a clear vision.”
Ireland West Airport Knock believes it has a duty to successfully harness the use of the Irish language as a means to enhance Irish culture, values and to build on its customer-relationship, as the Airport is the international airport for the many Gaeltachta areas of Mayo, Galway, and Donegal. Therefore it is not a rare occurrence to hear families or friends greet each other or say good bye to one another at the Airport in Ireland’s Mother tongue. Ireland West Airport Knock supports and values the use of the Irish language.
Speaking at the launch as Gaeilge, Mr Liam Scollan, Group Managing Director, Ireland West Airport Knock said: “The Board, Management and staff of Ireland West Airport Knock are delighted to support this wonderful festival which promotes our national language. Ireland West Airport Knock is built on a foundation of Irish history and culture therefore our language and culture are part of what we are. It is a priority as part of our business objectives to promote and support the Irish language in the day to day running of the Airport; examples of the Airport’s bilingualism can be seen throughout the Airport on signage and will be even more evident on the new forthcoming website. On behalf of Ireland West Airport Knock I wish Seachtain na Gaeilge 2008 in Mayo every success.”
The launch of Seachtain na Gaeilge 2008 in Mayo was celebrated with a night of music, song and dance featuring some of the finest artists from the four corners of County Mayo and beyond. During the festival everyone in Mayo is invited to participate in the various activities and to use whatever ‘Gaeilge’ they have, be they fluent or with just a cúpla focal!
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