Educational Visits and Trips Irish

Year 10 pupils attend the Gael Linn Junior Quiz annually – an event which takes place for schools in the Mid Ulster area in the Glenavon House Hotel in Cookstown. It is a quiz carried out through the medium of Irish, which celebrates the Irish language and culture to a fabulous standard. The quiz provides a fantastic opportunity to experience the Irish language outside the classroom and interact with many other students studying Irish in local schools. Our pupils thoroughly enjoy this experience and we have a very high success rate as a school which we are extremely proud of. Our latest success was in October 2019 where we were awarded second place and the team went on to represent the school in the next round, which was held in the Ashburn Hotel, Lurgan.

The Irish department has won the Ashbourne Shield many times – for the most fluent students in Irish at A2 in Northern Ireland. Our most recent win was in 2017, when Dr Niall Comer (Ulster University), President of Conradh na Gaeilge/Comhaltas Uladh, presented the shield to the department. We are extremely proud of this achievement and hope to be victorious again in this competition.

As a department we highly recommend attending the Gaeltacht. This provides pupils the opportunity to attend an Irish speaking area in Donegal and fully immerse themselves in the language. The Gaeltacht courses take place during the summer months and is available for all pupils of the school. First and second year pupils can attend a two-week course and the other year groups can attend a three-week course. We have a strong history with the Gaeltacht with many pupils attending each summer and having fantastic experiences and making memories that will last a lifetime whilst learning the Irish language at a very high standard.

We had pupils during the summer of 2019 involved in the filming of a documentary Tír na nÓg, produced by DoubleBand Films and supported by Northern Ireland Screen’s Irish Language Broadcast Fund. The documentary aired on BBC Two in Northern Ireland in October 2019 and was a great success. It followed the experiences of many students at the Gaeltacht and some of our students were lucky to be involved. It proved to be a very enjoyable experience for our students, and they found it very rewarding and encouraged many more pupils to attend the Gaeltacht as a result.