Irish Culture

Comhairle Uladh’s annual Irish Language Course, Cúrsa Shéamuis de Faoite, na Dúnaibh takes place during the week following the Ulster Senior Football Championship final.

If you wish to attend or if you have any queries regarding the course, pro.fermanagh@gaa.ie

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Pictured at the Launch of the Irish Language Course in 2009 were:
Tom Cullen (Rúnaí an Choiste) Máire Bean de Faoite, Tomás Ó Dálaigh (Uachtarán Comhairle Uladh), Nollaig Mac Cumhaill (Cathaoirleach an Choiste)

Cúlra an Chúrsa – History of the Course

Sa bhliain 1942 tionóladh an cruinniú cinn bliana (Comhairle Uladh C.L.G.) ar an Ómaigh. Mhol an Sagart Éamonn Ó Doibhlin ‘go ndéanfaí gnó Comhairle Uladh trí mheán na Gaeilge’.  D’éirigh leis an rún sin agus leanann an traidisiúin go dtí an lá atá inniu ann. Ionadaí ó Thír Eoghain ab ea an tAthair Ó Doibhlin ag an gcruinniú sin ach ba as Coilleach Eanach i gCondae Árd Mhacha ó dhúchas é.  Roimhe sin, sa bhliain mile naoí gcéad fiche is a hocht ag an gcomhdháil in Árd Mhacha dúirt an Sagairt Labhrás Ó Muirí go mba chóir comhoibriú a bheith idir Chomhairle Uladh agus Comhaltas Uladh (Conradh na Gaeilge). Dúirt Conn Mac an Ghirr agus é ag tagairt do úsáid na Gaeilge i gComhairle Uladh sa bhliain 1958 go raibh “gach cosúlacht ar an scéal nach raibh ganntanas ar bith de ionadaithe cumasacha ó gach condae in Ulaidh”.

Cuireadh Cúrsa Gaeilge ar bun i Ros Ghoill i dTír Chonaill sa bhliain 1959 faoi choimirce Comhairle Uladh (C.L.G.).  Osclaíodh an cúrsa go hoifigiúil ag Caoimhín Ó Beoláin, a bhí ina Aire Cosanta sa Deisceart ag an am.  Lean an cúrsa sin go dtí 1972, nuair a cuireadh ar ceall é toisc nach raibh freastal mór air.  Bhí Alf Ó Muirí agus Padraig Mac Floinn chun tosaigh ag an am sin chomh maith le daoine mar Diarmuid Ó Doibhlinn agus an Dochtúir Oirmhinneach Mac Giolla Earnáin.  Dúirt Padraig Mac Floinn go ndeachaigh sé féin agus Alf Ó Muirí isteach go dtí na Dúnaibh ar rothair, tar éis turais fhada ó iarthair an chondae, nuair a bhíodar ag iarraidh an cúrsa a bhunú don chéad uair.

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Sa bhliain 1989 ag cruinniú in Óstan na gCeithre Séasúr i Muineacháin, ar an Chéadaoin 10ú Bealtaine, faoi uachtaránacht an Athair Dónall Mac an Ghallóglaigh, bunaíodh Coiste na Gaeilge as an nua agus roghnaíodh Tomás Ó Cuilinn as Fear Manach (Cathaoirleach) agus Séamus de Faoite as Tír Chonaill (Rúnaí) le dul ina mbun.  Tháinig fás bliain i ndiaidh bliana ar líon na ndaoine a bhíonn ag freastal ar an chúrsa ó 1989 i leith.  Tá an cúrsa Gaeilge anois ar cheann de imeachtaí cultúir mhóra ár linne.

Nuair a tháinig athruithe móra i struchtúir an Chumainn cúpla bliain ó shoin, chuir Comhairle Uladh dhá choiste ar bun (a) Coiste Scór is Cultúir (b) Coiste na Gaeilge agus Oidhreachta.  Is ar mhaithe le forbairt na Gaeilge taobh istigh de Chumann Lúthchleas Gael i gCúige Uladh a roghnaíodh an córas seo.  Is go hiomlán trí mheán na Gaeilge a oibríonn Coiste na Gaeilge agus Oidhreachta, agus tá ionadaí ar an gCoiste as na naoi gcondaethe i gCúige Uladh.

Béarla – English

The annual meeting  of the Ulster Council G.A.A. in 1942 was held in Omagh. Father Eamon Devlin proposed ‘that the business of the Ulster Council be conducted through the medium of the Irish language’.  That motion succeeded and the tradition continues until the present day. Fr. Devlin was a Tyrone delegate at that meeting but he hailed originally from Cullyhanna in county Armagh.  Before that, in nineteen twenty eight, at the Ulster Convention in Armagh, Fr. Larry Murray urged co-operation between the Ulster Council and Comhaltas Uladh (the Gaelic League).  Conn Short, referring to the use of Irish in the Council in 1958, stated that there appeared to be “no shortage of able, dedicated delegates from all nine Ulster counties”.

The Irish Language Course was founded in Ros Goill in Donegal in 1959 under the auspices of the Ulster Council (G.A.A.). The course was officially opened by Kevin Boland, then Minister for Defence in the South.  That course continued until 1972 when it was set aside due to lack of numbers attending.  Alf Murray and Paddy Mc Flynn, as well as people such as Dermott Devlin from Derry and the Rev. Dr. Mc Larnon, for whom the McLarnon Cup is named, were prominent at that time.  Paddy Mc Flynn stated that himself and Alf Murray cycled into Downings after a long journey from the west of the county when they were attempting to set the course up for the first time.

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In 1989 at a meeting in the Four Seasons Hotel in Monaghan, held on Wednesday 10th of May under the presidency of Fr. Dan Gallogly, the Irish Language committee was reformed. Tom Cullen from Fermanagh (Chairman) and Seamus de Faoite from Donegal (Secretary) were chosen to lead the committee.  The Irish Language course has grown year on year since 1989.  The course is now one of the premier cultural events of our time.

When big changes came about in the structure of the Association a few years ago the Ulster Council instituted two committees (a) Scór and Culture (b) Irish Language and Heritage.  This system was adopted in order to develop the use of the language within the Gaelic Athletic Association in Ulster.  The business of the committee is conducted entirely through the medium of the Irish language and there is a representative from each county in Ulster on the committee.

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The launch of Irish Language Tape, Gaelic Galore, by the Ulster Council in Enniskillen 1990:

Seamus de Faoite (Rúnaí an Choiste), Peadar Ó Cuinn (Iar-Úachtarán C.L.G.), An Sagart Dónall Mac an Ghallóglaigh (Uachtarán Chomhairle Uladh) Tomás Ó Cuilinn (Údar), Seosamh Mac Giolla Easpaig (Údar), Seán Mac an Bheatha (Iar-Uachtarán Chomhairle Uladh).

Séamus de Faoite

Bhí Séamus de Faoite ina Rúnaí ar Choiste na Gaeilge & Oidhreachta ó 1989 go dtí earrach na blaina 2006, nuair a fuair sé bás.  Scríobh Tomás Ó Chuilinn, a bhí ina Chathaoirleach ar an gcoiste ar feadh an ama sin an giota beag seo a leanas faoi i mbróisiúir na bliana sin:

Máire de Faoite presents Corn Cuimhneacháin Shéamuis de Faoite to Donncha Ó Baoill after Léacht de Faoite, the Séamus de Faoite Memorial Lecture (2007)

Mar is eol daoibh, tá “Leon na hOidhreachta” ar shlí na fírinne. D’éalaigh sé uainn go gasta agus gan coinne ar bith leis, go mall oíche ina áit chónaithe i dtús an earraigh.  Bhí sé de shólás aige gur tharraing sé a anáil dheireanach i mbaclainn Mháire – a bhean céile.
Bhí an sneachta bog ag titim, bhí an ghaoth ag séideadh anuas ó chúl an Earagail.  Bhí na tonnta ag briseadh taobh thiar dínn ag Machaire Gáthlán an lá a leagamar chun suaimhnis é. Muidne a raibh aithne againn ar an laoch seo, bhí a fhios againn go raibh deireadh ré ann – nach mbeadh a leithéid arís ann.

Béarla – English

Seamus de Faoite passed to his eternal reward early one morning the spring of 2006.  He drew his last breath in the arms of his wife, Máire in their home at Mín Riabach near Tearmann i dTír Chonaill.

He was the epitome of everything that was good and wholesome in the promotion of the language and the preservation, in an undiluted fashion, of the core elements of our culture and heritage.  He had been our tutor, mentor and guide for the past eighteen years.
Gentle flakes of snow fluttered briefly above his coffin in the piercing breeze that swept down from Errigal, and the great Atlantic clattered melancholy on the adjacent shore, as his funeral cortege slowly snaked its way to his last resting place at Machaire Gáthlán, on the edge of a diminishing Celtic domain.  One of the greatest Irishmen of this or any other age, had taken his leave of us.  This “Lion of Heritage” had joined the heroes of the past.  We knew an era had come to an end.  Inspiration now would have a divine portent.  Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.  In iothlainn Dé go gcastar sinn.  Go mba sámh codladh na laochra.

Tomás Ó Cuilinn

Tom Cullen is the author of this piece in its entirety and he himself was laid to rest in his native Belleek at the end of 2014.  He played no insignificant part in the establishment and development of the course that bears the name of his good friend.  Requiescat In Pace.

Tomás Ó Cuilinn a scríobh na sléachtanna thuas.  Fuair Tomás féin bás ag deireadh na bliana 2014.  Níor lú a chuid féin den obair leis an chúrsa a chur ar bun agus a fhorbairt.  I measc laochra na nGael go raibh sé.

 

Comhairle Uladh’s annual Irish Language Course, Cúrsa Shéamuis de Faoite, na Dúnaibh takes place during the week following the Ulster Senior Football Championship final.

If you wish to attend or if you have any queries regarding the course, contact – pro.fermanagh@gaa.ie

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Cursa de Faoite 2016 V3

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