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Ulster GAA launches Irish Scholarships for 2014/15

posted 20 Aug 2014, 15:00 by ballymacnab armagh

Ulster GAA has announced the extension of a major sponsorship programme for adult students of the Irish language for the 2014/15 academic year. The Gaeilge sa Chlub (or ‘Irish in the Club’) scholarship scheme will run again in partnership with the School of Irish Language and Literature at the University of Ulster. It aims to promote the use of Irish within clubs throughout Ulster by providing financial assistance to GAA members who sign up for a Diploma in Irish Language course.

Last year, 21 adult GAA members availed of scholarships to undertake university Irish courses at the University of Ulster Belfast and Magee campuses, and in Cookstown. Starting on the 22nd September, the two-year (part-time) course runs for three months in the autumn and three months in the spring. Classes are taught in each centre every Monday evening and one Wednesday evening per month. Additional tasks are completed online and guidance is provided for those with no computing experience. Students are instructed in listening, speaking, reading and writing, and many graduates progress to the degree course in Irish Language and Literature.

Martin McAviney, Uachtarán Chomhairle Uladh CLG, emphasised the continuing importance of Irish promotion to the Ulster Council; “We in Ulster GAA were delighted with the success of Gaelige sa Chlub last year and welcome the opportunity to extend our partnership with the University of Ulster. This scholarship scheme represents an investment in GAA volunteers at grassroots level and will enable many people to achieve a university qualification in Irish, developing their own career prospects and enriching their clubs and communities”

Dr Malachy Ó Néill, Head of School of Irish Language and Literature at the University of Ulster, has praised this Ulster GAA initiative: “This commitment from Comhairle Uladh enables us to build on a highly successful inaugural year of this scheme. The increased level of support for 2014/15 will enable more GAA members to participate in our new blended programme, maximising the possibilities of traditional teaching methods and digital technologies.”

There is sure to be much interest in this scheme throughout the clubs of Ulster and one prominent Tyrone GAA member, Damian Mór Ó Néill, has given a strong endorsement of the course: “Not only has this course helped me fulfil my aim of achieving fluency in Irish, I’ve also acquired new employment as a result of my qualification in Irish and have been greatly assisted in doing so by the Gaeilge sa Chlub initiative.”

For further information on the Diploma in Irish, contact Mrs Ros O’Hagan at r.ohagan1@ulster.ac.uk or 028 7167 5277.

To apply for a Gaeilge sa Chlub scholarship, contact Dónal McAnallen, Ulster GAA Cultural Education & Outreach Officer: donal.mcanallen.ulster@gaa.ie or +44 (0)28 37517180. Friday 5 September 2014 at 5pm is the deadline for applications.

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