Gaeilgeoiri set to draw community together

by Ian Begley
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IRISH speaking enthusiasts are planning to develop a small estate in Clondalkin, where Irish-speaking families can live and speak Irish together.
The group intends to purchase land and construct several houses in the area, based on a similar project in Belfast, which is now in its second generation. The group is not looking for funding from the Government and is willing to get mortgages for the homes.
At the November Clondalkin Area Committee meeting, Cllr Breeda Bonner (Lab) raised this proposal in a motion, where she said: “A group of Irish speakers are interested in establishing a Gaeltacht in Clondalkin. They wish to buy a site and to build houses for people whose first language is Irish.”
In his response, chief executive Daniel Mcloughlin stated: “The development of Gaeltacht regions in the county is set out in the Gaeltacht Act 2012. It sets out to designate Gaeltacht language planning areas, Gaeltacht service towns and Irish language networks.”
Cllr Bonner told the Gazette she intended to raise the motion again at the December area committee meeting as she deemed that the subject of the motion was not understood.
“I’m was not talking about trying to establish it as a Gaeltacht because that process has already come through.
“There are a group of people in the Dublin area wishing to establish a place where other Irish speakers can live beside one another and speak the language together – like a small estate. There were seminars held in Aras Chronain on this proposal and a seminar at Citywest at the end of October, and there was a huge interest there.
“There’s is a similar situation happening in Belfast where a group of people established their own housing estate, and it has gotten bigger and has survived into the second and third generation.”
Clondalkin already has an affluent Irish speaking population. About 1,500 students receive their education through Irish in the area, which boasts the Irish Cultural Centre, Aras Chronain.
Brian Gavin of Aras Chronain said the organisation was constantly trying to promote the Irish language in a vibrant and lively way.
“Aras Chronain is the headquarters of a community-based group called Muintir Chronain, which was set up in the mid-1960s. Their view initially was to set up an all-Irish school for their children in the area and then to set up a social network so that the language would be kept alive outside of the school.
“We try to keep Irish alive in a vibrant way for people with different levels of Irish. In Aras Chronain we work with all people from Clondalkin and south Dublin county and loads of other organisations. We try to actively promote the Irish language as a living language. A lot of the activities we do are based around the culture, heritage and music, which we keep alive by doing loads of different activities that happen all the time.”
For more information about the work of Aras Chronain, visit

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