A Gaeilgeoir from Clontarf has been nominated for two prestigious Irish-language awards, with the winners set to be selected at the end of this month.
Ciara Ni É, who now lives in Marino, is nominated in the Réalta Óg na Bliana (Young Star of the Year) and Feachtas Meán Sóisialta na Bliana (Online Campaign of the Year) categories in this year’s Gradaim Chumarsáide an Oireachtais awards.
The awards are to celebrate those in Irish language media across 10 different categories.
Ciara was not raised speaking the Irish language, nor did she attend an Irish school, but her passion for our native tongue was ignited by trips to the Gaelteacht.
Ciara then went on to study Irish at university, before teaching Irish in the US last year.
She said she was surprised that her #NílSeCGL Twitter campaign was even nominated for an award.
Ciara told Dublin Gazette: “I didn’t think I was even making a campaign when I did it! It was Bliain Na Gaeilge this year, and there was a lot of content earlier this year discussing the language.
“They were saying there’s no modern music or film in Irish, stuff that wasn’t true.
“I started a hashtag on Twitter, saying that you wouldn’t make content like that about French without talking to a French speaker, so it was just trying to get people to view Irish as a language, really.
“I’m just a person, and I’m up against the likes of Raidió Rí-Rá and TG4; it’s mad!
“It’s the same for the other award I’m up for; the other nominees work for those kinds of places, and I’m just a person!”
In addition to being nominated for the Campaign of the Year award, Ciara has also been nominated for the Rising Star award, recognising individuals under 30 who are making an impact on Irish language media.
Ciara runs a spoken word Irish-English language night called REIC, which aims to encourage people to get involved with the Irish language, even if they aren’t the best at speaking as gaeilge.
It invites along rappers, poets, and any time of individual to get involved in an effort to boost the language’s culture in Ireland.
She said: “The event encourages people to use the Irish that they do have a bit more, and even gets them to develop their Irish as well.
“It’s called ‘REIC’ because it sounds like ‘wreck’ in English, because not everybody is going to get it perfect, not everyone will get it right, but it’s about getting people to try their hand at the language.”
To vote for Ciara, text GRADAM103 to 57003. The awards ceremony will be held at Oireachtas na Samhna in Killarney on October 31, and the text voting line will close at midday on Tuesday, October 30.