One hundred and twenty balloons were released in different locations around Ireland on Sunday afternoon, including Eyre Square, as part of special Irish-language Spraoi sa Phobal family days which officially launched Bliain na Gaeilge 2013 and started the year-long festivities to celebrate 120 years of the revival of the Irish language.
The revival of the Irish language began in 1893 with the founding of The Gaelic League, or Conradh na Gaeilge as it is now known. Two million people on the island of Ireland claim to have Irish today and the Bliain na Gaeilge festival aims to provide these people with thousands of different opportunities to use Irish throughout 2013.
Baba Ní Fhlatharta, Development Officer with Conradh na Gaeilge in Galway explained that Bliain na Gaeilge is a year-long celebration of the language that aims to motivate and empower people to use Irish next year.
“We are encouraging people to use whatever Irish they have with their friends, relatives, colleagues and others in 2013, by taking part in the competitions running as part of Bliain na Gaeilge and in the various events registered on www.gaeilge2013.ie.”
Over 50 other language and culture organisations from across the country will be taking part in this important language initiative, including the likes of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, TG4, and USI. As well as finding information on national Bliain na Gaeilge events, anyone interested can also register local events on www.gaeilge2013.ie.