Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin has beaten off opposition from Irish language organisations from all over Ireland to scoop the All-Ireland first place for the promotion of Irish language and culture.
This is one of the most coveted accolades in the Irish language community and on Saturday night the trophy was presented to a delegation from An Cultúrlann in Derry to receive the award at the Glór na nGael National Competition.
The Irish language and arts centre was presented with the National Glór na nGael trophy in acknowledgement of its achievements in promoting the language in the city over the past twelve months.
The awards ceremony gave recognition to the work of committees and community groups all over the country promoting the Irish language, with particular emphasis on community development, education, youth provision outside of school, publicity, and opportunities to speak Irish.
Carol Nic Conmara, Education Co-ordinator, Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin said: “Our aim as an organisation is to develop and promote the Irish language in Derry City and further afield, and to create a bilingual society where Irish is encouraged, protected and fostered. Winning the Glór na nGael National Award 2016 is an honour and we are very proud to receive recognition for the hard work and dedication of the Cultúrlann team and the impact we are making on the promotion of the Irish language in the area.”
Over 450 people currently attend language classes and activities at the centre on a weekly basis, and the diverse range of events and programmes on offer throughout the year have no doubt contributed to Glór na nGael’s final decision. These include conversation circles, reading clubs, youth sessions, an Irish language choir, music and dance classes and a community outreach programme.
In February 2016, the organization opened an academy of traditional music in newly refurbished premises at 35 Great James Street, Acadamh Ceoil Chaoimhín Uí Dhochartaigh, and it will launch its first language summer school in August 2016, Scoil Samhraidh Uí Chanáin.
Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin has also been shortlisted in the Best Tourism Event at this year’s North West Business Awards for the Derry International Irish Music Festival, which took place for the first time in February.