An Gaeláras is Derry’s primary Irish language, arts and cultural organisation. Established in 1984, the organisation is now one of the most dynamic, innovative and award-winning Irish language organisations anywhere in the country, delivering a range of cultural initiatives.
The centre has attracted widespread interest and support from the local and wider community, and has become the major driving force in the development of Irish language and indigenous arts services on the island. Alongside a year-round programme of arts activity and performances, the organization has delivered several large-scale festivals over the past five years, and continues to produce a challenging and diverse programme to cater for all ages and communities.
An Gaeláras was established in 1984 as Craobh Cholm Cille, a branch of Conradh na Gaeilge in the Bogside area of Derry. It is a company limited by guarantee and also has charitable status.
When Craobh Cholm Cille first started out in Dove House in the heart of the Bogside, the ambition was to provide Irish language classes for adult learners and for the young people of the area. However the demand for Irish classes was so great that it quickly outgrew its first premises.
To cater for learners from all over the city, and to be as inclusive as possible, it was decided to acquire city centre premises.
In 1988, An Conradh moved from Dove House to 35 Great James’ Street, Derry. In 1994 the group purchased a four-storey building at 34 Great James’ Street, which became known as An Gaeláras (the Home of Irish).