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BellaOnline's Irish Culture Editor

Do You Have the Gaelic?

A knowledge of the Irish language, Gaelic, is a point of great pride for many people of Ireland. In order to be a teacher, one must pass an examination in Gaelic, and have a working knowledge of the language. Schoolchildren study Gaelic in all grades. Public documents and signs are in Gaelic and English.

The decision to keep Gaelic alive did not happen by order of the government alone, the restrictions of centuries of occupation by a foreign power that forbade the use of the language makes it all the sweeter to hear and read in the Republic of Ireland. Though it is not generally spoken by most people after they receive their leaving certificate from high school, "the Irish" is in the soul of those with an Irish background and a precious legacy to all people who love the Irish.

Now, Cló Iar-Chonnacht is celebrating 25 years of supporting the Irish language and culture.

Cló Iar-Chonnacht has come to prominence in this time as a leading light in the publication of Irish-language literature and traditional music, and in 2010 alone, the company hosted a series of events, including a highly successful concert during the Galway Arts Festival. It was another good year for the company on the publishing front also as they were awarded Gradam Uí Shúilleabháin for Ó Chósta go Cósta by Frank Reidy and produced a fine selection of other works besides: Sé an Saol an Máistir, the poetry of Learaí Ó Fínneadha, edited by Gearóid Denvir; Aileach, a captivating novella by Jackie Mac Donncha, and Iad seo nach bhfaca, an insightful and evocative novel by Beairtle Ó Conaire to name just a few.

The newly improved website, www.cic.ie, is now in place, and is a perfect entry into the world of Gaelic for any visitor.

This is a very helpful translation program. Never wonder what a phrase, sentence, or treatise means in some other language again. It's a very powerful tool for anyone with curiosity.

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