The Gallagher family from Laghey have been celebrating after their eldest son Liam, 7, cleaned up at the Réalt Uladh competition, which took place in Letterkenny on Saturday 18th February.
Young Liam, who is in first class in Gaelscoil na gCeithre Maistrí in Donegal Town, attended Réalt Uladh with many others from his school and was on a winning streak. Taking first place in poetry recitation for his group and also for his reading, Liam won two cups. He was also part of the singing group which took second place and won a trophy.
Liam was up against some stiff competition as Réalt Uladh consists of 30 competitions which cover the full specturm of poetry recitation, reading, writing, drama and singing. It draws children from right across the North West of Ireland including Donegal, Derry, Antrim and Tyrone. The aims of the annual event are to provide children with the opportunity to improve their Irish, give them the confidence to speak Irish, to obtain fluency in the National language and to experience the diverse aspects of Irish culture.
Considering that Liam’s parents have no Irish, the achievements of this young boy are even greater. Liam’s Mum, Anne commented, “we are very proud of him, he worked very hard and huge credit must go to the Gaelscoil who have a very dynamic and progressive school environment. The confidence that comes from children standing on a stage performing in our national language is amazing. Considering that most of the parents of the children who were performing on the day have very little Irish, it is an incredible credit to the fantastic work of the Gaelscoil.”
Liam’s dad, Brian, was also delighted, adding, “initially we were worried about sending our children to the Gaelscoil as we do not have any gaelige but the ethos and the culture of the school has been a real eye-opener, showing how children can thrive in the right environment. It is basically a small rural school where all the kids look out for one another and the school is always involved in some event or other which is fantastic for our children to be part of. I have three kids there now and two others will be going there in the coming years. The three of them look forward to going to school and really enjoy it when they are there. I can’t speak highly enough of it.”
Young Liam concluded, “I worked hard on my poem and was a bit scared going up but I really enjoyed it. I never thought I’d win the cups but I’m very happy I did!”