Joe McHugh TD, with some of the children who attended the Club Oige Campa Samhraidh at Oideas Gael
A love letter from Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for the Irish Language and the Gaeltacht Joe McHugh TD is among a number of love letters already penned as part of Bliain na Gaeilge challenge.
Deputy McHugh’s letter which declares his love of the Irish language were revealed at the launch of the programme for the second half of Bliain na Gaeilge in Oideas Gael, Gleann Cholm Cille. The launch was made by the Chief Whip.
I fell in love with the Irish Language for the first time in 2014. It wasn’t love at first sight as it brought back very bad memories of a previous relationship. I decided this time I would make it work. I also decided to be a bit more open about my past. Like getting a B in pass Irish in my leaving Certificate. I also made a conscious decision that my new relationship wouldn’t be shaped by my past experiences. And most of all I wanted to tell the world that I was going to make this a lasting and long term relationship.
So the ground work started. And things began to click. Learning things like the old old Irish for road is actually ród. And that Shanty towns came from Sean tithe (old houses) and phrases like ‘do you dig it’ came from ‘an dtuigeann tú (do you understand) and smithereens came from smidiríní’ or galore coming from go leor (plentiful)
Suddenly I was addicted to this new set up and for the first time I started to understand that our Teanga is much more than a communication tool. It’s about our past. Our connection to our past. Ár n-Oidhreacht.
Our Heritage and our legacy. And what a wonderful privilege to have experienced this insight.
So, is there a happy ending? Oh yes.