Seven U.S. and two Canadian Irish language learners were presented with awards at Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge in An Cheathrú Rua in the Connemara Gaeltacht.
Sixty-two citizens and 18 Canadians are being welcomed this year to the Gaeltacht through the awards, a collaboration between Ireland’s Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, the Ireland-United States [Fulbright] Commission for Educational Exchange, and the Ireland Canada University Foundation. The Awards reflect the growing interest in the Irish language in North America.
Ireland’s junior minister for Gaeltacht Affairs & Natural Resources, Seán Kyne T.D. told the recipients he hoped “you will continue to nurture the language when you return home.”
U.S. Ambassador to Ireland Kevin O’Malley said: “These awards support Irish language learners and teachers in the U.S, and offer exceptional immersion experiences in Irish language learning, as well as traditional Irish music and storytelling, in some of Ireland’s most idyllic locations. It is wonderful to see Awardees from so many States. I am certain that they will benefit enormously from their Award and go on to share their experiences with many others at home.”
Chief Executive Officer of Ireland Canada University Foundation, James Kelly said Ireland and Canada enjoy a shared culture and heritage with 4.5 million Canadians tracing their ancestry back to Ireland.
“This year, we are delighted to welcome the University of Prince Edward Island as a partner university in Canada, bringing to seven the number of Irish Language instructors who will bring the Irish language and culture to universities and communities across Canada in the coming academic year. “We have also awarded 18 scholarships to Canadian students to attend intensive Irish language courses here in the Gaeltacht.”
The application period for the 2017 Summer Gaeltacht Awards will open in January 2017, if you are interested in applying please check www.fulbright.ie/gaeltachtsummer – exact application dates will be confirmed in the coming months.
Kevin Corcoran student of History, Education and Irish Studies at Elms College in Massachusetts; Matthew Doyle student at the School of General Studies at Columbia University ; Brennan Fahselt student at the University of California, Berkeley studying Civil Engineering with a minor in Celtic Studies; Brendan Murphy Manhattan College in New York City, studying Government and Literature; Renata Rua community language teacher at the Irish Center of Kansas City; Davis Sandefur, a graduate of Notre Dame where he majored in physics and minored in Irish Language and Literature. Rosemary Weston PhD, Assistant Dean and Department Head of World Languages at Eastern Michigan University
Rachel Hoffman studies Anthropology and Canadian Irish Studies at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec; Terry McBride from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, a financial planner.