Rathkeale gathering to celebrate County Limerick’s Gaelic Heritage

This weekend all eyes will be on Rathkeale where Dáil na Mumhan, Conradh na Gaeilge have organised a Tionól Contae or County Gathering.
The weekend kicks off in the Rathkeale House Hotel on Friday evening when Mary Immaculate College’s Seaghan Mac an tSionnaigh will share his latest research on Timothy O’Neill Lane, the famous lexicographer from Templeglantine and other interesting information on Limerick’s Gaelic past. Mac an tSionnaigh, a rising scholar who is also a talented musician, has promised to finish his lecture with a rousing version of ‘Rosc Catha na Mumhan’. West Limerick is known for its rich seam of traditional music and local musicians will contribute their own musicial celebration of this aspect of Limerick’s Gaelic heritage after the lecture.
Saturday kicks off with a coffee morning in Rathkeale House Hotel where all are welcome to use their Irish – fluent or rusty – in an informal gathering and networking event. Local Conradh na Gaeilge member, Máire Uí Ghairbhí, and the poet Canon Mícheál de Liostúin will be on hand to share information on how Limerick people can become more involved in the Irish language world. Seán de Liostúin will also share his knowledge of local placenames. Later on, there will be a guided visit to the Palatine Museum where Austin Boveniser is looking forward to welcoming the visitors. The famous Irish language song, ‘Iníon an Phailitínigh’ will surely get an airing.
At 2.30pm the audience will hear tips on how to engage with the Irish language in their own lives when Edel Ní Bhraonáin, a young Kerry born Irish speaker who is now based in Conradh na Gaeilge headquarters in Dublin will share her own experience in forming Irish language networks. Edel is a leading member of Na Gaeil Óga, a hugely successful Dublin based GAA club which is run entirely through Irish and which has now embarked on training young children in GAA skills through the Irish language.
Everyone is welcome and all events are free. It is hoped that the weekend will help kickstart a re-invigoration of Irish language networks in the county and indeed, its timing may well prove a draw for the many students who will soon be undertaking oral Irish exams. Rathkeale itself has many Irish language connections- the scholar Seán a’Chóta spent time as a timire or organiser in the area during the Revival period, and thousands of people attended the local feiseanna. The 1901 census shows there were still native Irish language speakers in Rathkeale, Adare, Ballingarry and Newcastlewest. Indeed many thousands of native Irish speakers were scattered throughout the county, particularly in the West and South-West. The old people of Mountcollins were exhorted to speak Irish to their grandchildren in order to ensure the language’s survival. Later on local festivals like Féile na Féile and Féile na Máighe mobilised communities to recall their own connections with Limerick’s rich Gaelic literature and scholars like an Canónach Tomás de Bhál and Mainchín Seoighe worked tirelessly to promote the language.
This latest event hopes to entice a new generation to share in this rich heritage. The theme for the weekend, Ár ndúchas, ár ndán summarises the potential the language holds as a resource for Limerick people and visitors to Limerick.
Further information 087/0613211 or on Conradh na Gaeilge Rath Caola Facebook page.