DÚN SÍON native, GAA broadcasting legend and Gaeilgóir Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh was in flying form in Daingean Uí Chúis on New Year's Eve as he joined Dún Chaoin musician and fellow broadcaster Pádraig Ó Sé in launching Bliain na Gaeilge 2013.
Many attribute the revival of the Irish language to the establishment 120 years ago of the Gaelic League – or Conradh na Gaeilge as it is now known. According to Bainisteoir of Bliain na Gaeilge, Dingle native Brenda Ní Ghairbhí, in celebrating this 120 th anniversary, a number of different festivities will aim to provide people with more opportunities to speak Irish this year.
The launch of the year-long celebration of the Irish language included a pre-recoded message from President Micheal D. Higgins screened at the head of the Pier before the New Year's Eve fireworks display. In his address President Higgins said: "The Irish language is at the core of our culture and our unique identity. As the President of Ireland, I am delighted to wholeheartedly support Bliain na Gaeilge. Irish is our language and its future depends on us."
Julian de Spáinn, the National Coordinator of Bliain na Gaeilge who was in Dingle to attend the launch said: "Bliain na Gaeilge aims to motivate and empower people to use Irish, both within Irish- speaking areas and beyond... We were delighted to launch Bliain na Gaeilge 2013 in the Corca Dhuibhne Gaeltacht and would like to thank the local community for helping us to organise such a fantastic night in Daingean Uí Chúis."
Over 100 language and culture organisations from across the country are taking part in Bliain na Gaeilge, including Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, TG4, and USI. Local events can be registered at Gaeilge2013.ie. More information is also available at Facebook. com/ Gaeilge2013 or Twitter.com/Gaeilge2013.