Wednesday 13 December 2017

Students Gaelbreak across country in Irish

Jamie Mac Uiginn and Shane O’Gruagain of the UCD Gaelbreak team who are making their way to Ring in Waterford using only Irish. Photo: Kyran O’Brien
Jamie Mac Uiginn and Shane O’Gruagain of the UCD Gaelbreak team who are making their way to Ring in Waterford using only Irish. Photo: Kyran O’Brien

Ryan Nugent

It was a jailbreak from Dublin to Waterford with a twist - as 20 UCD students attempted the trek speaking only Irish.

The Gaelbreak, organised by the Cumann Gaelach in the university, saw only four succeed in reaching the Coláiste Na Rinne Gaeltacht, though the rest at least made it to some part of Waterford.

The aim, according Jamie Mac Uigeann from UCD's Cumann Gaelach, was to show that you can make your way around speaking Irish.

And the proof was in the results, with everyone at least making it as far as Dungarvan.

The rules dictated that participants could only speak Irish when thumbing a lift or buying a bus ticket.

And the only money they would have access to was that raised on the day.

While some took the easy option of taking the bus, others had more challenging attempts of thumbing a host of different lifts through the country.

The local authorities even weighed in with a helping hand.

"A few people got a bus, after raising money, to Dungarvan and then thumbed a lifted onto the Gaeltacht," Jamie said.

"There was another group who took a different mode of action.

"They headed in the direction of Naas and then once there they got a lift from a garda down to Enniscorthy to Wexford, then got another lift from Enniscorthy to New Ross and then New Ross to Dungarvan - just hitching a lift," he added.

Drivers did not have to be fluent in Irish, but they did have to understand what was being asked of them.

"If they (those giving lifts) could not answer in Irish, they could understand it and then communicate back in English, so everyone had a general understanding of what they were saying," he said.

The victors were Sean Mac Dhonnagáin and Donagh Ruane, who got there at the respectable time of 5.30pm on Saturday, before the organisers even arrived.

Irish Independent

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