Former Wexford hurler invites public to a reconnect with the Irish language

Tadhg Evans

The Dúisigh do Dhúchas Irish language retreat will this year take place at An Ghráig, west Kerry, from September 7 to 9.

Former Wexford hurler Diarmuid Lyng explained that last year's retreat, which had been scheduled to travel to the Great Blasket, had to be cancelled due to unfavourable weather. It returns this year, however, and Mr Lyng, who has collaborated with Siobhan de Paor and Cearbhuil Ní Fionnghusa, feels that it may have been a blessing in disguise that the event now takes place in An Ghráig.

"We felt we might have been better off, as we've walked every step of the An Ghráig area", he said.

"The main aim of the course is to give people a chance to connect with their native language. A lot of people tell us that they have a mental block when it comes to the Irish language or that they found it was badly taught.

"But, with us, the region and surroundings are the teachers. We'll have our conversations in Irish, of course, but we'll go outdoors collecting wild foods, playing hurling, doing yoga and meditation each morning, and taking part in sweat-lodges.

"As the name suggests, we will reawaken our traditions," he added. Mr Lyng himself credits a spell in Feothanach during the mid-2000s for his connecting with the language.

Other activities will involve poetry, conversation circles, and natural medicines, and while some proficiency in Irish is required, assistance will be provided and "a willingness to listen and have a go will compensate for any lack", organisers say. 

Accommodation will be in the dormitory of the old school house on Ceann Sibéal. Prices will include all meals and dormitory accommodation.

There are 24 spaces, Mr Lyng explained, with the price set at €250 or €200 before the end of August. For further information, visit Alternatively, you can email or phone Mr Lyng at (086) 102 3833.