As 2021 comes to a close, we bid farewell to another odd year but we are delighted to be returning in person to events and to be able to celebrate with one another again, and what better time to celebrate than Christmas! Fleadh Feirste demonstrates the core values of the Irish language community in the west of the city: working together and common mission. We’re delighted that various groups have come together to produce this versatile and varied programme. It’s because of this partnership that we were able to put together a programme of events that represents the creative, energetic, generous Irish language community in the Gaeltacht Quarter.
This year, we celebrate thirty years since the founding of the Cultúrlann and Coláiste Feirste along with fifty years of since the first bunscoil in the North, Bunscoil Phobal Feirste, opened its doors. This programme recalls all of this with a Raidió Fáilte interview with Bunscoil Phobal Feirste principal Séamus Ó Tuama who was both a pupil and teacher in Coláiste Feirste, along with the annual ‘Cothaigh’ dinner, organised by Forbairt Feirste, which this year is celebrating 'Custodianship', and explores the link between Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich and Broadway Presbyterian Church.
The beautiful music of Bernadette Morris will be heard in Conway Mill courtesy of Áras Uí Chonghaile; Conradh na Gaeilge will host a fascinating interview on place names with Professor Mícheál Ó Mainnín; Glór na Móna will host an eventcelebrating community and local places; and the much anticipated ACNI Collection will launch in the Dillon Gallery.
The best of new literature will be showcased with the launch of Dárach Ó Scolaí’s new book, 'Súil an Daill', and the magical 'Daidí na Nollag' written by Children’s Laureate Áine Ní Ghlinn and illustrated by Mr Ando. The Christmas panto, The Magical Christmas, promises all sorts of high jinks and of course we will have the big man in the red suit visiting the Cultúrlann.
To bring the festival to a close, we’re honoured to welcome a special guest to switch on the Cultúrlann Christmas lights – Dáithí Mac Gabhann, a young Gael from west Belfast and hero of the ‘Is Deontóir Mé’ campaign. An Cheathrú Ghaeltachta will be awash with the light and spirit of Christmas and all of the events in this programme are a testament to the hard work of our multi-talented and creative community, and we invite you to enjoy and take part.
Fleadh Feirste Organising Committee
Carrie Anne McAlonan McCrudden, Aisling Ghéar General Manager, stated,
“It is a cause for much celebration that Fleadh Feirste will be taking place again this year. We are very much looking forward to presenting the Christmas Pantomime, and we hope that people of all ages will enjoy it.”
Clíodhna Nic Bhránair, Development Officer, Arás Uí Chongaile, commented,
“Here at Áras Uí Chonghaile, we’re very pleased and proud to be involved in Fleadh Feirste once again. There is a plethora of high-quality events in the works, and there will be something for everybody to enjoy. We especially want to highlight the Bernadette Morris concert – it should be a brilliant night!”
Brónagh Fusco, Events Manager, Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich, said,
“Fleadh Feirste demonstrates the core values of the Irish language community in the west of the city: working together and common mission. We’re delighted that various groups have come together to produce this versatile and varied programme.”
(Music: Brighde Chaimbeul, Edel Ní Churraoin, Jamie Murphy)
Digital copies of the programme are available and downloadable here.