AN Irish language community and family centre based in Iveagh has launched a multicultural festival as part of the internationally recognised Seachtain na Gaeilge.

Ionad Uíbh Eachach Cultúr agus Teanga provide early years, childcare and daycare services through the Irish language combined with a year-long language and cultural programme. 

The centre has organised a range of events over the course of the two week Seachtain na Gaeilge festivities. The festival entitled Aistear – meaning journey – provides a range of activities for all ages and all levels of Irish speakers. 

The launch of the centre’s new Irish language learning resource for beginners also launched as part of the festivities. The booked entitled Gaeilge don Teaghlach, meaning Irish for the family, has everything you would need to start your Irish language journey. 

The organiser of the festival Brian Mac An tSionnaigh said: "It's about taking part and being part of the worldwide festival of Seachtain na Gaeilge and our part of it is trying to integrate the many cultures we have here in the Ionad.

"We have  a lot of different cultures using our childcare, and we're trying to integrate that with the Irish language and trying to immerse everyone. So it's a different spin on Seachtain na Gaeilge. 

Bisharo Abiei and her daughter Osob

Bisharo Abiei and her daughter Osob

"The name aistear means journey. During Covid because everything was online we attracted a lot of people from overseas, in America, Canada, and we've got people in Vietnam who go to classes. We're learning from their journey outside of Ireland wanting to learn Irish so it's everyone's kind of journey."

On Tuesday 28 February, a free event will take place in the centre entitled ‘Language matters among Gaels in America’ between 7pm and 9pm.

On Wednesday 1 March, a panel of speakers will discuss their personal experiences and opportunities working in the Irish language sector. This event will take place between 11am and 12pm at the centre and is free.

A Tráth na gCeist will take place in Coláiste Feirste on Friday night for anyone interested in testing their quiz knowledge. 

Sunday will see the return of the very popular Milltown cemetery tour with Seán Fennell. At a cost of £5, the tour will take place at 11am until 1pm. 

On Wednesday 8 March, an African drumming session will take place in the centre with Wilson Magwere between 3pm and 4pm. 

Conversational Circle called ‘Ciorcal Comhrá’ will also take place throughout the festival as well as a range of other events not to be missed.

More information about the festival can be found at Ionad Uíbh Eachach’s social media accounts.