NEART INÁR nGÉAGA: Oisin Mac an Bhiocaire, buns coil teacher turned lockdown fitness instructor
NEART INÁR nGÉAGA: Oisin Mac an Bhiocaire, buns coil teacher turned lockdown fitness instructor

Meet the Joe Wicks of the Irish language – Belfast's Oisín Mac an Bhiocaire.

Oisín has an army of fans for his weekly fitness classes streamed free on Facebook Live.

And he knows what he’s talking about – the P4 teacher at Bunscoil Mhic Reachtain in North Belfast is also a part-time fitness instructor.

“Yeah, I’ve heard it said I’m Joe Wicks na Gaeilge – without the money unfortunately!” he laughed.

The 28-year-old has been broadcasting every Friday at noon during lockdown and his workouts are especially popular with Gaelscoil pupils.

“They come from everywhere – as well as local kids I’ve regulars in places like Derry and Donegal,” he said.

https://www.facebook.com/OisinMcVCoaching/posts/607451506562795?__tn__=-R

And although some parents take part, Oisín said for those who don’t, his classes give them a welcome break from home-schooling.

“I know parents are under pressure trying to teach kids at home, and I hope at least these online fitness sessions give them a bit of respite once a week.

“This week I had about 50 children watching it live and many others watch it back later. Some teachers are able to put it on their timetable too.”

He added: “Lockdown is an extra challenge for teachers at Irish language schools, because most parents aren’t fluent or have very little Irish so we have to take that into account. 

“Everything’s in Irish in my classes and the kids can follow along no problem.”

The Rossa footballer and hurler says sport and fitness are essential elements of a young person’s development and they certainly helped him when he was younger. 

“Playing sport like Gaelic games opens up many new opportunities – I’ve played in Scotland, England and New York. It’s important to try to keep kids fit even when they can’t leave the house.”


  • You can follow Oisín’s Facebook fitness classes through the Facebook page above.