Ulster University

Ulster GAA Launch Irish Scholarships



Dónal McAnallen, Cultural Education & Outreach Officer, Ulster GAA, Dr Caoimhín Ó Dónaill, Diploma Course Director, Belfast, Ryan Feeney, Head of Community Development, Strategy and Public Affairs, Ulster GAA, Professor Anne Moran, PVC for Educational Partnerships & International Affairs, Dr Malachy Ó Néill, Head of School of Irish Language and Literature, Martin McAviney, President, Ulster GAA, Professor Alastair Adair, PVC for Development & Provost for Jordanstown & Belfast campuses, and Dr Gearóid Ó Domagáin, Diploma Course Lecturer,Cookstown.

Ulster GAA has teamed up with the University of Ulster to unveila major sponsorship programme for adultstudents of the Irish language.

The scholarship scheme will run in partnership with the School of Irish Language and Literature and is to be known as Gaeilge sa Chlub (‘Irish in the Club’).

It aims to promote the use of Irish within clubs throughout Ulster by providing financial assistance to GAA members who sign up for the Diploma in Irish Language course at Ulster.

This two-year (part-time) course is currently available at Belfast and Magee campuses with university outcentres at Cookstown, Ranafast and Downings.

It runs for three months in the autumn and three months in the spring and classes are taught in each centre on Monday and Wednesday evenings (5.30pm-8.20pm).

Students are instructed in listening, speaking, reading and writing and many diploma graduates progress to the degree course in Irish Language and Literature.

Dr Malachy Ó Néill, Head of School of Irish Language and Literature at Ulster welcomed the ‘pioneering’ scheme.

He said: “This is a significant investment by Ulster GAA in club members throughout the province. There is a growing appreciation of increased employability for Irish language graduates and this pioneering project is in keeping with the ethos of the GAA and the current DCAL initiative for Líofa 2015.”

Martin McAviney, President of Ulster GAA added: “This initiative enhances the existing strong links between Comhairle Uladh and the University of Ulster, developing the current sporting partnership with a new cultural and linguistic dimension.”

Ryan Feeney, Head of Community Development, Strategy and Public Affairs with Ulster GAA spoke of the importance of this scheme at community level: “This scholarship scheme is an investment in GAA volunteers at grass roots level and will enable many people to achieve a university qualification in Irish, developing their own career prospects and enriching their communities.”

Donegal All-Ireland winning footballer Éamonn McGee, who graduated with the Diploma in Irish Language earlier this week, said: “The Diploma was a real game-changer for me - now I'm starting the degree in September. The part-time course is ideal for someone with a busy lifestyle.”

Further information on the Diploma in Irish Language is available from Mrs Ros O’Hagan in the School of Irish Language and Literature: r.ohagan1@ulster.ac.uk or +44 (0)28 7167 5277.

To apply for the Gaeilge sa Chlub scholarship scheme you should forward your contact details to Dónal McAnallen, Culture Education & Outreach Officer with Ulster GAA: donal.mcanallen.ulster@gaa.ie or +44 (0)28 3752 1900.
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