Oireachtas comes to town –with 10,000 visitors in tow

By Mary Dennehy

THE world’s largest Irish language festival is coming to South Dublin County over the Hallowe’en weekend, bringing with it up to 10,000 visitors and an estimated revenue of €5 million for the local economy.

Oireachtas na Gaeilge, the country’s largest and oldest Irish language festival, is returning to Dublin after 20 years of dancing around the Gaeltacht areas – and will be staged in the Citywest Hotel between October 28 and November 1.

Nearly 120 years old, the prestigious and culturally significant festival, established by Douglas Hyde, is a major annual date for the Irish-speaking community, with Oireachtas na Gaeilge featuring music sessions, conferences, exhibitions and dramas alongside competitions in sean-nós singing, dancing, story-telling, music and more.

Oireachtas Citywest Hotel resized

South County Dublin’s successful bid for the competition has been described as a “fantastic opportunity” for the region both culturally and economically and great recognition of the vibrant language community alive and growing across the area.

Instrumental in landing the festival for the region, Brion Ó Gaibhin (pictured below on far right), the Manager of Áras Chronáin, told The Echo: “This is a really good news story for the area and is testament to the strong Irish-speaking communities in the county, particularly in Clondalkin.

“It also shines a light on the capacity within South Dublin County to host such events, we have great people, hotels, transport links, services and leisure opportunities here – plus we’re close to the city centre and a host of national routes.

Oireachtas Brian O Gaibhin far left resized

“One of the main reasons we landed the bid however, is the county’s ability to work together.

“Áras Chronáin, South Dublin County Council, the South Dublin Chamber Tourism Industry Group, Citywest Hotel and other local businesses and hotels all came together to attract Oireachtas into the county – with lots of businesses making South Dublin County a very attractive and competitive place for the festival.”

People from across the county are also embracing the festival, with students from Coláiste Chillian in Clondalkin, Coláiste Cois Life in Lucan and Coláiste de hIde in Tallaght working as festival guides. 

Members of IT Tallaght’s Cumann Gaelach society also helped design the logo for the 2015 event – which includes an image of the Dublin spire and Clondalkin’s round tower.

“I think the organisers of Oireachtas saw the join-up between services, organisations, businesses and the wider community and they knew that if they came to Citywest, we would help them,” Brion said. 
“There is great goodwill in the community and this will now translate into huge economic benefits over the course of next week.

“I’ve already heard that hotels down as far as the Green Isle and the Maldron at Newlands Cross are feeling the impact and have rooms booked.

“We should be really proud that we have secured this festival – it hasn’t been in Dublin in 20 years.” 
The festival is open to members of the public, with local families encouraged to embrace the festival – regardless of whether they have Irish, a cúpla focal or no focal.

The four-day festival will also be broadcast on TG4 and RTÉ Raidio na Gaeltachta. For further information, or for a live festival feed, visit www.antoireachtas.ie 


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