THOUSANDS OF students across Ireland and abroad are today taking part in a campaign dedicated to the revival of the Irish language.
For 24 hours, up to 30,000 primary, post-primary and third level students will speak only in Irish in all areas of their lives-- at school, in shops, with friends and with family-- as part of the Gaeilge 24 challenge with Conradh na Gaeilge.
While Covid-19 restrictions means the students will not be able to attend in-person events as part of Gaeilge 24, Conradh na Gaeilge are running a series of online events today, including a yoga class and a huge tráth na gceist (general knowledge quiz) all held entirely through Irish.
Schools taking part are also encouraged to be creative with the restrictions and take part by showing students films in Irish, translating popular songs into the Irish language and a myriad of other tasks.
The star of 'Yu Ming is Ainm Dom', Diyu Daniel Wu, is also taking part in this year's celebrations, following the success of the 2003 film which saw a Chinese man learn Irish before moving to Ireland only to realise that much of the country has lost its native tongue and speaks mostly English.
Dr Niall Comer, President of Conradh na Gaeilge, said the Covid-19 pandemic had cancelled so many events, trips and adventures, "so we are delighted that Gaeilge24 is back for students.
"Gaeilge24 encourages a positive attitude towards the language in a fun and relevant way. It gives them the opportunity to have a positive experience and to promote the Irish language in their own lives."
Director of Development and Deputy General Secretary of Conradh na Gaeilge, Aodhán Ó Deá, said that in its eighth year, Gaeilge24 "continues to go from strength to strength."
"This year Gaeilge24 is focusing on wellbeing. It’s so important to care for yourself, especially young people, and we hope to encourage this with our events which include everything from exercise to mindfulness."
All funds raised from students competing in Gaeilge 24 will return to Conradh na Gaeilge's charity work to promote the Irish language across Ireland-- and abroad.
— Gaelcholáiste an Ghoirt Álainn (@gcghoirtalainn) November 10, 2020
To check out some of the work being done in classrooms around Ireland today, check out the hashtag #Gaeilge24 on Twitter, or click this link.