Migrants will be taught Irish language to help develop a ‘sense of identity’ in Ireland

Migrants will be taught Irish language to help develop a ‘sense of identity’ in Ireland

A NEW initiative will see migrants who have arrived in Ireland being taught the Irish language in a bid to help them settle into their new home towns.

Launched by Minister of State for the Gaeltacht, Thomas Byrne in Dublin this week, the Céad Míle Fáilte scheme will provide new arrivals with language classes and workshops to help them learn and use the language.

Led by Conradh na Gaeilge, the organisation explains the campaign aims to “encourage new Irish communities to learn and to use the Irish language in order to develop a greater sense of Irish identity for themselves”.

Emmanuel Ntemuse, Mohammed Jendia, Paula Melvin, Minister Thomas Byrne, Connlaith Ní Raifeartaigh and Senthil Ramasamy pictured at the launch of the new scheme

Speaking at the launch, Minister Byrne said: “I’m delighted that my department is in a position to support Conradh na Gaeilge with this worthy project.

“When people come to live in Ireland, the focus is generally on learning English and this initiative shows to new arrivals to Ireland how central the Irish language is to our culture and identity.

“Céad Míle Fáilte will be given to new Irish people to strengthen their sense of Irish identity.”

The initiative aims to reach more than 2,000 people.

Organisers hope that there will be more than 700 ongoing participants of the course by 2025 and that a further 1,300 people will take part in the workshops and other events organised as part of the scheme.

Emmanuel Ntemuse and Mohammed Jendia pictured at the launch of the initiative

“An Conradh aims to engage with more than 2,000 people from minority communities and from a variety of backgrounds all around the country via classes, workshops and events,” Paula Melvin, Uachtarán Chonradh na Gaeilge, explained.

“This will provide opportunities to the marginalised for integration into society, and the Irish-speaking community and Conradh na Gaeilge bid them a Céad Míle Fáilte.”

Speaking at the launch of the initiative, Mohammed Jendia, a refugee from Gaza, who is now living in Dublin, said: “I'm looking forward to taking part in the Irish classes as part of Céad Míle Fáilte.

"The Irish language community have been very welcoming to me and it's important to me to continue learning the native language of the country I'm living in.”