Omeath celebrates major milestone of its past

This year 2012 marks the centenary of the establishment of Coláiste Bhríde in Omeath.

This year 2012 marks the centenary of the establishment of Coláiste Bhríde in Omeath.

In the early part of the last century, it was established that a small Gaeltacht survived In Omeath, with the older population speaking Gaelic.

A Gaelic college (Coláiste Bhríde) was established as an attempt to capture the remaining Gaelic which lived on among the older inhabitants of Omeath. This college was instrumental in ensuring that Omeath Irish lives on.

A programme of events took place to celebrate the centenary.

The event was officially opened by Senator Marie Louise O’Donnell who explained her links with the village. Her mother came from Omeath and her grand-mother Louie Kirwen was in receipt of a silver medal won at Coláiste Bhríde. The family received a certificate for their dedication to Gaelic from Douglas Hyde.

The function room in the Granvue House was adorned with a series of pop-up posters which gave a dramatic visual enhancement to the event.

These 6 foot high posters detailed many of the local characters who gave of their time to Coláiste Bhríde.

Other events included a guided tour of the cottages of the last Gaelic speakers, conducted by Eamonn Ó Gribín and Séamus Murphy of An Ciorcal Comhra Óméith.

Cúchualinn Gaels re-enacted the famous Bavan Football match, with all stars from a number of different counties appearing in retro kit.

Paddy O’Hanlon, the great-grandson of the last native Irish speaker Áine Uí Annluain, read the poem which commemorates the match both in English and as Gaeilge.

A craft fair took place in the Dolmen Centre which saw a display of different crafts produced in the area. Perhaps the most exciting element of the celebrations was the revival of a Gaelic college in the village. For the first time since 1926 Gaelic was being taught again in a non-primary school setting.

Thanks to these teachers for their hard work and dedication to the language. August 2013 will see an extended cúrsa with not only the Gaelic language being taught, but also music, song and other traditional pursuits.