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July 19th, 2011: Twenty US Citizens Awarded Grants to Study Irish in the Gaeltacht

Tuesday 19th July 201120 US citizens have been awarded grants for the Irish Language Summer Study Awards from the Ireland – United States [Fulbright] Commission for Educational Exchange. These new awards enable US citizens, currently studying Irish in the United States, to participate in Irish language courses in the Gaeltacht this summer. The Awards are supported by the Department of Arts, Heritage & Gaeltacht Affairs and the National Lottery.

The 20 successful awardees will attend the following courses:

  • Áras Mháirtín Uí Chadhain, NUI Galway, Carraroe, Galway
  • Oideas Gael, Glencolmcille, Donegal
  • Oidhreacht Chorca Dhuibhne, Ballyferriter, Kerry
  • FEICIM, Inis Oírr, Galway

Successful candidates have received a monetary award to cover travel to and from Ireland and tuition in the course of their choice.

Commenting on the awards, the Minister of State with responsibility for the Irish language, Dinny McGinley T.D. said:

“I am delighted that my Department was in a position to provide funding to the Fulbright Commission for this very worthwhile initiative. I am particularly pleased that an increasing number of students who study Irish in the US and in many other parts of the world, continue their studies here in Ireland and as a consequence, can now be seen attending courses in the Gaeltacht. This results in bonds of friendship and a lifelong interest and understanding of the rich language and culture of this country. Is ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann muid!”

Speaking about the candidates, Ms. Colleen Dube, Executive Director of the Fulbright Commission said;

“We were delighted, though not surprised, by the response to this new program which confirms the diversity of reasons and places that Americans are learning Irish.   Recent research that we have conducted has identified just over 80 third level and community based institutions across the US that are teaching Irish.  The applications revealed that Americans are learning Irish not just to re-connect with their Irish roots but to assist their PhD research in anthropology, religion, history and comparative literature.  Irish is seen by several applicants as not just a hobby or luxury but an essential academic skill.

“Awardees’ backgrounds are varied, cross disciplined and stem from all walks of life.  We have students from a wide range of American universities including Boston College, City University of New York, Emory, Harvard, Haskell Indian Nations, Idaho State College, University of Connecticut and Yale. We hope these successful candidates will share their experiences with others on their return to the US and encourage more to learn Irish in the US and Ireland.”

For more information visit www.fulbright.ie.

To read about the 20 successful awardees click here.


For further information:

Pippa Halley

Communications and Information Officer

Fulbright Commission


Note to Editor:

The Irish Language Summer Study Awards are not Fulbright Awards but a separate initiative of the Ireland – United States Commission for Educational Exchange (The Fulbright Commission) and are supported by the Irish Government Department of Arts, Heritage & Gaeltacht Affairs and the Irish National Lottery.

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