An Cumann Gaelach (English: The Irish language Society) is a student society found in many colleges and universities in Ireland. Many of the groups were founded in the early 1900s as part of a wider revival of the language, which saw the establishment of national groups such as Conradh na Gaeilge (English: Gaelic League). Although the groups are not formally linked, they operate in a similar manner through the facilitating of Irish classes (often free), céilís and trips to the Gaeltacht (Irish speaking areas), while many hold events during Seachtain na Gaeilge (English: Irish Language Week), which takes place the fortnight before St Patrick’s Day. Some societies also take part in the annual Glór na nGael (English: The Voice of the Gael) competition, which gives awards to third level groups for their work in the promotion of the Irish language within their institutions. The competition is coordinated partly by Foras na Gaeilge (the body charged with promoting the language) and has existed for several decades. It included a specific category for colleges and universities for the first time in 2006.
Since 2003, the Irish language daily, Lá Nua, has published an annual survey of the country’s main 'Cumainn Ghaelacha' (plural form) and their membership. The 2007 edition features a total of eleven groups, with the Trinity College, Dublin Cumann listed as the largest in the state, and Queen's University Belfast Cumann the largest in Northern Ireland.
|Dublin City University||-||50||140||160||149|
|Dublin Institute of Technology||-||30||31||132||188|
|Queen's University Belfast||25||46||85||88||168|
|St Mary's University College||-||-||-||-||30|
|Trinity College, Dublin||330||520||525||700||1,060|
|University College Cork||-||600||400||520||950|
|University College Dublin||-||230||370||312||812|
|University of Limerick||-||-||74||110||100|
|University of Ulster, Coleraine||-||-||60||60||50|
- Lá Nua: "'Glúin TG4' ag teacht in aibíocht ar champais ollscoile na hÉireann"; Monday 10 December 2007