Seachtain na Gaeilge
|Founder||Conradh na Gaeilge|
Seachtain na Gaeilge ((Irish pronunciation: [ˈʃaːxtən n̪əˠ ˈɡeːlʲɟə]; English: "Irish language week"; abbreviated SnaG) is a non-profit organisation in Ireland which promotes the Irish language during a two-week festival held at the beginning of March every year, just before Saint Patrick's Day on March 17.
Events during the festival include music sessions, speed-dating, and street céilís. Over 150,000 people of all levels of fluency in Irish take part, including thousands of children from schools and youth clubs in Ireland.
The festival motto is "Croí na Teanga – It's You!" (The Heart of the Language – It's You!).
Seachtain na Gaeilge was relaunched by Conradh na Gaeilge in its present format in 1977. During the years after its relaunch it organised among other events:
- Currach racing on the river Liffey and in Dún Laoghaire with teams coming from the different Gaeltacht areas.
- Duffey's Circus in their Big Top with the MC presenting everything in Irish, in 2004.
- A specially commissioned Puppet Show in Irish by Lambert Puppet Theatre.
- The unveiling of a headstone on the grave of Brendan Behan in Glasnevin cemetery.[when?] Behan was a proud Irish speaker and some of his main work was originally written in Irish.
- The publishing of a highly controversial Rag Mag in Irish.[clarification needed]
- A major competition promoting Irish goods through Irish in city centre shops, organised in conjunction with the Irish Goods Council. Clery's and Brown Thomas among others won prizes.
- The National Library and National Gallery organised displays of relevance to the Irish language.
- The media placed a renewed emphasis on the Irish language with editorials supporting the language and the concept of Seachtain na Gaeilge. RTÉ's flagship bi-lingual programme Trom agus Éadrom organised full programmes on Seachtain na Gaeilge.
As part of the celebration, compilation CDs have been released during the 2000s. These albums feature Irish acts singing their popular hits in the Irish language. Called SnaG '05, Ceol '06, Ceol '07 and Ceol '08 etc. these albums have included songs from Paddy Casey, Mundy, The Frames, and The Corrs. The Ceol '07 compilation featured a return of some of the artists from previous albums and debuts from Damien Dempsey, Bell X1 and Declan O'Rourke. Profits from the sale of these albums were donated to the charity Concern. In 2011, the production and distribution of this CD was allotted to radio station Raidió Rí Rá and the Irish Daily Star newspaper, and reached tens of thousands of listeners at the beginning of the festival, being distributed in the paper.