You will find plenty of free performances, workshops and more at Lá Mór na Gaeilge 2023. It’s an Irish language street festival and runs between 12 – 5 pm on Parnell Square, on Sunday 30th April.
This year’s theme is “Irish Revival – 130 Years” and the programme includes a series of workshops on the evolution of Irish and how it has grown during this time, music and dance workshops, decoding old Irish text seminars, new communities on their journey with Irish, history walks, Yoga Oga, an Irish twist on the pop classics of Fleetwood Mac, Kate Bush and Cher and 50 bodhránbanging children! All events are free (but most are ticketed). The street will be closed to traffic during these hours to celebrate the fun and inclusivity of the Irish language.
Lá Mór na Gaeilge 2023 is a compelling celebration of the Irish language. For those with a cúpla focal or those who are completely fluent, there will be ceol, cultúr, caint agus craic for all.
To book your free tickets, go directly to Linktree: https://linktr.ee/lamornagaeilge
Mícheál Ó Nualláin, Director of BÁC le Gaeilge said: “We are extremely excited to have Lá Mór na Gaeilge back for its second year. It is so important, especially to the young people of the country to see the Irish being enjoyed in a fun, immersive way at festivals such as this. I’d like to thank Dublin City Council and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht and Media for their continued support and funding as we look to build on the successes of last year to make this year’s Lá Mór na Gaeilge just as enjoyable.”
Ray Yeates City Arts Officer with Dublin City Council said: “This year in partnership with Conradh na Gaeilge Dublin City Council is excited to have Lá Mór na Gaeilge taking place on Parnell Square for its second year. Please come along to enjoy the caint, cultúr ceol agus craic with us and book your free tickets today!”
Programme highlights include:
Bodhrán Buzz – Introduction to the Bodhrán, Teacher’s Club 2 pm
Robbie Walsh has travelled the world teaching and giving workshops on this brilliant Irish instrument! There will be 50 bodhráns available so that the audience can participate.
Colm Bairéad and Cleona Ní Chrualaoí – An Cailín Ciúin, 1pm Hugh Lane Gallery
Colm and Cleona will join in an interview with Cormac Ó hEadhra, RTÉ Drivetime about the importance of Irish in cinema and its recent growth in the film not to mention the meteoric rise to Oscar nomination with An Cailín Ciún and what the future looks like for them, as well as for the Irish language on the silver screen.
Tadhg Griffin, Main Stage, 3 pm and Workshop in Hugh Lane Gallery 12-1 pm
Tadhg’s performances flow from trad to jazz, funk, and rock, telling emotional stories of love, personal growth, and self-acceptance. Guiding his 10-piece big band with expert piano playing and commanding vocals his show is a celebration of the power of music, and the complexity of life. Tadhg’s lifelong relationship with the Irish was only strengthened once he began composing and performing through Irish as a teenager. He will run a music and art workshop and perform on the main stage, bringing together Dublin’s leading musicians to celebrate Irish culture and heritage.
Tura Arutura, Panel Discussion at 2 pm, Sean Nos Workshop in Teachers Club at 3 pm
Zimbabwe-born artist and Irish language campaigner Tura Arutura have many feathers in his hat – musician, dancer, performer, activist, Speaker, teacher, choreographer, comedian and Presenter! Most importantly, Arutura is a proud Gaeilgeoir and he will be part of a panel with Ola Majekodumni and others discussing their experiences learning the Irish language followed by his Sean-Nós dancing workshop. Finally, to end the day on a high, Arutra will be the hype man at the Céilí Mór with Len Collective.
“Try the Pipes” – Uilleann Pipe for beginners, 12pm, Teachers Club
An introduction to the uilleann pipes with Na Píobairí Uilleann. The uilleann pipes are one of the most revered and ancient of all the traditional Irish instruments and attendees will learn about their history, and the basics of how they work as well getting a chance to try them out themselves.
Sean agus Nua-Nós Cathrach – with Des Geraghty and Máire Breathnach, 3-4 pm, The Teacher’s Club.
A very special workshop on old and new songs of Dublin with Des Geraghty accompanied by Máire Breathnach, the master fiddle player. Des will explain the history of many revered Dublin songs, taking questions and signing them through Irish. Des is renowned for his love and pioneering work through the Irish language, having just last month organised “Cois Life Le Chéile” at Liberty Hall where many notable traditional musicians all singing old favourite Dublin songs translated by Des into Irish.
Decoding Lámhscríbhinn with Emmet de Barra, Hugh Lane Gallery, 3-4 pm
Emmet de Barra is a PhD student in Roinn na Gaeilge in TCD. His research focuses on the Irish manuscript tradition from the Medieval and Early Modern eras as well as the important literature that has been preserved within them. He also works on the léamh.org digital humanities project which seeks to make the learning of Classical Irish and Irish palaeography more accessible. His workshop will focus on the Irish manuscript tradition and the beautiful handwriting from the beginning of the written word in Ireland, right up to the present day. Attendees will have the opportunity to practice reading Irish manuscripts and writing in Irish script!
Len Collective, Main Stage, 4 pm
LEN Collective are a traditional music group from Dublin, often seen playing The Cobblestone or Pipers Corner regularly. Last summer, they played at All Together Now, Electric Picnic, Courtyard at IMMA, and Otherside, and Áras an Uachtarán to name but a few. Be with them at the main stage at Lá Mór na Gaeilge! They will put a lively end to the day being the music behind the giant street céilí! Get ready and have your dancing shoes ready to learn a few steps!
Óga Yoga!, Teachers Club, 1 pm
It’s yoga through Irish with Ciarán Mac Fhearghusa and Óga Yoga. They travel the country teaching yoga through the medium of Irish to school children. Ciarán will go through a series of animal poses that young children love during this session with parents and children alike able to join in on the fun
Bandia, Main Stage from 2 pm.
Bandia made up of Lauren Ní Chasaide, Aidan O’Leary, Jill Mc Mahon and Simon O’Carroll, play covers of the big music hits from the 80s, 90s and beyond but with one small difference – they sing as Gaeilge! Come along to hear the cúpla focal from Fleetwood Mac, Kate Bush, Britney and even Cher!
History Walk with Lorcan Collins and Cuan Ó Seireadáin, Hugh Lane Gallery at 2 and 3 p.m.
A history walk on “Irish Language Revival – 130 years”. Parnell Square has a rich and unique history with the language revival and this tour will highlight the various buildings that made the revival possible all there on the square. Lorcan Collins of the 1916 Rising Tours and Revolutionary Ireland Podcast will be joined by Cuan Ó Séireadáin, Curator of Conradh na Gaeilge. Learn how Conradh na Gaeilge was founded and how it has shaped the language we know and love today.
If you end up attending this festival, send us your pictures, please!