Northern Ireland

Delegates from Irish-medium education across island of Ireland set to gather in Belfast

Figures from Irish-medium schools, north and south, will attend the conference
Figures from Irish-medium schools, north and south, will attend the conference

DELEGATES from Irish-medium education across Ireland are set to gather in Belfast today.

Comhairle na Gaelscolaíochta, (CnaG) the representative body for Irish-medium education, will host its annual conference that is set to focus on the main themes of awareness, development, vision, well-being and excellence.

Figures from Irish-medium schools, north and south, and from other Irish language cultural and educational bodies are due to attend the event, which is being held in the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

The main speech will be given by Professor Antonella Sorace, who is internationally recognised as an authority on bilingualism and its advantages. She will speak on the theme of 'minority languages as resources for education: interdisciplinary research perspectives'.

Other speakers include academics from universities throughout Ireland, Irish-medium support organisations including An tÁisaonad Lán-Ghaeilge, as well as the Education Authority.

There will also be a wide range of information stands on display at the conference from various cultural and educational organisations as well as children’s authors in Irish. Simultaneous translation will be available for selected workshops throughout the day.

Maria Thomasson, acting CEO of CnaG, said it was the first conference it had organised in a number of years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

"We have just come through an unbelievably challenging period and the impact of Covid-19 on education has been recognised worldwide - it is also true that the Irish-medium sector has experienced extra challenges during this time," she said.

"This day will give the sector a chance to meet with each other, discuss issues with each other and to learn from each other again, for the first time since 2018."