3rd July 2006




An Irish government minister is to pay an official visit to a major Irish language conference to be staged at the University of Lincoln this weekend.


Éamon Ó Cuív TD, Ireland’s Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, will be in Lincoln from 7th to 9th July for a celebration of the Irish language organised by Coláiste na nGael.


The visit will be a poignant one for Mr Ó Cuív, whose grandfather Éamon de Valera was imprisoned in Lincoln after the Easter Uprising of 1916.


Éamon de Valera was a key figure in the Irish struggle for independence and went on to become Taoiseach and President of Ireland.


Coláiste na nGael was founded in 2000 and stages events to promote and celebrate the learning and teaching of the Irish language.


Next month’s event will feature language seminars, a discussion on the future of the Irish language among the Irish diaspora and nine short Irish language films comprising the UK’s only Irish film festival.


Delegates will also hear some folk and Irish music at the Jolly Brewer pub and will also visit Lincoln Cathedral and Lincoln Castle during their stay in the city.


“The event will attract a mixture of native speakers, fluent speakers and learners,” said David Gannon, a lecturer in the Lincoln Business School who has helped to organise the conference and also teaches Irish to beginners in Nottingham.


“There’s a lot of interest worldwide in the Irish language, especially outside of Ireland. A lot of people are trying to find access to their language, culture and history,” said David.


“Over the last 20 years that interest has been stimulated by the rise of the so-called ‘Celtic tiger’ economy and by EU support for minority languages.”


To arrange interviews and photographs with the minister please contact the university press office on 01522 886042.


For more information contact: Jez Ashberry, Press and Media Relations Manager

01522 886042             07843 658943             jashberry@lincoln.ac.uk