An ever-increasing interest in Ireland's culture, both in North America and in Europe in particular, has made Gleann Cholm Cille, Southwest Donegal, the holiday destination of choice for adult Irish language learners and cultural holiday enthusiasts.
Over the course of this year, people from 30 different countries, will attend week-long courses in the Irish language, as well as a wide range of cultural activity holidays offered by Oideas Gael.
Courses are ideally suited to individuals, who have been out of touch with Irish but are keen to brush up on their conversational Gaeilge. Additionally, the courses are attracting growing numbers of beginners from Ireland and from abroad and participants from several different nationalities attend each week.
The Summer School flagship programme offers up to eight levels of Irish classes each morning and several afternoon workshop sessions in set dancing, sean-nós dancing, tinwhistle, bodhrán, hill walking and song.
The courses focus on spoken Irish for adults, and incorporate a structured approach to teaching, presented in a stimulating but relaxed environment, with the result that participants make progress way beyond their expectations. While an Irish person may, initially feel hesitant about learning in the company of a Japanese, Swedish or Italian native, they always rise to the test and accept the challenge with relish.
Other courses on offer include Hill-walking, Archaeology, Marine Painting, Landscape & Environment, Digital photography, Tapestry weaving, Harp, Flute and Bodhrán.
According to Language Director, Liam Ó Cuinneagáin, the cosmopolitan mix in the ‘The Glen’ this year will be given a boost due to Tourism Ireland’s promotion of the ‘The Gathering’ and the Donegal Diaspora globally. ‘The Glen’ will continue to live up to its image as the lively centre of cultural activity that it has become over the years, with the best of traditional music, craic and hospitality.