What is Seachtain na Gaeilge le Energia

Seachtain na Gaeilge le Energia is an international Irish language festival and one of the biggest celebrations of our native language and culture that takes place each year in Ireland and in many other countries.

The festival gives an opportunity to everyone to enjoy Irish, whether you are a fluent speaker, learner or have a cúpla focal, with a calendar of entertaining and fun events for every type of interest and every age group.

Voluntary and community groups, local authorities, schools, libraries, and music, sports, arts and culture organisations organise events for Seachtain na Gaeilge le Energia in their local area.

Irish is for everyone, Seachtain na Gaeilge le Energia is for everyone – Bain Triail Aisti – Surprise Yourself!

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Why does Seachtain na Gaeilge run longer than a week?

Seachtain na Gaeilge has been running since 1902 and so the brand name is widely recognised and understood across Ireland. With the festival growing from strength to strength in recent years, its duration has grown from a week to up to 2 weeks but without changing the name because of how recognised it is.

How can I take part?

There are loads of ways in which you can take part in the festival:

  • Organise an event for Seachtain na Gaeilge – look at the Event Organisers section for some direction and advice
  • Attend an event for Seachtain na Gaeilge – look at the Events section for a full list of events that will be running
  • Use more Irish from day to day, at home, with your friends, on the phone, in your e-mails and social media posts – look at the Language Resources section for lists of phrases and other resources to help you out
  • Watch some of the tv programs, listen to the radio shows and read the newspapers that will be covering the festival and the Irish language in general – look at the News & Media section for more information about festival coverage in the media
  • Buy the official festival guide Sult with the Irish Daily Mail every year, the only place where all festival events will be printed and there will also be tons of articles, interviews, and sports, music & technology features. It’s bilingual so it’s a great resource for learners and for anyone interested in the latest developments in the Irish language.
When does Seachtain na Gaeilge le Energia run from?

Seachtain na Gaeilge runs from the 1st to the 17th of March every year.

Where does Seachtain na Gaeilge le Energia run?

Seachtain na Gaeilge le Energia runs in Ireland and in other countries across the world.

What sort of events happen during Seachtain na Gaeilge le Energia?

A wide range of events take place, ranging from music concerts, history tours, céilís, conversation circles, lectures, poetry nights and much more.

When did Seachtain na Gaeilge le Energia begin?

Seachtain na Gaeilge has been running since the year 1902.

What is the aim of Seachtain na Gaeilge le Energia?

The festival gives people the opportunity to enjoy the Irish language. There is a calendar of entertaining and fun events for all kinds of interests.

Why is the Irish language important?

By expressing yourself in Irish, you are expressing Irish culture and history. The Irish language gives you an understanding into the Irish way of thinking

I only have a few words in Irish, can I get involved?

It doesn’t matter if you only have a few words, everyone with an interest in the Irish language is welcome and there are many events available for all levels.

What does Energia have to do with Seachtain na Gaeilge?

Energia is the main sponsor of Seachtain na Gaeilge.

What does SNAG stand for?

SNAG stands for Seachtain na Gaeilge  which happens between the 1-17th of March and promotes the Irish language around the world.

Who are the ambassadors?

We were delighted that Manchán Magan, Maura Derrane and Éadaoin Fitzmaurice were ambassadors with us this year. We have yet to announce the 2024 ambassadors for Seachtain na Gaeilge le Energia.

Are there competitions for every age group of children?

Yes, there is a great range of competitions for primary school and secondary school students and youth clubs, between colouring competitions, the best radio show and best poetry. You can find the competitions here.

Can I set up my own event?

You can of course, and we highly recommend that! You can register it here.

What resources are there for schools?
  • Posters and a handbook with suggestions, information about events, a quiz and more can be downloaded here, we have a list of ideas for events hereand a quiz in the form of a Powerpoint here. Best of luck!
Are there events happening abroad?
  • Yes, you can find the list of events here, we have a handbook for the Irish Language community abroad here. We have suggestions of events hereif you would like to organise one and events can be registered here 
Are the dates the same every year?

Yes, Seachtain na Gaeilge le Energia happens between the 1-17th of March.

Can my school participate?

Of course! Posters and a handbook with suggestions, information about events, a quiz and more can be downloaded here, we have a list of ideas for events here and a quiz in the form of a Powerpoint here.

I am interested in Irish, how can I continue with it after Seachtain na Gaeilge le Energia?

Well done! Conradh na Gaeilgeand other organisations have classes if you want to add to your Irish. There are PopUp Gaeltachts around the globe and monthly in Dublin and other events such as conversational circles here. Irish can be found on social media (such as @cnagaeilge and @snagaeilge) and a Gold or Silver Fáinne in An Siopa Leabhar or online to show your Irish to other people. Best of luck !

How can I register an event?

You can register an event with with this link.

Irish is one of the oldest and most historical written languages in the world. The earliest evidence of this is on Ogham stones from the 5th century. Now Irish can now be found in more than 4,500 books, on the television, on the radio, in the newspapers, magazines, and on the Internet.

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What type of language is Irish?

Irish is a Celtic language which comes from Old Irish. The Celtic languages are believed to have come from Common Celtic, which came from Indo-European itself.

When did Irish come to Ireland?

We cannot be certain when Irish first came to Ireland, but many scholars believe that it was here over 2,500 years ago. There were other languages spoken here before Irish but, by 500AD, Irish was spoken all over Ireland and was spreading through Scotland, the west coast of Britain and the Isle of Man.

When did the writing of Irish start?

The oldest remains of  written Irish that we have are inscriptions on Ogham stones from the 5th and 6th centuries. Irish was first written in the Roman alphabet before the beginning of the 7th century which makes Irish the oldest written vernacular language north of the Alps.

Did other languages influence Irish?

Between 900 and 1200AD, some loanwords came from the Scandinavian language, words like ‘pingin’ (penny), and ‘margadh’ (market); and later from the French of the Normans, for example ‘cúirt’ (court), and ‘garsún’ (boy). Gradually, the Anglo-Normans began to speak Irish and by the start of the 16th century, most of the people of Ireland were Irish speakers again.

When did the decline of Irish start?

Although the majority of the people between 1200 and 1600AD had Irish, it was never an administrative language and English was necessary for administrative and legal affairs. Irish received several blows during the 16thand 17th century with plantations, the Williamite War and the enacting of the penal laws. The status of Irish as a major language was lost even though Irish continued as the language of the greater part of the rural population;  and a lot of people started to take up English, especially during and after the Great Famine.

When did the Irish revival movement start?

Among other development, The Society for the Preservation of the Irish Language was established in 1876 which gained recognition for Irish in the education system. In 1893 Conradh na Gaeilge (The Gaelic League) was set up, from which a mass movement of support for the spoken language grew. There have been a lot of developments in the 120 years since and the highlights can be seen in the Historical Timeline section.

What about Irish today?

According to the 2021 census in the 26 counties:

  • 1,873,997 people can speak Irish – 39.8% of the population
  • 71,968 people speak Irish daily (outside of the education system) – 1.4% of the population
  • 109,099 speak Irish weekly
  • 610,976 speak Irish less regularly
  • one in every four never speaks Irish
  • That’s 15.4% of the population speak Irish daily, weekly or less regularly
According to the 2021 census in the 6 counties:
  • 228,617 people have some knowledge of Irish – 12.45% of the population
  • 5,969 people use Irish as their main language – 0.32% of the population

As well as this, interest is growing in the language abroad as well, with Irish classes and events taking place the length and breadth of the globe!