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Ambasadóir Sheachtain na Gaeilge do Líonra Leitir Ceanainn - Seosamh Ó Néill

Tá lúcháir ar Líonra Leitir Ceanainn Seosamh Ó Néill a ainmniú mar Ambasadóir Sheachtain na Gaeilge dúinn don bhliain 2023. Is as Ráth Garbh i mBaile Átha Cliath ó dhúchas é Seosamh, ach chaith sé tromlach a shaoil ag obair mar dhochtúir leighis i Sasana sula ndeachaigh sé ar scor tamall gairid ó shin. Cé go raibh Gaeilge fhíormhaith ag a mháthair, níor bhain sí úsáid aisti sa bhaile agus ní raibh mórán suime ag Seosamh san ábhar agus é ar scoil. Ach nuair a d’éirigh Seosamh as a phost mar dhochtúir, bhog sé go Leitir Ceanainn agus thug sé faoi deara go raibh athbheochan na Gaeilge faoi lánseol sa cheantar agus go raibh meon an-dearfach ag an phobal i leith na teanga.

Is dócha gur mhúscail suim s’aige ón phointe seo. Bheartaigh sé tabhairt faoi thuras foghlama na Gaeilge arís, agus ní haon bhréag é a rá go bhfuil obair na gcapall déanta aige ar son na teanga le blianta beaga anuas. Bíonn suaitheantas i gcónaí á chaitheamh aige le ‘Labhair Gaeilge Liom’ scríofa air agus cloíonn Seosamh leis an mhana seo, is cuma cén áit ina bhfuil sé. Más siopa nó ollmhargadh nó caifé atá ann, tosaíonn Seosamh an comhrá le frása mar ‘Dia duit’ nó ‘An bhfuil giota Gaeilge agat?’ agus cuireann sé gliondar ar a chroí nuair a fhaigheann sé freagra ar ais trí mheán na Gaeilge! Ach an rud is tábhachtaí dó ná go bhfuil daoine compordach an teanga a labhairt leis agus nach bhfuil imní ar bith orthu úsáid a bhaint as a gcúpla focal.

Téann sé chuig na himeachtaí Gaeilge uilig a bhíonn ar siúl i Leitir Ceanainn agus níos faide amach, imeachtaí ar nós ciorcail chomhrá, ranganna éagsúla, Preab-Ghaeltachtaí, agus mar gheall ar na rudaí thuasluaite, is iomaí cairdeas nua atá déanta aige – mar a deir sé féin ‘Is rud sóisialta í an Ghaeilge, tapaigh an deis seo!’. Oibríonn sé go díograiseach chun an Ghaeilge a chur chun cinn sa bhaile, agus níl dabht ar bith ach go bhfuil a chroí istigh sa chúis seo.

Dúirt Seosamh gur mór an onóir dó a bheith mar ambasadóir Sheachtain na Gaeilge do Líonra

Leitir Ceanainn agus go bhfuil ríméad air tabhairt faoin ról seo.



Líonra Leitir Ceanainn is delighted to name Seosamh Ó Néill as our Seachtain na Gaeilge 2023 ambassador. Originally from Rathgar in Dublin, Seosamh spent the majority of his life working as a doctor in England before his recent retirement. Despite his mother's fluency in the language, they did not speak Irish at home and Seosamh didn't have much interest in the subject at school. However, when he retired from his job, Seosamh moved to Letterkenny, and soon realised that the Irish revival was in full swing in the area and that there was an incredibly positive mindset regarding the language within the local community.

It seems that his interest in Irish really awakened from this point onwards. Seosamh decided to begin his language learning journey again, and it is no understatement to say that he has worked tiredlessly for the cause in recent years. He is always found wearing a badge saying 'Labhair Gaeilge liom / Speak Irish to me', and Seosamh lives by this motto wherever he goes. Whether its a shop, supermarket or café, he begins each conversation with 'Dia duit / Hello' or 'An bhfuil giota Gaeilge agat? / Have you got any Irish?', and it brings him great joy when he gets a response as Gaeilge! But the most important thing to him is that people are comfortable speaking Irish to him and there is no pressure associated with using your cúpla focal.

Seosamh attends all the Irish language events that take place in Letterkenny and further afield, events such as conversation circles, various classes, Pop-Up Gaeltachts etc, and as a result, he had made multiple new friendships - as he says himself 'Irish is a social thing, just seize the opportunity!'. He works diligently to promote Irish in the town, and his passion for the language is certainly undeniable.

Seosamh added that it is a great honour to be chosen as Líonra Leitir Ceanainn's ambassador for Seachtain na Gaeilge and that he is delighted to take on this role.




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