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Irish Language 1916 Reading Project

Seoladh Léigh agus Pléigh 1916

Some of those who were present at the joint Donegal Libraries / Libraries NI launch of Léigh agus Pléigh 1916 in the Central Library, Letterkenny, in late March, including representatives from Libraries NI, Irish Language Development Officers from Donegal and Derry, staff and pupils from Gaelscoil Uí Dhochartaigh, Strabane, members of Library staff in Donegal and members of the community.‌


Donegal County Library Services, in conjunction with Libraries NI in Derry and Tyrone, have just launched the Irish Language community reading project “Léigh agus Pléigh 1916” (Read and Discuss), and individuals, reading groups, and Irish language speakers are invited to take part in the project which is commencing in April with the first book ‘Seachtar na Cásca’ by Irish language author Aindrias Ó Cathasaigh. The scheme is also supported by Irish Language Development Officers in Tyrone, Derry and Donegal. Details for registering with the project can be found at the end of this press release.


Speaking at the joint launch in Letterkenny Central Library, Maura Craig from Libraries NI stated that she was delighted to be promoting this co-operative project between the library services and the community across the three counties in the northwest.


“Given the growth of Irish-medium education and Irish language communities in Tyrone and Derry, and given the natural affinity of these communities with the Donegal Gaeltacht where the language is still spoken as a native language, Libraries NI is delighted to seek to promote greater connections between these communities through this Irish language reading project” stated Maura.


Although the project is aimed at readers over 16 years of age, Maura welcomed two young pupils from Gaelscoil Uí Dhochartaigh in Strabane, Co. Tyrone to the event, both of whom read extracts from the first book ‘Seachtar na Cásca’, a combined biography of the lives of the seven signatories of the Proclamation in 1916. The materials that will be read as part of this project will all be connected with the history of the island of Ireland and its people in the year of 1916. Some of it will relate to the Easter Rising of 1916 and key participants in that. Some of it will relate to the ongoing First World War during that period. Some of it will relate to the ordinary lives of the people at that time.


Libraries NI logo

T‌his Reading Project is a joint inititiave between

Donegal County Council Library Services

and Libraries NI, and various Irish Language Development Officers

in Tyrone, Derry and Donegal


Given that the reading material will include historical writings, novels and significant extracts, the scheme is aimed at those people who have either fairly fluent Irish, or who have a medium level of Irish. Those who had reasonably good Irish in their school days, and who’d like to re-engage with the language, are also welcome to register with the reading scheme.


Seán Ó Daimhín, Irish Language Development Officer with Donegal County Council, talked about the importance of reading in the Irish language. “Speaking a language gives it life. And many of our citizens, young and old, are now speaking the language on a daily basis. But reading a language gives it depth, increases your grasp of the language, widens your knowledge, and enriches your life in a deeper way. As a person who learnt Irish in later life myself, I am very aware of how reading Irish language books really strengthened that learning process. I am delighted that the library services are encouraging Irish language speakers across all three counties here in the north-west, and perhaps wider afield, to get involved in this scheme”.


Basically, individual readers, and reading groups, are invited to read one title in Irish each month. At the end of the month, there will be an event held in a selected library in one of the three counties involved, which will involve a short talk by a guest speaker, a discussion group on the material read, and a short social event afterwards involving conversation, music, singing, and informal networking between Irish speakers from the region.


Readers who don’t already possess the relevant books can access them in one of three ways.


  1. Firstly, some of them, including the first title, are available for purchase online at Irish language book websites such as, and
  2. Secondly, some of the titles may be available in local libraries, and this source should be checked. This will also make library staff aware that there is a demand for reading material in Irish.  
  3. Thirdly, a limited number of the books are available on loan from Donegal County Council Irish Language Office, contactable via the details on the registration form.


Any individuals or groups who wish to take part in this reading project should fill in the Registration Form at the link below, and return to the address given or to


Registration form at this link: Foirm Chláraithe do Léigh agus Pléigh 1916  


A vocabulary list for medium level learners of Irish will be available here shortly.‌



Seán Ó Daimhín, Irish Language Development Officer, Donegal County Council, County House, Lifford, County Donegal, (074) 9172496


For more on your local library check out Donegal Libraries or Libraries NI.


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