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Gaeltacht course

'The trip to Rann na Feirste is a very important part of the university course. I felt it gave me a chance to use the Irish language outside of a classroom atmosphere. It gave me an insight into the real culture and spirit surrounding the Irish language. I picked up a lot of different words and phrases which, in my opinion, can only be learned through a first hand experience of Gaeltacht life.'
Connla Ó Coinn, Level 3


At the beginning of Level 2 and Level 3 you are required to spend a period of time in the Gaeltacht.  This is to enable you to be immersed in a traditional Irish-speaking community and to derive maximum benefit – linguistic, cultural and social – from time spent there.  To this end, a three-week course is specially organised in Rinn na Feirste, Donegal, for students of Irish at Queen’s University, at the end of August/beginning of September each year.

On weekdays two classes are held each morning (10.00-12.00) and two each afternoon (2.30-4.30); and an evening class (8.00-9.30) on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  Oral and grammar classes are held regularly and other topics may include drama, 17th and 18th century Ulster poetry, modern poetry and prose (including material published in periodicals), storytelling, folklore, local history, music and dialects (including local sub-dialects, e.g. those of Gaoth Dobhair, Gabhla and Árainn Mhór).  A trip to Toraigh or Árainn Mhór may be organised at the weekend if the weather is favourable.

You are expected to remain in Rinn na Feirste for the duration of the course.  You will not normally be permitted to return home at weekends unless you have a good reason and have completed a form giving you the written permission of the course supervisor, or of the course director.

You will be staying in local houses and the address of the college where the course is held is:

Coláiste Bhríde, Rinn na Feirste, Leitir Ceanainn, Donegal.

Tel:  0035375-48283 / 48125 or 075-48283 / 48125


 ‘In learning Irish we must immerse ourselves into the very community where the language is spoken; this is why the Gaelacht course is such an essential stepping stone to anyone who is studying the Irish language. Being given an insight into the cultural values that are associated with the language such as literature, drama agus music goes a long way to enrich your experience, love and overall appreciation of the language.’
Sian Nic an Bheatha, Level 3


Read Colm McGuigan's experience of the Gaeltacht.