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Colaiste Chroí Mhuire, An Spidéal. Seoidín.

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Following the success of the ‘Malaí Draoíchta’ or bags of magic last year, this year the school decided to continue to try to promote reading of Irish among primary school children attending school through Irish, but to concentrate this time on students in third, fourth, fifth and sixth classes.

The ‘Malaí Draíochta’ contained short novels and puppets, and were intended to encourage Gaeltacht parents to read Irish with their young children. Transition Year students wrote the stories, first year students made the puppets and parents helped with making the bags, teaching the students how to make the puppets and with the printing.

Galway County Council and Údarás na Gaeltachta supported the project to such a generous extent that the books were distributed free of charge to all Gaeltacht schools in Connemara. The books featured on Radio na Gaeltachta, on TG4 and in the Connacht Tribune at the time. Much of the credit for the success of the project was due to the huge work of our home/school/community liaison Eibhlín Ní Shúilleabhain.

Transition year students, went on to win an enterprise competition organised by Údaras na Gaeltachta in 2009, with celebratory cards and personalised novels for junior and senior infant pupils in Gaeltacht primary schools. The students and their Business teacher Mairéad Uí Dhiollúin, deserve huge praise for their achievements, and for their confident radio interview afterwards.

Seoidín became the next mad project. Seoidín was the brainchild of the home/school/community officer, Eibhlín Ní Shúilleabhain, who wanted to bring together parents, students, the wider community with local and national agencies. Again the focus was to be on promoting reading of Irish among Gaeltacht children. Galway County County Council’s Irish Officer Paid Ó Neachtain immediately offered his support, and was very involved in the project from inception to delivery. Udaras na Gaeltachta also supported us from the beginning.

On a national level, Muireann Ní Mhórain, of Cogg, was so taken with the project that she offered COGG’s assistance in providing copies of Seoidín to all gaeltacht and all-Irish primary schools outside of Galway (Galway County Council looked after Galway schools). Parents, Teachers, Pupils and Past-Parents set to work writing. Illustrations were added by students and by parents involved in art classes at night in the school. A past parent, writer and actor Joe Steve Ó Neachtain (Ros na Rún) and parent and poet Louis De Paor generously contributed to the collection of stories, creative writings and drawings that constitute Seoidín.

Seoidín was ready, all that remained was to launch her on the public, and to create interest in her among the target audience. With the help of Gaelscoileanna and again Galway County Council, a reading symposium was organised by Brona Ní Uallacháin. The workshop involved stories being read and represented in dramatic form by fourth year students. The event was attended by 150 primary school students from surrounding schools. The students watched, listened and read stories with students and also did some creative writing of their own, with the help of Joe Steve Ó Neachtain, who worked with the young students in an atmosphere that was both fun and energetic.

The Leaving Cert rock band, well ...it rocked, especially when joined on stage by the primary school students. To hear from their teachers afterwards that the students continued to read the rest of the stories when back at school and at home gave every one involved a massive high.

And so we come to the grown up launch, which was more sedate but no less enjoyable. At the launch, which was held in the’Crúiscín Lan’ hotel in Spiddal on Thursday 19th November. Pádraig Ó hAoláin, CEO of Údaras na Gaeltachta spoke of the importance of initiatives such as Seoidín in the promotion of spoken Irish among the next generation. Padraig was both eloquent and generous in his praise of the work that is Seoidín, and his kind words were much appreciated by the Parents, Teachers, Pupils, Past Pupils, and members of the local community who gathered on one of the most inclement nights yet. Paid Ó Neachtain spoke of Galway County Council’s involvement in the project and in previous initiatives such as the symposium and our ‘malaí draíochta’ project.

Páid spoke of the importance of encouraging interest in reading and he praised Eibhlín Ní Shúileabhain, the writers, the artists and the printing work of Peadar Ó Gríofa in producing Seoidín. The Principal also spoke of her gratitude to all involved and especially of her pride in seeing the finished product being enjoyed by the very people for whom it was produced. There was wine, there was talk, there was traditional music from students, and there was pride and laughter before everyone re-donned the wellies and headed back out into the deluge.

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Seoladh leabhair agus ceardlann léitheoireachta I gColáiste Chroí Mhuire, An Spidéal, Co. na Gaillimhe.

Seoidín

Is éard atá i ‘Seoidin’ ná leabhairín scéalta nua ina bhfuil obair ó dhaltaí, ó thuismitheoirí, ó mhúinteoirí agus ó iar thuismitheoir Choláiste Chroí Mhuire An Spidéal, Co. Na Gaillimhe. Is leabhairín daite tarraingteach e, atá dírithe ar dhaltaí bunscoile a bhfuil Gaeilge maith acú.

Leanann an togra seo ar na ‘Malaí Draíochta’ a raibh an-tóir orthú cúpla blain ó shin. Ag an am sin bhí sé mar aidhm againn díríú isteach ar phaistí i rang a dó. Bhí muid dóchasach go spreagfadh na húrscéalta beaga agus a gcuid puipéidí ina málaí draíochta tuismitheoirí Gaeltachta chun Gaeilge a léamh lena gcuid paistí óga.Fuair muid aiseolas an-chinealta agus fábharach ó ghach duine, agus thug sé sin misneach dúinn smaoineamh ar thogra eile a chur le chéile a láidreódh an caidreamh idir na cómhpháirtithe oideachais ar fad i measc phobal na scoile, pobal na Gaeilge mórthimpeall orainn agus na heagraíochtaí Áitiúla agus Stáite a bhíonn ag plé le hoideachas agus le Gaeilge.

An uair seo, bheartaíomar díríú ar pháist ó rang a trí go dtí rang a sé. Shocraigh muid go dtabharfadh muid cuireadh do thuistí, do dhaltaí, agus do mhúinteoirí píosaí a scríobh nó pictiúrí a tharraingt, agus cnuasach beag saothar a chur le cheile. Chum tuismitheoir amháin, an file mór le rá Louis de Paor dán nua don leabhar agus tá scéal ann freisin ón scribhneoir gairmiúil Joe Steve Ó Neachtain.

Is í Ursula Murry tuismitheoir agus ealantóir a dhear an chlúdach. Chuir tuismitheoir Peadar Ó Gríofa G. Chló an leabhar i gcló.Ar ndóigh, murach Eibhlín Ní Shúilleabháin an tOifigeach Chaidreamh Bhaile agu Scoile, ní bheadh Seoidín ann in aon chor.

Beidh cóipeanna den leabhar bronnta ar ghach bunscoil gaeltachta agus ar ghach bhunscoil lánghaeilge sa tír. Is iad Chomhairle Condae na Gaillimhe agus COGG atá ag cur na leabhra ar fáil do na bunscoileanna.Tá muid go mór faoi chomaoin Údarás na Gaeltachta, freisin a thug cúnamh dúinn leis an togra seo.Tugann sé an-mhisneach dúinn go bhfuil eagraíochtaí ar nós An Comhairle Condae, COGG agis Údaras na Gaeltachta reidh agus sásta teacht i gcabhair dúinn aon uair a théann muid chucu le smaoineamh, bíodh sé Seoidín, na malaí draíochta, nó ar ndóigh dvd na scoile.

Bhí an chéad chéim tógtha nuair a bhí an leabhairín curtha i gcló, ach is rud eile ar fad e paistí a chur á léamh. Mar sin ar an gCéadaoin 18ú Samhain tugadh cuireadh do chéad caoga páiste bunscoile as ranganna a cúig agus a sé ó cheithre bhunscoil in abhanntracht na scoile teacht chuig ceardlann léitheoirachta i gColaiste Chroí Mhuire.

Mar chuid den cheardlann léadh dhá cheann de na scealta, rinne daltaí na meanscoile aisteoireacht as ceann de na scéalta, léigh Joe Steve Ó Neachtain(aisteoir, file agus scríobhneoir) a scéal, agus rinne na daltaí bunscoile cumadóireacht dá gcuid féin.Bhí sé go halainn na paistí a fheiceáil ag léamh na scéalta, ag éisteacht le Joe Steve, agus iad faoi dhraíocht aige, ag gáire le daltaí na meanscoile, agus ag canadh le rac-ghrúpa na scoile.

Fuair muid cúnamh ó Chomhairle Chondae na Gaillimhe, agus ó Ghaelscoileanna leis an seó a chur ar siúl, agus táimid thar a bheith buíoch díobh dá bhárr. Bhí lá iontach againn ar fad agus muid faoi stiúr Bróna Ní Uallacháin a d’eagraigh an lá, an aisteoireacht, a scríobh an script don lá , agus a rinne cinnte de gur oibrigh gach rud de reir an phleain.

Ansin, ar an déardaoin an 19ú Samhain, sheol na daoine fásta an leabhar sa Chrúiscín Lán sa Spidéal. In aineoinn na haimsire, a bhí go hainnis, bhí oíche álainn againn. Labhair an príomhoide, ar feadh cúpla nóiméad, agus ansin labhair Páid Ó Neachtain, Oifigeach le Gaeilge Chomhairle Chondae na Gaillimhe, agus Príomhfheimeannach Údaras na Gaeltachta, Pádraig Ó Maoláin.

Thug said an-mholadh don togra, agus ba léir go raibh focail molta Pháid agus Phadraig ag dul i gion go mór ar a raibh i láthair. D’airigh muid uainn Eibhlín Ní Shúilleabháin a chuir Seoidín le chéie, agus na daoine nach raibh in ann a bheith linn de bhárr na haimsire, ach bhí ócáid deas againn i dteannta a chéile.

Tríona Uí Murchú.
Príomhoide.