Donegal students rocked at a historic ‘Beo’ concert in Belfast last week.
The concert was the first time that Transition Year students from five Donegal schools joined up with Belfast students for a series of talks in the Oh Yeah Centre of Belfast – a recording and performance venue co-founded by Snow Patrol singer Gary Lightbody.
Last Friday, January 17, students from Colaiste Ailigh, St. Eunan’s College, Loreto Convent, Deele College and Pobalscoil Ghaoth Dobhair heard talks from Charlotte Dryden and Linda Ervine about the Oh Yeah Centre and the Irish language in Northern Ireland, most interestingly among the Protestant community.
Students saw on the day how the strength of the Irish language can bring a divided community together. Through Beo music sessions, the Irish language is promoted to teenagers from both sides of the border.
Friday’s adventure was brought to a close with a show in the Oh Yeah Centre featuring Letterkenny indie band ‘Apollo Six’, singer Callum Stewart and local Belfast band ‘More Than Conquerors’.
Apollo Six, comprised of students from St. Eunan’s College and Loreto Convent, got a great reaction from the enthusiastic Donegal crowd.
Students are already looking forward to the next Beo gig and the six other Beo concerts held last Friday, including those in Stranorlar and Dungloe, show that the project is rocking the socks off Transition Year’s all over Ireland.
Le Mattiú O Duffaigh: MORE THAN 100 students from County Donegal will travel to Belfast this Friday – to stage a gig promoting the Irish language and cross-community involvement in it.
Beo was founded by the secondary schools of Letterkenny to promote Irish through music and music promotion, with Coláiste Ailigh, St Eunan’s College, Loreto Secondary School and Errigal College all involved.
Now Beo will be hosting another gig, this time in the Oh Yeah Centre in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter.
And among those who will be there will be Irish language enthusiast Linda Ervine, whose later brother-in-law David went from loyalist paramilitary to one of the founders of the peace process in the PUP.
Friday’s festival aims to promote the Irish language, helps young Irish bands hoping to develop, but most importantly, to spark interest in the minds of the younger generation. The students organise the event, from booking tickets, to filming the concert. Beo’s popularity continues to grow around the country with each passing year.
Bands such as Disconnect 4, Not Squares, The Gandhis, Jamaican Vampires and many others have contributed their musical efforts to these events.
On this particular occasion, the bands “Apollo 6”,”Paper Boy” and “More Than Conquerors” will be playing in the Oh Yeah Centre in Belfast.
These bands have been praised for their “good personalities” and for their “fresh new alternative rock sound” by fans.
Multiple schools have agreed to partake in this event, including Pobalscoil Ghaoth Dobhair, Deele College and the schools that founded Beo listed above. From the Belfast area, St Malachy’s College and Gaelcholáiste Feirste are confirmed to be attending the concert.
Linda Ervine has set up Irish classes in east Belfast.
”I did actually attempt to learn Irish, but couldn’t find anywhere I could go to, so it was in my mind for a very long time, but it wasn’t an option,” she said.
Gordon McCoy of Ultach, will also make an appearance. He is known also for his work in promoting the Irish language in Unionist areas and for writing books and academic articles based on the Irish language.
What? Beo Live:
Where? Oh Yeah Centre, Gordon Street, Belfast (beside St Anne’s Cathedral)
When? 7pm Friday
How Much? Admission £4
Details? Strictly Under-18s and Alcohol Free
Any other info…More details are available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
DDTV: You’ve seen the documentary; you may even have seen the show live. Now watch Riverdance – Coláiste Ailigh style. The Letterkenny students were performing at their Christmas show at An Grianan on December 12, 2013. The girls are flawless (in fact they’re superb). But the boys need to go to a few more lessons.
A PIZZA takeaway said ‘Arrivederci’ to children at a town school on their last day.
Pupils from Coláiste Ailigh in Letterkenny have been regular customers of Pat’s Pizza on Main Street for many years.
But the students move tomorrow and Friday to their brand new school – too far away for lunchtime trade.
So Pat’s Pizza gave away free pizzas to pupils on Wednesday as well as free bars of chocolate.
The pupils however returned the favour.
Many of them left tips for the staff.
The new school on a 8.5-acre Carnamuggagh site includes a library, outdoor teaching areas, an art room, rooms for woodwork and technical graphics, a music and drama room, science rooms, a special needs room, a computer suite, kitchenette, fitness centre, GAA and soccer pitches, basketball and tennis courts and a gymnasium that can also be used for school events.
Pupils missing Mac’s Mace opposite the old location at a cramped Sprackburn House needn’t worry.
Mac’s has won the catering contract for the new school which now has 245 pupils.
The new school has room for 100 more pupils as it continues to expand.
Micheál Ó Giobúin, school principal, said: “The new school is no more than the children and staff deserve.”
Today saw a new page written in the short history of Colaiste Ailigh as their Under 16 basketball team reached their first ever All-Ireland final.
The end of a hectic week saw the Letterkenny school outscore St Marys, Balasadare by 40 to 32 in a frantic All Ireland semi final in The Abbey Gym in Donegal Town.
Colaiste Ailigh had tried all week to change today fixture to earlier in the week as half their players were in Dublin participating in The BT Young Scientist. Their appeals fell on deaf ears and four of the six travelled home for this historic fixture.
A combination of nerves and jet lag saw the Letterkenny school make the worst of starts and were 12-0 down with all scores coming from the best player on display Tobias Brockman after 6 mins. This was compounded with Col Ailigh player Maitis Mac Ceallabhuí being withdrawn with an ankle injury and Sean Mac A tSaoir picking up two early fouls pushing him back to the bench.
In the 7th min Colaiste Ailigh captain Oisín O Cleirigh hit Colaiste Ailigh’s first points quickly followed by 3 pts from the games busiest player Jeaic Mac Ceallabhuí but Colaiste still struggled with Brockman who brought his tally to 17 pts to Col Ailigh’s 6 pts after the first quarter.
The short break gave Colaiste Ailigh the time needed to get a strategy together to deal with the threat of Brockman.
Colaiste charged into the quarter and got their shooting boots going with Evin Breathnach, Sean Mac and O Cleirigh all scoring while Jeaic Mac Ceallabhuí with help from Odhran Mac Fhionghaile managed to keep Brockman and St Mary’s to another to 2 pts. Halftime Colaiste Ailigh 17 St Mary’s 19 with all the momentum in the Donegal outfits corner.
Halftime was what St Marys needed and came out in the 3rd quarter getting scoring help for Brockman from Kladius Bak(5) and Ross Farrell(2) pulling St Marys in control. Colaiste Struggled to shake the nerves but kept plugging away with scores from O Cleirigh and Mac A tSaoir. End of a tence 3rd quarter. Colaiste Ailigh 26 St Mary’s 28.
The final Quarter saw the Colaiste captain catch fire and push Colaiste 4 pts to the good with 4 mins to go. St Marys returned to the reliable Brockman who pulled Marys back level with 4 pts following some missed opertunities by Jeaic Mac, Odhran and Pearse Gallagher who a this point was having it all his own way under the boards. 2 mins left and it was all square.
Sean Mac took a great pass from Mac Fhionngaile to push Colaiste back in front and another quick basket from O Cléirigh put Colaiste right in the driving seat.
St Marys threw caution to the wind but the tenacious Mac Ceallabhuí refused Brockman the space to get his team back in the game and Oisin O Cleirigh added to St Marys misery with another 4 late points.
Colaiste Ailigh 40 St Marys 32
Colaiste Ailigh coach Mac Ceallabhuí was delighted with the result after the long week and a number of his players missing.
“We can’t wait for the final in two weeks and I hope Niall, Pearse, Odhran and Caoimhín can bring some silverware back from BT Young Scientist after sprinting back to Dublin for the presentation ceremony.
At the final whistle the largest cheer of the day was to be heard in Rang a 6 in Gaelscoil Adhmanain where Muinteoir Meabh was following the game on Twitter.
Niall Ó Hannaigain, Adam Ó Cnaimhsí, Jeaic Mac Ceallabhuí (3), Caoimhín Mac Lochlainn, Evin Breathnach (4), Sean Mac a tSaoir (9), Maitis Mac Ceallabhuí, Oisín Ó Cléirigh (24) Odhran Mac Fhionghaile, agus Piarais Ó Gallachoir.
Kladius Bak (5), Ross Farrell (2), Patrick O Connor, Tobias Brockman (26), Aaron Boles, Artemius Serikovo, Philip Kilcullen.
One of Letterkenny’s most eagerly awaited school construction projects is to begin in the coming weeks – after the Government got a loan!
The Minister for Education and Skills warmly welcomed the start of construction of eight schools which are being delivered under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model.
One of these schools is the new Colasite Ailigh building on the outskirts of the town.
Construction on the 350 pupil school is to begin shortly and is expected to be complete before the end of 2014.
A loan of €50 million has been secured through the European Investment Bank (EIB) which has meant these new schools can now proceed to construction. The total value of the construction costs is estimated to be approximately €100 million.
The move has been welcomed by local Labour Senator Jimmy Harte who said the move now guarantees a start-date for Colaiste Ailigh, which is currently located on the High Road.
These are the first public sector projects to be funded under the PPP model since June 2010.
They are part of the five year school building programme already announced by Minister Ruairí Quinn T.D. earlier this year.
Minister Quinn said, “This is very good news for the communities in counties stretching from Donegal to Waterford who have been waiting for their school building projects to be given the green light.”
“I am particularly pleased that the EIB has again decided to support the Department’s schools capital investment programme with a loan of €50 million which will assist in funding this investment. It is a further signal of the bank’s renewed confidence in the Irish State and our recovery programme.”
Three long-awaited school projects in Letterkenny are to begin construction in the New Year, Donegaldaily.com has learned.
Gaelscoil Adhmanain in Glencar will begin while work on the Irish-speaking secondary school Colaiste Ailigh will start at its location in Carnamuggagh.
It has also been confirmed that work on the extension to St.Patrick’s National School in Lurgybrack, on the outskirts of Letterkenny, will also begin in the New Year.
The news of a definite construction start date for all three projects has been welcomed by Deputy Joe McHugh.
Deputy McHugh said he hoped the work was just the beginning of many such projects across Co Donegal.
“These new state-of-the-art school buildings will facilitate the delivery of first-class education to many pupils in the local area in the years ahead.
“I met with Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn TD in Government Buildings last week, and was given an assurance by him that this Government will work to secure the futures of smaller schools including two-teacher schools in rural communities.
“High-quality education is critically important for our country’s future and for Donegal’s future. These new school buildings will be very valuable resources for our communities when construction work is completed.
“The new Coláiste Ailigh post-primary school will be built through public-private partnership, one of only 10 such projects in Ireland,” he said.
Welcoming the news, Cllr. Jimmy Kavanagh said “This is excellent news for Letterkenny – these new buildings will be high quality resources for education in Letterkenny. I will work with the Boards of Management of each of these schools throughout the construction processes.”