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Foilsithe ag The Clare Champrion, 12/02/2016

A presentation and discussion delivered by Domhnall Ó Loinsigh, manager of Coláiste Eoghain Uí Chomhraidhe in Carrigaholt, will be held on Wednesday at 8pm in Carmody's Bar, Carrigaholt.

"We are looking at ways to brush up on Irish language skills and finding ways to manage the cupla focal among ourselves and visitors to the peninsula", Mr O'Loinsigh explained. "There are many of us who went through our school system learning Irish formally and still can't string a couple of sentences together with confidence. So we have an opportunity here to work with the college to change that."

Trea Heapes of Pure Camping in Doohaha and Loop Head Tourism said the idea is based on a similar project in Ennis. "I had a meeting with Domhnall Ó Loinsigh last week and based on the Inis Dom programme in Ennis, Loop Head Toursim's heritage focus group would like to explore rolling out a version on the Loop Head Peninsula. Carrigaholt was a breac Gaeltacht at one stage and we have the potential to get it back. Perhaps we can begin to speak cupla focal among ourselves and our visitors", she suggested.

"Domhnall and the management team have great plans for the coláiste, which will tie in nicely with our sustainable toursim ethos and may bring in a whole new category of tourists to our area", she added.

Local commuity members, development groups and service providers in the peninsula are invited to attend the meeting. During a visit to Coláiste Eoghain Uí Chomhraidhe in Carrigaholt in March 2015, Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs, Joe McHugh undertook to support the proposed modernisation of the 103-year-old college. The college board is planning to upgrade the facilities, which they hope will help to establish additional classes at the college. It currently caters for Irish language pupils in June, July and August.

"My specific role is within the Gaeltacht and while West Clare is not in the Gaeltacht, where I see people making an effort with regard to the Irish language, I will do my utmost to help out. If we can come up with a joint plan here in the college, there has to be a role for the Department of Education in a collaborative effort, where you have a commuinty with massive history on their side." Minister McHugh said during his visit.

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