UCD Students’ Union, in conjunction with An Cumann Gaelach, have begun running Irish classes for beginners and those wishing to learn the basics of the Irish language. These classes, still in their early stages, commenced on Tuesday November 20th in the Red Room of the new Student Centre.

Classes will be taught in an informal manner to teach Irish to those who wish to learn it or improve their knowledge of it in an enjoyable and relaxed manner. According to UCDSU Irish Language Convenor Gabhán Ó Briain, the manner of teaching will be “ in an informal manner, to stand up and say ‘Dia dhuit,’which means hello, and ‘Conas atá tú?’, meaning how are you. [We will] go through it to get them all more comfortable, then at the end of class have tea, a couple of biscuits and give them the chance to speak Irish to each other and get used to it.”

These classes will be specially run for beginners of Irish and those with little or no knowledge of the language. “There are activities and events already taking place for more advanced speakers of Irish, so this is more aimed for beginners so they can have a chance to speak Irish for the first time and get to learn a bit of Gaeilge,” said Ó Briain.

According to O’Briain, practical and realistic goals and objectives have been laid down for the classes. While not expecting fluent Irish speakers emerging from the classes, Ó Briain is optimistic for the course stating: “What will happen is that they’ll have a few phrases. They’ll be more comfortable speaking the language, they’ll be more comfortable being able to say ‘Conas atá tú? Dia dhuit. Cad is ainm duit?’ Just the basic principles of Irish so that people are more comfortable speaking it. That would be the main objective.” More information will become available about the classes in semester two.

Discussions will be held between Ó Briain, Aongais O Briain from the Campaigns Crew and the Reachtaire [Auditor] of An Cumann Gaelach, Shane O hAongaise, to decide whether there will be another class before the Christmas break. Classes are scheduled to resume next semester and will continue to be held in the Student Centre.