The first ever Comhdháil na nDéise, organised by WIT’s Creativity and Culture Research Group (CCRG), took place on Thursday 7th June. The aim of the conference was to highlight the wealth of Irish language, literature and culture in the County Waterford Gaeltacht region, and to bring researchers together. It was a great success.
Speaking after the conference, Dr. Séamus Ó Diollúin, Irish language lecturer at WIT and member of the Creativity and Culture Research Group said: “What we have done at the first Comhdháil na nDéise is to draw attention to the ongoing research on the Irish language and literature of the Déise Gaeltacht. We hope that this research will further develop and draw attention to the wealth of Irish language and culture of the region. We also hope that Comhdháil na nDéise will position WIT as the academic centre for Irish language studies in the South East Region”.
The Conference was officially opened by Mr. Dinny McGinley T.D., Minister of State with responsibility for the Gaeltacht and the Islands. Mr. McGinley also launched the CCRG’s new Culture of Ireland Archive on the same day.
The first guest speaker of the day, Mr. Nioclás Mac Craith gave a very enjoyable presentation on the words, phrases and idioms of the dialect of Irish spoken in the Waterford Gaeltacht. Professor Pádraig Ó Macháin, of the School of Celtic Studies (Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies) gave a very interesting keynote lecture on the Irish language literature of the region.
There were speakers from all over Ireland including the School of Celtic Studies at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, Mary Immaculate College, University College Cork, University of Limerick, St Patrick’s College Drumcondra, NUI Galway and WIT.
As part of the Conference proceedings, Minister McGinley launched the CCRG’s new Cartlann Chultúr na hÉireann / Archive of Irish Culture. The Archive will house numerous collections including: (1) Bobby Clancy Collection; (2) Gaeilge na nDéise Collection; (3) Ireland/Newfoundland Fieldwork Project; (4) Recordings of song, music, folklore and place names by WIT undergraduate students; (5) donations of manuscripts and recordings from individuals; and (6) WIT undergraduate and postgraduate theses in Irish music and related areas. Dr Colette Moloney of the CCRG highlighted the importance of the collections in the archive not alone to County Waterford but to the entire South East Region.
The CCRG are very grateful to Údarás na Gaeltachta, Coláiste na Rinne, Comhlucht Forbartha na nDéise and Waterford City Council for their support.
News items on the conference can be found at: http://www.rte.ie/radio1/podcast/podcast_ansaolodheas.xml (An Saol Ó Dheas, 7th June, 2012)
and http://www.tg4.ie/en/tg4-player/tg4-player.html (Nuacht TG4 7th June 2012 and Nuacht TG4 10th June 2012)