The inaugural Irish language campa samhradh took place in Ballaghaderreen from the 9th July – 20th July. More than forty children from ages 8 to 14 enrolled in the drama, art and sports camp. Primary school teachers Meabh Ní Chatasaigh and Carol Ní Choistealbha accompanied by Caoimhin Ó Cathasaigh and Irene Ní Chathasagigh led children through the action-packed fortnight of activities through our native Irish. ‘Se an aidhm is mó atá gain na suim sa Ghaelige agus in imeachtai Gaelacha a mhuscailt sna paistí agus go mbeadh thuiscint agus grá acu don teanga. Is trí Ghaelige amhain a reachtailtear an champa seo chun an Ghaeilge a chur chun cinn mar theanga labharta agus chun gach gne de dhúchas na tíre a chur chun cinn. Cuirfear béim faoi leith ar usaid an cheoil, amhránaiocht, rince agus dramaiocht.’ All teachers and helpers work part time in summer colleges in the Connamara Gaeltacht Colaiste Aodain and Spleodar and have excellent knowledge as to the various teaching methods of such Irish summer courses. Morning activities at the camp involved drama games and productions, puppet show creations, Trath na gCeist competitions, action song activities, sean nós singing, traditional Irish set dancing, traditional instruments lessons and art work. Afternoons were just as jam packed with outdoor sports such as peil ghaelach (football), eitpheil (volleyball), haca (uni-hoc), iomaniocht (hurling skills), portan sacair (crab soccer), cispheil (basketball), corr (rounders) and siuloidi dulra (nature walks). Family and friends were treated to an afternoon concert on the final day of camp where the children acted out drama productions of Luaithrin, Pluirin Sneachta and Na Tri Mhuc. Guests were also entertained with singing, music and dancing. At the end of the concert the much awaited presentation of the Campa Sanmhraidh Bhealach an Doirin perpetual trophy. This trophy was awarded to Aobheann Durkin for her outstanding display of Irish throughout the two weeks. Aoibheann is a pupil of St. Attracta’s National School, Ballaghaderreen. Planning is underway for next year’s camps and early booking is advised as places are limited. If you would like any further information please do not hesitate to contact Meabh at (086) 3724043.