News and Views

Hi-tech learning centre in former Ballroom of Romance

21 Jun 2018
Ceol ag an oscailt Pictiúir: Manuela Dei Grande

The west Kerry Gaeltacht village of Ballyferriter indulged in an evening of nostalgia on this week when UCC presented its refurbished learning centre on the site of a former community dance hall and picture house.

In a nod to the past, many of the now senior citizens who danced the night away during the 1940s and 1950s regaled the Minister of State for the Gaeltacht, Joe McHugh, UCC president Prof Patrick O’Shea and head of the Irish department, Prof Pádraig Ó Macháin, with some of their reminiscences while taking the opportunity to savour the new surroundings.

Prof O’Shea said: “This significant investment is a vote of confidence in the future of Dún Chíomháin and recognition of the important role it has played in the lives of many people in the university since it was purchased in 1974.”

Mark Poland, Pádraig Ó Macháin, Pádraig Ó Sé (Uachtarán Ollscoil Chorcaí), Anne Marie Cooney agus Paul Williams 

Dún Chíomháin provides courses in Irish language and culture and is in constant demand among both University students and staff whose contribution to the vibrancy of the area and the local economy is much appreciated, particularly in the long winter months.

The centre, which can sleep up to 18 people, has also helped forge strong international links, including annual visitors from the University of Bochum, Germany, and the Catholic University of America.

Fionnán Ó hÓgáin (Údarás na Gaeltachta), Brendan Griffin, TD agus an Comhairleoir Séamus Cosaí Mac Gearailt 

Local people have also enjoyed the benefits of having a third-level institution on their doorstep, including certificate training in Irish language skills, computers and literature. The new facility will now assist the growth of third level opportunities for the local Gaeltacht community.

An slua ag an oscailt

The refurbishment also signals an intensification of UCC’s involvement in Corca Dhuibhne. This September, it will play a pivotal role in a new initiative whereby students of Irish and History will spend a full semester in the Gaeltacht as an integral part of their degree course. The new hi-tech facility will allow them virtual attendance at daily history lectures delivered in Cork.  This development is a result of important collaboration between the University and the local community language development organisation, Comharchumann Forbartha Corca Dhuibhne.

Claire Ní Mhuirthile agus Aoife Granville  

The official opening was followed by music and song from muintir Ghrainbheil and friends, and, in a nod to the past, set dancing with Christy Fitzgerald and company. 


D’oscail Aire Stáit na Gaeltachta, Joe McHugh, TD ionad nua foghlama na hOllscoile i mBaile an Fheirtéaraigh, Co. Chiarraí ar an Máirt 19 Meitheamh. Is lárionad Ollscoile Gaeltachta é Dún Chíomháin in Iarthar Duibhneach agus é i seilbh na hollscoile ó 1974 i leith.  Freastalaíonn Dún Chíomháin ar phobal na hOllscoile, ar phobal Chorca Dhuibhne agus ar cheantair Ghaeltachta na Mumhan agus ar phobail lasmuigh den Ghaeltacht go náisiúnta agus go hidirnáisiúnta.  I mí Mheán Fómhair na bliana seo cuirfear tús le fobairt nua i nDún Chíomháin nuair a rachaidh mic léinn dara bliana, atá i mbun staidéir ar an nGaelainn agus ar an Stair, siar go Dún Chíomháin ar feadh tréimhse trí mhí – seimeastar iomlán sa Ghaeltacht.

Ag labhairt dó ag an ócáid stairiúil seo i mBaile an Fheirtéaraigh, dúirt Uachtarán na hOllscoile, an tOllamh Pádraig Ó Sé, gur forbairt fíorthábhachtach an seimeastar Gaeltachta seo agus thréaslaigh  sé go mór le foireann Ionad na Gaeilge labhartha san Ollscoil a chuir an t- ionad nua foghlama seo chun cinn do phobal na hOllscoile agus do phobal Chorca Dhuibhne.  Bhí ócáid fíorthaithneamhach i mBaile an Fheirtéaraigh, idir cheol, chainteanna agus soláistí  ar ar fhreastail suas le 150 duine, idir mhuintir na háite agus mórán d’fhoireann an hOllscoile.

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University College Cork

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