Belfast City Hall is to be lit up in green tonight to mark 130 years of the Irish language group, Conradh na Gaeilge.
Michelle O’Neill, First Minister Designate, will be among the guests for a reception at City Hall this evening.
Cuan Ó Seireadáin, curator and historian with Conradh na Gaeilge: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to mark this very special occasion at Belfast City Hall. This pluralist cross-community Irish language revival organisation, was founded on O’Connell Street Dublin on this day 130 years ago and has left an immeasurable mark on society here as we know it.
“The organisation’s archives, along with long-running research, illustrate the decisive impact that Conradh na Gaeilge, the Gaelic League, it’s members and employees have had on Irish history and the development of the language, which was under existential pressure at the time of the organisation’s inception. We hope that all of our guests attending this celebration will gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of this inspirational organisation, as well as an invaluable insight into the organisation and its work today.”
Paula Melvin, president of Conradh na Gaeilge, said: “This milestone offers us the unique opportunity to take a step back and cast an eye to the history of Conradh na Gaeilge, to assess and remember all we have achieved, alongside the challenges we have faced, and those we have yet to overcome.
“We want to use this occasion to everyone who has supported us and stood with us down through the decades, especially to our branches and our members, our staff and our board members, and the community as a whole for supporting our efforts. We also remember those great activists, members and pioneers who have gone before us, many who kept the torch burning in their local communities, and many others who spearheaded the organisation and helped inspire us and our work, especially those who have passed in recent years.
“On days like these we also have the chance to look forward, to assess our vision for the future and to set out with renewed purpose our mission to promote and protect the Irish language across this island.”
The reception at Belfast City Hall will include song and music with artists Piaras Ó Lorcáin, Bláithín Mhic Cana and Lauren Ní Néill taking part. Archival material will be on display throughout the evening.