Camara Education Ireland opens first Irish Language Maker Space in Ireland

An exciting development for youth and the Irish language has been planned for Galway with the establishment of a TechSpace hub in Áras na nGael, in the heart of Galway city.

Young people will be welcome to use the range of equipment available in the hub: filming equipment, video and music editing software, a recording and radio studio (in partnership with the Raidió na dTreabh studio), as well as opportunities for STEM development and coding through Irish.

It is also envisaged that the hub will be available as a weekend drop-in space for young people interested in Irish language and technology, and that it will be available, free of charge, to schools and youth groups from Galway city and county.

The hub is being founded as a year-long pilot project. The working group steering the project is a collaboration between Áras na nGael, Camara Education Ireland, Muintearas, Conradh na Gaeilge, Foróige and Ógras. TechSpace receives funding from the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

Minister of State Seán Kyne T.D has so far approved a grant of €419,000 Department of Culture, Heritage and Gaeltacht funding this year for the TechSpace programme throughout the country.

During the launch, the Minister of State Seán Kyne T.D. said,

“I am honoured to officially open this new centre in Áras na nGael, a historical building of Conradh na Gaeilge. I am pleased that my Department was able to provide funding for TechSpace during the past year in Connacht, Munster and Ulster up to now and that I am able to provide more extra funding this year to expand the programme to other parts of the country. It is important that such events and innovative materials are made available to young people through the medium of Irish, especially as Galway city is recognised as a Gaeltacht Service Town under Acht na Gaeltachta 2012.

A working group has been established to undertake the project. The working group is made up of the following groups: Áras na nGael, Camara Education Ireland, Clár TechSpace, Conradh na Gaeilge, Foróige, Ógras agus Múintearas. As the old saying goes “ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine” and that is true. This is a good example of the teamwork which cultivates the Irish language.

Maker Space Galway

Séamus Ó Fátharta of Camara Education Ireland says:

“This new hub is a wonderful opportunity for us to provide a wide variety of training schemes for youth workers, teachers, and young people in Galway City.

We’ll be focusing on a range of activities that will engage young people, and that we know already that young people are interested in. It is important that such activities be available through Irish. We’re satisfied that we will be able to provide training to a very high standard, as well as the best facilities and technology the market has to offer. We’re delighted too that we have so many partners supporting this project, and we envisage a great future for the TechSpace Hub in Áras na nGael.”

Peadar Mac Fhlannchadha of Conradh na Gaeilge says:

“Research from the Gaeltacht language planning process shows that a language hub is essential for young people if we wish to boost the usage of Irish within this age group. The research also shows the attraction of Galway city to this age

group, from every area of Connemara’s Gaeltacht, and that it is necessary to take this into account in the provision of such a space. It is clear to us the need to provide a hub and supports that are attractive to young people, and that we can do this through the development of a TechSpace Hub in Áras na nGael.”

Development is already underway, and it is hoped that it will be made available from the beginning of June. Interest from any group who would like to use the hub, or who would like to partake in the working group, will be welcomed.

Photos by Boyd Challenger