Irish boxing legend Bernard Dunne was in Kilkenny last week, to exchange a cúpla focal with the girls from Loreto’s star senior camogie team.
The former WBA and European super bantamweight champion sat down with the students in the sunshine at Castle Park, with the RTE cameras rolling. The visit was part of Dunne’s ‘Bród Club’ campaign, which aims to promote the speaking of the Irish language around the country. The goal is to inspire 100,000 people to re-engage with the language.
Bernard was happy to pose for pictures with the girls and sign copies of his book, which some of the students had brought with them. Bernard initally came up with the idea for the campaign following his WBA win. As he accepted his title, he was embarrassed that he was unable to make his speech as gaeilge.
But the retired pugilist said that the Loreto students’ standard of Irish was well up to scratch.
“They were perfect - practically fluent!” he said.
“This is for everyone - young people, as well as people who have left school and maybe haven’t used Irish in years.
“Even if you’re not fluent, the important thing is to just give it a go. Alot of this is just about not being afraid to make mistakes.”
Figures released last week show that Kilkenny people are showing their Bród and commitment to using whatever Irish they have to support Bernard Dunne’s Bród Club. The county is in Division 2 on the Bród Club league table at number 15 - just ahead of rivals Tipperary.
Anyone can sign up on www.rte.ie/brodclub. Footage from the Kilkenny visit was aired on RTE on Monday night.