Almost 300 pupils from schools in Kilkenny, Wexford, Waterford and Dublin took part in a one-day feast of music, singing, dancing and drama in St Michael’s Theatre, New Ross last Thursday.
The Coirm Gael Linn Festival is an annual staging of school talent shows. The schools each presented a twenty minute variety show ‘as Gaeilge’ with a theme of their own choice, using the musical and dramatic talents of pupils from one class or from different classes.
The hall was filled to capacity and the appreciative audience, comprising schoolchildren, parents and teachers, were entertained before and after each show by the popular entertainer, Guido Fanzini. Each child who participated was also given a little memento of the occasion to take home.
While Coirm Gaek Linn is not a competition, each show is reviewed by a guest adjudicator and a written critique is given to each teacher. At the adjudicator’s discretion, special merit awards or ‘gradaim’, are also presented for outstanding performances by individuals or ensembles during the shows.
On this occasion, Tomás Ó Nialláin complimented the teachers for the high standard of production from all the participating schools. He presented two awards to the young cast of Gaelscoil Osraí, Kilkenny for their wonderful presentation of ‘Francaigh Hamelin’ (a version of The Pied Piper of Hamelin), in particular for their clear enunciation and acting skills throughout the show, and also for the dance performed by the ‘rats’. Teacher Ruth Ní Chearbhalláin was delighted with her pupils’ success.
Gael Linn is this year celebrating its 60th anniversary, and the organisation has a long tradition of using the arts as a medium for promoting the Irish language among young people. It is a popular event on the school calendar since its inception in 2002, and a total of nine festivals will be held at various venues nationwide over the coming weeks.
By having a positive and fun experience, the organisers hope that primary school children in particular will be encouraged to use whatever knowledge they have of the language outside the classroom.