Naíscoil na Seolta’s immram: all aboard!

Naíscoil na Seolta’s immram: all aboard!
Naíscoil na Seolta’s immram: all aboard!

Linda Ervine at the Skainos Setting up on the Newtownards Road.


The Old Irish term “imramm” comes to mind with regard to Linda Ervine and her endeavors with the Irish language.  Meaning “voyage”, it is made use of currently for a common Irish literary style, which inspired a different renowned Belfast resident and 20th Century writer, C.S. Lewis, to involve “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” within just his “Chronicles of Narnia” sequence.  Indeed, from East Belfast, and in perspective of “Samson and Goliath,” the legendary gantries of the Harland & Wolff shipyard which had released so a lot of imramma, Linda usually speaks of her Irish language “journey,” inviting her East Belfast neighbors, and in fact all of us, to travel aboard with her.

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In 2011, Linda, a former instructor, very well-highly regarded among the East Belfast’s Protestant group and from a politically lively Unionist family, designed information headlines following efficiently launching Turas (another Irish word for “journey”)  to educate the Irish she realized though a 6-7 days introduction at the East Belfast Mission and continued reports at An Droichead, “The Bridge” to her grownup Protestant and Unionist neighbors.   Enrollment in Turas’ Irish language courses has developed exponentially given that then.

Now, she is renowned and broadly revered over and above Belfast for instructing all of us that Irish belongs to all who are interested, embrace it, learn it and speak it.

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A naíscoil currently and with any luck , a bunscoil just one working day.

With her eager perception of historical past, she uncovered about the Irish language as it was spoken among the her Protestant community through Belfast and even by her possess spouse and children.  “What the Focal?”, a lighthearted quick movie, centered on a script by Linda alludes her individual discoveries about the language and its local history.

“Imramh,” the Fashionable Irish for “imramm,” is also made use of for “rowing”, enjoyable, but also tough get the job done and Linda is absolutely up for the endeavor!

Escalating desire and openness to Gaelic sporting activities among the Unionist community observed the institution of the new East Belfast GAA last yr.   Aside from serving as the new club’s initial President, Linda Ervine — whose late brother-in-law David Ervine led the Progressive Unionist Celebration —  also remaining her mark on the team’s handsome insignia, inscribed with the Ulster-Scots “Thegither” and Irish “Le chéile” along with “Together” in English underneath the H&W gantries, “Samson and Goliath.”

Ultimately the new and enthusiastic Irish-speaking community adopted the ancient renowned imramm of Óisín and Niamh to learn their very own “Tír na nÓg” or “Land of Youth,” the desire of a naíscoil, an Irish-language nursery college for their youngsters and these of their Catholic and Nationalist neighbors.   Integrated education has extensive been witnessed as a dire will need in a society so polarized by sectarianism and a tragic earlier. 

“Naíscoil na Seolta” usually means “nursery of the sails”, which is a reference to East Belfast’s heritage of ship building.  Under the motto “Páistí sona ag foghlaim le chéile” (“Happy small children studying together”), the college will welcome 16 young children, Protestants and Catholics alongside one another, in a few months.

Of class, just about every imramm includes stormy climate, and the very best of them encounter horrible sea monsters!

At the conclusion of Could, the East Belfast GAA faced a bomb scare.  Yet, the club ongoing to increase.

Even even worse, Naíscoil na Seolta and its a few-12 months aged pupils turned the goal of a cowardly despise campaign on Facebook.  The new nursery faculty was threatened with pickets this summer months.  Soon, libelous posters appeared all over the premises.   Writing for the Sunday Entire world, journalist Hugh Jordan tagged former Purple Hand Commando, Charlie Freel, who was incarcerated for bombing a Catholic-owned pub in the 1970s, as the “mastermind” at the rear of the cyber-marketing campaign.

As of this creating, the location of Freel’s bigoted hatred, the “United Ulsterman group,” with its around 6,000 associates, is nevertheless hosted on Facebook, which in 2015, was so eager to suspend personal accounts for applying Irish and Scottish Gaelic, Native American and drag queen names.

Provided the concerning circumstances, the college made the decision to move. Nonetheless, beneath the intrepid leadership of Linda Ervine, the spirit of the academics, mother and father and students of Naíscoil na Seolta stays unbroken.

Potentially, the most well-known Irish immram was truly penned in Latin all around Ad 900, “Navagatio Sancti Brendani Abbatis.”  Its hero makes his way from Kerry to a wide continent throughout the sea in the 6th Century.   Of study course, hundreds of years later, countless immrama would comply with St. Brendan from Eire and all above the planet.  For the vast vast majority of us in the United States, our really existence here is a ongoing immram, both our have or our households.  

As Douglas Hyde did for the Gaelic League and Pádraig Pearse for Scoil Éanna, the voyagers aboard Naíscoil na Seolta also look throughout the Atlantic at this demanding time, “All are united in their intention of opening the naíscoil doors in September in a short-term area. Longer expression, we are fund-elevating so that we can secure a safe and sound web site of our have, and create the bunscoil [“primary school”] which is our desire. We seem ahead to producing new close friends and companions who can aid us make this aspiration a truth.”

Men and women and groups equipped and willing to assistance Naíscoil na Seolta can get to them by e-mail, [email protected].   As Máirtín Ó Cadhain had encouraged the young family members of Belfast’s Shaw’s Street Gaeltacht in the 1960s, “Ná habair é. Déan é!” – “Don’t say it.  Do it!”