People might be surprised to hear Irish spoken on the streets of Dublin's Ballymun but a local school encourages the language through through drama and fun.
Another generation is learning Ireland's traditional tales, and thanks to teachers in Scoil an tSeachtar Laoch, Ballymun, their parents are learning with them.
‘P.M.’ reporter Doireann Ní Bhriain visited First Class in Scoil an tSeachtar Laoch and watched rehearsals for their latest play, based on the theme of the changeling child. Teacher Síle Ní Dhuibhne wanted to use a traditional Irish story but fairies might not make sense to children growing up in an urban environment. Enter the Wombles, fictional creatures from the popular children’s books, television and song.
The play was written by Síle's sister Éilís Ní Dhuibhne, who has a background in folklore. The parents are also very supportive of the school, and assist with the costumes and make up.
Is it hard for the children to learn their lines as Gaeilge? According to Ní Dhuibhne, they’re up to speed with the language by the time they get to first class. And what about their parents? They’re willing to learn too, says Ní Dhuibhne,
Cuirimid ranganna Gaeilge ar siúl dóibh, so má theastaíonn thú Gaeilge a fhoghlaim, is féidir leat Gaeilge a fhoghlaim, agus tagann roinnt mhaith díobh ann, agus ansin, déanann siad iarracht an Gaeilge atá acu a úsáid, leis na páistí sa bhaile.
The school is gradually carving out a place for itself in the consciousness of the community. Last year they organised a week-long festival which included music, dancing and concerts, much enjoyed by all, and Ní Dhuibhne says they hope to repeat that success this coming October,
I mbliana támuid chun ceann eile a chur ar siúl i mí Meán Fomhair ar feadh deich lá agus beidh na cailíní siopaí is gach éinne páirteach ann, agus múinfimid Gaeilge dóibh.
This episode of ‘P.M.’ was broadcast on 5 May 1978. The reporter is Doireann Ní Bhriain.
'P.M.' was a magazine series reporting on aspects of Irish life with interludes for music from Irish performers.
'P.M.' first began on Tuesday, 20 September, 1977 and was initially aired three nights a week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 7.00pm on RTÉ 1.
The original presenters John O'Donoghue, Áine O'Connor, Nicholas Coffey and Doireann Ní Bhriain were later joined by Pat Kenny.
"As editor Noel Smyth sees it, the Tuesday programme will consist mainly of film reports on topical events anywhere in Ireland, the Wednesday edition will concentrate on studio discussions, and the Thursday programme will be in Irish, with just as wide a brief as the other two." (RTÉ Guide, 16 September 1977, Vol.1, No.37, p.18)
'P.M.' ran until Thursday, 12 April 1979.