Coláiste samhraidh sa Cheathrú Rua, Contae na Gaillimhe.

Thousands of young people between the ages of ten and eighteen years descend on An Cheathrú Rua in the Galway Gaeltacht during July and August to attend the coláistí samhraidh (summer colleges) there and improve their Gaeilge.

There are fifty six such colleges approved by Comhdháil Náisúnta na Gaeilge throughout the country, and while there have been reports of a decrease in students enrolling overall, Coláiste Chiaráin is fully booked for the season.

During the three week long courses the young people stay with families in the area, under the care of a bean an tí.

Cóilín Ó Domhnaill who founded Coláiste Chiaráin three years ago with Seán de Paor, says their policy of total immersion in the Irish language for students is made known to both the young people and their parents well ahead of their arrival so that they are prepared for the experience of

Gaeilge a labhairt agus Gaeilge a fhoghlaim, agus saoire mhaith ag an am céanna.

There are negatives as well as positives the community associated with the summer colleges however. Some feel that a tourist numbers have declined due to throngs of noisy teenagers who take over the beaches. But the scoláirí provide a guaranteed income for the mná tithe who look after them.

One measure of a successful college is students who return year after year, and some come back to work as cúntóirí who help the teachers organise sporting and social activities.

Coláiste Chiaráin's strict rule of spoken Irish as the everyday language benefits all the young people who come here says one cúntóir, who is also studying teacher training at third level,

Tá an brú ar na scoláirí an Ghaeilge a labhairt, agus ansin trí labhairt na Gaeilge, foghlaimíonn siad é.

The day consists of formal classes in the morning, where all aspects of the language are covered, as well as local history and learning traditional songs. Afternoons are dedicated to sport, games and outings, with céilís, discos and barbeques in the evenings,

Bainimid an-spraoi as.

The students come mainly from rural areas and towns and villages outside Dublin, with a percentage travelling from the capital itself. Making it all work is no small feat for Cóilín Ó Dohmnaill and Seán de Paor, who use the village's national and secondary schools, and also run courses for third level students at Easter in Áras Mhairtín Uí Chadhain.

It is all about being as organised as possible says Cóilín Ó Domhnaill, and moving with the times to offer a full timetable of activities that teenagers will enjoy.

Listening to pop music and going to discos are blended with learning Irish, and the cultural experience is enhanced as local people are invited on board to teach students about Gaeltacht life,

Ag caint agus ag casadh ceoil agus ag amhránaíocht, agus ag roinnt a gcuid scileannaí leis na scoláirí...

This report for 'Súil Thart' was broadcast on 22 June 1986. The reporter is Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill.