Cumann Gaelach Chair wants more from Fiontar

The Irish language school in DCU, Fiontar don’t do enough to interact on campus, according to the newly-elected Chair of DCU’s An Cumann Gaelach, Barra O’Scannláin.

O’Scannláin wants the visibility of the Irish language on campus to be significantly increased.

Fiontar school lecturer Dr Ciaran Mac an Bhaird told The College View that while he understands Irish-speaking students’ frustration with the lack of an Irish-language presence, the promotion of the native language outside the school doesn’t fall within its remit.

“For example, you don’t see lecturers from the School of Health and Human Performance doing anything on campus to raise awareness about obesity. Similarly, the Business School doesn’t promote entrepreneurship on campus, UStart and the Enterprise Society do,” he said.

However, first year Irish and French student O’Scannláin told The College View that he believes Fiontar keep to themselves too much.

“As an Arts student who studies Irish, I have absolutely no access to the Fiontar facilities and I don’t think that’s right,” he said.

According to Mac an Bhaird, the reason for this is that “the Fiontar facilities are funded by the Higher Education Authority under the condition that only Fiontar and more specifically Irish-speaking students use the labs to ensure there is only one language spoken in there.”

He advises students who want to speak Irish to feel free to do so on campus. “We’re a little oasis of Irish in a massive English speaking university so it’s about going out and making an effort.”

As well as revitalising An Cumann Gaelach, Irish-speaker O’Scannláin is also determined to help see through the appointment of an Irish Officer to the Students’ Union over the next year.

He believes such a development “would lead to an explosion of Irish on campus”.

Elaine Carroll

Image Credit: An Cumann Gaelach

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