13th October 2005
A group of Gaelic speaking teenagers visited Armagh in Northern Ireland last week as part of the annual international Gaelic debate 'Ri Chèile' organised by Comunn na Gàidhlig in Scotland and Gael Linn in Ireland.
Pupils from Portree, Dingwall, Fort William, Aberdeen and Glasgow were joined by pupils from Dublin, Armagh, Magherfelt (Co. Derry) and Gweedore (Co. Donegal) in Ireland on the trip which included a tour of Armagh, a social evening hosted by the Mayor of Armagh and a visit to Gulliver le Gaeilge at St. Patrick's Trian as well as the Debate itself.
The project's linking of the two language communities is important, according to Sheena MacLean of Comunn na Gàidhlig, who explained "These trips not only provide an opportunity for Gaelic speaking young people to develop their language skills through their preparation for and participation in the debate where topics cover a number of topical issues but also gives them an opportunity to mix with teenagers in a similar minority language situation to themselves."
Topics covered this year included nuclear power, Gaelic secondary schools, road tolls in city centres and ID cards. The overall winner of the Debate was Brídín ní Mhaoldomhnaigh (Pobalscoil Ghaoth Dobhair, Co. Donegal) with Tessa Campbell, Dingwall and Ryan Goodall, Coláiste Eoin coming first for Scotland and Ireland respectively.