Uptown Denver had a special taste of Northern Ireland this month. Friday September 21st during the Irish Network’s Discovery Lunch program, this month held at renowned Uptown favorite, Strings Restaurant, Northern Irishmen Caoimhin Mac Giolla Mhin and Dr. Frank Costello spoke to the INCO crowd about a topic close to their hearts - linguistics and the Irish language. An Ciste Infheistiochta Gaeilge is a fund set up to help promote and expand the Irish language in the province of Ulster and all of Northern Ireland. Mr. Mac Giolla Mhin and Dr. Costello were visiting Denver on the last leg of their American promotional tour after stopovers in New York, Boston and Washington, DC.
The ultimate goal of Ciste is to establish the physical infrastructure in Northern Ireland communities to support the advancement of the Irish language. They have been granted a capital investment fund of £8 million from the British government and continue to look for donations from private parties, corporations or other organizations. It is a very challenging task, but the passion and drive shown by Mr. Mac Giolla Mhin and Dr. Costello was evident during the duration of their presentation dispelling any doubts. Northern Ireland ex-pats in the audience really fed off of Mr. Mac Giolla Mhin’s enthusiasm engaging him with a wide range of questions and anecdotes. It was obvious these attendees fully supported Ciste’s mission and were happy to see government support of the Irish language, which is so crucial to the Irish identity. There have been Irish language classes taught here in Denver, but they seemed to have faded in the past several years, which is unfortunate.
Ciste was brought to Denver by INCO members Dennis Gallagher and Seamus Blaney. Blaney is a Belfast native and childhood friend of Mr. Mac Giolla Mhin, reconnecting when Mr. Mac Giolla Mhin started planning this trip. Ciste also met with officers of Regis University and the local GAA club, the Denver Gaels.
Mr. Mac Giolla Mhin left by providing with a great thought.
“Bíonn anam úr agat le gach teanga a labhraíonn tú. Muna bhfuil ach teanga amháin agat, ní bhíonn ach an t-aon saol agat.”
“You live a new life for every new language you speak. If you know only one language, you only live once.”
The Irish Network continues its Discovery Lunch program this fall with some great speakers. Upcoming speakers include:
Steve Hochhauser, Former CEO Johns Manville Oct. 4, 2012
Bob Rohde, President and CEO of the Dumb Friends League Nov. 1, 2012
Joseph A. “Bud” Ahearn, Senior Vice President Human Capital Initiatives, CH2MHill Dec. 6, 2012