As the only university in England, Scotland and Wales offering a degree in Irish Language and Literature we are always eager to hear from and help groups teaching and learning Irish in the UK.
Last week Peadar visited Manchester Irish Language Group to help out with a day of language workshops.
MILG is a local community group of Irish speakers and learners based around Manchester. Over thirty people turned out for a fun day of classes and chat, hosted by the Irish World Heritage Centre just north of Manchester City Centre. Run by volunteers who teach classes and organise conversation circles and other events throughout the year, the group does amazing work in promoting Irish language and literature, as well as reaching out to the Irish diaspora, in Manchester and the region. The day of workshops provided a great opportunity for learners to come together and practice using their Irish in an informal and friendly atmosphere. People came from far and wide for a day of Irish with individuals and groups coming from Newcastle, Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Buxon as well as lots from closer to home.
We were especially thrilled to bump into Seán, originaly from Corr na Móna on the Galway/Mayo border but living in London and Surrey for decades. Seán was randomly in the building for an entirely different event but happened to pop his head around the door on hearing a familiar accent. He was eventually coaxed to come in to the class for a chat and shared memories of school telling us about how he came to live in the UK.
Among the people who came impressive lengths was Terri from Birmingham who had been teaching GCSE Irish to adults and students in Birmingham and Manchester! Hopefully some of her students will want to carry on to do a degree in Irish – beidh míle fáilte rompu in Aberystwyth na nGael!
I’m Jackie Burek. Usually, I live in Philadelphia, studying for my PhD in the Department of English in the University of Pennsylvania. But I got an opportunity to come to Aberystwyth University for one year, as a Fulbright Postgraduate Scholar 2014–2015 in the Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies. I was hoping to research medieval manuscripts in the National Library of Wales (NLW), and to learn to speak Welsh better. I’m happy to report that I have accomplished both goals! But my Fulbright year is over, and now I can reflect on my time in Aberystwyth.
I have very much enjoyed researching manuscripts in the NLW, and I have written a chapter of my PhD thesis using this research. But my interactions, formal and informal, with the professors and students of the Department have been just as useful as my own research. And through the IMEMS (Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies) lecture series, I met people in the Department of History and Welsh History – and I gave a lecture to the group too! The historians in Aberystwyth have been a wonderful resource and a new group of friends, just like the people in the Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies. Truly, the people are the most special part of Aberystwyth University.
The people who live in and around Aberystwyth are very special too, and I have received a warm welcome from them. I joined a local history group in Penparcau, and I have learned a lot about the history and culture of Wales, and especially Penparcau. And I got the opportunity to ride through Aberystwyth on a float in the Aberystwyth Carnival! I’m full of gratitude for the kindness of the people of Aberystwyth and Penparcau.
It isn’t possible for me to describe the profound impact on my research and my life that I received from my experiences in Aberystwyth this year. Thanks so much to everyone, and especially, to the Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies and the Fulbright Commission of the US, for supporting me through the Fulbright award. I’ll be back in Aberystwyth soon, I’m sure!
[This post congratulates Dr Richard Glyn Roberts, a new member of staff, who was recently awarded the Vernam Hull Memorial Prize for his scholarly edition and discussion of the collection of proverbs in the iconic medieval manuscript Llyfr Coch Hergest (The Red Book of Hergest): Diarhebion Llyfr Coch Hergest (2013). The Ellis Grifiths Memorial Prize was awarded to Dr Rhiannon Marks, graduate of the Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies at Aberystwyth, and lecturer at the School of Welsh, Cardiff University]
Llongyfarchiadau calonnog i’n cydweithiwr newydd Dr Richard Glyn Roberts, enillydd Gwobr Goffa Vernam Hull. Dyfernir Gwobr Goffa Vernam Hull am waith cyflawn sy’n ymwneud â Rhyddiaith Gymraeg cyn 1700, a derbyniodd Richard y wobr am ei gyfrol Diarhebion Llyfr Coch Hergest (Aberystwyth: CMCS, 2013). Ceir yn y gyfrol y golygiad cyntaf o’r casgliad o ddiarhebion a gedwir yn y llawysgrif ganoloesol Gymraeg bwysig, Llyfr Coch Hergest, ynghyd ag astudiaeth o’r deunydd diddorol hwnnw. Mae ei ymchwil i baremioleg, sef diarhebion, yn parhau… Mae ef ar hyn o bryd yn golygu casgliad diarhebion William Salesbury a Gruffydd Hiraethog, Oll Synnwyr pen Kembero ygyd (1547), sef yr ail lyfr printiedig yn y Gymraeg. Bydd myfyrwyr Rhan 2 yr Adran yn mwynhau darlithiau Richard ar William Salesbury ar y modiwl ‘Y Gymraeg: iaith dysg a chymdeithas’.
Hefyd, dyfarnwyd Gwobr Goffa Ellis Griffiths 2014 i Dr Rhiannon Marks, un o raddedigion yr Adran hon a darlithydd yn Ysgol y Gymraeg, Prifysgol Caerdydd. Derbyniodd Rhiannon y wobr am ei chyfrol ‘Pe gallwn, mi luniwn lythyr’: golwg ar waith Menna Elfyn (Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru, 2013), cyfrol feirniadol arbrofol sy’n dehongli cerddi Menna Elfyn ac yn trafod ein perthynas â llenyddiaeth.
Llongyfarchiadau i Richard a Rhiannon!
Gweinyddir a dyfernir y gwobrau gan Ganolfan Uwchefrydiau Cymreig a Cheltaidd Prifysgol Cymru.
Darllenwch y stori lawn yma