Máire Úna Ní Bheagaloich (Letters, Aug 9) rightfully upholds both the cultural honour and creative validity of the modern-day Gaeltacht experience for many of the nation’s teenagers, during their long summer holidays. Having just had our daughter’s first experience of Coláiste Sámhraidh in Muiríoch, Co Kerry, it seems to us to have been a perfect developmental sojourn for all the right and healthy reasons — social, emotional, physical (Céilís go leor!), as well as educational as Gaelige. We couldn’t speak more highly of it in the round.
Apart from a warm, caring and hospitable Bean an Tí, her wholesome home-cooking and general supportive vigilance, there was kayaking, trips to the local aquarium and a shopping visit to Dingle. This was all on top of a comprehensive classroom experience in the language, and copious creative gatherings for ceol, damhsa agus craic.
The supervision and transport supports were brilliant, with older students, teachers and bus people all working smoothly and efficiently to ensure safety and streamlining of activity, as well as the Gaeilge ‘ag caint’ aspect. The only ‘complaint’ mar-ya, was that they all didn’t want to leave for home at the end of the fortnight. How bad is all that?
How anyone can cast any cynical negative aspersion on the experience is beyond belief. One would have to be either a total snob or have a mammoth chip on their shoulder about an authentic, rich, yet simple, joyous experience, to do it down in any way. That it helps the local western seaboard community economies is an added boon, as the fees are worth every penny of the well-organised and dutifully delivered package.
To the nay-sayers, one could only retort…’Bah-Humbug’. What’s that ‘as-Gaeilge’?
Séamus Mac Óscair