IT WAS a special evening.
A majority of the revellers in a city pub called for their favourite tipple as gaeilge, the bartenders responded in our vernacular and sláinte echoed throughout.
Kilkenny’s first Pop Up Gaeltacht was in Cleere’s Theatre and Bar, Parliament Street and it attracted a bumper 200 gaelgoirí, aged 18 to 80.
The idea of a Pop-Up Gaeltacht is that people from our area who speak Irish are presented with an opportunity to socialize in a once-off venue.
The Gaeltacht started in Dublin last year and is now held there every month, but in a different pub each time.
Pop Ups have become very popular around the world as well, Gaeltachts have sprouted in New York, Singapore, Glasgow, Vancouver, Sydney and other capital cities.
They are free events, essentially, a normal crowd in a pub – except that everyone speaks as Gaeilge.
The pub becomes a Gaeltacht for a night. And whether you are a fluent speaker or a beginner, there is fáilte roimh cách.
Emma Nolan is an Irish teacher in Presentation Secondary School.
She saw an opportunity to run a Pop Up Gaeltacht in Kilkenny.
She worked with Oisín Mac Cinnéide and Trish O’Dea as co-organisers, and they aimed to promote the use of the Irish language in Kilkenny through the county’s first Pop Up Gaeltacht.
Emma was delighted with our maiden voyage.
“The Pop Up Gaeltacht is a great way of bringing Irish speakers in Kilkenny together. It was fantastic to see such a large turn out for the first one and we look forward to running future Pop Up Gaeltachts around the county,” she told The Reporter.