Amhrán na gCupán – Or why some of us loved our younger days in the Gaeltacht…

For the craic and the sheer collective fun of it…

  • JR

    Colaiste Lurgan have really brought the teenage Gaeltacht experience to the next level. The energy, vision and comradery that they generate and nurture among teenagers is really remarkable.

    My trips to the geltacht during the summer were among the highlights of my teenage years, there is somthing about the TG lurgan videos that captures some of that atmosphere.

    Two more of their videos to enjoy

  • UserAinm

    An mhaith ar fad!

  • carl marks

    Wonderful video , the craic is different from my day but it’s still the craic.

    I loved Bunbeg, three and a half weeks in the middle of July (the sash was always sung on the 12th) chasing girls ( Irene you broke my heart) forget most of what i learned there, my eldest however earns a few bob every now and then translating so the years she spent their paid off.
    Donegall is a magical place i still get excited when i cross the border at Derry, camping in the Bluestacks or a B&B at Errigal no better way to relax.

  • John Ó Néill

    Great. Combination of girls, gaeilge, music etc is hard to explain to anyone who didn’t go (think I spent four summers, mainly in Coláiste Mhuire in Loch an Iúir).

  • In my last year in Primary school, one of the teachers in the school started arranging a holiday in Ranafast for those of us who wanted to go. Throughout the year we brought a certain amount of money towards the trip. Unfortunately, about 6 weeks before we were due to go, he fell seriously ill and couldn’t take us. It would have been my first holiday ever other than staying with Grannie for 2 weeks every summer. You can imagine how disappointed we were. But we did get our money back which I’m sure we spent well if our Mas didn’t take it.

  • Cric

    Spent 4 Summers and 1 Easter in Colaiste Mhuir, Loch an Iuir. Some of the best days of my life and I get very nostalgic looking back now – aside from the drudgery of School and Sunday mass (praying every Sunday morning we got the ‘fast’ Priest) you’d be amazed the amount of fun you can muster when surrounded by friends (and plentiful ladies) in a field, in the middle of nowhere.

  • turnpike


  • Mick Fealty

    You’ve been? Or you got all that from one video?

  • Scáth Shéamais


    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

    (For the record, madrassa simply means ‘school’.)

  • Mick Fealty

    Quite, a Sheamais… And they provide the only schooling a lot of poorer kids get, and to similar standards to that of the state in some places…

  • Ní Dhuibhir

    I know lots of people love it, but my one teenage trip to the Gaeltacht was the worst three weeks of my young life. It was a fascinating and useful experience in its own way, but it put me off Irish entirely until I started learning again, for other reasons, in adulthood. This was in 1996, so I’m willing to believe things are different now, and they probably always were a bit different in other colleges.

    I was not a ‘clubbable’ kid, so the things people like about it – eg rolling round sand dunes with squads of people your own age you cannot get away from – were not selling points. My weirdness was not the college’s fault, but given the thousands of young people who had been through their hands, it was odd that they were completely unprepared for any 14 year old who ever wanted to do anything but play badminton.

    For a bookish child, it was tortuously boring. They told me off for reading in English, but the only books they had in Irish were A) aimed at toddlers, and B) kept in the ‘sin bin’, only accessible to those who had been chucked out of class for bad behaviour. My mother, who had attended the same place decades earlier and knew the type of them, posted me a relief package – Brave New World and 1984.

    The element that put me off Irish for years was the sense that it only existed in a strange, artificial world, where English and Britain had never happened, yet somehow, the Gaelic League had. I understand the value and difficulty of creating environments where people can be immersed in minority languages, and the necessity of drowning English out in that context. However, the bizarre pretense that nothing originating east of the Irish Sea existed* was impossible to sustain and made the whole thing feel pointless.

    Me and a classmate were two of the first three non-Catholics they claimed to have had, as well, but that’s another story…

    *except for badminton and table tennis – if only more Gaelic games could be played indoors!

  • Mick Fealty

    I was seventeen before I went, and then it was an Easter course at Rannafast, so I was well past that horrible early teenage stage…