Seachtain na Gaeilge

Week of Irish
Seachtain na Gaeilge
Abbreviation SnaG
Formation 1903
Founder Conradh na Gaeilge
Type Irish language
Gaelic revival
Headquarters Ireland

Seachtain na Gaeilge (English: "Irish language week") (SnaG) is a non-profit organisation in Ireland which promotes the Irish language during a two-week festival held at the beginning of March every year, just before Saint Patrick's Day on March 17.[1]


Poster for 1913 Seaċtṁain na Gaeḋilge, contrast Irish Ireland with West Britain

The festival was established by Conradh na Gaeilge in 1903, and Seachtain na Gaeilge is now sponsored by Foras na Gaeilge.

Events during the festival include music sessions, speed-dating, and street céilís. Over 150,000 people of all levels of fluency in Irish take part, including thousands of children from schools and youth clubs in Ireland.

The festival motto is "Croí na Teanga – It's You!" (The Heart of the Language – It's You!).

In 2012, SnaG coincided with Rith, a relay race in support of Irish, modelled on the Basque Korrika.

Seachtain na Gaeilge was relaunched by Conradh na Gaeilge in its present format in 1977. During the years after its relaunch it organised among other events:

- Currach racing on the river Liffey and in Dún Laoghaire with teams coming from the different Gaeltacht areas

- Duffey's Circus in their Big Top with the MC presenting everything as Gaeilge.

- A specially commissioned Puppet Show as Gaeilge by Lamberts Puppet Theatre.

- The unveiling of a headstone on the grave of Brendan Behan in Glasnevin cemetery. Behan was a proud Irish speaker and some of his main work was originally written in Irish.

- The publishing of a highly controversial Rag Mag as Gaeilge.

- A major competition promoting Irish goods through Irish in city centre shops, organised in conjunction with the Irish Goods Council. Clery's and Brown Thomas among others won prizes.

- The National Library and National Gallery organised displays of relevance to the Irish language.

- The media placed a renewed emphasis on the Irish language with editorials supporting the language and the concept of Seachtain na Gaeilge. RTÉ's flagship bi-lingual programme Trom agus Éadrom organised full programmes on Seachtain na Gaeilge.

Music albums

As part of the celebration, compilation CDs have been released during the 2000s. These albums feature Irish acts singing their popular hits in the Irish language. Called SnaG '05, Ceol '06, Ceol '07 and Ceol '08 etc. these albums have included songs from Paddy Casey, Mundy, The Frames, and The Corrs. The Ceol '07 compilation featured a return of some of the artists from previous albums and debuts from Damien Dempsey, Bell X1 and Declan O'Rourke. Profits from the sale of these albums were donated to the charity Concern. In 2011, the production and distribution of this CD was allotted to radio station Raidió Rí Rá and the Irish Daily Star newspaper, and reached tens of thousands of listeners at the beginning of the festival, being distributed in the paper.


  1. "Seachtain na Gaeilge begins tomorrow". RTÉ News. 9 March 2003. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
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