Deireadh Seachtaine Gaeilge / Irish Language Weekend

Thank you for attending the 2023 DSG. Watch for 2024 information to come out in January of 2024.

We had an amazing experience with all of the students, instructors, and artists.  If you'd like to see photos from the weekend, they are available on the CJAC Facebook page here. You can watch the lovely concert by Dáithí Sproule of songs in Irish hereThis page remains here for reference only. All events and classes mentioned below have passed and the links have been removed.

DSG (Deireadh Seachtaine Gaeilge) Irish Language Weekend
A small group of multi-generational people sit in a circle around a fireplace, talking.

Fáilte romhaibh/ Welcome

Beatha teanga í a labhairt. The life of a language is in its speaking.

Ba mhaith liom fáilte a chur romhaibh ar fad anseo in ionad cultúrtha, Celtic Junction. I’d like to welcome you all here to the cultural center, Celtic Junction.

Beidh am maith againn ag labhairt le chéile i Deireadh Seachtaine Gaeilge 2023 seo. We’ll all enjoy speaking together in this Irish Language Weekend.

Go raibh míle maith agaibh! Thank you very much!

Pádraig Ó Dónaill/Patrick O’Donnell.

Stiúrthóir Oideachais/Education Director.

Beidh Deireadh Seachtaine Gaeilge ar siúl i St. Paul, MN ar an 21ú, 22ú, & 23ú lá d’Aibreán 2023. Beidh ranganna ann do chuile dhuine ó thosaitheoirí go cainteoirí líofa.

An Irish Language Weekend will be held in St. Paul, MN on the 21st, 22nd, & 23rd of April 2023. There will be classes for everyone from absolute beginners to experienced learners. 

Déan teagmháil le / Contact -

Celtic Junction launches semester of unique Irish themed online classes. Getty.

2 Online DSG Levels

Prefer to learn from home?  Join Dean Farrell or Réamonn Ó Ciaráin online via Zoom for their classes at the DSG!

  • Improving Intermediate: Dean Farrell. [Intermediate A].
    Remote Class Registration.
  • Advanced: Réamonn  Ó Ciaráin. [Advanced A ].
    Remote Class

We are bigger and more comprehensive this year with speakers, teachers and performers coming from Ireland, Northern Ireland, Canada, and Texas.

We will have expanded to five levels of teaching this year. Students may self-select their level and will have the option to move to another level if they wish for any reason.

If a student wishes for advice on their level, please let Patrick O'Donnell know:

1. Absolute Beginners: Dr. Patrick O'Donnell. [Beginners A].
2. Improving Beginners: Maureen Engelhardt. [Beginners B].
3. Improving Intermediate: Dean Farrell. [Intermediate A]. Remote class available. Details and Registration.
4. Experienced Intermediate: Lavinia Finnerty. [Intermediate B].
5. Advanced: Réamonn  Ó Ciaráin. [Advanced A]. Remote class available. Details and Resgistration.

Schedule  (subject to change)
Google Map
Lóistín/ Hotel Block

To celebrate our new 2023 partnership with the world-renowned Gael Linn, our highlights this year include: a talk by Pádhraic Ó Ciardha, Chairman of Gael Linn, on 'Gael Linn - 70 years of innovation in language and cultural revitalization' on Friday, April 21.  Fáinní (ring lapel pins signifying one familiar with the Irish language appropriate to beginner or more experienced levels) will be presented to anybody attending this weekend and/or who took one of the Gael Linn Winter quarter classes earlier in 2023. We'll be showing the famous Gael Linn film Saoirse from 1961 depicting the tumultuous years from 1919-1922 which led to the formation of the Irish Free State and the partition of Ireland. Also, the Gael Linn teacher, Dean Farrell, will be flying in from Montreal to teach for the weekend.

Also included in the Weekend, for entertainment and further craic, we'll be having a 'Battling Bodhrans' workshop with Fergal O'Brien, the irrepressible tutor from the Traditional Arts Partnership in South Armagh and the world premiere of 'Away with the Fa*ries', a new one-woman theater piece on the magic of questing for knowledge of the Irish language into the Otherworld of ancestral memory by Eliza Kane from Austin, Texas.

Aíonna Speisialta / Special Guests


Réamonn Ó Ciaráin was appointed to the role of CEO of Gael Linn on 2 June 2022. He began working with Gael Linn in 1993, was promoted to manager in 2003, and to Director of Education in 2020. Réamonn has authored three books on Cúchulainn which were published by Gael Linn, as well articles in a variety of publications. He has toured the Midwest of the USA speaking about Cúchulainn, Ireland’s greatest mythological hero.

Réamonn was born in Crossmaglen, and now lives in Milford, Co. Armagh. He took his primary degree in education with Celtic studies at St Mary’s University College, Belfast. Following this, he successfully completed a master’s degree in Irish Studies at Queen’s University Belfast and later a master’s degree in Cultural Management at the University of Ulster. He is chairperson of Aonach Mhacha, the Irish language social enterprise behind the building of a state of the art Irish language cultural centre in Armagh City which opened in March 2020.

Réamonn is married to Dolores and they have two children, Alana and Caoilte.

Pádhraic Ó Ciardha

Pádhraic Ó Ciardha has served in leadership roles and on many bodies in the media sector in Ireland and in the Celtic nations. He was a key player, directly and centrally involved in all phases in the planning, establishment and development of TG4, the acclaimed Irish language TV channel.

He is a native speaker of Irish, born and reared in Cois Fharraige in the Galway Gaeltacht. After graduating from Maynooth University, he was a research scholar in the School of Celtic Studies at the Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies and subsequently lecturer in Modern Irish at Maynooth University.

His broadcasting career began when he established the Raidió na Gaeltachta bureau in Dublin in 1979. He went on to become a member of the team which devised and established the flagship radio news programme Morning Ireland on RTÉ Radio 1 and was later Programme Editor for RTÉ Nuacht (Irish language news) on radio and television.

He was engaged as full-time Irish Language Broadcasting Policy Advisor to the two successive Government Ministers, (Máire Geoghegan-Quinn and Michael D Higgins), whose initiatives led to the establishment of the service.

Deputy Chief Executive of TG4 (1996-2018).  This role was to lead the fledgling station in corporate and public affairs, international representation, branding and media relations.   He coined the channel’s acclaimed and evergreen motto/mission statement  súil eile (‘another eye’).

It is rumoured that he plays the tin whistle.

Eliza Kane

Eliza (Zaelí) Kane  studied Art + Sociology at Goldsmiths University London and enjoyed a year-long private mentorship in Manosque, France with the late peintre militaire, Louis Frégier.

Today Zaelí studies woodworking in Lockhart, Texas under sculpturist RL Blaire, best known for his vintage collaborations with Disney, and oil portraiture under Karen Offutt at Austin’s Atelier Dojo.

Zaelí’s imaginative, multidisciplinary work — comprising traditional canvas fair, up-cycled litter, audio collage, and live performance art — is influenced by her training in clinical hypnosis, Permaculture design theory, and literary scholarship with a concentration in minority languages.

Her various projects unite around a goal to dismantle the grip Ecological Anxiety (be it Despair or Denial) holds on our collective imagination, freeing us to re-harmonize with our home planet, which she believes we’re well able to not only achieve but also enjoy.

Zaelí uses these creative expressions to deepen and disseminate her scholarly research on the same subjects, published under her given name, Eliza Catherine Kane, MA, CH.

Fergal O'Brien Bodhran

Fergal O’Brien has taught bodhrán since 1986 in Belfast, and from 2006, with the Traditional Arts
Partnership, South Armagh. In 2016, Fergal published the world’s first graded bodhrán tutor book
with colleague René de Kat. Seoladh Eagrán 4 ag CJAC i 2021.

Fergal O’Brien hails from a family steeped in traditional music in Portglenone, County Antrim. Fergal became interested in traditional music through his mother Ann, an All Ireland Slow Air Fiddle champion, in the late 70’s. His brother and sister were members of Deánta and his first group Clann Lughaidh were double All Ireland Slogadh winners in 1979 and 1980. Clann Lughaidh went on to appear on BBC’s ‘As I  Roved Out’ and performed for two years at the Interceltic festival in Lorient. Fergal plays piano, concertina and bodhrán.

After he married and moved to South Armagh Fergal was a member of an All Ireland winning Mullaghbawn Scór Instrumental Group in 2006 & 2008.

Daithi Sproule

Is as Doire é Dáithí agus is amhránaí, ceoltóir, scríbhneoir, agus saoi é. Tá sé in a bhall don mbanna ceoil Altan. Chomh maith le sin chas sé agus thaifead sé le go leor ceoltóirí eile ar fud na cruinne, Skara Brae in a measc.

Since the early days of attending Irish College at Rann Na Feirste in Donegal and winning national championships with the St. Columb’s Irish Language Debating Team, Dáithí Sproule has been an avid Irish language speaker and scholar. He earned an MA in Early and Medieval Irish, and worked as an editor for an Irish language publisher before coming to the U.S. His scholarship on Early Irish poetry and history has been published in Comhar and Ériu. His collection of short stories in Irish was published In 1987. Dáithí has taught Early and Medieval Irish at University College Dublin and courses on Celtic culture and history at the University of St. Thomas and the University of Minnesota. He continues to teach at the Center for Irish Music in St. Paul and tour with the Irish band, Altan.