Introduction to the week in Wicklow
Kwetb Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board
Maria, Angela Higgins
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On Monday, the day started with an introduction of the training center and the team. Then we went with Jonathan Wallace who took us around Wicklow to introduce us to the history of the town and its economic background. So, we saw the port and its timber industry, the Black Castle which defened the entry of the harbour and its beach, the Lifeboat station which is still under the Royal regulation and is ruled by volunteers. We also went past The historical monument remembering the Irish rebellion of late 18th century with W.H. Byrne and Holt. We also saw an obelisk that commemorates Captain Halpin who realised the first connection between Europe and the United States thanks to telegraph. We understood that the town was created after the invasion by the Vikings then christianised by St Patrick and invaded by the Normans who brought trade in a country mainly focused on farming.
The afternoon started with an Irish dancing class where we had several demonstrations by Joanne O’Brien, a student of the school. We also had a look at Riverdance shows’ extracts. It was then time for the trainees to practice… we leave it to your imagination !
After that, we had an activity on the Irish language with Míde Maher. She introduced us to the history of this language, its roots and its cultural impact on people today. We learnt about pronunciation and had the opportunity to get familiar with usual expressions or first names for example. It was a very interesting language activity to realise where a language comes from and how it can evolve according to the change of society.
Meaningful quotation :
Tìr gan teanga Tìr gan anam : a country without a language is a country without a soul.