Another year of Irish language successes in Mid Ulster

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The Chair of Mid Ulster District Council recently held a reception to mark another successful group of students graduating from the Irish Language Diploma Course.

Councillor Sean McPeake met and congratulated the graduates, who gained their qualifications as part of an Ulster University course run at the Burnavon, Cookstown, which is designed to bring higher learning opportunities to local communities.

Speaking at the event, Councillor Sean McPeake commented, “Mid Ulster District Council prides itself in the financial investment it makes annually in the promotion and provision of the Irish language within the region. The popular diploma course has been running for six years now, with weekly classes in the Burnavon and Southwest College and close to 100 successful graduates, including the 11 graduates from this year who we are celebrating here this evening.”

“In Mid Ulster we are extremely proud of our rich Gaelic heritage, and feel that it and our Irish Language, is something which must be celebrated. The Irish Language programme strives to create opportunities for learning, development and use of Irish right across the district.”

The Chair concluded, “I would like to thank Dr Malachy Ó Néill and his team for their hard work and on-going commitment to this course.”

Dr Malachy Ó Néill, Head of School of Irish Language and Literature said, “It is my pleasure to congratulate the Mid Ulster Irish Language Diploma class of 2018.

I know that those of you who have completed your Diploma are already part of a vibrant Irish language community here in Mid Ulster.

“Many of you are heavily involved in enriching Mid Ulster in cultural, sporting, musical and educational ways. Your completion of the Diploma shows your own personal commitment to the Irish Language.”

Tribute was paid to the Ulster GAA who provide £10K annually in scholarships for diploma students. Michael Hasson, President of Ulster GAA was also in attendance and spoke of the pride the GAA takes in supporting the diploma courses across all three campuses in Magee, Belfast and Coleraine, as well as the Burnavon.

The next Diploma course commences in the Burnavon on Monday, September 24. Anyone interested in taking this course should contact Mrs Caragh McCloskey via email: or call 028 7167 5193; or complete a form online via the university’s web site: