Article III of the Cumann na Gaeilge i mBoston Constitution (originally adopted on April 9, 1974), states that “In order to preserve and extend the use of the Irish language, the Society shall develop and maintain an educational center including a school with curriculum, faculty and regularly enrolled student body, together with a library of books and recordings of Irish language; shall cooperate with and assist the Massachusetts Department of Education and/or colleges, universities or other educational organizations in enrollment, curriculum and faculty development for Irish studies; shall assist with and participate in Irish language programs in educational radio and television; shall be of general assistance to public education by providing or recommending a bureau of lecturers, tutors and panelists; and shall promote the use of Irish language by fostering Irish theater and other cultural activities that furnish opportunities for language practice.”
The Cumann works in tandem with the Irish Cultural Center of New England in pursuit of the aims stated above. Most of our classes are held at the Center in Canton, Mass. Here also we organize various cultural activities: Lá Gaeilge (Irish language Day), plays, barbecues, etc. These activities re-inforce the knowledge our students gain in the classroom, as they converse in a relaxed social setting.
Irish is now taught at Catholic Memorial High School in West Roxbury by one of our teachers Máire Ní Choinceannain. Also, we are seeking to place the language on the adult education program at Bunker Hill Community College. Soon, we will offer quality plays in Irish.
It’s imperative to link the students and the Irish-speaking community. Native speakers are plentiful and a great resource for learners. The onus, however, is on the student: native speakers are sometimes less than fanatical about the language. Nevertheless, they will help, if help is sought.
We are pursuing the founders’ objectives today with renewed vigor. There is new leadership, new ideas, a new vision. The number of students has nearly doubled, and their enthusiasm inspires us.
Irish is now one of the official languages of the European Community. Unfortunately, it’s still endangered, and asks of us our utmost to save it. We will do so by sharing this wonderful gift with anyone who wants it. So, challenge yourself, enrich your life, meet interesting people. Unique people. People whose language is a direct linguistic link to the Celts.