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Connemara

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The Wild Atlantic Way is one of Ireland's greatest treasures, and the latest Tourism Ireland video shows even more stunning views of the landscape.

The area has brought the world closer together, connecting the coastline of Ireland and bringing tourist visitors from all over the world. It also provides the perfect area for a holiday in our own green backyard.

Tourism Ireland's vide, 'Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way – Connecting the world for over 100 years', emphasises the history of the scenery, and how important it is for our connections further west.

Sir John Alcock and Sir Arthur Whitten-Brown flew from Newfoundland in Canada in 1919 in a two-man biplane and crash landed at Derrigimlagh Bog in Connemara.

That same year, Guglielmo Marconi sent the first transatlantic radio-telegraph from Ballybunion to Nova Scotia, cementing our ties with Canada forever.

In 1866, Lord Kelvin Thomson changed communication forever by sending the first transatlantic cable message from Valentia Island to Newfoundland. This reducing the time it took to send a message across the ocean from weeks to minutes.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by  (@wild_atlantic_way_pics) on

Dr Brendan O’Regan opened the world’s first 'Duty-Free' shop in Shannon Airport in 1947, which led to hundreds of Free Zones worldwide,

Ireland is celebrating two 100-year anniversaries this year; the first transatlantic radio-telegraph and the first non-stop transatlantic flight.

A full re-enactment of the landing at this week's Alcock and Brown 100 Festival will honour both achievements.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Wild Atlantic Way Pics (@wild_atlantic_way_pics) on

One hundred years later, anyone can pick up the phone and communicate with friends and relatives all over the world or hop on a trans-Atlantic flight in hours.

It all began right here. The video serves to remind the Irish people and visitors from abroad that the Wild Atlantic Way makes an unbelievable Irish holiday.

Whether it's a short break, a cycling challenge or a trek around the entire country; there's no doubt that the landscape is hugely important for our culture.

Feature image: Instagram/@tourismireland

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Ah, the Gaeltacht. Remember the days? Busloads of mid-teen adolescents would head down to the depths of the Wesht for three weeks (costing a bomb) to try and shove Irish into our mouths…

Most of the time we came back with less of the mother tongue than when we left, and had some interesting experiences at the céilí with some lad you've probably seen in Coppers seven years later and almost died of mortification.

The jealousy of the other kids who managed to get a bean an tí who could actually cook was too real. News has now hit us that a scheme similar to the Erasmus programme will allow up to 175 students to study in the Gaeltacht for a semester.

College students will be offered the chance to spend three months in Connemara under the new language immersion scheme announced today by the Department of the Gaeltacht.

New government funding worth €250,000 will allow students to live with families while attending third-level courses for the entire summer.

Minister of State for the Irish language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands Seán Kyne made the announcement in Ionad Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge in Carna, an off-site part of the NUI Galway campus.  

Image: Flickr/janmennens

The Minister said the scheme “will be of benefit both to the Irish Language and the Gaeltacht”, and is aimed both at students with Irish as a core subject in their university, and at those who need the language to work in certain jobs and the public service.

The subsidy is worth up to €1,428 per student, and is payable to families qualified under the department’s Irish Language Learner’s Scheme.

Minister Kyne commented:

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to announce this new funding in further supporting third level students across Ireland to further enrich their Irish through spending three months living with Gaeltacht families while they are attending a qualification course in the Gaeltacht."

Image: Flickr/Will

"For many years, students learning languages have had the opportunity to spend time immersed in a target language while studying abroad on Erasmus. A fund will now be available for the first time which will help students to spend an entire semester in the Gaeltacht.” 

Students studying primary school teaching often visit the Gaeltacht as part of their course, as a proficiency in Irish is required.

We've all got some hilarious teenaged memories from our time in the Gaeltacht, be the recollections good or bad, so this should be interesting…

Feature image: Flickr/Dora Meulman

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Ruairi McSorley became an internet sensation after he was interviewed in January during a particularly cold morning in his native Derry.

His line: “You wouldn’t be long getting frostbit” was repeated up and down the country (and further afield) for months after his TV appearance. Now, he is back and better than ever.

It seems that Ruairi has relocated to Connemara to study media and Irish. To nobody’s surprise, he had been told many times that a career in media would be in his future.

Naturally, he’s decided to make a go of it, and with his latest interview as Gaeilge we foresee a bright future.

As for the local scene in Co. Galway; the “sean-nos” dancing is not exactly his favourite way to spend a Saturday night.

However, he does say “is maith liom an jiving”. Please, someone consider an entire series of videos of Ruair’s jiving adventures. It is the reality series we desperately need.

Does he have any plans if a career in media doesn’t work out?

“There’ll be turf to cut somewhere.”

If you needed a reminder of Ruairi's first media appearance:

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