Lifting the Invisibility Cloak

​- A Conversation with Áine Ní Ghlinn

Episode #14

Join us in this enlightening episode I got to chat with the esteemed Áine Ní Ghlinn, poet, writer, former Laureate Na nÓg and a passionate advocate for the Irish language. Áine shares her journey, weaving through her early exposure to Irish, her role in promoting children’s literature in the language, and her reflections on the state of Irish today.

This episode is a rich exploration of the intrinsic connection between language and cultural identity, offering inspiration and insight for anyone interested in the Irish language and its enduring cultural significance. Whether you’re reconnecting with the language or discovering it anew, Áine’s experiences and perspectives promise a deeper understanding and appreciation of Irish.

Podcast Notes

Early Exposure to Irish

Áine discusses her early experiences with the Irish language, growing up in a family where Irish was spoken and valued. She shares anecdotes from her father’s life, who was a passionate Irish speaker and how his love for the language influenced her.

The Role of Literature

Áine delves into the importance of literature in preserving the Irish language, emphasising the richness and cultural depth it brings. She also talks about her journey as a writer and how her works aim to make Irish more engaging for children and teenagers.

Laureate na nÓg

Áine reflects on her role as the sixth Laureate na nÓg and her mission to lift the “invisibility cloak” off children’s literature in Irish. She discusses the projects she initiated to promote Irish language books in schools and the overwhelming positive response she received.

The State of the Irish Language

Áine provides her perspective on the current state of the Irish language, expressing optimism about its future, especially outside the Gaeltacht areas. She touches on the growth of children’s literature in Irish and the thriving Gaelsoileanna movement.

Language and Identity

Finally, Áine articulates the intrinsic connection between language and cultural identity, emphasising how the Irish language is a vital component of Irishness.

This episode is a treasure trove for anyone interested in the Irish language and its cultural significance. Áine Ní Ghlinn’s passion and dedication to promoting Irish through literature are truly inspiring. Whether you are an avid Irish speaker or someone looking to reconnect with the language, this conversation will offer you valuable insights and perhaps, a newfound love for Irish.

More on Áine Ní Ghlinn

Áine Ní Ghlinn is a renowned poet, writer, and was the esteemed Laureate Na nÓg, Ireland’s children’s literature laureate, from 2020 to 2023, marking her as the first laureate to write exclusively in Irish.

Born in Tipperary and currently residing in Dublin, Áine has had a distinguished and prolific career, contributing extensively to the realms of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and drama, with her works earning her numerous accolades including the Réics Carlo Irish Language Book of the Year Award and the Patrick Kavanagh Fellowship for Poetry.

A respected lecturer, journalist, and a passionate advocate for children’s literature, Áine’s recent novels, “Hata Sú Mhamó” and “Daideo,” have been met with critical acclaim, with “Daideo” securing several major awards such as the Irish Language Book of the Year, Literacy Association of Ireland Book of the Year, and a Children’s Books Ireland Fiction Honour award.

Although Áine has published five collections of poetry for adults, her primary focus remains on crafting engaging and enriching content for young and young adult readers, ranging from illustrative picture books to novels, plays, and poetry.

Her commitment to the Irish language and her extensive contributions to literature have made her a pivotal figure in Irish literary circles, inspiring new generations to explore and embrace the richness of the Irish language and its cultural heritage.

Learn more about Áine here:

Free Irish Learning Resources Guide

Whether you are just starting out or have already begun your language learning journey, I have compiled a collection of resources that should help you along the way.