Canadian Ambassador Presents Irish Language Scholarships
Friday, 6 August 2010
Scholarships for six foreign students learning Irish in Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, NUI Galway
His Excellency Patrick G. Binns, Canadian Ambassador to Ireland, has presented six scholarships to Canadian students attending an Irish language course in Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, NUI Galway, An Cheathrú Rua in the Connemara Gaeltacht.
These awards are made available to students registered in certain Canadian universities and offer an opportunity to participate this summer in approved Irish language courses in a Gaeltacht setting. The scholarships are provided by the Ireland Canada University Foundation.
At present there are 64 foreign students learning Irish on a month-long course in Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge. This course is of significant advantage to the Connemara economy with the students living and socialising locally. Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge's Chief Executive, Peadar Mac an Iomaire said: "It is an honour to have the Canadian Ambassador to Ireland with us in An Cheathrú Rua on this the 33rd year of Irish language courses for foreign students at this centre. We are grateful for the support that the Irish government provides to enhance the links between NUI Galway and people in Canada and in universities all over the world who are eager to broaden their knowledge of the Irish language."
Historical links between Ireland and Canada go right back to the sixteenth century. Irish people, mainly from the Southeast of the country, used to cross to Newfoundland in search of codfish. This emigration predated the well-recounted exodus during the Great Famine. It is appropriate that these links are today being enhanced and developed in the Irish language sector. At present, four million Canadians or 13% of the population of Canada claim Irish heritage.
The Ireland Canada University Foundation provides exchange programmes between Irish and Canadian universities and these programmes are open to all academic disciplines. The Foundation was established in 1994 by Dr Craig Dobbin, Newfoundland and former Irish President, Dr Patrick Hillary. In 2004 the Foundation was given recognition in a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the then Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, and the Rt. Hon. Paul Martin M.P., Prime Minister of Canada.