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Bursary launched to commemorate Irish language activist, Aodán Mac Póilin



Date Posted: November 16, 2017

Northern Ireland Screen’s Irish Language Broadcast Fund (ILBF) and the Celtic Media Festival this afternoon announced a new bursary fund to commemorate the late Aodán Mac Póilin. Details of Ciste Cuimhneacháin Aodáin Mhic Phóilin were announced as part of the Belfast Media Festival.

Ciste Cuimhneacháin Aodáin Mhic Phóilin will offer Irish speakers working in the production sector in Northern Ireland the opportunity to develop a television project that would reflect some or many of the wide and varied interests of the former ILBF chair Aodán Mac Póilin. As well as £5,000 development funding, successful applicants will also travel to the Celtic Media Festival in Llanelli, Wales next May to pitch the project to broadcasters.

Applications from those who are relatively new to the sector and who have not yet attended the Celtic Media Festival are particularly encouraged.  Applications will be selected by the ILBF Investment Committee and broadcaster representatives.  Successful applicants can also apply for production funding through the ILBF funding rounds.

Aodán was a passionate and articulate advocate for the Irish language and spent his life working with, and for, the language.  As Director of the ULTACH Trust, he laid much of the groundwork for cross-community engagement with the language in the early 1990s. Under his leadership the Trust made a significant contribution to the growth of Irish-medium education and played a critical role in improving provision for the arts and in television broadcasting.  Aodán’s prescience, led, for example, to early lobbying for the inclusion of TG4, along with RTE 1 and 2, on fledgling NTL cable services which were being introduced in the early 90s.  Aodán convinced then government department DCAL to set up the first training scheme in television production for Irish speakers in Northern Ireland and was instrumental in the formation of the Irish Language Broadcast Fund.  He chaired the ILBF investment committee as a board member of Northern Ireland Screen, right up to his untimely death in December 2016.

Aodán was a stalwart of the Celtic Media Festival, rarely missing an opportunity to attend over its 38 year history.  He was a lively and passionate contributor to panel discussions at the festival, and his love for language, literature and song was always strongly evident.

Aodán also contributed many articles to academic journals, magazines, books and the local press during his career. A collection of his essays on language and cultural issues is currently being prepared by ULTACH Trust.

Áine Walsh, Head of the Irish Language Broadcast Fund, said; “The loss of Aodán has been felt throughout the Irish language community and beyond.  He is missed for his vast and wonderful knowledge on a variety of topics, his vocal support of Irish language and cultural issues and his infinite sense of humour and fun.  This great loss to the Irish language community, however, is minimal to that of the loss felt by Aodán’s family, his wife Áine, his daughter Aoife and his grandsons in particular.  We are delighted that his family are able to join us today as we launch Ciste Cuimhneacháin Aodáin Mhic Phóilin and we are so pleased that we are supporting a bursary in his name.”

Further details of Ciste Cuimhneacháin Aodáin Mhic Phóilin and how to apply are available here: http://www.northernirelandscreen.co.uk/irish-language-broadcast-fund/ciste-cuimhneachain-aodain-mhic-phoilin/ and at www.celticmediafestival.co.uk


SPARÁNACHT SEOLTA CHUN AODÁN MAC PÓILIN, GNÍOMHAÍ GAEILGE, A CHOMÓRADH

Tráthnóna inniu d’fhógair Ciste Craoltóireachta Gaeilge (CCG) Scáileán Thuaisceart Éireann agus Féile na Meán Ceilteach ciste sparánachta nua chun comóradh a dhéanamh ar Aodán Mac Póilin, nach maireann. Fógraíodh na sonraí maidir le Ciste Cuimhneacháin Aodáin Mhic Phóilin mar chuid d’Fhéile Mheán Bhéal Feirste.

Tabharfaidh Ciste Cuimhneacháin Aodáin Mhic Phóilin deis do chainteoirí Gaeilge atá ag obair san earnáil tionscadal teilifíse a fhorbairt a chuimseodh roinnt den réimse leathan suimeanna a bhí ag Aodán Mac Póilin, iarchathaoirleach an CCG. Tabharfar deis dóibh chomh maith, an tionscadal a chur faoi bhráid coimisinéirí le linn na n-imeachtaí luaslíonraithe ag Féile na Meán Ceilteach, a bheidh in Llanelli, an Bhreatain Bheag, i mBealtaine na bliana seo chugainn. Anuas ar an £5,000 maoiniú forbartha, rachaidh na hiarratasóirí a n-éiríonn leo chuig Féile na Meán Ceilteach in Llanelli i mBealtaine na bliana seo chugainn leis an tionscadal acu a chur faoi bhráid craoltóirí ann.

Cuirfear fáilte ar leith roimh iarratais ó dhaoine atá measartha nua san earnáil agus nár fhreastail ar Fhéile na Meán Ceilteach roimhe seo. Roghnóidh Ciste Infheistíochta an CCG agus ionadaithe ó na craoltóirí na hiarratais. Is féidir le hiarratasóirí a n-éiríonn leo cur isteach ar mhaoiniú léiriúcháin i mbabhtaí maoinithe an CCG.

Is go paiseanta deisbhéalach a thacaigh Aodán leis an Ghaeilge gur thug a shaol ag obair leis an teanga agus ar a son. Mar Stiúrthóir ar Iontaobhas ULTACH, réitigh sé go leor den bhealach i dtreo comhar trasphobail sa teanga go luath sna 1990í. Faoina stiúir féin, chuir an tIontaobhas go mór le fás na Gaelscolaíochta agus bhí ról lárnach aige maidir le soláthar na n-ealaíon agus chraoltóireacht na teilifíse a fheabhsú. Ba é géarchúis Aodáin a chuir tús leis an stocaireacht tosaigh chun go gcuirfí TG4 mar aon le RTE 1 agus 2 ar sheirbhísí cábla NTL, seirbhísí a bhí á gcur ar fáil den chéad uair go luath sna 1990í. Anuas air seo, d’áitigh Aodán ar DCAL, roinn rialtais a bhí ann ag an am, tús a chur leis an chéad scéim traenála i léiriúchán teilifíse do chainteoirí Gaeilge i dTuaisceart Éireann agus bhí sé ina cheann feadhna ar bhunú an CCG chomh maith. Agus é ina chomhalta boird de chuid Scáileán Thuaisceart Éireann rinne sé cathaoirleacht ar Choiste Infheistíochta an CCG suas a fhad lena bhás anabaí i Nollaig na bliana 2016.

Bhí sé ina chrann taca ag Féile na Meán Ceilteach agus ba bheag bliain in imeacht 38 mbliana na Féile nár fhreastail sé uirthi agus is iomaí plé painéil bríomhar ar ghlac sé páirt ann lena linn. Ba léir riamh anall go raibh a chroí istigh sa teanga, sa litríocht agus san amhránaíocht.

Scríobh Aodán an-chuid alt d’irisí acadúla, irisí, leabhair agus don phreas áitiúil le linn a ghairme. Tá cnuasach dá chuid aistí ar chúrsaí teanga agus cultúrtha á ullmhú ag Iontaobhas ULTACH faoi láthair.

Dúirt Áine Walsh, Ceannasaí an Chiste Craoltóireachta Gaeilge; “Ba mhéala mór bás Aodáin do phobal na Gaeilge agus go deimhin do phobail eile nach é. Is mór a chronaítear é as a mhéad eolais a bhí aige ar an iliomad ábhar, as an tacaíocht láidir a thug sé don Ghaeilge agus do cheisteanna cultúrtha eile araon gan trácht ar fhéith an ghrinn agus na cuideachta a bhí ann. Mar sin féin, ní dada a raibh de bhrón ar phobal na Gaeilge le taobh na cumha atá ar a theaghlach ina dhiaidh go háirithe Áine, a bhean chéile, Aoife, a iníon agus a chuid garmhac. Tá lúcháir orainn go bhfuil a theaghlach inár gcuideachta inniu agus Ciste Cuimhneacháin Aodáin Mhic Phóilin á sheoladh againn agus is údar áthais againn é go bhfuil muid ag tacú le ciste ar a shon.”

Le haghaidh tuilleadh eolais ar Chiste Cuimhneacháin Aodáin Mhic Phóilin agus ar conas iarratas a dhéanamh téigh go: http://www.northernirelandscreen.co.uk/irish-language-broadcast-fund/ciste-cuimhneachain-aodain-mhic-phoilin/www.celticmediafestival.co.uk

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