One of the largest hotels in the west of Ireland, The Connacht Hotel, was named as the overall winner of Galway’s bilingual business award – Gradam Sheosaimh Uí Ógartaigh. Aire Stáit Seán Kyne TD do Ghnóthaí Pobail, Acmhainní Nádúrtha agus Forbairt Dhigiteach made the annoucement at a special awards ceremony attended by over 100 guests in the Salthill Hotel on Thursday the 24th of May 2018. The award ceremony applauds the outstanding efforts of the business community promoting ‘An Ghaeilge’ in Ireland’s Bilingual City and European Capital of Culture 2020.
The Connacht Hotel was named as the winner of the ‘Tourism & Hospitality’ Category sponsored by Fáilte Ireland and they went on to scoop the overall award on the night. The Conancht Hotel first entered the Gradam in 2016 and their consistent use of the language has been reflected in them winning their category for the past two year. The Irish language is proudly displayed on their signage, menus, marketing material, in-room information and they have several members of staff who can provide a ‘Seirbhís trí Ghaeilge’. Over the past year, the Irish language has become an important part of their digital marketing strategy and they have introduced the hashtag – #AgFanachtsaConnacht as well as incorporating Irish into many of their promotional videos and social media activity. They have also influenced the other businesses in the Connacht Hospitality Group to use Irish too.
The other category winners for Gradam Sheosaimh Uí Ógartaigh 2018 were:
- Kennys Bookshop & Art Galleries Ltd. winner of the ‘Retail’ Category, sponsored by Galway Bay FM
- Sweeney Oil winner of the ‘Services’ Category, sponsored by Snap Galway
- iSupply, winner of the ‘Other Companies’ Category sponsored by Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, Ollscoil na hÉireann Gaillimh.
Speaking on behalf of the moltóirí, Freda Nic Giolla Chatháin, CEO Gnó Mhaigh Eo said:
“Chuaigh gach uile ghnólacht i bhfeidhm go mór orainn – tá obair iontach ar siúl acu go léir chun an Ghaeilge a chur chun cinn ina ngnó. We really felt that these business people are proud of the Irish language and of the official bilingual status of Galway. They are all ensuring that the language will play a central role in their plans for Gaillimh 2020.
It is clear that they recognise the value of ‘An Ghaeilge’ as a marketing tool and that they see the benefits in increasing the visibility of the language and also providing an Irish language service.”
Speaking at the Gradam Award, Seán Kyne TD, Aire Stáit do Ghnóthaí Pobail, Acmhainní Nádúrtha agus Forbairt Dhigiteach said:
“Tréaslaím go speisialta leis na gnólachtaí agus leis na heagraíochtaí fuinniúla atá anseo tráthnóna. You all have a very positive outlook towards the use of the Irish language and it’s great to see how you’ve integrated it so effortlessly into your day-to-day business. Molaim sibh as an gcur chuige seo.”
Méara Chathair na Gaillimhe, Cllr. Pearce Flannery congruatlated all of the Gradam winners. He went on to say:
“From what I can see here this evening, there is a tremendous amount of work and time invested by you in the Irish language. This helps to further promote and maintain the Irish language so that it continues to add value not only to your own businesses ororganisations but also to our reputation as a bilingual cultural city.”
The President of Galway Chamber, David Hickey, also spoke at the event and said:
“Making the commitment to promote and use more Irish in your business is not easy. Tá an t-ádh orainn go bhfuil seirbhísí Ghaillimh le Gaeilge ar fáil chun cuidiú linn san obair seo. Ag cur ina luí orainn gurb iad na céimeanna beaga a chomhaireann. Ní gá go mbeadh muid líofa ar an bpointe boise. Baineann sé seo den chuid is mó le bheith ag cur na Gaeilge chun cinn de shíor i do ghnó, ar chomharthaí, ar bhiachláir, ar na láithreáin gréasáin agus ar na meáin shóisialta.”
Cathaoirleach Ghaillimh le Gaeilge, Bernadette Mullarkey also spoke and said :
“Déanaim comhghairdeas leis na buaiteoirí go léir agus tréaslaím libh as bhur gcuid oibre ar fad ag cothú stádas dátheangach uathúil na cathrach. The Gradam has evolved and grown over the years and is now one of Gaillimh le Gaeilge’s most important projects in the promotion of the Irish language in Galway city. It’s great to see that the influence of ‘an Ghaeilge’ through the various businesses taking part, is far reaching and is having a positive impact on our status as a Bilingual city.”
A reflection of the high standard of entries this year is Bronnadh Speisialta na Moltóirí, a special award designed to acknowledge a businesses who has entered the Gradam for the first time and has achieved a very high standard which could not go unrecognised. This year, two businesses were chosen for this award. Bronnadh Speisialta na Moltóirí, sponsored by Judy Greene Pottery was presented to the Corrib Shopping Centre and Big O Taxis.
The Moltóirí also bestowed a University Scholarship sponsored by Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh on a business that is making a special effort to promote and use the Irish language with their customers. Colm’s Life Pharmacy was presented with a two year scholarship on the language acquisition course, ‘An Dioplóma sa Ghaeilge’, a university qualification from NUI Galway.
The Gradam category winners all received a business package to the value of €2,000 from their respective category sponsor as well as a replica of Gradam Sheosaimh Uí Ógartaigh sponsored by Údarás na Gaeltachta.
The Connacht Hotel will receive an advertising package to the value of €2,000 from the main media sponsor of the Gradam, the Galway Advertiser. They will also receive a publicity package with TG4, a digital marketing package sponsored by Lorg Media and one year’s membership of Galway Chamber and Gaillimh le Gaeilge.
They also receive Gradam Sheosaimh Uí Ógartaigh, a beautiful piece of sculpture specially designed by the famous artist Pádraic Reaney symbolising the 14 Tribes of Galway, with one ‘present day Tribe’ representing the winner of Gradam Sheosaimh Uí Ógartaigh 2018 and other winners to come.
Ba mhaith le Gaillimh le Gaeilge buíochas a ghabháil leis na hainmnithe ar fad a ghlac páirt i nGradam Sheosaimh Uí Ógartaigh i mbliana agus comhghairdeas a dhéanamh leis an Connacht Hotel!
Tá ár mbuíochas tuillte chomh maith ag na moltóirí as ucht a gcuid ama don mholtóireacht. Is iad sin: Aelmuire Ní Ógartaigh, Freda Nic Giolla Chatháin, Gnó Mhaigh Eo, Judy Ní Dhubháin, Údarás na Gaeltachta and Irial Ó Ceallaigh, TG4. Ár mbuíochas chomh maith leis na hurraí ar fad a lean lena dtacaíocht don Ghradam. Táimid fíor-bhuíoch díobh.