The Kings Head announced as the winner of Gradam Sheosaimh Uí Ógartaigh 2020 and is named the15th Tribe of Galway

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On the 6th of  November 2020, with its biggest audience yet of 45,000 listeners, The Kings Head  was announced by the Deputy Mayor of the City of Galway, Cllr. Colette Connolly live on Galway Talks, Galway Bay FM, as the overall winner of Galway’s bilingual business award –  Gradam Sheosaimh Uí Ógartaigh for 2020.

It is the longest running award of its kind in Ireland, organised by Gaillimh le Gaeilge, in partnership with the Galway Advertiser and with support from TG4 and the Galway Chamber. The Gradam had to reinvent itself and move to a new Autumn schedule due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

Following 27 entries, 11 finalists, 4 categories and 2 rounds of judging, The Kings Head,

was named as the winner of the ‘Tourism & Hospitality’ Category, sponsored by Fáilte Ireland which was announced yesterday by the Mayor of the City of Galway Cllr. Mike Cubbard on Galway Bay FM and they went on to scoop the overall award this morning!

Paul Grealish of The Kings Head was absolutely delighted on receiving the news. Speaking about their motivation to use the Irish language he said:

“We are very proud of Galway’s status as a bilingual city, and  as a family, we’re conscious of doing all we can to promote the use of the Irish language in our business. Our history and heritage are a huge part of what we do. It makes total sense therefore, to use our native language wherever and whenever possible. Locals love to see the Irish. The Irish language has always had a special place in The Kings Head.

We’ve invited the people of Galway and beyond to “Buail Isteach” since 1989.  Since then, we have embraced the Irish language on signage, menus, on digital screens, in our social media and we also provide a ‘Seirbhís trí Ghaeilge’. For over 15 years, we have been selling the Kings Head t-shirts with ‘Buail Isteach’ written across the back without an English translation  as well as a special ‘Nollaig Shona’ t-shirt for Christmas.

Our staff explain the meaning and the correct pronunciation to interested tourists. We are proud to say that almost 40,000 t-shirts with our signature Irish slogan has made their way back to countries all over the world!”

 Other proud Gradam award winners were:

Bród Pobail na Gaillimhe, winner of the ‘Other Companies’ Category sponsored by Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, OÉ Gaillimh.  

Corrib Shopping Centre winner of the ‘Retail’ Category, sponsored by Galway Bay FM.

Big O Taxis winner of the ‘Services Category, sponsored by Video Sherpa.


After congratulating all the Gradam winners, the Deputy Mayor went on to say:

 “I wish to commend each and every one of the nominees who took part in Gradam Sheosaimh Uí Ógartaigh this year. It’s been a very tough year and even though we are still in lockdown, it’s great to see the Gradam showcasing and celebrating the true spirit of bilingualism and resilience of  Galway businesses and organisations in our city”. 

 Jack Chambers TD, Príomh-Aoire an Rialtais, agus Aire Stáit na Gaeltachta agus an Spóirt said in his congratulatory video message for the winners:

Tá áthas orm go bhfuil deis ag na comhlachtaí agus na heagraíochtaí seo aitheantas a fháil don tsárobair agus na Gradaim seo á bhfógairt.

I understand that Gaillimh le Gaeilge is doing a very worthwhile job of nurturing and promoting the language in Galway, and that these Awards play a central role in the Irish language life of the city.”  

 Rónán Ó hÓgartaigh  spoke on behalf of the Moltóirí and said:

Ba mhaith le Moltóirí an Ghradaim aitheantas a thabhairt do na dúshláin a bhí roimh na gnólachtaí a ghlac páirt agus iad ag dul i ngleic le Covid-19. 

We all really enjoyed the virtual meetings with the businesses. We were very impressed by their dedication and achievements. Each one of them has a unique approach, all of whom make every effort to promote the Irish language in their business. They are very proud to do their part to highlight Galway’s status as an official bilingual city. With Galway city acting as the gateway to an Ghaeltacht, we have no doubt that the business sector can use this to its advantage. We were very encouraged after speaking to everyone and pleased that they recognized the values of Gaillimh le Gaeilge’s work. We truly commend everyone who took part, for their dedication and commitment to the Gradam over the last number of  months, and sincerely congratulate all the winners!

Declan Varley, Group Editor of the Galway Advertiser, Main Media Sponsor of the Gradam said that the Galway Advertiser is delighted to be associated with the awards:

Gaillimh le Gaeilge play an important role in the visibility of the Irish language throughout the city and this year, as they team up with Galway Bay FM to host the Gradam, the language will not only be heard on the streets of Galway but throughout Galway, over the air waves.

 Cathaoirleach Ghaillimh le Gaeilge, Bernadette Mullarkey extended her congratulations  to all of the winners and said: 

“In ainneoin na ndeacrachtaí a bhí roimh ghnólachtaí agus roimh eagraíochtaí, ba iontach an spreagadh agus an dúthracht a léirigh ainmnithe an Ghradaim sna míonna seo a d’imigh tharainn. All the nominees have done great work which is instrumental in sustaining Galway’s  official bilingual status, comhghairdeas leo ar fad.

In respect of the high standard of entries this year Bronnadh Speisialta na Moltóirí, a special award designed to acknowledge a business who has entered the Gradam for the first time and has achieved a very high standard which could not go unrecognised. Bronnadh Speisialta na Moltóirí, sponsored by Judy Greene Pottery was presented by Kenny Deery, CEO of Galway Chamber, to  the Very Reverend Lynda Peilow,  St. Nicholas Collegiate Church.


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. Uachtarán Ollscoil na hÉireann Gaillimh, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, presented Luke Morgan of Morgan Creative 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 Kings Head will receive an advertising package from the main media sponsor of the Gradam, the Galway Advertiser.  They will also receive a publicity package with TG4 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 2020 and other winners to come. MOLSCÉAL are also sponsoring the Gradam again this year. They created videos of all the Gradam finalists’ bilingual achievements which can be seen on Gaillimh le Gaeilge’s social media channels and on the MOLSCÉAL app.

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 na buaiteoirí ar fad.  Tá ár mbuíochas tuillte chomh maith ag na moltóirí as ucht a gcuid ama don mholtóireacht. Is iad sin: Rónán Ó hÓgartaigh, mac le Seosamh Ó hÓgartaigh, a bhfuil an gradam ainmnithe as; Freda Nic Giolla Chatháin, Saor-aistritheoir agus iar-Phríomhfheidhmeannach Ghnó Mhaigh Eo, Fiona Ní Fhlaithearta, TG4. Ár mbuíochas chomh maith leis na hurraitheoirí ar fad a lean lena dtacaíocht don Ghradam.  Táimid fíorbhuíoch díobh.