St. Nicholas’ Collegiate Church was announced by Mayor of the City of Galway, Councillor Clodagh Higgins, as the overall winner of Gradam Sheosaimh Uí Ógartaigh 2023 at a special awards ceremony which took place in The Hardiman, Eyre Square, Galway.
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. This year marks the 21st anniversary of the Gradam, a testament to all Galway businesses and organisations that have supported it over the years.
St. Nicholas’ Collegiate Church is located in the heart of Galway city and welcomes thousands of local and international visitors every year. The Irish language has come to play an important role in the Church over the past few years; An Ghaeilge is part of their regular Sunday Eucharist services with parts of the liturgy sung in Irish. It has been incorporated onto their signage, leaflets, tours and social media as well. It is also a feature of their business tourism offering that St. Nicholas’ are now promoting as a venue for events in the city.
Rector Lynda Peilow was thrilled on receiving the news and said:
“Tá áthas an domhain orainn a bheith ainmnithe mar bhuaiteoir iomlán Ghradam Sheosaimh Uí Ógartaigh i mbliana. Táimid an-bhródúil as an méid atá déanta againn ó thosaigh muid amach leis an nGradam trí bliana ó shin. We believe that using the language protects and celebrates An Ghaeilge in the city as well and we are delighted to introduce An Ghaeilge to the thousands of visitors from every corner of the world who come through our doors.
We feel that the whole community is behind our efforts to promote the language and we look forward to continuing our journey with the language into the future.”
St. Nicholas’ Collegiate Church was announced as the winner of the ‘Community and Culture’ Category, sponsored by Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, Ollscoil na Gaillimhe and went onto scoop the overall award.
The other proud Gradam award winners on the night were:
Just Art It Winner of the ‘Retail’ Category, sponsored by Galway Bay FM.
Harbour Hotel Winner of the ‘Tourism’ Category, sponsored by Fáilte Ireland.
GoBus.ie Winner of the ‘Customer Service’ Category, sponsored by Computer Troubleshooters.
Irish Socksciety Winner of the ‘Digital’ category sponsored by Platform 94 (formerly known as the Galway Technology Centre).
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 to Vincent’s Shop, Westside.
The Moltóirí also bestowed University Scholarships on two businesses for the first time this year as their enthusiasm and eagerness to learn the language could not go unrecognized. The two-year scholarship on the language acquisition course, ‘An Dioplóma sa Ghaeilge’, a university qualification sponsored by Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, Ollscoil na Gaillimhe was presented to Cic Beag and Irish Socksciety.
The Mayor of the City of Galway, Cllr. Clodagh Higgins spoke at the event and said:
“We are here this evening to congratulate and applaud all the Gradam finalists for their outstanding bilingual work. The Gradam award highlights Galway’s diverse and proud spirit of bilingualism.”
Stiúrthóir na Gaeilge, Roinn na Gaeltachta, an Dr. Aodhán Mac Cormaic said:
“Ba mhaith liom comhghairdeas a dhéanamh leis na hiomaitheoirí go léir. Tréaslaím go speisialta leis na gnólachtaí agus leis na heagraíochtaí fuinniúla atá anseo tráthnóna a bhain an Gearrliosta amach. Your approach to incorporate the Irish language into your day-to-day business activities is refreshing and innovative, and I commend you for it”
At the event, Cathaoirleach Ghaillimh le Gaeilge Bernadette Mullarkey announced two new initiatives as part of the implementation of the Galway City Irish language plan:
“We will host our first ever bilingual festival during the Lá Fhéile Bhríde Bank Holdiay weekend next year. Organising this festival is a collaborative effort between Galway City Council and Fáilte Ireland. The second project is one of our main objectives for the next few years and it involves establishing a Lárionad Cultúrtha Gaeilge / Irish Language Cultural Centre in Galway city. Support from the Department of Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media will be essential to the success of this project.”
She went on to say that “The west of Ireland offers something unique with the use of the Irish language agus ‘An Ghaeilge’ should always feel at home in the west while having the opportunity to grow and develop.”
Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, son of Seosamh Ó hÓgartaigh spoke on behalf of the Moltóirí and said:
“Comhghairdeas leis na buaiteoirí go léir. In selecting this year’s Gradam winners, the Moltóirí were particularly impressed by the fact that they demonstrated a clear and confident commitment to the language in their efforts to promote the Irish language naturally within their businesses and organisations. They were also impressed by how many businesses and organistaions that were owned or managed by people from other countries who are actively promoting an Ghaeilge and encouraging their customers to do the same.”
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 and especially designed by Pádraic Reaney.
The Gradam sculpture symbolises the 14 Tribes of Galway, with one ‘present day Tribe’ representing the winner of Gradam Sheosaimh Uí Ógartaigh 2023 and other winners to come.
St. Nicholas’ Collegiate Church 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.
MOLSCÉAL are also sponsoring the Gradam again this year and created the video on the night, taking in all the action of the winners and finalists at the event.
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: An t-Ollamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, mac le Seosamh Ó hÓgartaigh (nach maireann), a bhfuil an gradam ainmnithe as, Daithí Ó Gallchobhair, Bainisteoir Foirne, An Ghaeltacht & na hOileáin, Slí an Atlantaigh Fhiáin, Caroline Ní Fhlatharta, Oifigeach na Gaeilge, Oifig an Uachtaráin Ionaid & Meabhránaí, Ollscoil na Gaillimhe agus Róisín Nic Dhonnchadha, EmployAbilty agus buaiteoir an Ghradaim 2012. Ár mbuíochas chomh maith leis na hurraitheoirí ar fad a lean lena dtacaíocht don Ghradam. Táimid fíorbhuíoch díobh.