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Island Voices to Explore the Impact of the Famine on Irish Language

20 November 2015

The Island Voices series this week welcomes well known academic Dr Fionntán de Brún to the city for the final instalment in the popular series.

The annual programme, which is run by Derry City and Strabane District Council, concludes on Thursday with a fascinating exploration of the impact of the Great Famine on the Irish Language, based on eye witness accounts from the time. Dr deBrún will specifically look at the influence of the Famine on accelerating the language shift from Irish to English.

The lecture, which is funded through Council’s Good Relations programme, with support from OFMDFM’s Community Relations Unit, will take place on Thursday November 26 in the Tower Museum and places are free. Speaking ahead of the event, Education Officer with Council’s Museums Services, Margaret Edwards, said: “We are delighted to bring the series to a close with a talk by such a leading academic. This year we have again seen a great turnout for the series which gave a fascinating insight into our shared Irish and Ulster Scots heritage. I’m looking forward to hearing more about Dr de Brún’s work detailing this turbulent period in the history of the Irish language.”

Pól Ó Frighil, Council’s Irish Language Officer, said: “Thursday’s talk will offer a fascinating perspective on the history of the Irish Language as impacted by significant events in our history. Dr deBrún is one of the most respected authorities on the history and literature of the Irish language and it really will be a great opportunity for history and language enthusiasts to hear more about his work.”

Dr Fionntan de Brún is a senior lecturer in the Irish language at Ulster University and director of Éigse Loch Lao. He is the author of Údar Seosamh Mac Grianna: an Mhéin Rúin (2002) and editor of Belfast and the Irish Language (2006). He has recently published articles on the poetry of Aodha Mhic Dhomhnaill (1802-1867) and on a range of subjects related to the history and literature of the Irish language. He jointly organised the international Great Famine conference – An Droim Deleoir - which took place at Ulster University Belfast in March 2015.

November’s talk will take place in the Tower Museum from 12.30pm – 2pm, November 26, and lunch is provided.

For more information or to book places please contact the Tower Museum on (028) 7137 2411 or email [email protected]