The Irish Language

Reinstating Our Native Language


Carntogher Community Association promotes a wide range of Irish language courses and activities in the community for all ages and abilities. All of which are delivered through the following projects:

  • Irish Language

    Scéim Pobal Gaeilge

    At the heart of Carntogher Community Association’s vision, is to reinstate the Irish language in the community. Through the Irish language Community Scheme, a scheme funded by Foras na Gaeilge, the community Association has been undertaking this challenge since 2008 and through other funding scheme’s of Foras na Gaeilge’s before that. Irish language activities delivered by the Community Association, have been funded by MidUlster Council since 2016

    To be able to achieve our aims, an extensive programme of events has been put together to meet the needs of the community. Every effort has been made to meet the requirements of all capabilities, from complete beginners to fluent speakers of Irish and also at every age-group from the youngest child to the oldest adults.

    The following courses and activities are delivered by the Community Association throughout the year:

    • Irish Classes for Adults – Five levels suitable for complete beginners through to fluent speakers
    • Irish language Extra Support classes for teenagers studying Irish at GCSE, AS and A2 level.
    • Irish Language Specialist Courses:
      • Accuracy Courses – courses on Irish Grammar
      • Irish language Translation & Editing Course
      • Gaeilge don Teaghlach – Irish for the Family – Course with basic phrases and words that parents and carers can use in the home.
    • Conversation Circle
    • Book Club as Gaeilge
    • Irish Language Short Courses
    • Irish Language Intensive Courses
    • Festivals –
      • Feis Charn Tóchair
        • A Celebration of culture and the revival of the Irish language in Co. Derry. A range of competitions suitable for children in Naíscoil, Gaelscoil / Bunscoil, English Medium Primary Schools, Secondary Schools and Adults. The competitions include: poetry recitiation, conversation, scholarship award, Fáinne, art, writing, traditional singing (through Irish), traditional music – instruments: tin whistle, flute, accordion, concertina, banjo / mandolin, bodhrán, guitar, harp. Traditional Music Group.
      • Seachtain na Gaeilge
    • A range of fun and enjoyable activities through Irish and Bilingual which are suitable for all.
    • Féile Charn Tóchair
      • Féile Charn Tóchair is a community festival which celebrates and promotes the Irish language and cultural and archaeological heritage and environment of the local area. A festival filled with fun events suitable for every age group and wide range of interests and backgrounds.
    • Historical talks
    • Guided walks

    For further information please contact Irish language Development Officer – Leonne Ní Loinsigh

    An Carn Supporting Image

    Conradh na Gaeilge Charn Tóchair

    Going back over 120 years, there was a branch of Conradh na Gaeilge in Carntogher, when the Irish language was the living language of the community. Although the language did not survive as the spoken language of the community throughout the 20th Century, the interest in the language remained and when Naíscoil Charn Tóchair was established in 1992, the movement began to revive the spoken language, returning it to the community from the bottom up.

    There has been significant progress since and now there is Irish medium provision at pre-school, primary and post-primary levels in the area and a lot more areas throughout the county have also started out on the same journey.

    One of our main aims is to support the rehabilitation of the Irish language as the spoken language of the community and of families and develop a range of supporting materials and events to help ease this process.


    • Parent and Toddler Group – The group gives the first introduction to parents of Irish medium Education. A range of fun activities through Irish are organised and parents can learn about the benefits of Irish Medium Education.
    • Good Practice Marketing Scheme – Banners and Information packs about the benefits of Irish Medium Education shared around seven Naíscoil in the area to encourage parents to choose Irish medium for their children.
    • Publications: A cookery book for children – bilingual. A prayer book for children in Irish. A bilingual calendar.
    • Gaeilge don Teaghlach/ Irish for the Family – a learning scheme and work book especially designed for parents and carers to help them use basic phrases and words in the home.


  • Youth

    Óige Charn Tóchair

    Established in 2010 to facilitate the informal aspect of the Irish medium Education system in Carn Tóchair, Óige Charn Tóchair has been going from strength to strength ever since.

    ÓCT provides weekly youth and afterschool’s clubs as well as an annual Bilingual summer scheme for all children and several trips throughout the year. In addition to weekly activities ÓCT also provides its members with a regular running club and access to other activities such as orienteering, archery and Forest School.

    Although important for all children, youth work for children attending Irish Medium Education is additionally important in that it provides an opportunity to use their language is a social environment away from the classroom. Along with Irish Medium Education and a positive attitude towards Irish in the home, youth work through Irish is one of the most important aspects in the linguistic development of children. Youth work has proven time and time again to provide young people with the chance to build confidence and self esteem in a nurturing environment.

    An Carn Supporting Image

    “Non-formal education in the form of youth work is an important part of education as it encourages children and young people’s participation to develop their personal and social skills encouraging them to engage or re-engage in positive learning within a non-formal setting.”

    (Priorities for Youth, Department of Education, 2013)

    Óige Charn Tóchair works closely with key stakeholders locally as well as Government and Non Government organisations to provide the best possible youth provision for our young people. We follow best practice and maintain high quality training for our leaders and pride ourselves on our youth led strategies to ensure that we can provide the opportunities for our young to acquire new skills and to create long lasting and meaningful relationships within their community.

    Further information contact Youth Officer – Aoife Ní Chaiside

  • Network


    In 2017 Coiste Forbartha Charn Tóchair recieved officially recognition as one of 5 flagship areas in Ireland to be granted Líonra status for work being facilitated to the development of the Irish language.

    Foras na Gaeilge will administor the scheme and it is hoped it will start officially in 2021.