Féile na Carraige 2017
When planning Féile na Carraige 2017, Upper Springfield Gaels reflected on a year of sustained growth, development and action that threw many challenges and curveballs our way. The removal of our youth funding in March galvanised and politicised a new generation of radical young Gaels who organised a packed public meeting and subsequent sit-in protest in the Education Authority offices.
This prompted a swift change of heart from those in power and saw the funding restored and increased within weeks. This proved that ordinary people can change things for the better and that successful acts of resistance breed confidence and the politics of hope.
This campaign summed up Glór na Móna and encapsulates what Féile na Carraige stands for. For us the personal is political and the political is personal and this starts in our community with the re-conquest of the Irish language. As an organisation and as a community, we are steeped in the republican tradition of civic virtue which is captured perfectly in the radical Fenian proclamation of 1868, which will be accounted for in our Annual Harry Holland song and story event exactly 150 years since the Fenian uprising.
Whether is the progressive revolutionary legacy of Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara, murdered 50 years this October; the women’s struggle past and present; the unfinished battle for decolonisation; the working-class struggle against economic hardship in the hungry thirties or the miraculous language immersion accomplishments of republican prisoners in Long Kesh’s Gaeltacht na Fuiseoige in 1990’s, our Féile motto, of politics, participation and community is always at their core.
Our ongoing commitment to engaging in reflective praxis and renewal inspires new initiatives such as our Suí & Scíth mothers and toddlers group aimed specifically at those raising their children through Irish at home language, whilst our central involvement in ógchumann CLG Laochra Loch Lao serves as another transformative extension of our desire to fulfil our young people’s needs to live their lives through Irish.
All this and more will be showcased and celebrated over the week. While our Féile intends to challenge, inspire and involve as many people as possible in a way that normalises a can-do culture of solidarity and collaboration, it also seeks to entertain and foster a sense of enjoyment and craic.
Féile na Carraige is embedded in our local area and gives a platform to younger activists and transformative new community projects that have developed organically from a langauge movement committed to social change.
Our Féile and our work is ultimately about building the republic ‘where we stand’ and starting always with our duty to our local and native place.
Is ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine!