National School competition launches as part of ‘Learn Our Anthem’ awareness initiative
A centenary initiative to raise awareness and get families learning and singing Amhrán na bhFiann launches today (Monday, 30th January 2023) officially at Croke Park. This initiative by Abair Linn Publishing starts with a competition for school children, supported by the GAA and Schoolbooks.ie
The competition invites all primary schools in Ireland from 3rd class to 6th class to learn the anthem and send a video of their performance in time for St. Patrick’s Day. The winning school will receive a specially commissioned Abair Linn trophy and a guided tour of the GAA museum at Croke Park.
This year is the 100th anniversary of when the anthem was officially published in Irish back in 1923. Liam Ó Rinn, a civil servant, translated it from the chorus of ‘The Soldier’s Song’ written by Peadar Kearney and Patrick Heeney in 1909-10.
Along with the centenary, 2023 also offers huge upcoming sports events in Ireland. There is no better time for families to sit down together to learn our national anthem!
The ‘Learn our Anthem’ campaign which will continue after St Patrick's Day, is to create awareness of our national anthem at home and amongst the Irish communities abroad to get people learning our national anthem as Gaeilge for life.
GAA President, Larry McCarthy, said: “Our anthem is a part of who we are. Amhrán na bhFiann is an integral part of a GAA match day and it is a special occasion when sung by a packed crowd at a game. Promoting an understanding of and appreciation and respect for our anthem is extremely important and is greatly appreciated.”
Rachel J. Cooper, of Abairlinn.ie and author of ‘Our National Anthem’ children’s book. “It is no secret that the majority of Irish people do not know our own anthem. I believe that if it featured in the classroom and at home more frequently that we would stand a better chance of knowing the words as adults.”
“This competition is a fun and engaging way of encouraging kids to learn it. The campaign is being launched purely from a cultural identity viewpoint, it’s a cohesive and countrywide effort so that we are no longer the only country in the world where the majority do not know their own anthem. If we all worked together to bring awareness to this project I believe that we could make this year the year that families learn it together.” “Let's all unite to learn it for life,” she added.
The Learn Our Anthem competition details will be sent to all schools in Ireland via Schoolbooks.ie