Paul Conroy and Declan Hannon appointed Ambassadors for the GAA’s Fáinne Plan
Galway’s Paul Conroy and Limerick’s Declan Hannon have been appointed Ambassadors for the GAA’s campaign to encourage members and people who attend games to wear the Fáinne. The gold Fáinne or the Fáinne Óir signifies that a person has fluent Irish and Conroy, a fluent Irish speaker, is the ambassador for that Fáinne. Declan Hannon who has a cúpla focal Gaeilge will be the GAA’s ambassador for the Fáinne Airgid, the silver Fáinne that signifies some level of proficiency in Irish.
“The Irish language is a massive part of our culture and heritage, and its definitely at the back of my mind a lot of the time when I’m going to different events, that you have your ‘cúpla focal’ and you’re able to converse a bit with the Gaelgeoirs that’ll be at these events and give it the respect it deserves,’’ says Limerick's Declan Hannon.
Thousands of members of the Association are Irish speakers and regularly attend games. The GAA would like to encourage these people to wear the Fáinne so as they can identify other Irish speakers and subsequently for more Irish to be spoken at games and events organised by the Association. This initiative is being undertaken in partnership with Gael Linn and Conradh na Gaeilge, the national Irish language organisations that supply and distribute the Fáinne.
Events and competitions are planned for the year ahead to promote the Fáinne and members and counties throughout the country will be encouraged to take part.
“The Irish officers in all the different GAA clubs around the country, they’re very important. Obviously the GAA is a massive part of Irish culture, and so is the native language, so it’s great to see the push that they’re doing, adds Galway footballer Paul Conroy.
At the announcement of the plan GAA President, John Horan, who is himself currently attending a higher-level Irish class in Croke Park, said:
‘’The Irish language has a very important role in the GAA and positive initiatives such as this are great ways of promoting Irish among our members and the public in general. Every week thousands of Irish speaking members attend our games and there is no doubt that more Irish would be spoken at these games if Irish speakers could identify one another. We hope this plan will encourage people to wear the Fáinne.’’
The Fáinne can be purchased from Gael Linn https://siopa.gael-linn.ie/ga/an-fáinne and from Conradh na Gaeilge at https://www.cnag.ie/ga/scoileanna/acmhainní-scoile/fainne.html