Bláithín Mhic Cana
Home Area: Crossmaglen, Co Armagh
Current Job: Gaelscoil Teacher
Teelin Link: Student 1996-2002; Leas-cheannaire 2000-2002; Ceannaire 2002-2004; Teacher 2005-2007; Principal 2008
I first started coming to the Gaeltacht in 1996, at 12 years of age , agus I was very fortunate that my Secondary school had a tradition of sending their pupils to Coláiste Aoidh Mhic Bhricne; I instantly fell in love with the Irish language, with Teelin, the local people, and the craic in the college!
Outside of teaching in school, I also teach Sean-nós singing, and there is no doubt that the rich music tradition of Teelin has an influence on those of us who spend time there, and traditional music has a central part in activities in the college.
There has always been an emphasis in the college, on learning the language through enjoyable activities and by having fun, and my own Irish blossomed as I followed the example of the Mná tí we stayed with, their families, and of course, the energetic staff of the college itself. This inspired me to carry on with the language as a school subject; it became a very important part of my life, and there wasn’t a summer between 1996 and 2008 that I wasn’t waiting impatiently, and counting the weeks until I returned to Coláiste Aoidh! During those years, I attended as a student, leas-cinnire (junior leader), cinnire, teacher and course secretary, and it wasn’t until I became too busy with my family that this stopped. But it was only a short break, and this year I am delighted to return as a teacher, and help the newest generation of Gaeilgeoirí discover the beauty of the Irish language and of Teelin, in Coláiste Aoidh Mhic Bhricne.