I was delighted to have the opportunity to interview James McDonald, who is in the process of launching a new Gaelscoil in London for Irish parents who want their children to grow up speaking the Irish language. It’s an incredibly important initiative and gives the Irish abroad a chance to stay connected to their heritage and culture. This article was published by The Irish Times.
The Irish language can be an incredibly important way for many Irish people living abroad to connect to their heritage and culture, but the endeavour becomes more challenging when they have children. Irish emigrants and their kids immediately miss out on the what most Irish people at home take for granted: free, accessible Irish language tuition.
This is something James McDonald, who lives in London, is trying to change. A new Saturday school will soon open in London for parents who want their children to grow up learning the Irish language. Gaelscoil Sathairn will open its doors in January, ultimately catering for children of all ages to help them grow up bilingual.
This is not McDonald’s first foray into Irish language education. For almost two years, he has run the London Irish Playgroup. Once a month, Irish parents in the city and its surrounding areas bring their children to the London Irish Centre, where they play, listen to music and engage with each other as Gaeilge.