All set for official opening of Ionad UISCE na hEachléime

Posted in Connect on February 28, 2019.


Ionad UISCE na hEachléime will be officially opened by Seán Kyne, Minister of State at the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht with responsibility for Gaeilge, Gaeltacht and the Islands, tomorrow (Friday) at 1 p.m.

UISCE’s new centre is located in the Mayo Gaeltacht village of Eachléim.

In May 2018, UISCE undertook a renovation of the existing enterprise units built by Udarás na Gaeltachta, costing €160,000. This renovation project was completed with the assistance of Udarás na Gaeltachta agus FLAG and includes the renovation of three modern classrooms with IT facilities and broadband, offices, kitchenette, First Aid room, siopa beag, a basketball court, five-a-side soccer pitch, volleyball court, recreational outdoor space and carparking facilities.

This second site will allow UISCE to offer a wide variety of Irish courses to the public including:

• Summer Gaeltacht courses for second-level students

• Courses for Transition Year students

• School tours for Gaelscoileanna and Scoileanna Gaeltachta

• Youth leadership courses as Gaeilge

• Courses for third-level students

• Adult courses

Founded by ex Air Corps Captain Ciarán Ó Murchú in 1992, UISCE is the only full-time adventure centre run through the medium of Irish. In UISCE, Irish is taught through enjoyable and fun outdoor adventure activities such as sailing, windsurfing, surfing, kayaking, orienteering, climbing, archery and team building games.

Since its foundation in 1992, UISCE continues to go from strength to strength. In total over 3,500 students attend courses there each year, with well in excess of 30,000 students having attended its courses since its establishment in 1992.

The addition of a second centre allows for an increase of 220 students per annum during the summer course season. which is an increase of 18%.

Currently UISCE employs 15 full-time staff, 10 part-time and 134 seasonal staff as well as 20 local Bean an Tís. This is the equivalent of 35 full-time positions and are all Irish language based, which is a critical factor to the healthy development of this north Mayo Gaeltacht.

The expansion of the second site will allow UISCE to create three new full-time positions, two part-time and 31 new seasonal jobs over the next three years.

Based on figures published by Gaillimh le Gaeilge in 2009, it is estimated that summer Gaeltacht colleges add approximately €3.5 million to the economy of Co. Mayo each year.

‘Learning Irish is Fun’ is the motto of UISCE who, during the day, will also launch their new core values and mission statement, SPRAOI, which they have developed over the last number of months with Galway-based management consultancy company LEAP.

SPRAOI stands for Safety, Personal Development, Respect, Attention to detail, Openness and Innovation.

On the day there will be live music, refreshments, workshops for children and teenagers, a bouncy castle and face painting. All are welcome – Bigí Linn!

The Connaught Telegraph, 28th February 2019

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