Aran Direct honoured for use of Irish language

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Thu Mar 1 14:01:40 UTC 2007

Aran Direct honoured for use of Irish language

by Christina Hession Drech go hArainn has been awarded the prestigious
Gradam Sheosamh U Ogartaigh Award.

The winning company runs passenger ferries to the Aran Islands and has
offices in Galway City centre and Ros a Mhil harbour. The company
implements a strong Irish language policy throughout the business and
actively promotes the Irish language as part of its sales and marketing
activities. Dreach go hArainn's commitment to
bilingualism is demonstrated by its bilingual brand identity, bilingual
stationery and the use of Irish on advertising, tickets, emails,
telephone, public notices and on the website, and the
availability of a complete service through Irish.

On behalf of the adjudicators, Pdraic O Raighne noted, "Aran Direct is a
new entrant to the Gradam Awards, but obviously a company in which the
language is an essential part of their daily work. What impressed us was
that Aran Direct is a new company in an industry that has been around for
a while, but they are the first company to take the language seriously and
to use it to their advantage in sales and marketing. The Irish language is
an integral part of their business as opposed to an 'add on'. We were
particularly impressed with the approach adopted by the company and the
plans they have for the future."

Minister Eamon O Cuv presented Dreach go hArainn, with
a sculpture by Pdraig Reaney, depicting the 14 Tribes of Galway, with one
extra tribe outstanding, symbolising the Gradam winner. Minister O Cuv
congratulated the winner and reiterated the vital role of businesses in
Galway city to recognise the market of Irish speakers in Galway city and
its surrounds, and the economic benefit to be gained from Galway's most
natural resource, an Ghaeilge. Dreach go hArainn said the company was committed to
providing their services bilingually, to developing the use of the Irish
language in sales and marketing and to highlighting the importance of the
language in Galway and on the Aran Islands.

Mayor Niall O Brolchin congratulated all the companies on reaching the
shortlist. Chairperson of Gaillimh le Gaeilge Caitln Nic an Ultaigh also
spoke at special awards ceremony in the Ardilaun Hotel on Thursday, and
referred to the importance of the Irish language in maintaining our
uniqueness and authenticity as a city.

Tigh Taaffes were announced as the winners of the second category for
companies with 20 or less employees. Taaffes on Shop Street is renowned
for its authentic Irish atmosphere. The Irish language and traditional
Irish music can be heard frequently in the pub, which is a regular haunt
for Irish speakers and tourists in Galway city.

There are several Irish language signs within the pub and on the windows.
They are adding to the Irish language signage which they have on
matchboxes, t-shirts for sale, t-shirts for employees, menus etc). The
staff take every opportunity to use the Irish language and they are more
than happy to use Irish and provide a service in Irish.

This year the judging panel consisted of Pdraic O Righne from TG4, Maeve
Joyce from the Galway Chamber of Commerce and Alex Hijmans from the Caf
Bananaphoblacht and previous winner of Gradam Sheosamh U Ogartaigh 2004.


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