The Irish Language Community in the Digital Age

We are on the threshold of a revolutionary new digital age.
What does the future hold for the Irish language community?

During Seachtain na Gaeilge, Gréasán na Meán Skillnets, in partnership with Údarás na Gaeltachta and ROSG, are organizing a seminar to discuss the many aspects of The Irish Language Community in the Digital Age.

The day will feature guest speakers from major Irish-language organisations from the fields of television, radio, education, publishing and the digital domain, including international speakers such as Kevin Scannell from St. Louis University. 

On the day Dr. Aodhán Mac Cormaic from the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht will give a presentation on the Government’s soon to be published new digital plan for the Irish language

The potential for new technologies will be presented by experts in virtual reality, computer science and interactive media.

This is an exciting opportunity to explore the potential to grow the community online and develop an international virtual community for the Irish language.

Simultaneous interpretation will be available on the day.

Date Thursday, 10/03/16
Location The Connemara Coast Hotel,
Na Forbacha,
Co. na Gaillimhe.
Time 9:00 – 17:00
(091) 558460


Kevin Scannell

Kevin Scannell

Kevin Scannell is Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science at Saint Louis University in Missouri. He works with language communities around the world to develop computing resources that help them use their native language online.
He is particularly interested in Irish and the other Celtic languages; he has developed an Irish spell checker, grammar checker, and thesaurus, as well as dictionaries and translation engines that support Irish, Scottish, and Manx Gaelic.
He is a member of the team that provides Irish localisations of a number of important products: Mozilla Firefox, LibreOffice, Gmail, and Twitter among them.
In 2011, he founded the Indigenous Tweets project to promote indigenous and minority languages in social media.

Kevin Scannell

Aodhán Mac Cormaic

Aodhán was born and raised in Dublin where as a hurler he represented his county at every level. He has lived in Cois Fharraige since 1997 and is married to Bridie Ní Churraoin from an Trá Bháin, with whom he has a daughter.
Aodhán is a graduate of The London School of Economics, DCU and Queen's University Belfast where he achieved a doctorate in Governance in 2015.
He has worked in the Department of Labour but for most of his career he has been with An Roinn Ealaíon, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta, dealing primarily with the Irish language and the Islands.
Of late Aodhán has been focused on developing the Irish language in the digital sector, the EU and in international Universities.

James Corbett

James Corbett

James Corbett (B.Eng. Computer Engineering, University of Limerick) has 20 years experience in the IT industry having worked with Apple, Motorola and, in roles from Software Test to Network System Administration.
He set up his first business in 2002, an online sports forum which traded internationally. James is a Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Awardee and acted as technical adviser to Gaelscoil Ó Doghair in Co. Limerick where he worked alongside Principal Daithí Ó Murchú and introduced a virtual world platform for schools. The project launched as a not-for-profit - MissionV - in 2011 and was funded by the Department of Education to run in 20 primary schools nationwide.
His new start-up - Simvirtua - has been supported by Enterprise Ireland, under the New Frontiers Programme, and is building tools for Virtual and Augmented Reality across Enterprise and Industry, as well as offering consulting services.

Eilis Ni Dhuill

Eilís Ní Dhúill

Eilís Ní Dhúill is currently teaching media and film studies at Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, National University of Ireland. With the support of the Irish Research Council she recently completed her PhD studies. Central to her research is the exploration of storytelling among traditionally Irish speaking communities.
Eilís seeks to unveil the intricacies of this culture and tradition and their visual representation in Irish-language film.

Ronan Mac Con Iomaire

Rónán Mac Con Iomaire

Rónán Mac Con Iomaire is Group Head, Irish Language at RTÉ, and is the first person to be appointed to that role. Previously, he was Leascheannaire (Deputy Head) of RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta.
Prior to that, Rónán was Local Government correspondent for Nuacht RTÉ and TG4, where we won a number of awards for his journalism, as well as writing for publications such as the Irish Independent, Evening Herald and Irish Times.
Rónán was awarded the New Writer of the Year award at the Oireachtas Literary Awards for Rocky Ros Muc, a biography of Irish boxer, Seán Mannion, a book that went on to become the fastest-selling Irish language book of all time.
He has previously founded a public relations company, and spent a number of years as a publican in Galway city. He has a strong interest in athletics and in 2010, founded TríSpórt, a triathlon club for the Connemara and Aran Islands area. He lives in the Galway Gaeltacht village of An Cheathrú Rua with his wife, Máirín, and three children.

Sean Cathal

Seán Cathal Ó Coileáin

Seán Cathal is a Gaeltacht man, originally from Gaoth Dobhair. As a student, he attended the National College of Art and Design. It was his experience as a painter that inspired his interest in matters relating to motion-graphics and computer aided design.
He began working with TnaG in 1997 at a time when the digital revolution began to fundamentally change all aspects of the television sector. While still in the initial stages of his employment with TG4 he played a central role in the small team that designed and implemented the decisive re-branding to TG4 in 1998.
In his present role with TG4 as Creative Director and Brand Manager he deals with the identity of the station at all levels and on all types of digital platforms, including production, design, marketing and communication.

Ailbhe Ni Chasaide

Ailbhe Ní Chasaide

Ailbhe Ní Chasaide is Professor of Phonetics in Trinity College, Dublin and is the Principal Investigator of the ABAIR project (See: Ailbhe is involved in all aspects of the project. She is phonetician, and is therefore responsible in particular for the aspects of the project that concern phonetics and the sound system of Irish, including corpus design, recording, and phonetisation. She is interested in the prosody of Irish, in emotional prosody, and in the use of synthesis in education and in accessibility applications.

Tomai O Conghaile

Tomaí Ó Conghaile

Tomaí is a magazine editor and presenter with over 10 years of experience in Irish language media.
Previously a journalist and Deputy Editor of daily newspaper Lá Nua, Tomaí founded culture magazine NÓS in 2008 which has now developed into an innovative website with a vibrant following both in Ireland and abroad.
Tomaí presented the BBC's Irish language radio programme 'Blas' on BBC Radio Ulster for six years and is currently presenter on the BBC 2 chat and music show, 'I Lár an Aonaigh'. He previously presented the lively travel series 'Art agus Tomaí san Eoraip' and magazine chat show 'Imeall Geal' on BBC 2, in addition to 'Meitheal nó Meáin' on TG4. He is also chairperson of the committee for Ravelóid, a new Irish language music festival taking place in summer 2016.

Brian O Raghallaigh

Brian Ó Raghallaigh

Dr Brian Ó Raghallaigh is a lecturer in Fiontar, Dublin City University, where he is technical manager of research projects in the digital humanities (See:,,,,
He previously worked on the Irish speech synthesis project at Trinity College Dublin.
He has a background in computer science, linguistics and Irish, and he completed his Ph.D. thesis in 2010 on multi-dialect phonetisation for Irish, also at Trinity College Dublin.
He published the book "Fuaimeanna na Gaeilge" in 2014 (See:

Neasa Ni Chiarain

Neasa Ní Chiaráin

Neasa Ní Chiaráin is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the Phonetics & Speech Lab, Centre for Language & Communication Studies, Trinity College, Dublin. She is working on the development of speech and language technology resources for Irish with the text-to-speech (TTS) synthesis project ABAIR (see
In parallel, she is conducting research on the design, development, implementation and evaluation of Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) materials which incorporate TTS voices. She is particularly interested in interactive language learning games for the teaching and learning of Irish.

Aindriu Mac an Ri

Aindriú Mac an Rí

Aindriú Mac an Rí works as a platform developer for the website, - a new Irish language site that allows users to access Irish language and Gaeltacht news stories, information on events, conversation circles, festivals and classes.
He is a regular blogger, writer and radio presenter in both English and Irish, and he presents two shows on Dublin's Raidió na Life.
He has previously worked as the Chairperson of Trinity College Dublin's Cumann Gaelach and he has a recent Master's Degree in Irish Literature from TCD.

Seán Tadhg Ó Gairbhí

Seán Tadhg Ó Gairbhí

Seán Tadhg Ó Gairbhí is the editor of the online news service and the magazine Comhar.
He was a journalist with the newspaper Foinse from 2000 to 2003 before taking on the role of editor of Foinse from 2003 to 2009.
Seán Tadhg went on to serve as an Irish language consultant to the Government, as well as lecturing in journalism for Fiontar DCU.
Recently Seán Tadhg has written a book on the history of TG4 which is soon to be published by Cois Life.

Ciaran o Cofaigh

Ciarán Ó Cofaigh

Ciarán Ó Cofaigh is a co-founder and managing director of ROSG, and an experienced producer/director, both in film and television.
His national and international award winning productions include the feature film Cré Na Cille (Graveyard Clay), the supernatural thriller Na Cloigne (The Heads), the animated documentary series Scéal na Gaeilge (The Story of Irish), and the drama series An Bronntanas (The Gift).
He co founded and produced the renowned Síol Scéal initiative of short films, to develop new drama writers and directors. From its conception 24 half hour short films have been produced and its participants have forged successful careers in the TV/Film industry.
Ciarán has also tutored in Television and Broadcasting in University College Galway.

9:00 - 9:30 Registration
9:30 - 9:45 Opening & Welcome
Steve Ó Cualáin, CEO Údarás na Gaeltachta
Facilitator Aoife Ní Thuairisg
9:45 - 10:15 The Digital Strategy
Aodhán Mac Cormaic, An Roinn Ealaíon, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta
10:15 - 10:45 The New Era of Virtual Reality
James Corbett, Simvirtua
10:45 - 11:15 Break
11:15 - 12:30 The Irish Language and Technology On-Line
Ailbhe Ní Chasaide & Neasa Ní Chiaráin College Dublin
Brian Ó Raghaillaigh, Fiontar/Dublin City University
Eilís Ní Dhúill, University College Galway
12:30 - 13:30 Lunch
13:30 - 14:45 Irish Language Media in the Digital Age
Seán Tadhg Ó Gairbhí,
Seán Cathal Ó Coileáin, TG4
Rónán Mac Con Iomaire, RTÉ
Tomaí Rua Ó Conghaile, Nós
14:45 - 15:15 Break
15:15 - 16:30 Developing an On-Line Community
Aindriú Mac An Rí, Conradh na Gaeilge/ PEIG (Pobal Eolas Ilmheáin Gaeilge)
Ciarán Ó Cofaigh, ROSG
Kevin Scannell, Ollscoil San Louis, Missouri
16:30 - 17:00 General Q & A