Welcome return of in-person Scoil Acla Summer School after 3 years

All roads lead to Achill, for the return of Scoil Acla’s in-person Summer School following a hiatus of 3 years.

In 2020 and 2021, due to the pandemic, one of the oldest summer schools in the country – Scoil Acla, like many, embraced digital and offered the summer school classes via Zoom as well as nightly recitals, concerts and competitions via social media. This year, following a successful Fleadh Cheoil Mhaigh Eo held in Achill in May, the committee is very much looking forward to hosting, once again, another eclectic week of song, music, dance, and culture in various venues across the parish of Achill from 25-30 July.

RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta will broadcast the official Scoil Acla mass as Gaeilge from Pollagh Church at 11.30am on Sunday 24, followed by the return of St. Colman’s Garden Féte which will also feature Scoil Acla musicians. The launch of “Amethyst Country” written by Mary Lennon will take place on Sunday also in Keel Community Hall at 8pm.Classes will begin on Monday and each morning at 10am with additional complimentary masterclasses and other workshops taking place each afternoon. The official opening of the summer school will take place on Monday 25 at 6pm by former President of Comhaltas Vince Jordan, and will include the launch of Scoil Acla’s 5-year strategy Document. The opening will be followed a concert with Seán Keane who will once again entertain the masses from 8pm at what is expected to be yet another enjoyable performance in Óstán Oileán Acla after his sold-out 2019 concert. Tickets are on sale now via the Scoil Acla website.

This year, as part of Scoil Acla’s Gaeilg’ Acla course, the coiste is pleased to announce a unique series of guided bus tours that will give an insight into all things Achill – with particular focus on Achill’s unique Irish dialect, its history and culture. Pre-booking is essential.

An “Oíche Ghaelach” including a family table quiz and small céilí will take place on Tuesday 26 in Gielty’s, Dooagh from 7pm and will be supported by Pobal Gaeilg’ Acla. At 8pm, Paddy Bushe will read from his recently published collection of bi-lingual poetry “Double Vision” accompanied by musical interludes from Kate Heneghan in St. Thomas’s Church, Dugort.Wednesday 27 will see the launch of Córlán Mhaigh Eo in Halla Acla, Achill Sound from 6pm followed by the return of Scoil Acla’s in-person Recital which will feature a series of intimate performances, including from this year’s Artist in Residence, Derek Hickey in the unique setting of St. Thomas’s Church, Dugort. The Hata Acla Competition will take place on Thursday evening, 28, at 6pm in Ted’s, Cashel and later at 8pm a tribute night to one of Ireland’s most famous box players, Joe Burke in the same venue. On Friday night, 29th, Scoil Acla tutors and other talented musicians, singers and dancers will perform at the popular Gala Concert in the Wavecrest, Dooagh. The festival will come to end in the usual style on Saturday, 30th, with the annual raising of the flag at the Aeraíocht – outdoor concert at Lourdie’s Carpark in Dooagh where students will have the opportunity to perform what they have learned (weather permitting).

The week will also be interspersed with trad sessions including the very popular Trad ar an Trá music session at Keel beach, intermediate sessions as well as adult-only sessions in pubs across the island from 10pm. Full details can be found in the official programme which will be on-sale soon locally for €5.

Cathaoirleach of Scoil Acla CCÉ, Sarah Calvey said “we are delighted to see the return of in-person classes and events for the first time since 2019. The Coiste has worked hard in difficult circumstances through Covid-19 and we are very much looking forward to welcoming old and new friends to Achill for what will be another wonderful week.”

Scoil Samhraidh Scoil Acla 2022 takes place from Monday 25th to Saturday 30th July. Full details are available on the Scoil Acla website – www.scoilacla.ie

Please note: places will be limited for 2022. Pre-booking online only.

Keep up-to-date with Scoil Acla via social media or you may contact the committee by emailing info@scoilacla.ie or by phone at 085 881 9548.

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