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Rith races ahead to give €15,000 funding to Irish language projects

The funding comes from money raised during the Rith relay event last year.

A GRANT SCHEME worth €15,000 has been announced for Irish language projects – and the money was raised by thousands of relay runners.

The total grant fund is based on the profit from the Rith 2012 event,  a national festival during which 27,000 people ran in a 700km relay run in March of last year.

(Felim Gus Cóilín/YouTube)

The relay went from Gaoth Dobhair in Co Donegal to Inis Mór, Arann, Co Galway, via Derry, Belfast, Armagh, Meath, Dublin and Galway, involving 15 counties in 10 days, and saw people of all ages passing the baton to each other along the way. This is the first time that Rith Teo has announced a grants scheme, and the next event, which will take place in 2014, will also see funding being made available to groups.

The chairperson of Ciste Rith, Lorcán Mac Gabhann, that he is very hopeful that RITH 2014 will add significantly to the fund in the coming years.

Mr Mac Gabhann explained that “applications, in Irish, for language based programmes will be welcomed, especially from groups who receive little or no financial assistance elsewhere.”

Promoting the Irish language

Rith is based on a long-running event in the Basque country which raises money for groups promoting the Basque language. The first volunteer-run Rith was held in 2010, and raised enough to cover costs of €80,000.

Last year, an additional €15,000 was raised that will now go to groups that promote the Irish language. The scheme isn’t limited to Irish-speaking groups – the idea is to help groups who want to introduce an Irish-language facet to their work, such as arranging projects or events as Gaeilge.

The 2014 route is due to be announced next week, and will include an overnight run in Dublin. Mac Gabhann told he believes that Irish language programmes are badly funded nationally, so this is a way of making new funding available.

Application forms are available from and must be returned, fully completed, to by 24 March 2013.

Read: VIDEO: The Hunger Games gets an Irish makeover>

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