24 November, 2014
The Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs and Natural Resources, Joe McHugh T.D. today launched the publication "an Geolaíocht ó bhun go barr" at Coláiste Ailigh in Letterkenny. The book, is an accessible study guide to the basic geological and geographical processes relevant to Ireland, particularly useful for post-primary schools, and will be of great use to secondary school pupils both in the Gaeltacht and outside it. It will also be of immense value to adults who will be both able to learn about the natural history of Ireland and improve their Irish at the same time. All technical terms are covered in a glossary. The book is published by Sherkin Island Marine Station in collaboration with the Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI), An Comhairle Um Oideachas Gaeltachta & Gaelscoileanna and the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.
Updated Irish language versions of the "Real Map of Ireland" and "Bedrock Geological map of Ireland" were also included in the launch, both useful tools in the study of Irish geography and geology. The Minister stated: "An Gheolaíocht ó bhun go barr", along with the "Bedrock geological map" and the "Real Map of Ireland" will be of great assistance in gaelscoileanna and Gaeltacht communities throughout Ireland in ensuring that Irish language educational material is up to date with advances in our understanding of the geography of Ireland".
The two Irish language maps, which are available separately, reflect the important work being carried out by the GSI. The "Real Map of Ireland" is a detailed map of the seabed around Ireland, derived from the national seabed mapping programme of GSI and the Marine Institute, under the INFOMAR programme. The "Bedrock Geological Map of Ireland" is the latest update of the various geological maps of our island and for the first time combines geology both onshore and offshore.
The Minister went on to say "Not only will these materials be of great assistance to pupils in gaelscoileanna, they are also a useful aid for teachers in primary and secondary schools, a learning tool for adult Irish learners, as well as being of interest to the Irish speaking public in general. By making these materials available in Irish, the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources is showing its commitment to the Irish language and fulfilling its obligations under our own Language scheme, which was launched in March of this year".
The launch of this book is part of the commitments made under the Department's Irish Language Scheme. The Department has taken it upon itself to translate and publish a wide range of literature from the GSI, of which "An Geolaíocht ó bhun go barr" is the first full book, while the GSI Information booklet, GSI field code, and the GSI "Careers in Geology" document are also available in Irish. The Department hopes to launch a series of publications each year, in celebration of Seachtain na Gaeilge throughout the lifetime of this language scheme. The availability of these materials in Irish will add to the wealth of educational material available in our national language, helping Irish speakers and those less fluent alike.