BEING SENT AWAY to the Gaeltacht is an Irish teenage rite of passage.
For three weeks every summer, Irish students were packed off to the corners of the country – be it Galway, Kerry, Donegal or Ring, and heaps of other places in between. For a lot of people, it was their first time away from home.
Teenage years are equally horrifying and thrilling at the best of times. Put that amount of hormones in one place and there’s bound to be trouble.
Learning how to ceili dance
The ceili was the highlight of the week, if only for the chance to hold hands with a member of the opposite sex for a while.
And let’s not forget this little ditty at the disco… Does it bring you back?
Getting called into the Oifig for speaking English
The dread. The fear. You were caught mumbling some illicit bits of English and now the Priomhoide “wants to see you.”
Sneaking off to kiss someone behind the Halla
Ah, young love. Young, sweaty-with-nerves, post-disco love.
Getting the same dinner from the Bean an Ti every day
Every. Single. Night.
Image: Flickr/Kelly Cree
The Sunday visits
Never before were you so excited to see your parents. Going out for the day meant English! Magazines! Music! REALITY!
Getting care packages
The Gaeltacht was the only time we actually wrote letters as young ones. Getting your name called out for post only to find a care package from home was an unbeatable high.
Image: Flickr/Jayel Aheram
Walking “i mbeirteanna”
Rain, hail or shine, you were walking everywhere – and doing it strictly in twos.
Image: Flickr/Fergal Mac Eoinin
Writing heartfelt notes on the last day
“Ros a’ Mhil GO DEO! Beidh tú i mo chroí. Slán leat agus feicfidh mé thú i mBAC.”
Only to never really think about them again. Except maybe for that reunion organised up in the big smoke.
What are your favourite memories of the Gaeltacht?