COALISLAND Clonoe Comhaltas held a special session this month in Coalisland Fianna GFC Clubrooms to present Mr Jim O’Donnell with an award from the organisation for Services to the Promotion of the Irish Language.
Comhaltas commissioned special Medallions for each Branch to recognise the endeavours of those who have promoted the Irish Language within the local community.
Coalisland Clonoe Comhaltas were unanimous in choosing Jim O’Donnell as their nominee for his life long services to the Irish Language.
Jim was instrumental in setting up Gaelscoil Ui Neill in 1995.
He has always believed in the promotion of the Irish Language and believed the local community would benefit from the opportunities of a Gaelscoil.
Jim’s vision, determination and persuasion brought about the support of the community and with the help of the Fianna GFC, Gaelscoil Ui Neill came to life with four P1 pupils in the old Fianna Clubrooms.
Funding relied heavily on the kind donations of local businesses and fundraising both here and in America.
The school moved to new premises in Clonoe in 1999 and achieved Government funding in 2000.
The Department of Education recently announced building of the new Gaelscoil premises will commence shortly.
Jim was presented with his award by All Ireland Comhra achiever, Clar Dorman and Branch Treori, Briege Quinn.
Jim thanked Comhaltas for the award and was keen to acknowledge that there was a lot of hard work and dedication from the community to make the whole thing possible.
Guest speaker on the night, Ulster Treori, Mackie Rooney, spoke very highly of the Coalisland Clonoe Comhaltas and the services of Jim to the community.
The session was a very successful night with a great host of musicians and singers parading their many talents.
Many thanks to the Fianna GFC for hosting the session and to the Fianna Scor Ballad Group who came along and played on the night.
The St Patrick’s Day Concert will take place in Craic Theatre on Friday 15 March.
Tickets on sale at £5 from Craic Theatre or any Committee member.