Father Joe Dunn introduces Ranafast, the Gaeltacht area in the Rosses region of Donegal, telling us: “We hear a lot about the vanishing Irish, the flight from the land, and the depopulation of the Gaeltacht. But the little village has not suffered any depopulation, particularly during the summer months when the famous Irish college is in operation.”
The film, with a voice-over in Irish, presents the activities of students who come to St. Brigid’s Irish college to learn about Irish language and Irish culture. While they are there to study Irish the students also enjoy many leisure activities during their stay. The views of the local countryside and contact with nature are a big attraction for students raised in the city and we see a group of young people swimming in a sea pool and playing football in a field. Others sit around a dinner table listening to a Seanchaí (traditional Irish storyteller) telling a story, but the high point of the summer is the céilí, where students overcome their shyness and develop a sense of camaraderie.
Radharc was an independent production company established by Father Joe Dunn, Father Desmond Forristal and other like-minded priests to make programmes for television and non-theatrical exhibition. Between 1961 and 1996 they made over 400 films in 75 countries on social, political and religious issues.
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With kind permission of The Radharc Trust.