Belfast’s Irish language community radio station Raidió Fáilte is preparing to host a visit from a group of European Community radio stations all of which broadcast in minority or emigrant languages. The visit is part of a project promoting the exchange of best practice and experience among community radio stations in Europe and is funded by the European Grundtvig programme. Radio stations from a range of countries including Austria, The Basque Country, France, Spain and Ireland North and South have been involved in the project and representatives from many of these community stations will visit Belfast over a three day period at the end of January.
The visit is part of the Raidió Fáilte’s programme of raising awareness and building support for of the Irish language as widely as possible both among disparate communities here in Belfast and further afield. Members of the Raidió Fáilte team have already visited some of the other European radio stations. The European group will visit the Raidió Fáilte studios as well as other broadcast and Irish language facilities.
Raidió Fáilte has been involved in a number of projects aimed at raising the profile of the Irish language both at home and throughout Europe. Last year, in co-operation with Belfast City Council Raidió Fáilte produced a CD recording of Belfast schools participating in a European Day of Languages event at City Hall which was distributed to participating schools.
Raidió Fáilte manager Fergus Ó hÍr has stated that the Grundtvig project has proven a useful way for community broadcasters to swop experience and knowhow with others involved in the same work. “It is an interesting and valuable experience to see at first hand the many different ways in which community broadcasters and those involved in broadcasting in minority languages actually operate” he saidRaidió Fáilte which runs regular training for Irish speakers interested in learning broadcast skills can be heard in Belfast on 107.1fm and internationally on www.raidiofailte.com
Photo shows some of the delegation who will visit Belfast at a previous gathering in The Basque Country