Naas’ Sult na Sollán is five years old.
It all began with a leaflet drop five years ago in Sallins which sought like-minded people who wished to promote the Irish language, Irish music and Irish culture.
It’s grown from strength to strength with the highly successful inaugural festival, Féile na Sollán, last October, followed by a €1,500 prize in the national Glór na nGael competition in recognition of its promotion of the lrish language in the community.
Sult na Sollan prides itself on having something for everyone. Fluent speakers and learners of Irish are welcome in Alice’s Restaurant in Naas every Saturday morning from 11 for a chat about anything and everything through Irish. As well as conversational Irish classes at various levels, there are a number of Irish language trips organised throughout the year. In the last year or so, these trips have included tours of Dunsink Observatory, Glasnevin Cemetery, Áras an Uachtaráin, Kildare National Stud and this month’s tour of Dublin Zoo. The number of households in Kildare using Irish regularly is growing at a faster pace than anywhere else in the country and these events provide valuable opportunities to do ordinary activities through Irish.
For traditional Irish music lovers, ‘Sult’ and its sister-group, ‘Fonn Nua’ provide two sessions each month in Sallins. People are always welcome to join in or just come along and enjoy the atmosphere. The annual Féile na Sollán has created a superb opportunity to bring national trad talent to Sallins. Last year’s headline act, ‘The Jeremiahs’ recently made a return visit, much to the delight of the local audience.
This year’s Féile na Sollán promises to be even bigger and better than last year’s festival. Work on the programme (scheduled for Oct. 17-19 next) is well underway.