Tonnta Irish Language Festival

Project Name

Tonnta Irish Language Festival

Project Partners

Gaillimh le Gaeilge

Role of Galway Culture Company


Strategic Aim

This project falls under our second strategic aim;

Support and Develop Place-based Programming

Project Description

Tonnta – Galway’s newest festival, celebrating the Irish language and Galway as a bilingual city, ran from February 1st to 4th. The festival featured a number of themes, but the primary one was to celebrate Galway’s status as a bilingual city.

Visit the festival’s website here.

Project Outcomes – what we expect from this project

Throughout the weekend, there were opportunities for festival-goers to (re)awaken their interest in the Irish language by speaking with helpful and empathetic language ambassadors who chatted at whatever level of Gaeilge people were comfortable with.

The festival featured several events include a free Céilí Mór, fire shows in Eyre Square, a cartoon exhibition, family events at PorterShed, workshops, Food and Whiskey Tours with Galway Food Tours, the Dirty Circus in An Taibhdhearc and Story Time in conjunction with the Moth and Butterfly Festival in the City Library. 

On St Brigid’s Day and all weekend, women were celebrated and the festival featured a live presentation of the Beo ar Éigean podcast, the Mnásome Geeze comedy performance in the Róisín Dubh and Seisiún Ceol na mBan at the Crane.

The programme also celebrated the Culture of the Gaeltacht with Altan in the Town Hall Theatre on Friday 2nd; Liam O’Maonlaí in An Taibhdhearc on Saturday 3rd; Pastime Chonamara and Ceoltóirí Óga Chonamara in the Eyre Square Centre also on Saturday and the Trad Rave in the Róisín Dubh on February 1st.

A big part of the Tonnta Festival programme was free, including talks, workshops, the Irish Language Cartoon Exhibition presented by the Galway Cartoon Festival and Lá na bPáistí which all took place in the PorterShed a Dó, Market Street, on Saturday and Sunday.

On Saturday the 3rd, Tonnta took over Eyre Square with a free Céilí Mór (2pm to 5pm) and two fire shows presented by the renowned Rogu at 5.15pm and at 7pm.

How this project is funded

Co-funded by Galway City Council, Fáilte Ireland, Plean Teanga Chathair na Gaillimhe, Galway Culture Company, which is supported by the Government of Ireland under the National Development Plan through the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, and Gaillimh le Gaeilge.


February 2024