Page last updated at 11:52 GMT, Tuesday, 10 November 2009

First Manx-speaking club opens

Founders and members of Possan Aeglagh
It is hoped there will be links with other UK Gaelic-speaking organisations

A Manx-speaking youth club, the first on the island, has been opened in a bid to promote the Isle of Man's native language and heritage.

Possan Aeglagh, which means Youth Group in Manx Gaelic, was declared open on Monday evening.

Based at the Peel Youth Centre in Shore Road, it is hoped the club will help to maintain speakers' fluency levels.

Since Manx primary school, Bunscoill Ghaelgagh, opened the number of those speaking the language has risen.

'Having fun'

Open every Monday, the centre is available for children between 10 and 14 years of age.

Mike Clague, youth and community adviser with the Department of Education, said: "The Youth Service has for many years had an objective to promote awareness of Manx culture and heritage.

"Youth clubs and projects have incorporated this into their programmes, but we were aware that the Manx language wasn't being promoted in clubs to the same extent as other aspects of our culture.

"We wondered if some [students] might be interested in having the opportunity to join a club at which they could use the language socially with their peers while having fun."

Cathy Clucas, youth worker in charge of the club, explained that the age range could change depending on who was interested in attending, and added that they were hoping to link up with other Gaelic-speaking youth clubs in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Cornwall.

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