Seamus Blake sees himself as a missionary - of the Irish language and culture. Blake has hosted Míle Fáilte, a program devoted to the modern Irish language, since 1989. Originally a 10-minute segment, Míle Fáilte has grown to one hour every Saturday morning. This expanded edition brings listeners the Gaelic lessons plus a sampling of Ireland's Celtic cultures, past and present. Programs include poetry, historical and current events, and musical artists such as Enya, Altan, and Clannad.
Seamus sees a direct link between the efforts of the local Irish community and the fate of the language in Ireland. "Since so many Irish live in New York, attitudes here affect the attitudes in Ireland. New York has a major role, and the program Míle Fáilte has a major role." The growing number of course offerings in the Gaelic language at American universities and colleges reflects, as Blake puts it, "the roots phenomenon -- Irish people trying to learn their language."
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