The Gaeltacht wouldn’t be everyone’s ideal way to spend the three months of solace and freedom, but for many a young man and woman the Gaeltacht provided the perfect escape from the dreaded chores and work that was involved in the summer months.
Here we will re-live some of the common memories which every Gaeltacht goer experienced. Don’t worry, students, it’s PG13
1 – The planning would take place just after the Christmas period – but the most difficult task was convincing the ‘auld fella’ that three weeks in the West of Ireland was good for your education
2 – You’d always end up over estimating the level of clothing required. Mammys were obsessed with t-shirts but most young lads have a ‘skill’ for being rather economical with their use of clothes.
3 – Fake Tan. How much should a girl bring? A prized commodity and the cute hoors of shopkeepers would have an incredible mark up on it.
4 – Chef’s Ketchup was handy to have with you if you got stuck with a Bean an Tí with zero cooking ability.
5 – Pot Noodle, Nutella and tubes of Pringles were also handy to have too.
6 – For many lads, the Gaeltacht was the first time they made proper use of a razor, as there was always one lad who knew how to groom well. This self-appointed barber butchered many heads of hair.
7 – The daily or occasional phone call from home was often a hostile moment with the mother harassing you over wearing factor 50.
8 – Bunk beds were a nerve-racking experience. If you were on top, the fear of falling off was running large. On the bottom? You were the victim of any amount of pranks. Plus you had the fear of the top one collapsing.
9 – The dud phone was always a good option for those who had the urge to keep in contact with the outside world. Unfortunately, there was always a tech-savvy Bean an Tí who checked for sim cards
10 – The Céilí was a chance for a young chap to venture into enemy territory and dance with a nice girl. Sweaty hands aplenty.
11 – The disco was the main event. The playlist was dated, but it was the only legalised form of English you’d hear throughout your stay.
12 – The smell of fake tan and cheap aftershave would nearly kill you.
13 – The disco was the only time that ‘shifting’ wasn’t outlawed by the Múinteoirí.
14 – The disco maul would form on the dance floor as per usual for the ‘dirty bass’ tune. Every lad was in it – along with the occasional hardy camogie player.
15 – The Escape from Alcatraz type plan for the final night was a serious adrenaline rush.
16 – The visit to the beach consisted of the girls working on their tans and the lads jumping off the small rocks thinking they were great.
17 – The break between class and activities was always the moment for young sports stars who loved themselves to show off how great they were.
18 – Class itself was merely a disturbance from the fun – although giving a young teacher a hard time was enjoyable too.
20 – The occasional test would make you re-evaluate your level of Irish. Only if your father could see you now and how little you were learning.
21 – The excuses made up to try and get out of mass on a Saturday evening were incredible works of fiction.
22 – The last day was tough for everyone. Getting back to normality was even tougher.