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1970-1979

New Horizons
During this phase of development Gael Linn expanded its remit to place more emphasis on promoting the language beyond the Gaeltacht areas and among the general population. This was done through the promotion of summer courses in Irish, debates and drama. In 1975, an Irish language home-learning course was produced in a joint venture with Linguaphone and proved to be extremely successful.

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Slógadh
In 1969, Gael Linn established a competition based youth arts festival, Slógadh, involving several local events and culminating in a national final. This event was to prove one of the great successes of the Gael Linn calender for many years. Activities included singing, storytelling and the visual arts.

The Slógadh music competitions catered for all kinds of music - traditional, pop, country 'n' western, classical, solo singing, choirs, musicals and solo instrumental. There were competitions for one act plays, miming and the traditional art form - the agallamh beirte. The festival was not limited to stage competitions. There were important art and literary sections also. The side events were often as important as the competitions themselves. Impromptu music sessions, discos, céilithe and poetry readings formed an integral and important part of the festival.

Above all else, Slógadh gave Irish a new relevance for the young generation. It became a living medium of modern artistic expression. At its zenith in the early eighties, over 50,000 young people were involved annually one way or another. It was through Slógadh that artists such as Clannad, the Hothouse Flowers, Altan and Dolores O'Riordan first gained recognition. It was in Slógadh that Cathal Ó Searcaigh, one of the most promising and prolific of our contemporary poets, came to the attention of the literary public. No other youth festival of its kind in Europe, with the exception of the Urdd Eistedfodd in Wales, could compare to it in scale or in the scope of its activities. Young people from the four corners of Europe - from Wales, Scotland, Brittany, Flanders, Occitania and Slovenia, to mention but some-travelled to Ireland to experience it.

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Eachtra
In 1971, Gael Linn established Eachtra, a summer adventure course for Irish speaking teenagers, in An Cheathrú Rua, Conamara. Activities included swimming, life-saving, orienteering, kayaking and boating. Two years later, Eachtra was transferred to Gort a' Choirce in the Donegal Gaeltacht. Later still, a second course was organised in Corca Dhuibhne, in the Kerry Gaeltacht.