Thursday 19 September 2019

Irish chat inspires Mairead to take part in her first parkrun

Kieran O'Brien and Mairead Dineen
Kieran O'Brien and Mairead Dineen

Mairead Dineen took part in her first parkrun the weekend and relished the opportunity to chat "as Gaeilge".

The 27-year-old from Cork made her debut run at Bushy Park, Terenure, after resisting the temptation of a lie-in.

"I never dragged myself out of bed on a Saturday morning," said the secondary school teacher who now lives in Rathgar.

However, when she found out the weekly event was encouraging runners to speak Irish as part of the Bliain na Gaeilge 2018 celebration, she decided to give it a go.

Mairead is not only a fluent Irish speaker, she teaches the language to pupils at the Assumption Secondary School in Walkinstown.

"When I saw that it was a pop-up Gaeltacht event I decided to take part," she said.

While she didn't practise any of her language skills while completing the 5k run, she turned to other runners wearing "as Gaeilge" wristbands afterwards to have a chat in Irish about the run.

"How are you, where are you from and do you run often?" were some of the questions she asked fellow Irish speakers as they cooled down after their exertions.

"It was enjoyable," said Mairead. "It was a gorgeous day, and the park is lovely."

Mairead intends to acc- ompany her partner, Kieran O'Brien, also from Cork, on more parkruns in the future.

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