Today's Irish-speaking population in Melbourne--some learners, others fluent writers and teachers--is no less energetic. It should be remembered, of course, that the Irish-language poet Louis de Paor spent many years here in Melbourne. There is also today a regular Irish-language newsletter, An Lúibín, authored by an excellent local scholar, Colin Ryan. And there is Cumman na hAstráil, a group formed in 1992 to promote Irish in Australia, which draws students and speakers from all over the country once a year for a week of intenstive conversation and classes. Fortunate enough to be invited for a visit to this year's school, I was thoroughly impressed with all the Irish spoken among its 50 or so participants.
Sadly, my time here in Melbourne is drawing to a close this week. But I can't have pictured a more welcoming crew than Val, Mary, Angela, Kevin, Di, Elizabeth, Deirdre, Siún, Colin, Sean, and the many more friendly folks who made this a memorable stay. Now if only I could figure out how to pack more Australian ginger beer in the suitcase.