Members of Trillick Arts and Culture Society have a thriving Irish language group that is going from strength to strength.

It is a hive of activity for those wanting to embrace the Irish language in the centre of the border village.

From beginners classes to those aiming to improve their grasp of the native tongue as well events organised throughout the year to promote the group, many across Fermanagh and Tyrone are admiring the work they are doing/

Fearghal Ó'Ceallaigh, the Society's Irish Language Officer, said: "We meet three times a week at An Cultúrlann, with classes on a Wednesday night for improvers, classes on a Friday night for beginners, and a ciorcal comhrá (conversation circle) on a Sunday morning.

"These are very well attended, with over 20 adult learners," Fearghal explained adding that events are organised around Seachtain na Gaeilge - which ran for the first two weeks in March this year - as well as running an intensive one-day course every summer.

"It is great to see learners improving from having no Irish to a cúpla focal to líofacht (fluency).

"Anyone interested in learning the language should take that first step, and come along to our Friday night beginners' class.

"It's a friendly, relaxed and fun learning environment which you will be sure to enjoy and learn the language. The language is certainly growing in our community and is increasingly heard and seen in the Trillick area."

Fearghal believes: "Tír gan teanga tír gan anam (a land without a language is a land without a soul)."

One of those who took up the opportunity to learn the language is Karen Wade. She is originally from England but is living in Trillick and has been learning Irish for over a year.

"I have photos of my grandparents and great-grandparents, born before partition. Irish would have been their mother tongue.

"Learning Irish to me is a thank you to them. I feel more connected hearing how they'd have spoken," she said adding that the group is mixed with people young and old and all abilities.

"This makes for a lot of interesting banter. Learning a language at any age is good for mental dexterity.

"But for me, it also clarifies why Irish people put words together in the way that they do, it helps me understand."

Karen recommends that those who want to learn Irish go to their local library and find out where the nearest classes are.

"Nothing beats hearing people speaking the language in a real situation."

Marie Phelan attends Irish classes with Rang Ghaeilge Thrí Leac and learned Irish at school "fadó, fadó (long, long ago)".

"I didn't have a chance to continue while I was working but on retirement welcomed the chance to improve my level of Irish.

"I am interested in the fact that many English words stem from Gaeilge and I think it is important that all Irish people have the opportunity to speak their native language.

"It is wonderful to see Gaelscolanna going from strength to strength and many people come from abroad to learn Irish at the Gaeltacht.

"Our group consists of around 20 adults with two levels of Irish and it's a great place for anyone wanting to begin to learn Irish as we all work together to help each other and everyone is made welcome."

Úna Walker admits her Irish was "basically non-existent" before attending the Irish language classes in Trillick and she has been a gaeilgoir for two years.

"I remember my grandfather teaching me day-to-day phrases but nothing more than that. I didn't get the chance to learn Irish at school. The only option was French and that didn't interest me.

"I dipped my toe in classes when my kids were young but didn't have the time to juggle three kids and attend classes so it was put on hold," Úna explained but said she embraced the language for the betterment of her mental health.

"I started in earnest to learn after my mum passed away as a means to keep my mental health in order and I found the support and guidance from other class members was just what I needed and the craic in the classes kept it all light-hearted."

It is challenging but not enough to put her off and she praises the Irish teachers for helping learners understand it better.

"Learning Irish makes me proud to know we are keeping it alive in some small way and the different levels catered for in our classes means there is something for everyone.

"I would say to anyone thinking of starting to learn Irish or looking to expand their 'cúpla focal' to just go for it!

"The classes are a great way to be social and with a lot of laughs along the way!"

Trillick Arts and Culture Society are certainly showing how to learn Irish the right way.