Ballinode’s Grainne McElwain has been named as an Energia Seachtain na Gaeilge Ambassador 2020, taking on the role along with Eimear Considine and James Kavanagh. Grainne is a strong advocate for the use of Irish, and she will be leading the celebration of Irish from 1st to 17th March to show people how to have fun with the language. Seachtain na Gaeilge is an international Irish language festival, which is the biggest celebration of our native language and culture, both at home and abroad. The festival offers everyone an opportunity to enjoy Irish, native speakers, learners and a few words one by one. Last year, more than 30,000 events were organised over the two weeks. Bain triail aisti – Surprise Yourself!

Grainne has worked as a television producer, presenter and journalist for many years. She now lives in the Connemara Gaeltacht in Galway. She has represented Scotstown GAA in solo singing and instrumental music at Scór competitions, winning an All-Ireland Scór Sinsir as part of an instrumental music group. A graduate of Humanities in Irish and History from the University of Ulster, she spent a number of years as a secondary school teacher after receiving her Higher Diploma in Teaching from UCD. In 2003 she left teaching to pursue a career in the media and has presented Ladies GAA football Peil na mBan Beo on TG4, and soccer, rugby, and basketball for Setanta Sports. She also fronted three series of Imeall Geal for BBC NI. As a producer she has produced sporting and lifestyle documentaries for both RTÉ and TG4. This very busy and talented lady has also been MC at various award ceremonies and sporting events including some at Croke Park on big match days from pitch side. So an excellent choice for the role of Seachtain na Gaeilge Ambassador 2020.