Gaelteanga was established in April 2021 by Éamonn Ó Dónaill and Qinmin Zhang. Éamonn is the company’s Director of Education, while Qinmin is Gaelteanga’s Commercial Director.
Éamonn Ó Dónaill is regarded as one of the leading experts in the field of Irish-language teaching and learning. He has been teaching Irish to adults since 1981 and his books for learners and teachers are used extensively, both in Ireland and abroad. His grammar book Gramadach gan Stró! is the main textbook used for teaching Irish in most of the third-level colleges in Ireland and has sold nearly 30,000 copies since it was first published in 2008.
Éamonn is originally from the Donegal Gaeltacht of Gaoth Dobhair. He spent six years (1996-2002) working as Director of the Department of Modern Irish’s Language Centre, UCD, and subsequently worked as a language consultant.
Éamonn was editor of the online magazine Beo! from its establishment in 2001 until September 2007. He was also a director of Sult Ltd, the company that ran an Irish language club, Sult, in Dublin city centre between 1999 and 2007. Éamonn was on the founding committee of Raidió na Life, the Dublin-based Irish language community station established in 1992, and he spent several years broadcasting with the station on a voluntary basis.
He has been language co-ordinator of two television series aimed at adult learners: Turas Teanga, which was broadcast by RTÉ in 2004, and Now You’re Talking, which was shown on BBC and RTÉ in 1995. He also wrote the books that accompanied those two series.
Éamonn has written the following books for learners of Irish: Gramadach gan Stró!
Gaeilge gan Stró! – Beginners Level (Gaelchultúr, 2011), Gaeilge gan Stró! – Lower Intermediate Level (Gaelchultúr, 2009) and Irish Grammar You Really Need to Know: Teach Yourself (John Murray Press, 2014). In 2010, Gaelchultúr published QuickGuide Irish Grammar , a glance card that Éamonn wrote with his colleague Helen Hegarty.
Éamonn was one of the founders of Gaelchultúr in 2004 and was centrally involved in the establishment of Coláiste na hÉireann/Gaelchultúr (CÉ/G), the first Irish-language third-level institution, in 2013.
He left his position as Gaelchultúr’s Director of Education in March 2021 but has continued as chair of the Postgraduate Degree in Translation course that has been offered by CÉ/G since September 2013.
Qinmin Zhang was born in Longkou, a seaside town in the northeast of China. She moved to Jinan in Shandong province at the age of eighteen to attend Shandong University. She won an entrance scholarship to the college and was again awarded a scholarship on two occasions during her undergraduate years. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1991.
After completing her college education, Qinmin worked in a biochemistry laboratory and in technical management at foreign-funded companies in Shandong. In 1999, she founded a health products and services company, Lvyuanxin, in partnership with another investor, and over the years has gained a wealth of experience in marketing and business management in those two areas. During this period, she also became involved in real estate and financial investment, and gained a great deal of experience in asset management.
In 2017, Qinmin immigrated to Ireland as an investment client of Prime Value Capital Management and joined the PVCM (Ireland) team in 2019, with responsibility for the company’s comprehensive operations and customer management. She co-founded Gaelteanga Teoranta in 2021 and is currently the company’s Commercial Director.