Donation to Dalgan Nursing Home from Korean Visitors

May 16, 2024

Columban Fr Brendan McHale writes about a recent visit to Dalgan by a group of leaders from the Korean Language Programme and their gift to the Nursing Home in Dalgan.

The Korean student programme began in 1992 with twenty university students spending a month of their summer vacation in UCD refining their English speaking level.

Over the following 27 years, the programme branched out to include winter and summer vacation weeks in Dublin language schools for primary, secondary and adult students.

Close to 5,000 students participated, with the primary and secondary students in more recent years ‘entering’ regular schools in Dublin for the winter part of the programme thanks to the largesse of understanding school principals.

Critical to the junior or under-18 programme were the adult leaders accompanying the groups. They helped greatly in teasing out problems ranging from initial homesickness for Korea to issues with host families in Ireland [usually ending in floods of tears though on parting!]

Some of 13 visitors from the Korean Language Programme in the chapel in Dalgan. Image: ColumbanMissionImages

Many of the Korean leaders were teachers, though not exclusively so because proficiency in English existed in other pockets of Korean society.

Over the programme’s 27-year history more than thirty leaders participated in these multiple winter and summer vacation English courses in Dublin. The covid pandemic more or less ended this programme in 2020.

As a mark of gratitude, a week-long trip to Ireland was arranged for the leaders. A fund set aside for a possible scholarship in Ireland or unforeseen emergencies provided most of the expenditure for this week’s trip of 13 leaders [many others did not have the necessary free time]. The tour included a visit to Dalgan Park, to the Cliffs of Moher, Kylemore Abbey and Knock Shrine.

As part of their appreciation for their short visits over these many years to Dalgan Park, the leaders donated some of the fund on Monday last to the Columban nursing home.

For Noel Daly who worked on mission in Korea and is now in the Dalgan Nursing Home. Image: ColumbanMissionImages

Husband and wife Peter Choung and Sophia Kim made the presentation to Fr Brendan Murray, now in the home, who was Columban Bursar in Seoul when Peter was the Columban office manager there in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Chris Yang of GPT Education in Seoul organised and led this week’s tour, something he has done with the student groups down through the years of the programme’s existence.

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