Éamonn Ó Ciardha
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Irish-language sources for Irish Catholic identity since the early modern period
A brief survey
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Throughout the early modern period a steady stream of confessional and theological works, religious primers, catechisms, grammatical and lexicographical works emanated from colleges of Louvain, largely directed towards the clergy as opposed to the largely illiterate laity. A reconsideration of the links between the Irish literati, Catholic clergy and Jacobite ideology might be well served by a quantitative, geographical stocktake of surviving Irish-language manuscripts. The close relationship between Irish Jacobite poets and the Catholic clergy has obvious implications for the links between Jacobitism, Catholicism and the penal laws. Priest-poets such as Liam Inglis, Domhnall O Colmain and Uilliam Mac Neill Bhacaigh O hIarlaithe promoted the Stuart cause, which remained an intrinsic feature of Irish Catholic nationalist identity until at least 1760. Eighteenth-century Irish political poetry has support for the exiled house of Stuart at its core.

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