4147 Inglis–Are the Irish different_BB_Layout 1 29/07/2014 09:27 Page 177 17 Irish language, Irish nation Iarfhlaith Watson Nearly half the country speaks Irish. Erroneous as this statement may appear, results from the 2011 Census indicate that 42 per cent of the population of the Republic of Ireland can speak Irish.1 The figure has been this high since the 1990s and had doubled since the 1970s.2 Most people in Ireland would suspect the accuracy of this figure and would believe that few people can speak Irish. Why then do so many people claim to be able to
4 Poverty and the Irish language Land purchase alone would not afford an adequate solution to the poverty prevalent in parts of County Galway. Even if all of the land in the Free State available for the relief of congestion was used for the resettlement of the people of the west, the plain fact was it would still not be sufficient for the purpose. The problem that the Cumann na nGaedheal government faced was an economic one. The new state’s beginnings had opened with reports of famine-like conditions in parts of Connemara and each year brought a recurring
8 Irish-language sources for Irish Catholic identity since the early modern period: a brief survey Éamonn Ó Ciardha The five decades after the ‘Flight of the Earls’ (1607) witnessed a marked decline in the fortunes of the professional learned classes of poets, scribes, brehons, genealogists and chroniclers. Although the wholesale destruction of manuscripts and the carelessness of subsequent generations have deprived us of much of their œuvre, nearly six thousand manuscripts (many of which remain unedited and untranslated) have survived the ravages of time to
Rylands Irish MS 22 is a copy of Geoffrey Keatings Trí Biorghaoithe an Bháis (1631), made by the well-known scribe Risteard Tuibear in 1710, a professionally made vernacular book, making available for circulation a widely read devotional text. In the last two pages the scribe permitted an apprentice to copy, and as a result he had to write the ending a second time more correctly. Like several other books made by Tuibear, it belonged to Muiris Ó Gormáin in Dublin in the later eighteenth century and is found in his book lists from 1761 and 1772. Inside the front is the book-plate of the Duke of Sussex, and the catalogue of his library from 1827 shows that this is a book given to him by Sir William Betham a year earlier. When the Duke‘s library was auctioned, this was sold to a London dealer, reappearing in sales between 1866 and 1869. It was bought by the Earl of Crawford and came with all his manuscripts into the Rylands Library, where for its origin and history it stands out from a collection of books largely made for or by Denis Kelly, of Castle Kelly, in the mid-nineteenth century.
The Irish mind has enabled the Irish to balance and accommodate imagination and intellect, emotion and reason, poetry and science. The notion of cultural difference is not just an Irish story, but a story of nations and ethnic groups all over the world. The story of modernity revolves around people coming to see and understand themselves as belonging to nations. Although there were other European nations that made Catholicism a keystone of national difference, there were many factors that made the Irish project different. The idea of creating a society that had a collective vision and commitment without being socialist became an ideal of the Catholic Church during the latter half of the twentieth century. The Church did, nevertheless, have a profound influence on Irish society and culture. The extent to which the Catholic Church shaped and influenced Irish politics has been the subject of much research and debate. The power of the Catholic Church in politics stemmed from the power it developed in the modernisation of Irish society and, in particular, the controlling of sexuality, marriage and fertility. During the first half of the twentieth century, the Irish developed a particular aversion to marriage. For many nations and ethnic groups, what binds people together is that they speak the same language. It may well be that for generations many Irish people identified the Irish language, music and sport as an inhibitor in embracing a less insular and more urbane, cosmopolitan disposition.
This book focuses on the historical debate beyond the Irish revolution and introduces a new study of post-revolutionary experience in Ireland at a county level. It begins to build an image of regional political and social life in the immediate post-revolutionary period. The book discusses the turbulent years of 1922 and 1923, the local electorate's endorsement of the Anglo-Irish Treaty and the beginning of domestic Irish politics in what was a vastly altered post-treaty world. The Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed in London and confirmed dominion status on a twenty-six-county Irish Free State. The book further examines four major themes in rural agrarian society: land, poverty, Irish language, and law and order. It establishes the level of deprivation in local society that the Cumann na nGaedheal government had to confront. Finally, the book attempts to relate the political record of the county to the existing socio-economic realities of local life. Particular emphasis is placed on the election campaigns, the issues involved, and the voting patterns and trends that emerged in Galway. In east Galway agrarian agitation shaped the nature of civil war violence. The civil war fanned a recrudescence in acute agrarian agitation in the west. In the aftermath of the civil war, the August 1923 general election was fought on the Free State government's terms.
12 Newspapers, journals and the Irish revival Regina Uí Chollatáin The role of minority language media in a society where the minority is recognised as a national language for all – but is scarcely acknowledged in the general public forum – is unique in Europe and is central to understanding the evolution of the role of Irish language journalism in Ireland. As Romaine points out, Ireland is ‘the only European Union member state (apart from Belgium, which is officially trilingual in French, Dutch and German), where the percentage of the population claiming the
‘although I have the highest respect for them and their work, an account of my relationship with the Gluaiseacht folk would make an extremely short chapter!’ He told me, basically, that his connections to the Irish language were to be found elsewhere; he pointed to his early attempts to learn the language,1 translation projects he’s presently involved in, and so on.2 He acknowledged that he knew the key organisers – Seosamh Ó Cuaig, Bob Quinn, Donncha Ó hÉallaithe – but in a way that was more friendly than political. ‘I’m no good at committees and could not have added a
na nGaedheal. Economic policy would inevitably be curbed. The government could only afford what it decided it could afford. High levels of socio-economic development were not assured. Constrained by a stringent fiscal policy, the west would have to wait. Nonetheless, the political elite failed to develop an effective long-term response to the instance of distress in the west. The cure for Connemara was work, not charity. In addition, the Irish language was still woven into a life of poverty and hardship, not the possibility of obtaining preferential treatment in
-found visibility of Irish in ‘Celtic Tiger’ Dublin. This use of the Irish language and ‘traditional’ culture in a sophisticated media campaign4 for an event of historic sociopolitical significance seemed to highlight the new enhanced position and prestige of language and tradition in the Ireland of the 1990s. The advertisement’s style was reminiscent of cultural extravaganzas like the Irish-themed dance show Riverdance, or festive theatre companies like Macnas, and new loci of culture, such as the Galway Arts Festival and Dublin’s Temple Bar. Media pundits proclaimed in the 1990