© 1999

The Irish Language in Northern Ireland

The Politics of Culture and Identity


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Camille C. O’Reilly
    Pages 1-16
  3. Camille C. O’Reilly
    Pages 32-48
  4. Camille C. O’Reilly
    Pages 49-63
  5. Camille C. O’Reilly
    Pages 64-84
  6. Camille C. O’Reilly
    Pages 85-104
  7. Camille C. O’Reilly
    Pages 105-147
  8. Camille C. O’Reilly
    Pages 148-160
  9. Camille C. O’Reilly
    Pages 161-174
  10. Camille C. O’Reilly
    Pages 175-179
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 180-213

About this book


A topical and authoritative investigation of the Irish language and identity in Northern Ireland. The phrase 'our own language' has come to symbolize the importance of the Irish language to Irish identity for many Nationalists in Northern Ireland. However, different interests compete to have their version of the meaning and importance of the Irish language accepted. This book investigates the role of the Irish language movement in the social construction of competing versions of Irish political and cultural identity in Northern Ireland, arguing that for some Nationalists, the Irish language has become an alternative point of political access and expression.


history language politics

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.American International University in LondonRichmondUK

About the authors

CAMILLE C. O'REILLY is Lecturer in Social Anthropology at Richmond, the American International University in London. She has published a number of articles on the Irish Language revival in Northern Ireland.

Bibliographic information


'This is an important study of a virtually unresearched topic - the conflictual politics of Irish language revival in Belfast. Based on skilled and sensitive field-work it deals with an emotive and politicised topic with empathy and detachment. At the same time its focus on the politics of discourse gives it analytical bite and relevance far beyond the particularities of the Northern Ireland case.' - Joseph Ruane, University College, Cork