Synge, the Gaelic League, and the Irish Revival

  • Declan Kiberd

Abstract

In the speech which led to the founding of the Gaelic League, Douglas Hyde outlined his aim. He hoped ‘to keep the Irish language alive where it was still spoken’, adding the significant words, ‘which is the utmost at present we can aspire to’.1 His most important collaborator in this work, Eoin MacNeill, told of how the League was founded on 31 July 1893 in a room at 9 Lower Sackville Street by a handful of men who ‘resolved themselves into a society for the sole purpose of keeping the Irish language spoken in Ireland’ and ‘of preserving and spreading Irish as a means of social intercourse’.2 The emphasis at the beginning was on ‘preserving’ the language in those Gaeltacht areas where it was yet spoken. Only later in the 189os, when the movement had gained immense popularity, did the desire of ‘spreading Irish as a means of social intercourse’ supersede the aim of mere preservation.

Keywords

Foam Amid Hull Heroine Hyde 

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Notes

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Copyright information

© Declan Kiberd 1979

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  • Declan Kiberd

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