Thursday, 12 November 2009

Cill Dara

…de la Kildare Nationalist:

...Our native language has been on the retreat for centuries. Indeed here in this part of County Kildare Irish has not been the everyday language of the local people for more than 200 years.

Various attempts to revive the language were made over the years.

The Gaelic League established in Dublin in 1893 as Conradh na Gaeilge opened a branch in Athy, when exactly I cannot say, but a contemporary note records that the Athy branch was ‘revived’ in January 1919.

This was at a time when the anglicisation of Ireland was at its height and everything Irish was being thrust aside in favour of English ways. It was also a time when the law discriminated against the Irish language.

Padraig Pearse in his only appearance before the courts unsuccessfully defended a carter who insisted in putting his name on his cart in Irish rather than in English.

Here in Athy an Irish teacher based in the newly opened technical school in Stanhope Street was convicted and fined at the petty sessions held in the courthouse for signing his name in Irish….

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