Conradh na Gaeilge

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Conradh na Gaeilge (Irish pronunciation: [ˈkɔn̪ˠɾˠə nə ˈɡeːlʲɟə]; abbreviated CnaG, and historically known in English by the translation Gaelic League) is a non-governmental organisation that promotes the Irish language in Ireland and abroad. The motto of the League is Sinn Féin, Sinn Féin amháin (Ourselves, Ourselves alone). [1]



Conradh na Gaeilge was founded in Dublin on 31 July 1893 by Douglas Hyde (Irish: Dubhghlas de hÍde), the son of a Church of Ireland rector from Frenchpark, County Roscommon with the aid of Eugene O'Growney, Eoin MacNeill, Luke K. Walsh and others. The organisation developed from Ulick Bourke's earlier Gaelic Union and became the leading institution promoting the Gaelic Revival, carrying on efforts like the publishing of the Gaelic Journal. The League's first newspaper was An Claidheamh Soluis (The Sword of Light) and its most noted editor was Patrick Pearse.

Though apolitical, the organisation attracted many Irish nationalists of different persuasions, much like the Gaelic Athletic Association. It was through the League that many future political leaders and rebels first met, laying the foundation for groups such as the Irish Volunteers (1913). However, Conradh na Gaeilge did not commit itself entirely to the national movement until 1915, causing the resignation of Douglas Hyde, who felt that the culture of language should be above politics. Most of the signatories of the 1916 Proclamation were members. It still continued to attract many Irish Republicans. Sean MacStiofain, the first chief of staff of the Provisional IRA was a prominent member in his later life.

From 1922

After the foundation of the Irish Free State in 1922, the organisation had a less prominent role in public life as Irish was made a compulsory subject in state-funded schools. The organisation successfully campaigned for the enactment of the Official Languages Act, 2003 which gave greater statutory protection to Irish speakers and created the position of An Coimisinéir Teanga (The Languages Commissioner).

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