A Student of History

June 14, 2006

A Gaelic renaissance

Filed under: Ireland — John Maass @ 9:48 pm

From a NYT article that appears at this Herald-Tribune site, is an article that discusses the language, which most people in Ireland simply call "Irish," experiencing something of a renaissance in that nation and in the US too.

Irish-language schools and an Irish- language television station are booming in popularity, despite Gaelic's seemingly unpronounceable strings of consonants. And now the language's supporters, who have long bemoaned the impending death of the ancient tongue, have set their sights overseas.

It also discusses Irish language classes in the US at a number of universities here, and not just at Notre Dame. 

Slightly more than half of Irish-language students at Notre Dame are descendants of Irish immigrants, a result of what Christopher Fox, director of the university's Keough Institute for Irish Studies, called "the third-generation effect." Societal bias meant earlier generations "couldn't be ethnic in America," he said in a telephone interview. "Now it's O.K., and they want to connect."

The article fails to state too that there a number of Irish language summer camps in Ireland, well-attended by young people & adults.  Also, there's a political overlay to this too–those who can speak Irish esp. in the North can be identified with Republicanism, and not Protestantism or what is called Orangeism.  Its kind of a rebelliousness in Ulster to speak Irish, among Catholics that is.


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