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12 Oct 2015

Fógra ó Chraobh an Iúir de Chonradh na Gaeilge

an scoilt NUANewry and Dundalk Branches of Conradh na Gaeilge are combining to examine the historic 1915 Ard Fheis which witnessed the dramatic departure of Douglas Hyde as long-standing President of Conradh na Gaeilge (holding that office since the League’s inception in 1893) partly as a result of I.R.B. manoeuvrings which saw the League adopt, for the first time, an overtly political aim to its constitution. The Ard Fheis in Dundalk, which coincided with a very successful and non-controversial Oireachtas na Gaeilge in the town, will be explored through open access to rare, hard copies of the League’s newspaper, An Claidheamh Soluis. Indeed, over 300 issues from various years will be available for perusal during the sessions in Dundalk and Newry. In addition, two bound volumes of An Claidheamh Soluis (1899 and 1900), on temporary loan from the Cardinal O Fiaich Library and Archive in Armagh, will also be available. These offer fascinating insights into the early years of the Gaelic League in the north where Newry and its still Irish speaking hinterland was arguably the most advanced district. The bound volumes are replete with reports from Newry, Dundalk, Omeath, Warrenpoint, Bessbrook, Camlough, Rostrevor, Dromintee… in years which saw the spectacular growth of the Gaelic League across the island. A highly ornate address, co-presented to Douglas Hyde in Dundalk in 1915 by Canon Quin of Bessbrook, will assume a central position in a mini-exhibition. An impressive national Gaelic League pop-up display entitled ‘An Ghaeilge agus 1916’ will also be on show on only its second outing in Ireland.

The talks in both venues will be in Irish and pitched at a general interest level, though any student of the cultural and linguistic revival in pre-1916 Ireland will find the ‘Claidheamh Soluis’ bilingual materials accessible and suitably detailed. This joint venture, entitled ‘An Scoilt’ (The Split), will run in Newry’s Gaeláras Mhic Ardghail, on Monday 19th October at 7.00pm and in a newly renovated Áras an Chonartha, Dún Dealgan on Wednesday 4th November at 7.30 pm. ‘An Scoilt’ is supported by Foras na Gaeilge and admission is free.