A Comparison Of The Hebrew And Gaelic Revivals

Featured above is an interesting lecture titled “A Comparison of the Hebrew and Gaelic Revivals“, originally given by Aidan Beatty of Trinity College Dublin to the Irish Jewish Museum on the 22nd of August 2013. In the presentation Beatty contrasts the political and cultural backdrops to the respective revivals and examines the expectation that the Irish language would be at the forefront of establishing independent Ireland’s national identity. Apologies for the poor video and audio quality.

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3 comments

  1. Ach silim go nil an athbheochan criochnaithe!

    But wow, is that first bit about an Piarsach powerful.

  2. Even though his dissertation is very well organised, in great detail, and well presented, I do not like his placing some of the facts concerning language and national identity, spirit, and culture, as if they were conjecture or opinion. I am not sure if that is a requirement in American colleges or not, but I found it somewhat annoying especially in light of the otherwise very well articulated subject. The fear of one own’s language, the degeneration, “castration,” “bits cut off,” the governance of mind by the yoke of a colonial language are not conjecture or some politically engaged activist’s opinion. They are cold, hard facts. They still persist today in a supposedly free Ireland. The members of the Gaelic League did nothing but accurately describe this facet of colonialisation. It was a ruling technique of empires at least as far back as the Romans. who used it with great efficiency. He also tended to highlight some of the Protestant and English heritage of some of the members of the Gaelic League without presenting the contrast Irish national allegiance and roots in the same manner. Piarais’ mother was from county Meath and of a family of native Irish speakers, for example, hardly a “backwards” west-coast Ghaeltacht like where I am originally from (no, I didn’t like that little “dig” either). All in all it presented very much how I see the correlation between the two revivals. I do believe, however, there is really hope these days, as the language really is becoming an identity for many of our youth. Piarais’ dream may yet be realised.

    “The clear true eyes of this man almost alone in his day visioned Ireland as we to-day would surely have her–not free merely but Gaelic as well; not Gaelic merely, but free as well.” Pádraig Anraí Mac Piarais (Oration at O’Donovan Rossa’s funeral).

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