The Marginalization Of Ireland

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'We must strive to cultivate all which is most racial, ... most Gaelic, most Irish, because in spite of the small fusion of Saxon blood in the north-east corner, this island is and will remain Celtic to the core.' Douglas Hyde

Anglicisation, the process of converting or adapting to British standards, is evident throughout Ireland since its colonisation in the 16th and 17th centuries. As a result of colonialism, the English language was forced upon Irish nationalists along with their culture, literature and sport. Any form of retaliation or dispute resulted in exile. The Anglicisation of Ireland was often viewed by nationalists as a period of self-examination. They believed that the primary cause of defeat was due to their
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It was the central institution involved in the development of cultural nationalism and the de-Anglicisation of Ireland. The organisations declaration stated that it was a 'Society formed with the purpose of preserving the Irish language spoken in Ireland.' The main objectives of this society were the retention of the Irish language and the extension of its common use as the primary vernacular of the nation. It also declared the study and publication of all existing Gaelic Literature would be encouraged along with the creation of a modern Irish literature. Although it was not the first organisation to dedicate itself to the revival of the Irish language, the founding of the Gaelic League marked a fundamental adjustment in attitudes towards the Gaelic language. The League became dedicated to the rediscovery and revival of the nation’s past by resurrecting the traditional dress, dances and customs. Douglas Hyde was inaugurated as the first President of the society in 1893 and served until his resignation in 1915. His intention as President was to avoid all political involvement in order to prevent attacks from the British Government and to avoid attracting police attention. However the duration of the society's political ability was underrated and it grew in strength and in numbers in the early twentieth century. Branches of the Gaelic League…show more content…
The Gaelic League was founded by middle class intellectuals with the initial aim of establishing a national identity by arresting the Anglicisation of the Irish society. It was later colonised by a lower middle-class whose political aims became more narrow-minded than the broad intentions of the movements founders. They became concentrated on voicing repressed political ideas rather than focusing on cultural nationalism. In 1905 a Church of Ireland Bishop suggested the separation of the Gaelic League due to a fundamental shift towards Catholics and their clergy. He argued that the League 'began with inter-faith cultural intentions but has since escalated into a mass organisation dominated by Catholics.' He also exclaimed that 'the ideology that the Irish language would be re-established would be a weapon of nationalists and Catholics.' This aroused fear and hostility amongst Protestants. The Gaelic League continued to lose enthusiasm and cultural spirit. It became a means of recreation and socialism rather than a movement towards cultural nationalism. Its members continued to dwindle and by 1907 nearly 40 of the national branches existed out of a total of 1,000. The Gaelic League failed to re-establish Gaelic as the vernacular of Ireland. It was however successful in the promotion and awareness of
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