An Conradh Ceilteach
Éire (Ireland) remains divided. The 26 counties of the Republic have, much to the annoyance of English colonial detractors, prospered financially with independence but there are many social issues that need to be addressed.
The Irish language, Gaeilge, has a broad speaker base in the republic due to the teaching requirement in school but the native speaker numbers are shrinking. It continues to make strides every year and recent developments include:
- the Official Languages Act in 2003 which compels all public bodies to provide services in the Irish language;
- Irish being declared an official language of the EU in 2007 (the only Celtic language thus far to get such recognition);
- the first mobile phones with Irish as a menu option on them being offered by Samsung in 2008;
- new Irish-medium schools opening every year.
In the north, the language was effectively outlawed in schools until the 1990s. There remains a huge sectarian divide in society and the most intransigient elements of unionism / loyalism are being marginalised and the nationalist / republican voice is being heard. This division will never be overcome until an all-Ireland republic is established.
Chairperson of the Éire Branch: Cathal Ó Luain
Secretary of the Éire Branch: Caoimhín Ó Cadhla
ACTIVITIES OF THE IRISH BRANCH OVER THE YEARS
- Engaging in correspondence in the national media on a range of issues to increase interceltic consciousness and provide information about the other Celtic countries.
- Organisation of pickets and demonstrations at the French Embassy in support of Brittany and Bretons such as Yann Ber ar Mat who was imprisoned for refusing compulsory French military service or the Bretons who were held for years without trial.
- Organisation of joint demonstrations at Irish Government buildings and the British Embassy with language organisations such as Conradh na Gaeilge agus Cymdeithas ir Iaith Gymraeg ( Welsh Language Society) in support of demands for language rights.
- Organisation of summer schools in Ireland for Celts from other countries. sometimes in conjunction with local co-operatives (Dublin, Clear Island , Connemara). Irish classes with lectures on Irish history, culture and language.
- Bringing speakers from the Celtic political movements (SNP, Plaid Cymru, Mec Vannin etc.) in other countries to Ireland to outline their political situations and aspirations. Lectures on Breton and Cornish history, culture and language.
- Organisation of trips to the Isle of Mann to get to know the country and its political and language activists. Attendance of Irish branch members at the Llewellyn commemoration in Cilmeri, Cymru. Organising a trip to Edinburgh to partake in an Independence First demonstration.
- Organisation of evening of Manx poetry and dance and bringing of Manx musicians to Club an Chonradh for Manx/Irish traditional music and song session. Organisation of general interceltic sessions when possible.
- Publishing occasions and launches such as that for ‘ The Black Paper on Irish Education’ (a joint publication of Craobh na dTeicneolaithe ,Conradh na Gaeilge and the Irish Branch CL), the launch of ‘‘For a Celtic Future (published by the League in honour of Alan Heusaff) and the launch of CARN 100, which contained a special poetry supplement in all Celtic languages and at which launch poems were read in all the Celtic languages.
- Supporting the campaigns of the Celtic League such as the Military Monitoring Campaign and giving TV and Radio interviews on specific aspects of these. Implementation of Celtic League AGM resolutions and ensuring Irish Branch representation at and participation in AGMs.
- Supplying material on poltical, current affairs, language and cultural matters for the Irish section of CARN magazine and previous League publications.