De Valera Manx Language Initiative Recalled

The intervention by Eamon De Valera, the Irish Taoiseach that resulted in some of the last native speakers of Manx being recorded, was recalled at the British – Irish Council meeting last month.

The Irish Independent reports:

“Historically, there is much that unites Ireland and the Isle of Man in terms of trade, tourism and travel as well as strong cultural, heritage and family links.

“Last month, Taoiseach Micheál Martin was reminded of that enduring relationship when he met the island’s chief minister Howard Quayle while attending a meeting of the British Irish Council in Co Fermanagh.


“A personal intervention by Éamon de Valera in 1947 resulted in a “huge turning point in the survival and revival” of the Manx language.”

Article link here:

https://www.independent.ie/…/de-valera-hailed-for…

De Valera visited the Isle of Man in 1947 as part of a cruise around several of the Western Isles of Scotland and the Irish Sea on a vessel of the Irish Naval Service (INS Macha). The Taoiseach visited several public buildings and Tynwald Hill and Peel Castle whilst on the Isle of Man and also went to Cregneash where its reported he conversed in Irish with Ned Maddrell (one of a score of native speakers of Manx at the time). On his return to Ireland De Valera arranged for Kevin Danaher of the Irish Folklore Commission to come to the Island with a recording van. The IFC made recordings and also taught Manx Language Society members to use the equipment which was retained on the Island after they left.

Image: De Valera at Douglas harbour on the bridge of the INS Corvette on his Irish sea cruise in 1947 (imuseum.im

Links:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/…/08/05/native_manx_feature.shtml

http://news.bbc.co.uk/…/history/newsid_8483000/8483578.stm

https://www.isleofman.com/…/culture…/eamon-de-valera/

Bernard Moffatt
AGS Celtic League (12th July 2021)

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