A History of the Irish Language: From the Norman Invasion to Independence

The Anglo Norman Conquest
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Young people from Gaeltacht areas are educated and want to travel like any other young people. English is the common language and English almost inevitably wins. The recently-published update on this study shows the decline of Irish occurring faster than the authors first suspected. Understandably and rightly, the authors of the study present possible measures to halt this decline in the use of Irish.

My difficulty is that most of these measures are based on isolating the Irish-speaking community. It is also interesting that the report reserves special criticism for Gaeltacht businesses who benefit from Gaeltacht grants but do not foster the language.

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This is surely because business is by its nature plugged into a national and global network. A recent report on education in the Gaeltacht which found that a majority of year-olds in core Gaeltacht regions are more fluent in English than in Irish proposed the incubation of Irish-speaking Gaeltacht children from other Gaeltacht children who are not native speakers. The hard fact is that half of the children who start school nowadays in the Gaeltacht have little or no Irish.

This is because people without Irish have moved to the area and people with Irish have moved away and come back with less Irish or with partners who have no Irish. The Gaeltacht is not isolated anymore and because it is not isolated it will soon be no more. It breaks my heart to think of the Donegal Gaeltacht, for instance, without the opportunity of hearing their rich and beautiful dialect of Irish.

But another part of me realises that the very Gaeltacht idea, which seemed practical a century ago, is no longer appropriate. The people of certain isolated regions should no longer be paid badly to take the bare look off our refusal or inability, as a nation, to trade English for Irish.

The irony is that Irish people, and Gaeltacht people in particular, have a huge affection for the Irish language. More on this topic. Row over lack of Irish-language teaching in Irish-medium unit. Island radio gives digital voice to the people as Gaeilge. Should Irish be optional in school? Examine Yourself: Military terms like 'battling cancer' and 'war on cancer' do more harm than good. Vintage View: Mirror, mirror on the wall. He proved a courageous and crafty foe, and the English forces met with little success against him in the first seven years of fighting.

This was known as the Flight of the Earls, and it left Ulster open to English rule.

Irish Studies: Irish Language/Gaeilge

With the native chiefs gone, Elizabeth and her successor, James I, could pursue their policy of Plantation with impunity, and while confiscations took place all over the country, Ulster was most affected because of its wealthy farmlands and as punishment for being home to the primary fomenters of rebellion. The Plantations also marked the final collapse of the Gaelic social and political superstructure and the total conquest of Ireland by the English. The main intended effect of the Penal Laws was to facilitate the dispossession of the landed Catholic population.

Six hundred years after Strongbow first landed in Wexford, the conquest of Ireland was complete. The signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty in saw the end of the War of Independence and the establishment of an Irish state — albeit a truncated one, due to the terms of the treaty that allowed six Ulster counties to remain part of the United Kingdom — for the first time in history. In the immediate aftermath of WWI, which was ostensibly fought to protect the rights of small nations, the new Irish state was but the logical and expected result of an year struggle by the Irish to free themselves from the yoke of foreign rule.

Yet the concept of the Irish nation is, in historical terms, a relatively recent one, owing much of its ideological impetus to the republican fervour that gripped Europe in the aftermath of the French Revolution. Although the English crown had held Ireland in its grip since the end of the 12th century, the subjugated inhabitants of the island did develop a general identity borne out of common misfortune but were united in little else. The next significant movement came in the wake of the Irish rebellion of , when a group of Gaelic and Anglo-Norman Catholic lords set up a de facto independent Irish state known as the Confederation of Kilkenny after its capital that had nominal control over two-thirds of the island the area outside the so-called Pale, roughly the extent of Leinster and the limit of direct English rule.

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Another attempt to resist the British in the spirit of the Confederation of Kilkenny was the Jacobite Rebellion of the late 17th century, where Irish Catholic monarchists rallied behind James II after his deposition in the Glorious Revolution. The punitive conditions of the Penal Laws and the consciousness of defeat and dispossession served to create a powerful religious and ethnic identity — Gaelic and Roman Catholic — that would eventually become the basis of Irish nationalism. In the interim, however, with Roman Catholics rendered utterly powerless, the seeds of rebellion against autocracy were planted by a handful of liberal Protestants inspired by the ideologies of the Enlightenment and the unrest provoked by the American War of Independence and then the French Revolution.

The first of these liberal leaders was a young Dublin Protestant, Theobald Wolfe Tone —98 , who was the most prominent leader of a Belfast organisation called the United Irishmen. The tragic failure of the French to land an army of succour in left the organisation exposed to retribution and the men met their bloody end in the Battle of Vinegar Hill in The first was a breed of radical republicanism, which advocated use of force to found a secular, egalitarian Irish republic; the second was a more moderate movement, which advocated nonviolent and legal action to force the government into granting concessions.

The association soon became a vehicle for peaceful mass protest and action: in the general election it supported Protestant candidates who favoured Catholic emancipation.

PRONI - The Hidden History of Protestants & The Irish Language

To staunch the possibility of an uprising, the government passed the Act of Catholic Emancipation, allowing some well-off Catholics voting rights and the right to be elected as MPs. Instead, the nationalist cause found itself driven by arguably the most important feature of the Irish struggle against foreign rule: land ownership. Championed by the extraordinary Charles Stewart Parnell —91 , the Land League initiated widespread agitation for reduced rents and improved working conditions.

The conflict heated up and there was violence on both sides. The Land War, as it became known, lasted from to and was momentous. For the first time, tenants were defying their landlords en masse. The Land Act of improved life immeasurably for tenants, creating fair rents and the possibility of tenants owning their land. The other element of his two-pronged assault on the British was at Westminster where, as leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party IPP he led the fight for Home Rule, a limited form of autonomy for Ireland. Parliamentary mathematics meant that the Liberal Party, led by William Gladstone, was reliant on the members of the IPP to maintain a majority over the Conservatives and Parnell pressed home his advantage by forcing Gladstone to introduce a series of Home Rule bills — in and — which passed the Commons but were defeated in the House of Lords.

As the 20th century dawned, Ireland was overwhelmingly committed to achieving Home Rule. The bill was passed but not enacted in against strident Unionist opposition, epitomised by the mass rallies organised by the recently founded Protestant vigilante group, the Ulster Volunteer Force UVF. It was felt that just as England had promised Home Rule to Ireland, so the Irish owed it to England to help her in her hour of need.

A few, however, did not. From its steps, Pearse read out to passers-by a declaration that Ireland was now a republic and that his band was the provisional government. Less than a week of fighting ensued before the rebels surrendered to the superior British forces. The Easter Rising would probably have had little impact on the Irish situation had the British not made martyrs of the rebel leaders.

Of the 77 given death sentences, 15 were executed, including the injured Connolly, who was shot while strapped to a chair. This brought about a sea change in public attitudes, and support for the republicans rose dramatically. By the end of the war, Home Rule was far too little, far too late. A lot more blood would soon seep into Irish soil, but the Civil War would lead — inevitably — to independence and freedom, albeit costly, for the country was partitioned and six Ulster provinces were allowed remain part of the UK, sowing the seeds of division and bloodshed that tormented the provinces half a century later.

A sharp decline in religious practice is a Europe -wide phenomenon, particularly among Christians, but Ireland is a special case, for religion is a central feature of Irish history and the centuries-old fight for identity and independence has been intimately intertwined with the struggle for recognition and supremacy between the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches.

Like us, for instance, in this short essay. The relative ease with which the first Christian missionaries in the 5th and 6th centuries AD converted the local pagan tribes and their strong tradition of druidism was in part due to the clever fusing of traditional pagan rituals with the new Christian teaching, which created an exciting hybrid known as Celtic, or Insular Christianity — the presence on some early Christian churches of such decorative elements as Sheila-na-Gigs, a lewd female fertility symbol, is but one example.

Irish Christian scholars excelled in the study of Latin and Greek learning and Christian theology in the monasteries that flourished at, among other places, Clonmacnoise in County Offaly , Glendalough in County Wicklow and Lismore in County Waterford.

http://webvandor.hu/components/mujer/1489-mujeres-solteras-reus.php The nature of Christianity in Ireland was one of marked independence from Rome , especially in the areas of monastic rule and penitential practice, which emphasised private confession to a priest followed by penances levied by the priest in reparation — which is the spirit and letter of the practice of confession that exists to this day. The Irish were also exporting these teachings abroad, setting up monasteries across Europe such as the ones in Luxeuil in France and Bobbio in Italy , both founded by St Columbanus AD — The Golden Age ended with the invasion of Ireland by Henry II in , for which Henry had the blessing of Pope Adrian IV and his papal laudabiliter, a document that granted the English king dominion over Ireland under the overlordship of the pope.

The influence of the major Irish monasteries began to wane in favour of the Norman bishops who oversaw the construction of the great cathedrals, most notably in Armagh and Dublin. The second and more damaging reform of the Irish church occurred in the middle of the 16th century, and once again an English monarch was at the heart of it. The Irish, however, were not ready to change their allegiances and remained largely loyal to Rome , which set off the religious wars that would dominate Irish affairs for the next years and cast a huge shadow over the country that has not quite faded yet.

Henry was concerned that his new-found enemies on the continent would use Ireland as a base from which to invade England , so he decided to bring Ireland fully under his control, a policy that was continued by his daughter Elizabeth I. Their combined failure to convert Ireland to the new religion resulted in the crown ordering the pacification of the country by whatever methods possible, but the resultant brutality merely served to solidify Irish resentment and their commitment to Roman Catholicism.

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This policy was most effective in Ulster, which was seen by the English as the hotbed of Irish resistance to English rule. Alongside the policy of Plantation, the English also passed a series of Penal Laws in Ireland, which had the effect of almost totally disenfranchising all Catholics and, later, Presbyterians. The Jacobite Wars of the late 17th century, which pitted the Catholic James II against his son-in-law, the Protestant William of Orange, saw the Irish take sides along strictly religious lines: the disenfranchised Catholic majority supported James while the recently planted Protestant landowning minority lent their considerable support to William.

It was William who won the day, and 12 July — when James was defeated at the Battle of the Boyne — has been celebrated ever since by Ulster Protestants with marches throughout the province. Until the Catholic Emancipation Act of , Irish Roman Catholics were almost totally impeded from worshipping freely. The construction of churches was heavily regulated, and when allowed, they could only be built in barely durable wood. When the emancipation act was passed, it only granted limited rights to Catholics who owned a set area of land; the apartheid that preceded it ensured that they were few in number.

When Parnell became embroiled in the divorce scandal in , the church condemned him with all its might, thereby ending his career.

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It also condemned any rebel notion that smacked of illegality or socialism — the Easter Rising was roundly denounced from the pulpit for its bloodletting and its vaguely leftist proclamation. If the Roman Catholic Church was shackled for much of the English occupation, it more than made up for it when the Free State came into being in Although 7.

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The Catholic Church compounded the matter by emphasising the Ne Temere decree, which insisted that the children of mixed marriage be raised as Catholic under penalty of excommunication. The dramatic decline in the influence of the church over the last two decades is primarily the result of global trends and greater prosperity in Ireland, but the devastating revelations of clerical abuse of boys and girls in the care of the Church over the last half century have defined an almost vitriolic reaction against the Church, particularly among the younger generation.

On 8 May , the Northern Ireland Assembly, the devolved legislature of the province, finally meets again for the first time since October This is no straightforward meeting. Needless to say, this historic agreement is the culmination of a painstakingly long road of domination, fighting, negotiation, concession and political posturing that began…. Well, it began in the 16th century, with the first Plantations of Ireland by the English crown, whereby the confiscated lands of the Gaelic and Hiberno-Norman gentry were awarded to English and Scottish settlers of good Protestant stock.

The policy was most effective in Ulster, where the newly arrived Protestants were given an extra leg-up by the Penal Laws, which successfully reduced the now landless Catholic population to second-class citizens with little or no rights. Interestingly, from the Penal Laws also applied to Presbyterians of which Paisley is one, albeit the founder of his own Free Presbyterian Church , who were considered not much better than Catholics.

But let us fast-forward to , when the notion of independent Ireland moved from aspiration to actuality. On 22 June the Northern Ireland parliament came into being, with James Craig as the first prime minister.