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Celtic Organizations :Conradh-na-Gaeilge

Abbreviated CnaG, and historically known in English by the translation Gaelic League) is a non-governmental organisation that promotes the Irish language in Ireland and abroad


Conradh na Gaeilge was founded in Dublin on 31 July, 1893 by Douglas Hyde (Irish: Dubhghlas de hÍde), a Protestant from Frenchpark, County Roscommon with the aid of Eugene O'Growney, Eoin MacNeill, Luke K. Walsh and others. The organisation developed from Ulick Bourke's earlier Gaelic Union and became the leading institution promoting the Gaelic Revival. The League's first newspaper was An Claidheamh Soluis (The Sword of Light) and its most noted editor was Patrick Pearse.

Though apolitical, the organisation attracted many Irish nationalists of different persuasions, much like the Gaelic Athletic Association. It was through the League that many future political leaders and rebels first met, laying the foundation for groups such as the Irish Volunteers (1913). However, Conradh na Gaeilge did not commit itself entirely to the national movement until 1915, causing the resignation of Douglas Hyde, who felt that the culture of language should be above politics. Most of the signatories of the 1916 Proclamation were members.

From 1922

After the foundation of the Irish Free State in 1922, the organisation had a less prominent role in public life as Irish was made a compulsory subject in state-funded schools. The organisation successfully campaigned for the enactment of the Official Languages Act, 2003 which gave greater statutory protection to Irish speakers and created the position of An Coimisinéir Teanga (The Languages Commissioner).

Conradh na Gaeilge was among the principal organisation responsible for co-ordinating the successful campaign to make Irish an official language of the European Union.[1]

Most recently, the organisation has become embroiled in a dispute with Irish political party Fine Gael over the party's policy to end the status of Irish as a compulsory subject for the Leaving Certificate. Conradh na Gaeilge have responded by asking voters in the next general election to vote only for candidates who are in favour of Irish's required position remaining.[2]

The organisation has branches in several parts of Ireland and is closely involved in the development of the annual cultural festival, Oireachtas na Gaeilge, as well as the annual Seachtain na Gaeilge promotional campaign. Conradh na Gaeilge has recently opened free legal advice centres (Ionaid Saor Chomhairle Dlí) in Dublin and Galway in partnership with Free Legal Advice Centres.

Most recently, the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Éamon Ó Cuív, has announced that he is to move the organisation out of its headquarters in central Dublin and relocate the organisation to the heart of the Ráth Cairn Gaeltacht in Meath. He cited the reason that not many people are using the building.

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