THE new book Language Resistance and Revival – Republican Prisoners and the Irish Language in the North of Ireland, will be launched in Teach Hiúdaí Beag, Bunbeg on Saturday.
The event at 3pm is being hosted by RTE Raidió na Gaeltachta Presenter Rónán Mac Aodha Bhuí as part of the popular monthly Gaelic Language social gathering, Cabaret Craiceáilte.
The publication tells the untold story of the developments that took place among Republican prisoners in Long Kesh prison when the Irish language was taught and spoken as a form of resistance.
Based on interviews with both language activists and republican ex-prisoners, the author, Feargal Mac Ionnrachtaigh, himself a product of the Gaelscoileanna revival movement, who spent his summers learning Irish in Rannafast, and whose father was also a republican ex-prisoner, explores a key period in Irish history through the ‘insider’ accounts of the key players in the Irish language community revival.
Prominent New York sociologist and author of the biography on Bobby Sands, Prof Denis O’Hearn describes it as ‘magnificent book’ which ‘for the first time gives a long history of the Irish language movement and its place in resistance and social transformation’ and forms ‘necessary reading for anyone who wants to understand the Irish conflict right up to the present day’.
As well as the author, speakers will include Belfast native Séanna Breathnach, a republican ex-prisoner who spent over 21 years in Long Kesh Prison over three periods of incarceration and who was central to the growth of language amongst prisoners; and Caoimhín Mac Mathúna, who also hails from West Belfast, but has been living and teaching in national schools the Donegal Gaeltacht since his release from the Maze 15 years ago, where he perfected his Irish in the Irish speaking wing, Gaeltacht na Fuiseoige.
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