Conradh na Gaeilge
Conradh na Gaeilge (ˈkɔn̪ˠɾˠə nə ˈɡeːlʲɟə; abbreviated CnaG, and historically known in English by the translation Gaelic League) is a non-governmental organisation that promotes the Irish language
Irish language
Irish , also known as Irish Gaelic, is a Goidelic language of the Indo-European language family, originating in Ireland and historically spoken by the Irish people. Irish is now spoken as a first language by a minority of Irish people, as well as being a second language of a larger proportion of...

 in Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

 and abroad. The motto of the League is Sinn Féin, Sinn Féin amháin (Ourselves, Ourselves alone).


Conradh na Gaeilge was founded in Dublin on 31 July 1893 by Douglas Hyde
Douglas Hyde
Douglas Hyde , known as An Craoibhín Aoibhinn , was an Irish scholar of the Irish language who served as the first President of Ireland from 1938 to 1945...

 , the son of a Church of Ireland
Church of Ireland
The Church of Ireland is an autonomous province of the Anglican Communion. The church operates in all parts of Ireland and is the second largest religious body on the island after the Roman Catholic Church...

The word rector has a number of different meanings; it is widely used to refer to an academic, religious or political administrator...

 from Frenchpark
Frenchpark, historically known as Dungar , is a village in County Roscommon, Ireland on the N5 national primary road. It was the home of Douglas Hyde, the first President of Ireland....

, County Roscommon
County Roscommon
County Roscommon is a county in Ireland. It is located in the West Region and is also part of the province of Connacht. It is named after the town of Roscommon. Roscommon County Council is the local authority for the county...

 with the aid of Eugene O'Growney
Eugene O'Growney
Eugene O'Growney , was an Irish priest and scholar....

, Eoin MacNeill
Eoin MacNeill
Eoin MacNeill was an Irish scholar, nationalist, revolutionary and politician. MacNeill is regarded as the father of the modern study of early Irish medieval history. He was a co-founder of the Gaelic League, to preserve Irish language and culture, going on to establish the Irish Volunteers...

, Thomas O'Neill Russell
Thomas O'Neill Russell
Thomas O'Neill Russell was an Irish novelist and a founding member of Conradh na Gaeilge.He was born in Moate, County Westmeath, the son of Joseph Russell, a Quaker farmer. He interested himself in the Irish language from the 1850s...

 and others. The organisation developed from Ulick Bourke's earlier Gaelic Union and became the leading institution promoting the Gaelic Revival
Gaelic Revival
The Gaelic revival was the late-nineteenth-century national revival of interest in the Irish language and Irish Gaelic culture...

, carrying on efforts like the publishing of the Gaelic Journal
Gaelic Journal
-External links:*...

. The League's first newspaper was An Claidheamh Soluis
An Claidheamh Soluis
An Claidheamh Soluis was an Irish nationalist newspaper published in the early 20th century by Conradh na Gaeilge ....

(The Sword of Light) and its most noted editor was Patrick Pearse
Patrick Pearse
Patrick Henry Pearse was an Irish teacher, barrister, poet, writer, nationalist and political activist who was one of the leaders of the Easter Rising in 1916...


Though apolitical, the organisation attracted many Irish nationalists of different persuasions, much like the Gaelic Athletic Association
Gaelic Athletic Association
The Gaelic Athletic Association is an amateur Irish and international cultural and sporting organisation focused primarily on promoting Gaelic games, which include the traditional Irish sports of hurling, camogie, Gaelic football, handball and rounders...

. It was through the League that many future political leaders and rebels first met, laying the foundation for groups such as the Irish Volunteers
Irish Volunteers
The Irish Volunteers was a military organisation established in 1913 by Irish nationalists. It was ostensibly formed in response to the formation of the Ulster Volunteers in 1912, and its declared primary aim was "to secure and maintain the rights and liberties common to the whole people of Ireland"...

 (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. It still continued to attract many Irish Republicans
Irish Republicanism
Irish republicanism is an ideology based on the belief that all of Ireland should be an independent republic.In 1801, under the Act of Union, the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland merged to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland...

. Sean MacStiofain, the first chief of staff of the Provisional IRA was a prominent member in his later life.

From 1922

After the foundation of the Irish Free State
Irish Free State
The Irish Free State was the state established as a Dominion on 6 December 1922 under the Anglo-Irish Treaty, signed by the British government and Irish representatives exactly twelve months beforehand...

 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 organisations responsible for co-ordinating the successful campaign to make Irish an official language of the European Union
Languages of the European Union
The languages of the European Union are languages used by people within the member states of the European Union. They include the twenty-three official languages of the European Union along with a range of others...


Most recently, the organisation has become embroiled in a dispute with Irish political party Fine Gael
Fine Gael
Fine Gael is a centre-right to centrist political party in the Republic of Ireland. It is the single largest party in Ireland in the Oireachtas, in local government, and in terms of Members of the European Parliament. The party has a membership of over 35,000...

 over the party's policy to end the status of Irish as a compulsory subject for the Leaving Certificate
Leaving Certificate
The Leaving Certificate Examinations , commonly referred to as the Leaving Cert is the final examination in the Irish secondary school system. It takes a minimum of two years preparation, but an optional Transition Year means that for those students it takes place three years after the Junior...

. 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.

The organisation has branches in several parts of Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

 and is closely involved in the development of the Seachtain na Gaeilge
Seachtain na Gaeilge
Seachtain na Gaeilge is a non-profit organisation which aims to promote the Irish language during a two week festival held at the beginning of March every year...

 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
Free Legal Advice Centres
Free Legal Advice Centres is a non-profit human rights organisation that provide pro bono publico assistance via a network of legal advice clinics throughout the Republic of Ireland. They have been involved in a number of notable law cases including Airey v...


A previous Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs
Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs
The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs is a senior minister at the Department of Children and Youth Affairs in the Government of Ireland.The current Minister for Children and Youth Affairs is Frances Fitzgerald, TD.-Overview:...

, Éamon Ó Cuív
Éamon Ó Cuív
Éamon Ó Cuív is an Irish Fianna Fáil politician. He has been a Teachta Dála for the Galway West constituency since 1992 and was previously a member of Seanad Éireann.-Early life:...

, announced that he intended to move the organisation out of its headquarters in central Dublin and relocate it in the heart of the Ráth Cairn Gaeltacht
Ráth Cairn
Ráth Cairn is a small Gaeltacht in County Meath, Ireland. It is about 55 km northwest of Dublin....

in Meath. He cited as a reason that not many people are using the building. It remains to be seen if the present Minister will proceed with this plan.

The Gaelic League publishes a magazine called Feasta
Feasta is an Irish-language magazine that was established in 1948. Its purpose is the furtherance of the aims of the Gaelic League, an objective reflecting the cultural nationalism of the language movement, and the promotion of new writing...

, founded in 1948. This magazine, while it promotes the aims of the League, also has an important role in promoting new writing in Irish.

External links

Branches in Ireland

International Branches
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