Ref NoG60
TitleConradh na Gaeilge / Gaelic League
DescriptionBunaíodh Conradh na Gaeilge sa bhliain 1893 chun an Ghaeilge a chur chun cinn in Éirinn agus thar lear. Cuimsítear sa bhailiúchán seo ábhar ón tréimhse tosaigh seo go dtí an bhliain 2018, tráth ar sealbhaíodh é.

Taifid a gineadh i gceanncheathrú Chonradh na Gaeilge atá i gceist le príomhchorpas an ábhair, bíodh is go bhfuil ábhar ann chomh maith a seoladh ar ais chucu ó chraobhacha éagsúla in Éirinn agus thar lear, go háirithe craobh Londan.

Bhí roinnt eagraíochtaí ann sa 19ú céad a chuir fúthu an Ghaeilge a chur chun cinn, ach is é Conradh na Gaeilge an eagraíocht a ghlac ceannaireacht ar an iarracht an Ghaeilge a athbheochan. B’ann dó i rith na mblianta corracha sin roimh Chogadh na Saoirse agus Cogadh na gCarad, agus bhí sé comhaimseartha leis an Saorstát nua, le blianta luatha na Poblachta agus le tréimhse chorrach na dTrioblóidí ó thuaidh, uair ar tháinig ceisteanna chearta an duine agus achrann polaitiúil chun cinn. Is ann don Chonradh i gcónaí, agus staid níos rathúla agus níos seasmhaí bainte amach ag stát na hÉireann. Tugann an t-ábhar seo léargas faoi leith, mar sin, ar chorradh agus 125 bliain de stair na hÉireann, agus b’iomaí ball den Chonradh a bhí gníomhach agus lárnach i gcomhthéacsanna níos leithne.

Bhí baill na heagraíochta gníomhach riamh le cur chun cinn na Gaeilge i ngach gné den saol laethúil, agus breathnóireacht a dhéanamh uirthi, agus áirítear leis an mbailiúchán mar sin ábhar a bhaineann le reáchtáil ranganna agus imeachtaí, leithéidí fheachtas Seachtain na Gaeilge agus chomórtais an Oireachtais. Tá ábhar ann chomh maith a bhaineann le foilseacháin i nGaeilge, le comhfhreagras, le gnóthaí, le ranna Rialtais agus le baill den phobal. Rinneadh taighde ar mhionteangacha eile, agus tá torthaí an taighde sin ann freisin.

Cuimsíonn cuid nach beag den ábhar roinnt feachtas cearta teanga agus tiomsaithe airgid. Bhí ról lárnach ag Conradh na Gaeilge, in éineacht le heagraíochtaí eile, sa dara leath den 20ú haois i bhfeachtais phobail a raibh sé mar thoradh orthu gur bunaíodh staisiúin raidió agus teilifíse Ghaeilge (Raidió na Gaeltachta agus TG4), gur achtaíodh Acht na dTeangacha Oifigiúla [14 Iúil 2003], agus gur bhain an Ghaeilge stádas amach mar theanga oifigiúil de chuid an Aontais Eorpaigh [1 Eanáir 2007]. I measc na n-ábhar feachtais eile atá sa bhailiúchán, tá doiciméid a bhaineann le cearta príosúnach agus cearta sibhialta i dTuaisceart Éireann, go háirithe i rith thréimhse na Stailceanna Ocrais [1980-1981].

*****

Conradh na Gaeilge [The Gaelic League] is an organisation which was founded in 1893 to promote the Irish language in Ireland and abroad and the collection encompasses material from this period through to 2018 when it was accessioned.

The main body of material comprises records generated by Conradh na Gaeilge headquarters, although it also includes material returned to them by various branches in Ireland and abroad, most notably the London branch.

Following on from several 19th century organisations promoting the Gaelic Revival, Conradh na Gaeilge became the main organisation to spearhead the Irish language revival. Its existence has subsequently coincided and overlapped with the revolutionary years leading up to and including the War of Independence, The Civil War and the foundation of the Irish Free State, the early years of the Republic, the turbulent period known as the Troubles which saw human rights issues and political strife come to the fore in Northern Ireland, through to the emergence of a relatively prosperous state. As such the material gives a unique insight into the last 125 years or more of the history of the island of Ireland, with many of its members prominent and active in a wider context.

Over the course of its existence, staff were actively involved in promoting and observing the use of Irish across all aspects of everyday activities, and as such the collection includes material relating to the running of classes and events including the annual Seachtain na Gaeilge campaign and Oireachtas competitions. It also includes material relating to Irish language publications, to correspondence with businesses, Government departments, and members of the general public, and to research carried out on minority languages elsewhere.

A significant portion of material covers several language rights and fundraising campaigns. In the latter half of the 20th century Conradh na Gaeilge, along with other organisations, was instrumental in community campaigns which led to the creation of Irish language radio and television stations (Raidió na Gaeltachta and TG4 respectively), to the enactment of the Official Languages Act [14 July 2003], and to making Irish an official language of the European Union [1 January 2007]. Campaign material in the collection also includes documents relating to prisoners’ rights and civil rights in Northern Ireland, in particular during the period of the Hunger Strikes [1980-1981].

Tag / Ref: G60
Date[1780?]-21/11/2019
FormatPáipéar; Grianghraif / Paper; Photographs
Extent590 bosca (+3 tharraiceán mapaí) / 590 boxes (+3 map drawers)
ArrangementIsteach is amach le 125 bliain d’ábhar atá i gceist leis an mbailiúchán, ar tréimhse í sin a thosaigh in 1893 agus a mhair síos chomh fada le 2018 nuair a ghlac OÉ Gaillimh seilbh air. Bhog an Conradh a cheanncheathrú sé huaire i rith na tréimhse sin, agus bhí 32 uachtarán aige faoinar cuimsíodh 35 téarma. Stóráladh ábhar i roinnt suíomhanna, a n-áirítear leis sin stóráil sheachtrach, agus ní raibh aon struchtúr faoi leith air.

Cuireadh eagar ar an mbailiúchán mar sin agus tá sé roinnte ina thrí chuid anois a bhfuil 45 shraith san iomlán ann.

Cuimsíonn an chéad chuid (sraitheanna 1 – 13) an eagraíocht féin agus struchtúr na heagraíochta agus áirítear leis tuarascálacha bliantúla, doiciméid pholasaí, comhaid fostaithe, ábhar riaracháin, ábhar airgeadais, foilseacháin, miontuairiscí na hArd-Fheise, ábhar Caidrimh Phoiblí mar aon le hábhar a tháinig ó chraobhacha agus coistí éagsúla. Baineann an dara cuid (sraitheanna 14 – 21) leis na healaíona agus leis an gcultúr go ginearálta, agus áirítear leis comórtais bhliantúla an Oireachtais, féilte in Éirinn agus thar lear, ceol, spórt, drámaíocht agus litríocht. Ábhar taighde den chuid is mó atá san áireamh sa tríú cuid (sraitheanna 22 - 45) agus áirítear léi páipéir Dhonncha Uí Shúilleabháin agus Ghiolla Críost Ó Broin agus ábhar a bhaineann le Pádraig Mac Piarais, Tuaisceart Éireann, an pholaitíocht, ranna Rialtais agus cuideachtaí chomh maith le bailiúchán Bertie Troy*. Tá sraith chuimsitheach ann freisin a bhaineann leis na feachtais éagsúla a raibh baint ag an eagraíocht leo.

Bíodh is go bhfuil na scórtha bliain san áireamh sa bhailiúchán seo, ó uair bhunaithe na heagraíochta in 1893 anuas go dtí 2018 nuair a fuarthas an bailiúchán, tá bearnaí nach beag sa bhailiúchán. Ar an gcéad dul síos, is ó cheanncheathrú na heagraíochta a tháinig an t-ábhar atá faighte againn. Is féidir talamh slán a dhéanamh de go bhfuil lear mór ábhar i seilbh na gcraobhacha féin, agus i seilbh muintir iarbhaill an Chonartha. Anuas air sin, bhronn Conradh na Gaeilge roinnt páipéar ar an Leabharlann Náisiúnta am éigin sna 1940í. Gach seans go bhfuil cóipeanna de roinnt den ábhar sin sa bhailiúchán seo.

Teanga: is i nGaeilge atá bunáit ábhar an bhailiúcháin, ach tá ábhar i mBéarla ann chomh maith, lena n-áirítear preaseisiúintí, gearrtháin nuachtáin agus comhfhreagras. Rinne caighdeánú ar litriú na Gaeilge sna 1950í agus tá go leor leaganacha litrithe d’fhocail dá bharr sin san ábhar ón tréimhse roimh an gcaighdeánú. Úsáidtear an litriú nua ar mhaithe le comhsheasmhacht, agus tugtar leaganacha níos sine nuair is gá (e.g. Connradh na Gaedhilge [Conradh na Gaeilge]). Thiomsaigh an eagraíocht méid bheag ábhar i roinnt teangacha eile chun críche taighde a dhéanamh ar an gcaoi ar caitheadh leis na mionteangacha sin agus lena bpobail agus ar úsáid na dteangacha sin.

*I mí Feabhra 2018, rinne Roger Troy teagmháil le Conradh na Gaeilge agus chuir sé in iúl don eagraíocht go raibh páipéir aige ar mian leis iad a bhronnadh ar Chonradh na Gaeilge, ar an gcoinníoll go n-ainmneofaí an bailiúchán in onóir a athar, Bertie. San áireamh sna páipéir sin, bhí comhfhreagras idir an tAthair Peadar Ua Laoghaire agus Eoin Mac Néill, i measc daoine eile.

*****

The material comprises approximately 125 years of material spanning the period from 1893 to the acquisition of the collection by NUIG in 2018. During this period Conradh headquarters moved six times, and had 32 presidents covering 35 terms. Material was stored in several locations including offsite storage, and had no discernible arrangement.

As a result an arrangement was imposed on the collection. This comprises three main sections totalling 45 series.

The first section (series 1 – 13) covers the organisation itself and its structure and includes annual reports, policy documents, employee files, administration material, finance material, publications, Ard Fheis [annual congress] minutes, PR and material from various branches and committees.
The second series (series 14 – 21) relates to Arts and Culture in general and includes the annual Oireachtas competition, festivals both in Ireland and abroad, music, sport, drama and literature. The final section (series 22 - 45) broadly relates to research including the papers of Donncha Ó Súilleabháin and Giolla Críost Ó Broin and material relating to Patrick Pearse, Northern Ireland, politics, Government departments, businesses and the Bertie Troy collection*. It also contains an extensive series relating to various campaigns involving the organisation.

While this collection spans several decades from the foundation of the organisation in 1893 to the acquisition of the collection in 2018, there are notable gaps in the collection. Firstly the material which has been received is from the headquarters of the organisation. It can be safely assumed that much material still rests with the individual branches, and families of former members. In addition a donation of papers by Conradh na Gaeilge was made to the National Library at some stage in the 1940s. It is possible that some of that material is duplicated here.

Language: the material in this collection is predominantly in Irish, but also includes material in English including press releases, newspaper cuttings and correspondence. Irish language material consists of both pre and post standardisation of the language (1950s) and many variations of spelling exist throughout as a result. For the purposes of consistency modern spelling is used with older versions also listed where necessary (eg Connradh na Gaedhilge [Conradh na Gaeilge]). A small proportion of material in several other languages was gathered by the organisation for research purposes into the treatment, use and perception of minority languages and their communities.

*In February 2018 Conradh na Gaeilge was approached by Roger Troy who had papers including correspondence between an tAthair Peadar [Ua Laoghaire / Fr Peter O’Leary] and Eoin MacNeill among others, which he wished to donate to Conradh na Gaeilge on the proviso the collection be named after his father, Bertie.
Administrative HistoryBunaíodh Conradh na Gaeilge an 31 Iúil 1893 chun an Ghaeilge a chur chun cinn in Éirinn agus thar lear. Ba sna sála ar thréimhse ina raibh borradh ag teacht ar úsáid na Gaeilge a tháinig an Conradh ar an bhfód, agus áiríodh leis sin an t-aitheasc cáiliúil a thug Dubhghlas de hÍde in 1892, ‘The Necessity for De-Anglicising Ireland’. Bhunaigh de hÍde an eagraíocht in éineacht le hEoin Mac Néill, Eoghan Ó Gramhnaigh agus Tomás Ó Néill Ruiséal, i measc daoine eile, agus is é a bhí ina chéad uachtarán uirthi. Eagraíocht neamhpholaitiúil a bhí beartaithe a bheith ann ó thús ach bhí baint ag go leor de na baill leis an ngluaiseacht náisiúnta, agus is tríd an gConradh a casadh ar a chéile go leor de cheannairí polaitiúla agus reibiliúnaithe an todhchaí. Rinne Conradh na Gaeilge an cinneadh in 1915 taobhú leis an ngluaiseacht náisiúnta, agus dá bhrí sin d'éirigh de hÍde as an uachtaránacht mar go raibh sé den bharúil nár cheart don Ghaeilge a bheith sáinnithe i saol na polaitíochta. Bhí tromlach na gceannairí a shínigh Forógra na Cásca in 1916 ina mbaill den Chonradh. Bhí Pádraig Mac Piarais agus Eoin Mac Néill i measc na n-eagarthóirí a bhí ar chéad nuachtán an Chonartha, ‘An Claidheamh Soluis’. Ba é ‘Sinn Féin, Sinn Féin amháin’ mana Chonradh na Gaeilge.

Sa tréimhse i ndiaidh bhunú Shaorstát na hÉireann, ní raibh ról chomh lárnach sin ag an eagraíocht de dheasca an Ghaeilge a bheith ina hábhar éigeantach i scoileanna a raibh maoiniú ón Stát á fháil acu. Ó na 1970í ar aghaidh, áfach, bhí Conradh na Gaeilge i lár báire arís agus gníomhach i bhfeachtais éagsúla, ina measc feachtais chearta sibhialta, chearta príosúnach agus chearta teanga. Bhí sí páirteach sa ghluaiseacht tathanta chun staisiúin teilifíse agus raidió i nGaeilge a chur ar bun, in achtú Acht na dTeangacha Oifigiúla [14 Iúil 2003] agus san fheachtas chun stádas oifigiúil a bhaint amach don Ghaeilge mar theanga oifigiúil de chuid an Aontais Eorpaigh [1 Eanáir 2007]. Rinne sí ionadaíocht ar riachtanais phobal na Gaeltachta, agus áiríodh leis sin bunú Údarás na Gaeltachta (1980) agus cruthú phost an Choimisinéara Teanga in 2003.

Ghlac Conradh na Gaeilge le bunreacht nua in 2008 inar fhill sí ar an seasamh neamhpholaitiúil a bhí aici roimh 1915, is é sin an Ghaeilge a bheith mar phríomhtheanga labhartha na hÉireann agus an tagairt do shaoirse na hÉireann a bhaint amach.

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Conradh na Gaeilge was founded on 31st July 1893 to promote the Irish language in Ireland and abroad and followed a period of Irish language revival which included an address given by Douglas Hyde in 1892; “The Necessity for De-Anglicising Ireland”. Hyde cofounded the organisation alongside Eoin MacNeill, Eugene Growney, Thomas O’Neill Russell and others and became its first president. Originally intended to be an apolitical organisation, many of its members became involved in Nationalism and it was through the League that many future political leaders and rebels first met. In 1915 Conradh na Gaeilge committed itself to the national movement, at which point Hyde resigned as president feeling that the Irish language should be above politics. Most of the signatories of the 1916 Proclamation were members. The League’s first newspaper “An Claidheamh Soluis” [The Sword of Light] included Patrick Pearse and Eoin MacNeill among its editors. Conradh na Gaeilge’s motto was “Sinn Féin, Sinn Féin amháin” [ourselves, ourselves alone].

After the foundation of the Irish Free State, the organisation had a less prominent role since the Irish language was made compulsory in state-funded schools. However from the 1970s onwards Conradh na Gaeilge was prominently involved in various campaigns involving civil rights, prisoners’ rights, and language rights, the setting up of Irish language television and radio, the enactment of the Official Languages Act [14 July 2003], the establishment of the Irish language as an official language of the European Union [1 January 2007] and the representation of the needs of the Gaeltacht community including the establishment of Údarás na Gaeltachta (1980) and the creation of the position An Coimisinéir Teanga [The Languages Commissioner/ 2003].

In 2008 Conradh na Gaeilge adopted a new constitution reverting to its pre 1915 non-political stance restating its aim as that of an Irish-speaking Ireland and dropping any reference to Irish freedom.
Persons
CodePersonNameDatesParallel forms of name
DS/UK/55Conradh na GaeilgeThe Gaelic League; Connradh na Gaedhilge; CnaG; Connrad na Gaedilge
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