Language, Resistance and Revival




Language, Resistance and Revival tells the untold story of the truly groundbreaking linguistic and educational developments that took place among Republican prisoners in Long Kesh prison from 1972-2000.

During a period of bitter struggle between Republican prisoners and the British state, the Irish language was taught and spoken as a form of resistance during incarceration. The book unearths this story for the first time and analyses the rejuvenating impact it had on the cultural revival in the nationalist community beyond the prison walls.

Based on unprecedented interviews, Feargal Mac Ionnrachtaigh explores a key period in Irish history through the original and ‘insider’ accounts of key protagonists in the contemporary Irish language revival.


Table Of Contents


Acknowledgments Abbreviations Foreword by Phil Scraton Introduction 1- Colonialism, Culture and Ideology 2- Irish historical context: The Irish language- Conquest, Suppression and Revival: 1500-1971 3- Imprisonment, the Irish context and the language 4- ‘Na Casanna’- The Cages of Long Kesh 1973-1984 5- ‘Ar an Phluid’- The H-Blocks, the ‘Blanket Protest’ and the Aftermath 1976-1985 6- ‘Bringing the language to the people’- Revival Conclusion Epilogue Appendix- Narrator Biographies Notes Bibliography Index





Beicí Nic Riada/Mhic Crábhagáin- Gael Uasal ar shlí na fírinne


Tá croíthe troma ar phobalscoil Choláiste Feirste agus ar Ghaelphobal Feirste i gcoitinne le cúpla seachtain anuas agus muid ag iarraidh bás tragóideach Bheicí Nic Riada/Mhic Crábhagáin a thuiscint agus a chur i bhfriotal.

Féile na Carraige and the importance of local place


‘…the return to the local can be a form of resistance, a defensive response to globalisation, the struggles of those on the margins to reclaim some form of representation for themselves’- Stuart Hall

LIÚ LÚNASA 2016- Ag tógáil na Poblachta

pic LLunasa

Nuair a scíobh fealsúnaí na heagnaíochta, Jean-Jacque Rosseau, fán phoblachtánachas agus fán tsaoranacht thiar i dtrémhse réabhlóideach na Fráince, labhair sé fá ‘shuáilce shibhialta agus fá mhacántacht pholaitiúil’ agus é ag moladh go mbeadh saoránaigh toilteanach ‘féin-íobairt’ a dhéanamh ar son an ‘leasa choitinn’ seachas muid bheith spreagtha ag féinleas agus féinspéis.

Language funding, funding astray


It was in the revolutionary sixties that the renowned activist and writer, Máirtín Ó Cadhain, wrote his final political pamphlet. It was in this essay, ‘the Irish language movement, a movement astray’ that Ó Cadhain spoke of the radical founding principles that had been abandoned by the official state language revival.

‘Voices of the Voiceless- ‘Cultures of Resistance’ October 15, 2015, Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich


‘The real aim of colonialism was to control the people’s wealth; what they produced, how they produced it, and how it was distributed; to control, in other words, the entire realm of the language of real life. Colonialism imposed its control of the social production of wealth through military conquest and subsequent political dictatorship. But its most important area of domination was the mental universe of the colonised, the control, through culture, of how people perceived themselves and their relationship to the world. Economic or political control can never be complete without mental control.’

Proceeds of ‘Language and Resistance’ book donated to Irish Medium Charity TACA

image2- niamh agus taca

The proceeds raised from a book written on the Irish language revival in the North of Ireland have been donated to Irish Medium Education charity TACA.

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