Over three hundred people crammed into Coláiste Feirste for the official launch of Feargal Mac Ionnrachtaigh’s ground-breaking book, ‘Language, resistance and
revival.’ Feargal, who was educated at Coláiste Feirste and is a product
of the growing Irish medium education sector, carried out the research for the book, which analyses the transformational republican ex-prisoners played in the revival of the Irish language over the past 30 years, as part of his Phd studies, which he obtained in 2011. Many of the Irish language activists and ex-prisoners who Feargal interviewed extensively over the years and who’s stories form the basis of the research, were in attendance to hear Feargal read extracts from the books and also to hear fellow speakers, Prof. Phil Scraton from QUB and Ex-Prisoner and prominent Irish language activist Jake Mac Siacais contribute to what was
a book launch unlike many others.
Check out the Language, Resistance and Revival launch video
‘ I was surprised to see so many people come out to the launch’, said Feargal. ‘Usually, at book launches you get a couple of dozen at most but I think the crowd tonight demonstrates the respect that people have for those who sacrificed so much and contributed so significantly to the revival of the language, which today’s generation are reaping the benefits of. I wanted to tell the story of how and why the prisoners did what they did and to show how people and communities, when organised and committed, can achieve great things. Importantly, from an historical point of view, it was about shining a light on an aspect of our history that has spent too long in the darkness.’
‘Language, resistance and revival’ is published by Pluto, which also published Denis O’Hearns acclaimed book on Bobby Sands, and represents the first book the London firm have published relating to the Irish language. More launches across Belfast and Ireland are planned for the coming months.