Language, Resistance and Revival

10th Aug 2018 - 11th Aug 2018
Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin

Dr. Feargal Mac Ionnrachtaigh's 'Language, Resistance and Revival' tells the untold story of the groundbreaking linguistic and educational developments that took place among Republican prisoners in Long Kesh prison between 1972-2000.

During a period of often bitter struggle between Republican prisoners and the British state, the Irish language was taught and spoken as a form of resistance during periods of imprisonment in the cages of Long Kesh (1972-1976), throughout the blanket protests in the H-Blocks (1976-81), and in the period just after the first and subsequent IRA ceasefires (1994-2000).

The book unearths this story through a series of interviews with prisoners, teachers and language activists, and analyses the rejuvenating impact it had on the cultural revival in the nationalist community beyond the prison walls.

Feargal Mac Ionnrachtraigh will present his researh, and will participate in a Q&A session afterwards.

As part of Derry Feile, 2018. This is a free event.

Feargal was among the first schoolchildren to attend Colaiste Feirste in West Belfast prior to studying in Queens University, Belfast where he completed his PhD thesis in 2009. This was later published by Pluto Press as:

Language, Resistance and Revival: Republican Prisoners and the Irish Language in the North of Ireland.

This book has been widely acclaimed throughout Ireland, the UK and the US and a second edition is being published. Feargal works full time as a Project Worker with the Gaeltacht Quarter Irish Language development Agency, Forbairt Feirste. He is chairperson of Upper Springfield Irish Language organisation, Glór na Móna, and is currently a research fellow with QUB's school of Arts, English and Languages.