Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Culture Matters (4)

Cultural Absorption (2)

After my previous post about Irish cultural absorption, some folk claimed that I had been selective in my quotations and so I have two more quotes which express this aspiration in strong and strident terms.

One of the most influential figures in the Gaelic movement was David Patrick Moran (1869-1936). He was an articulate exponent of Irish cultural nationalism and founded a weekly paper called The Leader which he used it to promote his vision of Irishness. Writing in it in 1901 he said:
The only thinkable solution of the Irish national problem is that one side gets on top and absorbs the other until we have one nation, or that each develops independently. As we are for Ireland, we are in the existing circumstances on the side of Catholic development and we see plainly that any genuine non-Catholic Irish nationalist must become reconciled to Catholic development or throw in his lot with the other side ... If a non-Catholic nationalist Irishman does not wish to live in a Catholic atmosphere, let him turn Orangeman.
Even after partition the Gaelic revival produced an exclusive view of Ireland and we can see this expressed in an editorial in the Catholic Bulletin in 1924.  This was and important and influential publication because the editor John J O'Kelly was also president of the Gaelic League from 1919 to 1923 and president of Sinn Fein from 1926 to 1931.

The Irish nation is the Gaelic nation; its language and literature is the Gaelic language; its history is the history of the Gael. All other elements have no place in Irish national life, literature and tradition, save as far as they are assimilated into the very substance of Gaelic speech, life and thought.
Time and again during those first formative decades, cultural absorption or assimilation was stated to be a fundamental objective of the Gaelic revival.

1 comment:

  1. "The Irish nation is the Gaelic nation"

    "If a non-Catholic nationalist Irishman does not wish to live in a Catholic atmosphere, let him turn Orangeman."

    As a Scottish Gael, I disagree with both quotes from above...


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