Irish History Live


Gaelic League by Barry Sheppard

It can be argued that the catalyst for the establishment of the Irish language movement, the Gaelic League, was Douglas Hyde’s famous speech to the Irish Nationalist Literary Society in Dublin on ‘The necessity for de-Anglicising Ireland’, delivered on 25 November 1892.Hyde’s mission was to draw attention to what he perceived as the widespread decline of native Irish culture in favour of English culture. In this speech, Hyde emphasised that he wished to show the assembled audience ‘that in Anglicising ourselves wholesale we have thrown away with a light heart the best claim which we have upon the world’s recognition of us as a separate nationality’.Hyde thought it illogical that Irish men and women were dropping their native language in order to speak English and also translating their Irish names into English.[1]The Gaelic League was founded in 1893 to promote Irish language and culture in the face of its massive decline amongst the native people.

[1] D. Hyde, ‘The Necessity for De-Anglicising Ireland’ (1892).

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This entry was written by Barry Sheppard. Barry is a part-time student, studying History and Social Sciences. He is interested in social and cultural history, in particular the study of Irish cultural nationalist groups. He is currently working on his dissertation.

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