Cuchulain in the General Post Office: Gaelic revival, Irish rising

by Joep Leerssen

15 Sep 2016
10.5871/jba/004.137

Full text posted to Journal of the British Academy, volume 4, pp. 137-168.


Abstract: This article looks at the importance of the Gaelic language for the development of Irish nationalism in the decades leading up to, and following the Easter Rising of 1916. This importance was mainly symbolical: the Irish language was used mainly by revivalist activists, in a restricted number of functional registers, and largely as an enabling platform of other consciousness-raising activities. It is suggested, however, that such a symbolical instrumentalisation is by no means inconsequential and should be analysed as an important feature of cultural nationalism, not only in Irish history.


Keywords: Irish language, cultural nationalism, Irish nationalism, Irish history, language revival


Sir John Rhys Memorial Lecture, read 22 March 2016


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