Dr Niall Comer of Craobh Ghleann an Iolair was elected President of Conradh na Gaeilge for the first time at the organisation’s Ard-Fheis in Galway Bay Hotel in Galway City on Saturday, 25 February 2017.
Dr Comer held the position of Tánaiste on the Executive Committee of Conradh na Gaeilge for some years prior to his election as President.
A native of Newry, Dr Comer currently lives in Glenullin, Co. Derry where he works as an Irish-language lecturer in the School of Languages and Literature in the University of Ulster. He is also a member of The Research Institute for Irish and Celtic Studies.
He was the editor of An tUltach for seven years and spent time as manager of the Irish-language magazine as well. He has been an active member of Craobh an Iúir, the Newry branch of Conradh na Gaeilge, since his teenage years. He was nominated Tánaiste of Conradh na Gaeilge three years in a row and prior to that, President of Comhaltas Uladh, the provincial branch of Conradh na Gaeilge in Ulster.
Upon his election as President of the democratic forum for the Irish-speaking community in February 2017, Dr Comer said:
“The strength of Conradh na Gaeilge lies in unity, and together we can influence both the future of the Irish language and indeed the future of our society. We intend to further energise the national language movement to face the challenges and opportunities of reviving the Gaelic culture of Ireland. Founded by the community, based in the community, led by the community, Conradh na Gaeilge works on behalf of language everywhere; we cannot function without the Irish-speaking and Gaeltacht community, and our campaigns and aims feed from the input of our members, of our branches, of the community as a whole.
“The Irish-language community is at the heart of the current political discourse in the run-up to the Assembly elections this Thursday, and the opportunity to realise rights-based legislation to protect the language in the north is nigh. There is no Act without a resource-based Strategy however, be it north or south.
“Regardless of their religious background, where they hail from, or what life choices they make, I believe Conradh na Gaeilge should play a central role in bringing every man, woman, and child on this journey of reviving the Irish language and culture in modern-day Ireland. There was a time when Ireland was among the most learned and cultured countries in the world, and the Irish language was central to this. Let us make it so again.”
PREVIOUS CONRADH NA GAEILGE PRESIDENTS (1893 - 2014):
1893 - 1915 Dúbhglas de hÍde (An Chraoibhín Aoibhinn) (1860 - 1949)
1915 - 1916 Vacancy
1916 - 1919 Eoin Mac Néill (1867 - 1945)
1919 - 1922 Seán Ua Ceallaigh (Sceilg) (1872 - 1957)
1922 - 1925 Peadar Mac Fhionnlaoich (Cú Uladh) (1856 - 1942)
1925 - 1926 An Dr. Seán P. Mac Énrí (1862 - 1930)
1926 - 1928 Cormac Breatnach (1886 - 1956)
1928 - 1933 Mac Giolla Bhríde (An Tiarna Ashbourne) (1868 - 1942)
1933 - 1940 Peadar Mac Fhionnlaoich (Cú Uladh) (1856 - 1942)
1940 - 1941 Liam Ó Buachalla (1899 - 1970)
1941 - 1942 Seán Óg Ó Tuama (1912 - 1980)
1942 - 1945 Diarmuid Mac Fhionnlaoich (1903 - 1964)
1945 - 1946 Seán Mac Gearailt (1916 - 2004)
1946 - 1949 Liam Ó Luanaigh (1914 - 1998)
1949 - 1950 Diarmuid Mac Fhionnlaoich (1903 - 1964)
1950 - 1952 Annraoi Ó Liatháin (1917 - 1981)
1952 - 1955 Seán Mac Gearailt (1916 - 2004)
1955 - 1959 Tomás Ó Muircheartaigh (1907 - 1967)
1959 - 1965 Micheál Mac Cárthaigh (1911 - 1983)
1965 - 1968 Cathal Ó Feinneadha (1928)
1968 - 1974 Maolsheachlainn Ó Caollaí (1939)
1974 - 1979 Pádraig Ó Snodaigh (1935)
1979 - 1982 Albert Fry (1940)
1982 - 1985 Micheál Ó Murchú (An Gabha Gaelach) (1918 - 1990)
1985 - 1989 Íte Ní Chionnaith (1953)
1989 - 1994 Proinsias Mac Aonghusa (1933 - 2002)
1994 - 1995 Áine de Baróid (1950)
1995 - 1998 Gearóid Ó Cairealláin (1957)
1998 - 2003 Tomás Mac Ruairí (1939)
2003 - 2004 Séagh Mac Siúrdáin (1958)
2004 - 2005 Nollaig Ó Gadhra (1943 - 2008)
2005 - 2008 Dáithí Mac Cárthaigh (1968)
2008 - 2011 Pádraig Mac Fhearghusa (1947)
2011 - 2014 Donnchadh Ó hAodha (1944)
2014 - 2017 Cóilín Ó Cearbhaill