Paula Melvin elected new President of Conradh na Gaeilge, bringing to close the 5 year term of Dr Niall Comer.
Conradh na Gaeilge warmly welcomes first female President of the organisation since 1994-5.
Conradh na Gaeilge has elected a new President at the annual CnaG Ard-Fheis in Galway today. Paula Melvin follows in the footsteps of Dr Niall Comer, who has served as President of Conradh na Gaeilge since 2017. Paula becomes the first female President of Conradh of Conradh na Gaeilge since Áine de Baróid held the office between 1994-95.
Paula Melvin, Newly elected President of Conradh na Gaeilge, said:
“It is the honour of a lifetime to have been elected President of Conradh na Gaeilge this morning. Amongst my main goals for the coming year I will be focusing on the National Housing Planning Policy for the Gaeltacht, to support and develop the campaign which aims to ensure Gaeltacht communities can continue to live in their own areas through their own language. As well as that, I look forward to continuing with the longstanding campaign for language rights in the north, as well as building on the fantastic achievements during President Dr Niall Comer’s term regarding the newly amended Official Languages Act in the south. It is vital that we ensure all deadlines in implementing the amendments are fulfilled. Additionally, we will be working towards regular use of Irish in the EU, following full status being granted to Irish in the EU recently. We have plenty to do, and I am up for the challenge. During my tenure I plan on visiting as many local branches of Conradh na Gaeilge as possible. Local communities and branches have had an incredibly tough time throughout the pandemic. These branches are the heart and soul of the organisation and need continuous support. Finally, I wish to thank outgoing President Dr Niall Comer and acknowledge the incredible work he has accomplished since taking up office as President in 2017. Go raibh míle maith agat.”
Paula Melvin was elected Tánaiste of Conradh na Gaeilge by the Coiste Gnó in 2017. She has served as a trustee of the organisation since 2014. Paula is also the Chairperson of the Conradh’s Development Subcommittee. At the local level, she co-founded the Pobal Gaeilge 15 branch in Dublin 15. Pobal Gaeilge 15 played an integral role in the establishment of Coláiste na Tulchann and have organised some of the largest events worldwide for Seachtain na Gaeilge le Energia.
Paula is a member of the Ógras steering board, the Conradh’s diversity committee, an Siopa Leabhar’s board and Conradh na Gaeilge’s human resources and finance committee. She also attends meetings of the Meitheal Gaeltachta. Paula was the deputy secretary of na Gaeil Óga GAA club and was a presenter with Raidió na Life. Paula sat on Fingal County Council’s Irish language committee. She is a founding member of the #TrasnaNadTonnta twitter campaign. Paula was elected Irish Language Officer on Saint Patrick’s College, Dublin City University’s Students’ Union. She was also elected chairperson of the college’s Irish Language Society. Paula is employed as Programme Manager with the Fulbright Commission in Ireland. Paula was elected President of Conradh na Gaeilge Saturday 25th February 2022 at the organisation's annual Ard-Fheis held in Galway.
FORMER PRESIDENTS of CONRADH NA GAEILGE (1893 ar aghaidh):
1893 - 1915 Dúbhglas de hÍde (An Chraoibhín Aoibhinn) (1860 - 1949)
1915 - 1916 Folúntas
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 - 2015)
1968 - 1974 Maolsheachlainn Ó Caollaí (1939)
1974 - 1979 Pádraig Ó Snodaigh (1935)
1979 - 1982 Albert Fry (1940 - 2021)
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 (1975)
2017 - 2022 Niall Comer (1975)
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.”