Irish Newspapers Culturally Blind to the Irish-Language Community

Léacht Nollaig Uí Ghadhra will be held in the Royal Irish Academy, Dawson Street, Dublin 2 at 7.00 p.m. Tuesday, 22 September 2009, and will be given by Professor Nollaig Mac Congáil on the theme of The Irish Language in 20th Century Daily Newspapers: Sop or Substance?

Conradh na Gaeilge's annual lecture was renamed in honour of Nollaig Ó Gadhra who passed away last year, may he rest in peace. Nollaig Ó Gadhra was a renowned author, journalist, lecturer and broadcaster, and was one of the most distinguished and respected commentators on public affairs.

Pádraig Mac Fhearghusa, President of Conradh na Gaeilge and Chair of the Lecture said that the theme of the lecture in memory of a great Irish journalist was entirely appropriate: "Nollaig Ó Gadhra was a man who had spent a lifetime working for the media, and the print media in particular, commenting on Irish life in Irish. It is ironic, however, that of the Irish daily national newspapers, only the Irish Times and the Irish News provide regular articles in Irish today and they are to ba applauded for this."

Mr. Mac Fhearghusa suggested that the directors of the Irish Independent and the other national daily Irish newspapers should see to it that "a more inclusive policy, broad minded and modern, was put into effect with regard to the Irish language and the Irish speaking community. If not an example of cultural blindness, the anti-Irish policy of the Irish Independent in particular amounts at the very least to cultural squint, and readers should point this out as opportunity arises."

All are welcome to attend Léacht Uí Ghadhra 2009, Irish and English speakers alike, and bookings can be made with Conradh na Gaeilge via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling +353 (0)1 4757401 before 21 September 2009. There will be simultaneous translation to English will available on the night.

Pádraig Mac Fhearghusa
President, Conradh na Gaeilge
066 7124169 / 087 2901154

Julian de Spáinn
General Secretary, Conradh na Gaeilge
01 4757401 / 086 8142757

Nollaig Ó Gadhra starting working in Dublin in 1966 as a journalist with the Irish-language paper Inniu. The following year, he was employed on RTÉ's news team as current affairs producer until 1969.

He worked as Information Officer with Gaeltarra Éireann, the Irish state industrial development agency set up in 1957 specifically for the Gaeltacht, and as Publicity Manager with Fáilte an Iarthair Teoranta / Ireland West Tourism in Galway after that. He was appointed to the teaching staff of the Regional Technical College, Galway in 1974 and he taught Irish, Communications and European / Modern History Studies. He stayed there until the end of his professional career.

He was appointed to the Comhairle Theilifís na Gaeilge, an advisory committee established by RTÉ to oversee the establishment, development and operation of the Irish-language television station TnaG, in 1994. Though some of his short stories and poems have been published, he was most renowned for his investigative journalism and reporting.

He was a loyal member of Conradh na Gaeilge for many a year and he was on the organisation's Coiste Gnó / Executive Committee. He was President of Conradh na Gaeilge from 2004 - 2005. He was awarded Gradam an Phiarsaigh in April 2007 for his contribution to promoting the ideals of Patrick Pearse.

Conradh na Gaeilge the democratic forum for the Irish-speaking community working to promote the language. There are 200 branches of Conradh na Gaeilge and since its foundation in 1893, members of the Conradh have been actively promoting Irish in every aspect of life in Ireland and especially its use in their own areas. Conraitheoirí are at the forefront of campaigns to secure and strengthen the rights of the Irish language community.

Nollaig Mac Congáil (B.A., Ph.D.) has been a professor in the National University of Ireland, Galway since 1974 and he was the Dean of Arts there from 1994 to 2000. Born in Derry, he went to college at Queen's University, Belfast. He has had a hand in either editing or writing twenty different books as well as numerous articles. As regards to research and teaching, he has many areas of expertise including dialectology; Donegal writers; regional literature; Modern Irish grammar; bibliography; translated Modern Irish literature; the history of newspapers and publications in Irish and English; and early Irish drama.

Associated Organisations of Conradh na Gaeilge