Reversing the Recession As Gaeilge

Conradh na Gaeilge's Ard-Fheis speaker Finbarr Bradley stressed the importance of putting the Irish language at the heart of Ireland's economic recovery and future enterprise at the opening of the Ard-Fheis in the Abbey Court Hotel, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary on Friday night, 08 May 2009.

The economist and co-author of the book Capitalising on Culture, Competing on Difference* Finbarr Bradley gave the opening speech entitled The Value of the Irish Language in the Age of Innovation - A Radical Role for Conradh na Gaeilge on Friday, 08 May 2009. The Role of the Irish Language in Ireland's Economic Recovery is the apt theme of the Conradh's Ard-Fheis this year and debate over the course of the weekend will revolve around how to best profit from the Irish language and Ireland's unique cultural identity.

Professor Finbarr Bradley said: "Tangible resources such as financial and technological capital are not alone sufficient to save us from this economic recession: Ireland's sustainable competitive advantage depends on standing out from the crowd, on being unique and exceptional."

"In a society that is more globalised than ever before, there is nothing more unique nor exceptional about us than our native tongue. Our native tongue is what defines us as an exceptional people; as an innovative people; as a strong, self-confident community that cannot be found anywhere else; and it is on that basis that Ireland's competitive advantage and future enterprise will best be built in the age of innovation."

Professor Finbarr Bradley noted that strategies that recognise the nature and importance of emotional response in social capital - capital that drives the country's business and enterprise - give a country its sustainable competitive advantage in the innovation age, and that Conradh na Gaeilge has a vital role in ensuring the Irish language is at the heart of these new strategies to cultivate valuable economic assets.

Pádraig Mac Fhearghusa, President of Conradh na Gaeilge said: "The Conradh is ready and waiting to seize the opportunity and meet the challenge Finbarr has put before us this evening, to root Ireland's competitive advantage in our cultural identity and in the Irish language; this is the way forward to find fresh new business enterprises for the age of innovation, with which we will recover from the economic recession."


*Bradley, Finbarr and Kennelly, James J., Capitalising on Culture, Competing on Difference: Innovation, Learning and Sense of Place in a Globalising Ireland (Dublin: Blackhall Publishing, 2008), introduction by Dermot Desmond

More information:
Pádraig Mac Fhearghusa
President, Conradh na Gaeilge.
066 7124169  / 087 2901154 

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


Finbarr Bradley is a former professor of enterprise and finance and has lectured in UCD, DCU and NUI Maynooth. He has also taught at the University of Michigan, Fordham University and NYU in the US and at the Helsinki School of Economics, Finland. His book, Capitalising on Culture, Competing on Difference (co-written with James J. Kennedy), highlights the commercial and economic value which the Irish language and culture has in the modern world.
Conradh na Gaeilge is the democratic forum for the Irish-speaking community. 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. It is also possible to register as an individual member of the Conradh. The organisation's annual Ard-Fheis is held in a different location every year. Both branches and individual members have the opportunity to put motions before the Ard-Fheis to guide the work of the organisation over the course of the following year, and both the President and the Executive are also elected. The Role of the Irish Language in Ireland's Economic Recovery is the theme of this year's Ard-Fheis 2009.

Associated Organisations of Conradh na Gaeilge