Friday 4 November 2011

Study of the first Gaeltacht colony published

A study of the first Gaeltacht colony was launched last night at Ráth Cairn Library, Baile Átha Buí, Co. Meath, alongside a presentation and slide show of rare photographs of the project's early years.

The book, The Land Commission and the making of Ráth Cairn - The first Gaeltacht colony by Suzanne M Pegley tells the story of how, in 1935, the fertile grasslands of the Midlands townland were chosen as the new home for Irish-speaking families from Connemara.

In the wake of the immediate post-independent period, the newly formed Irish state was anxious to establish an identity separate from the previous colonial power. Language was deemed one of the ways to achieve this end, and migration the most effective approach.

This ground-breaking social engineering project met some opposition but it went ahead anyway.

Suzanne Pegley is the co-author of two local histories, Aspects of Leixlip (2001) and Aspects of Lucan (2009) and is presently undertaking her PhD in Geography at NUI Mayoooth.

The 72-page book is published by Four Courts Press in paperback format and available through that website for €8.95