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Funding Body

North–South Research Programme (Shared Island Fund)

About the Project

The Shared-Island Project between Ulster University and NUIG (University of Galway), entitled CARTLANN (Archive) examines the leading Irish language voluntary organisation, Conradh na Gaeilge, founded in 1893. Drawing on extensive archival records on both sides of the border, the project focuses on the central role of the media in the work of Conradh na Gaeilge, as a platform for disseminating information and as campaigning material. The main source of the project is the the archive collection of Conradh na Gaeilge held in NUIG and that of Comhaltas Uladh, the provincial branch of Conradh na Gaeilge, held in Gaeláras Mhic Ardghail in Newry.

Focusing on the periods 1922–1940 and 1970–2000, the project will examine the use made by Conradh na Gaeilge of the mass media, the development of its own broadcast and print media and the role it played in campaigns to highlight the question of the Irish language. This is the first major research project that will examine the relationship between Conradh na Gaeilge and the media on both sides of the border and will give an insight into the understanding of language activism in the media, the success of various campaigns and the sensitive relationship between the two jurisdictions regarding the issue of the Irish language. From a conceptual point of view, it will draw on a range of theories related to media studies, archival studies and sociolinguistics including media in the minority languages, language reinforcement and language policy.

Since its inception, Conradh na Gaeilge has understood the importance of the media, as is evident from its involvement with Irish newspapers at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th Century, the ongoing campaigns it ran on for Irish language radio and television stations and its use of social media today. Its campaigns were intertwined with the media from the beginning and a wide range of platforms were used in Irish and English in analogue and digital formats. Conradh na Gaeilge has achieved a fine balance between tradition and modernity since its inception: while promoting Ireland's native language and culture, it utilised all technological advances in broadcasting and the media to promote his campaigns and spread his philosophy among the general public.

The research team will consist of the Principal Investigator (Dr Walsh, NUIG) and the co-Principal Investigator (Dr Niall Comer, University of Ulster) and a team of postdoctoral researchers, based between the two Universities.