Language Freedom Movement
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Founded in 1966, the Language Freedom Movement (Irish: Gluaiseacht Saoirse Teanga) was an organization dedicated to the opposition of the state-sponsored revival of the Irish language in the Republic of Ireland with backing by such notable figures as Irish-speaking writers Séamus Ó Grianna ("Máire") and John B. Keane.
The Movement's concerns
At the time the Movement was formed, if a student failed Irish in their Leaving Certificate they were deemed to have failed the whole exam. The requirement was abolished in 1973, although students are still obliged to study Irish as part of the Leaving Certificate programme, and a pass is required for Irish students entering certain Irish universities (but not for foreign students). In 1974 Irish was removed as a requirement for entry to the civil service.
Significant changes in the Leaving Certificate maths curriculum were reflected in two new textbooks produced by the Irish Christian Brothers. However, material for the new honours (higher-level) syllabus was offered only in a government-subsidised book in Irish, while the pass (lower-level) material was published in English. The situation continued for several years, until affordable alternative textbooks eventually became available.
Mansion House meeting
The Movement organised a meeting in the Mansion House, Dublin on 21 September 1966. About 2000 people turned up, though most of them seemed opposed to the Movement. Opponents taunted the organisers by waving Union Jacks at them. One person seized an Irish Tricolour from the table used by the movement, shouting that the flag should not be displayed at such a meeting. A fight involving ten men broke out and calm was only restored when the LFM agreed to four of their opponents speaking at the meeting.
The Language Freedom Movement later went out of existence.
- Language revival
- R.V. Comerford, Ireland Inventing the Nation (Hodder, London 2003) pp142–152.
- Clip of 7 Days from 1967 (Windows Media Player). Report on a public meeting of the Language Freedom Movement at the Mansion House.
- John B Keane, The Guardian, 31 May 2002, retrieved 8 June 2009
- Wars of Words: The Politics of Language in Ireland 1537-2004, Tony Crowley, Oxford University Press, 2005, ISBN 0-19-927343-X, 9780199273430
- From Language Revival to Survival, Donncha Ó hEallaithe, anghaeltacht.net, originally published in Who Needs Irish?, edited by Ciarán Mac Murdach, published by Veritas Publications, ISBN 1-85390-777-4
- A New History of Ireland, T.W. Moody, F.X. Martin, Francis John Byrne, William E. Vaughan, Art Cosgrove, Dáibhí Ó Crónin, p.445
- Dáil Éireann - Volume 225 - 29 November, 1966
- Exam success: clever people are not always the intelligent ones, Con Houlihan, Sunday Independent, 23 September 2007, retrieved 1 July 2009
- Century of Endeavour, Roy Johnston, p.203