Séamas Ó hAodha

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Séamas Ó hAodha, member of the Gaelic League, fl. 1914 - 1922.


Ó hAodha is reputed to have been the first person to sing Amhrán na bhFiann in public. He spoke French and Italian as well as Irish and English. He was also known as a fine tenor. As well as being active in the Gaelic League he was a committed trade unionist and socialist; worked as an intelligence officer with Michael Collins and was secretary to Cumann na nGael.

In 1914, he commented on the language policy of the Gaelic League:

"If the Gaelic League made it its business to enable the Gael to live in the Gaeltacht and prosper there, and dropped all its other work, the language would be saved. If the League continues to do everything else but this, the language will be lost."

His main criticism was that the Gaelic League emphasised Gaelicising the country through the educational system, while the living language was disappearing from the Gaeltacht. His querying of the wisdom of devoting energy to reviving Irish in the Anglicised areas got little support.

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