Mary E. Butler of the Gaelic League urges women to promote the Irish language in 1901
- Realise what it means to be an Irishwoman and make others realise what it means by being Irish in fact as well as in name.
- Make the home atmosphere Irish.
- Make the social atmosphere Irish.
- Speak Irish if you know it, especially in the home circle, and if you have no knowledge of the language, set about acquiring it at once. If you only know a little, speak that little.
- Insist on children learning to speak, read and write Irish.
- Insist on school authorities giving pupils the benefit of a thoroughly Irish education.
- Use Irish at the family prayers.
- Give Irish names to children.
- Visit Irish speaking districts. If Irish people who are students of the language go among their Irish-speaking fellow country people in the right spirit and instil the right principles in them, they will be conferring a benefit on the people, and the people will in return confer a benefit on them by imparting their native knowledge of the spoken language to them.
- Encourage Irish music and song.
- Support Irish publications and literature.
- Employ Irish-speaking servants whenever possible.
- Join the Gaelic League, and induce others to do so.
- Consistently support everything Irish and consistently withhold your support from everything un-Irish.
Mary Butler, Some suggestions as to how Irishwomen may help the Irish Language Movement (Gaelic League pamphlet No. 6, Dublin 1901).
Reprinted in Maria Luddy, Women in Ireland 1800-1918, Cork, 1995, p.299.
- What was the author's motive in writing these recommendations?
- What do the above recommendations tell us about the general attitude to the Irish language in 1901?
- What does this source tell us about the role of women at the time?
- Do you think recommendations for men would have been different from those for women in 1901? Give reasons for your opinion in relation to any three recommendations.
- Evaluate the document as historical evidence.
- Discuss the document in its historical context.
- Research the activities of the Gaelic League in your area.
- Compare the recommendations of Mary E. Butler above with the account of the Gaelic League given by Jennie Wyse Power below.