Conradh Na Gaeilge
ST. Margarets’s Branch
The friends of the Gaelic League in St Margaret’s have good reason to feel proud of the manner in which the branch has acquitted itself at the Fingal Feis this year.
By the earnest manner in which a large number of the members had worked for some time past, it was generally expected that St. Margaret’s should be able to obtain two or three first prizes in the Language Competitions : but as may be seen now, the efforts of our teacher Mr Mullen have not been unavailing.
St Margaret’s established a record this year which it will take some time to beat. It is all the more to our credit that ten branches have sent, competitions, some of whom had been learning Irish long before St. Margaret’s branch was established.
Tho following is the list of successful competitors:
- In Book I – O’Growney – 1st prize, Thomas Duke,
St Margaret’s; 3rd prize, James Reid, St Margaret’s.
- In Book II – 1st prize, John Wherty, St Margaret’s ; special prize, Winnie Deane, St Margaret’s.
- In Book III – 1st prize. Mary M’Donnell, St Margaret’s ; 2nd prize, John Duke St Margaret’s
- In Book IIII – 1st prize. Margaret M’Donnell, St Margaret’s.
- In Book V – 1st prize, Luke M’Donnell, St Margaret’s. Irish History—1st prize, John Duke, St Margaret’s. Story Telling in Irish—let prize, Margaret O’Donnell, St Margaret’s; 2nd prize, Luke McDonnell, St Margaret’s. Dr Henry’s Handbook—1st prize, J Clarke, Lusk ; 2nd prize, Margaret M’Donnell, St Margaret’s,
It is generally believed by Gaelic Leaguers that when dancing is introduced to any branch that the study of the language takes a back seat. This maybe true enough where there is a committee who allow the “education of the feet” to get on top and thereby squeeze the study of the language into such a small space that it can hardly be compared to anything except to some of the crops of corn which we occasionally see in our travels around County Dublin; at first when it springs up it is corn, clean, healthy and all right, but call around in about a month or two later on, well, the corn may be there, but it is very difficult to discern it, on account of all the lovely flowers under which it has to struggle for its existence.
In St Margaret’s a most successful dancing class has been carried on for the past eight months, and although Mr Phibbs can look with credit on his pupils, it is satisfactory to see that their progress in the language has not been interfered in any way. Of course it would be hard to find a more enjoyable manner of spending an hour or so than in listening to good Irish magic, vocal as well as instrumental, interspersed occasionally with a good horn pipe, jig, or reel, cheering up the old people as well as putting life and vigor into the young. But never the less Gaelic Leaguers should keep before their minds the real aim and object of the Gaelic League.
Remember that we might dance the soles off our boots, sing Irish songs all day long, use all Irish manufacture, and yet, are we Irishmen if we neglect to learn the language of Ireland? Surely, it is not too much trouble for any boy or girl to learn to speak the language of our own ancestors, of St Patrick, St Brigid, and St Colmcille, instead of the language of Cromwell, Queen Elizabeth and Henry the Eighth.
Let us try to make ourselves Irishmen and Irishwomen, and cease imitating the poor little Johnnies and Tommies, which are to be found in almost every town in Ireland. It may not be out of place to mention that the St Margaret’s Aeridheacht which is dated for August 13th, is intended, as far as singing, dancing and, instrumental music are concerned, to eclipse anything of the nature previously held in North County Dublin. Certainly our Gaelic League friends can not do better than pay a visit on that day to St Margaret’s, which ‘although not the capital, must in future be reckoned as one of the chief towns of Fingal.
Source: Drogheda Independent 1884-current, 22.07.1905, page 5