Ex-prisoners in new Irish book

Donncha Mac Niallais. (0908MM20)
Donncha Mac Niallais. (0908MM20)

A new book exploring the growth and development of the Irish language among republican prisoners and ex-prisoners will be launched in Derry next week.

‘Language, Resistance and Revival’ by Feargal Mac Ionnrachtaigh features contributions from a number of ex-prisoners from Derry, including Kevin Campbell, Donncha MacNiallais and Tony de Brún.

The three local men will be discussing their experiences of learning Irish in prison, and their work with the Irish language since their release.

The author is a product of the Irish language school system in Belfast from primary to the completion of his PhD and is the son the late political activist. Terry Enright.

The book is based on interviews with former prisoners on the linguistic and educational development in Long Kesh prison from 1972 to 2000.

Many republican prisoners learned Irish while in jail and went on to work within the Irish language sectors, both in education and in community language groups following their release. As a result, Long Kesh is sometimes known as the ‘jailteacht.”

It will be launched in Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin as part of the Irish language programme of events during Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann next week. The launch will take place on Thursday, August 15 at 1pm. Guest speakers at the launch will be Deaglán Ó Mochain and Donncha Mac Niallais.