Irish in the First Dáil
The numerous foreign journalists present at the sitting of the First Dáil were somewhat baffled by the fact that the proceedings were carried out through Irish. The front page story in the Vancouver Daily World of British Columbia the following day reported:
“Declaration of Independence is Read in ‘Parliament’ in Gaelic, But Few Can Understand It - Fire of Oratory Killed by Use of Old Tongue”.
The revival of the Irish language, along with all things Irish, had been integral to the rise of the national movement in the latter part of the 19th century. Douglas Hyde and Eoin MacNeill had established Conradh na Gaeilge (the Gaelic League) in 1893 to revive the Irish language and culture and the Conradh ran Irish language classes all around the country.