Before Scoil Acla

In 1899 a decade before Scoil Acla was formed a branch of the Gaelic League was set up on Achill.  It was set up by the local parish Priest, Fr. Connolly and the Curate, Fr. White, they were supported by one of the local teachers, Mr. Lavelle. This small group, along with local support put Achill in league with other small communities all over Ireland setting up their own branch of the Gaelic League. The organization was in it’s first decade and was growing at a great rat all over the country.

A new society is formed

In an attempt to stem the ever rising tide of Anglicisation of Ireland a group of enthusiasts gathered together to form a society that would redress the situation. The group, whilst mainly nationalist in outlook, was non-partisan and non-sectarian and was to attract many members of the Unionist community.

At the inaugural meeting in Dublin on 13th July 1893 the aims of the society was put forward as

  • The preservation of Irish as the national language of Ireland and the extension of its use as a spoken language.

  • The study and publication of existing Gaelic literature, and the cultivation of a modern literature in Irish.

The founding members of the Society were Douglas Hyde, LLD. (1st President of the League) Charles Percy Bushe, James M. Cogan, Rev William Hayden S.J, Martin Kelly, John McNeill, Patrick O’ Brien, T.O. Russell and Patrick J. Hogan.

Freeman’s Journal 12 December 1899