In March 1911 Emily wrote the following letter to An Clidheamh Soluis, Scoil Acla was only a pipe dream at the time. She made an excellent case for proposed summer school. It was a very brave step for the founding members to take, but they took it all the same. It paid off!
March 4th 1911
A few weeks ago you published an article by Fergus Mac Roigh dealing with the faithful little garrisons in the Gaelteacht. We have just a beleaguered fortress here in Achill always hard press by the enemy, but over which the Gaelic flag has flown for years. Sometimes it barely flutters, but it still has been kept there.
Last summer we were in a sad plight. Never was a place so sorely pressed. Assaulted from without with indifferent defenders within, and well-nigh forgotten, abandoned by the head-quarter staff, the cause was nearly lost when tow young men form the South came to our assistance. They came in all the finery of Gaelic dress with nodding feathers and the swirl of the war-pipes and with song and dance. They walked over the land playing warlike music till our hearts took fire again and the spirit that was well-nigh dead within us found new life.
Following up their success the Gaelic League very wisely sent us down a man who kept alive the flame they revived in our hearts and in our midst. Gaelic classes, Gaelic dances concerts and plays are following each other, and now we are building a Gaelic Hall. There is limit to our ambition. Nothing will satisfy us now but an Irish summer school of our own, not a college. We have faithfully promised Partry and Spiddal that they may exist at least another summer. A hedge school will satisfy us. The country is full of Irish, the scenery is glorious, the accommodation is ample; Teacht Gaedhilge will be finished; one of the best teachers in the Gaelic League will be available, our own muinteoir will help him if necessary. We will be able to offer our visitors lectures on old and middle Irish as well. If twenty students are forthcoming the thing can be done May I call on the friends of Gaelic to come down and help us to over run the land. Pipers, fiddlers, dancers, singers will of course, be very welcome, but we want above all the earnest students of Irish, the enthusiasts to come to our assistance.
One word more, I must add it refers to the training colleges. we do not wish to draw students from them, and therefore do not propose to train for certificates. We wish rather to attract the students who, at present go in ones and two to the Irish speaking districts. I would ask them for next summer to concentrate themselves on Achill. Their presence would benefit the Island much, and we can promise them in return a delightful holiday and great stores of Gaelic.
Is mise do chara
Bean Uí Uadall
Pairc na Carraig