An Claiomh Solais
The Sword of Light

The Outlook

First published on Saturday 15th April 1911

ROBERT EMMET’s last will and testament providing that no monument shall be erected to his memory until Ireland takes her place among the nations of the earth is the true key to the national aspirations of the Irish people. When Ireland achieves full nationhood, then, and then only, will the epitaph of Robert Emmet be written. It will not be written while Ireland is a province, and if she should choose to accept the status of a province within the British Empire as a full settlement of her difficulty with England, then the epitaph of Robert Emmet will never be written.

I am aware that many think this is an idle dream, that the task of making Ireland a nation is beyond the strength and resources of the Irish race, and that it would be the part of wisdom to accept a compromise. I am not among those who think so. It is a fact beyond all question that England never offers Ireland a compromise until she is in danger, and that it is the Irishmen who believe in no compromise that always puts England in the compromising mood.

It is safe to say that if there were no irreconcilable Irishmen – no Irishmen who believe in and work for Complete Separation &ndash

A Spinning-Wheel Ditty

First published on Sunday 4th May 1913

These verses, improvised to the hum of the wheel, are flung from girl to girl as they sit spinning. The references are purely personal, and the refrain, which is sung by all the spinners, has no special meaning.

First Girl.
Mallo lero, and eambo nero,
I crossed the wood as the day was dawning;
Mallo lero, and eambo nero.

Second Girl.
Mallo lero, and eambo nero,
No doubt John O'Connell had had good warning!
Mallo lero, and eambo nero.

First Girl.
Mallo lero, and eambo nero,
Oh! John may go hang, it's not me he will catch!
Mallo lero, and eambo nero.

Second Girl.
Mallo lero, and eambo nero,
You mannerless girl, he'll be more than your match!
Mallo lero, and eambo nero.

First Girl.
Mallo lero, and eambo nero,
Come, come now, leave off, or get me my own man!
Mallo lero, and eambo nero.

Second Girl.
Mallo lero, and eambo nero,
Well, what do you think of Thomas O'Madigan?
Mallo lero, and eambo nero.

First Girl.
Mallo lero, and eambo nero,
I hail him, and

A Plea For Prose

First published on Friday 15th July 1892

As our professed intent is the revival of the Irish Language, we need a definite appointment of methods towards that consummation for immediate and persistent practice. A ready and earnest striving must be set afoot to tide over the present time, because everyone giving thought to the business must know that the decade now running is charged with a crisis which shall decide for all men of practical sense the question of its weal or its failure as a living tongue. Consider the conditions that hold to-day.

Around the coast, on the side remotest from British influence, there is a daily waning crescent of Irish-speaking territory. Inland, many young people learn it in their schools and elsewhere, like the Continental languages, with even less satisfactory results, on account of the strangeness of the idiom to foreigners. Others there are, scholars who study the language in its primitive phases solely from scientific motives; but this kind may be neglected when telling over the classes that share a common sympathy in this affair.

Now, the first and second sets of people have, the one and the other, the very wants that they could reciprocally supply, and for the we


First published on Monday 12th March 1917

The peaceful night that round me flows,
Breaks through your iron prison doors,
Free through the world your spirit goes,
Forbidden hands are clasping yours.
The wind is our confederate.
The night has left her doors ajar,
We meet beyond earth’s barred gate.
Where all the world’s wild Rebels are.

Eva Gore-Booth


An interview with election candidates Sophie Roker and Jessica McLoughlin

First published on Tuesday 4th June 2024

Today we are delighted to interview two of Ireland's up-and-coming political generation, Sophie Roker and Jessica McLoughlin!

Congratulations on helping to set up the "Kildare Says No" protest group, now closing in on three months active! What made you decide to get involved with the group to begin with?

Sophie: It sparked an interest with me as I’m very local to this particular site at Newhall and I have two young children so I’m fully aware of what families in the area are going through. I know myself the pre existing problems in the area and I couldn’t believe they were proposing a site of that magnitude beside of village of 1006 (population in last census). We have problems in Kildare across the board in the vital sectors, Naas Hospital is under enormous pressure, there were children in the locality who couldn’t get school places last year and not to mention the difficulties people of Kildare are having with finding housing.

Jessica: I decided to get involved because I am a concerned parent and I have family and friends and neighbours that needed questions answered

The Song of the Fairies

First published on Sunday 4th May 1913

When they made the road across the bog of Lamrach for Mider, their King.

Pile on the soil; thrust on the soil:
Red are the oxen around who toil:
Heavy the troops that my words obey;
Heavy they seem, and yet men are they.
Strongly, as piles, are the tree-trunks placed:
Red are the wattles above them laced:
Tired are your hands, and your glances slant;
One woman's winning this toil may grant!

Oxen ye are, but revenge shall see;
Men who are white shall your servants be;
Rushes from Teffa are cleared away;
Grief is the price that the man shall pay:
Stones have been cleared from the rough Meath ground;
Where shall the gain or the harm be found?
Thrust it in hand! Force it in hand!
Nobles this night, as an ox-troop, stand;
Hard is the task that is asked, and who
From the bridging of Lamrach shall gain, or rue?

Translated by A. H. Leahy.

From the Poem-Book of the Gael

Translations from Irish Gaelic Poetry into English Prose and Verse


The Turning of the Tide

First published on Saturday 16th September 1899

I need hardly tell you, coming back to Ireland after an absence of over twelve years, one is bound to notice many and great changes. Old familiar faces seem to have passed away, and some bore upon them those marks of maturity that comes from age and experience. In social and economical conditions there have been many changes, some of them, thank God, for the better, some, I am afraid, for the worse.

The newspapers have prepared one for the sad and sorry condition in which is known as the National cause found itself, the disorganisation and the recrimination of the leaders, and the apathy and disillusionism of the people. They prepared one for the end of a campaign that had been one of the most brilliant the world had ever seen, and which had won for its country lasting benefits.

The course of affairs must bring to the minds of all thinking men the great difference there is between nationality and politics, it must bring to their minds the truth that political parties are but the means, while the nation itself is the end. It is, perhaps, providential that in the lull that now exists in Irish public affairs a new idea was coming into prominence, and a new socie

Easter 1916

First published on Wednesday 20th September 1916

I have met them at close of day
Coming with vivid faces
From counter or desk among grey
Eighteenth-century houses.
I have passed with a nod of the head
Or polite meaningless words,
Or have lingered awhile and said
Polite meaningless words,
And thought before I had done
Of a mocking tale or a gibe
To please a companion
Around the fire at the club,
Being certain that they and I
But lived where motley is worn:
All changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

That woman’s days were spent
In ignorant good-will,
Her nights in argument
Until her voice grew shrill.
What voice more sweet than hers
When, young and beautiful,
She rode to harriers?
This man had kept a school
And rode our wingèd horse;
This other his helper and friend
Was coming into his force;
He might have won fame in the end,
So sensitive his nature seemed,
So daring and sweet his thought.
This other man I had dreamed
A drunken, vainglorious lout.
He had done most bitter wrong

The Psychology of Treason

First published on Saturday 1st June 2024

In an article from the Irish Times [1], we get a glimpse of the root cause of many if not most of the troubles plaguing us in Ireland today. The question is posed in the manner of a breathless whisper, wide-eyed and astounded at its own daring: "Is the idea of a ‘country’ still useful in a world of climate challenges and AI?".

This is the shark's fin which has been cutting through the waters of Irish national politics for two decades and more, threatening, herding, menacing and cajoling but never actually attacking – with good reason.

For if we peer beneath the waters we find that it not only lacks teeth, but is little more than a rubber facsimile strapped to the back of a rather unpleasant individual long overdue to find employment better suited to their very limited abilities.

The reader’s indulgence is begged for the use of the overburdened word “treason” in the title of this article. We are well aware it has a specific legal definition, largely confined to the attempted overthrow of the state by force of arms, but we hold that the people of Ireland, as the legal sovereign of o

An Claíomh Solais means "The Sword of Light", and is named after an Irish newspaper originally published around the beginning of the twentieth century. This project is opening a window to that time, not so long ago, and sharing the hopes, dreams and visions of the men and women who founded the modern Irish Republic.

The project will follow in their footsteps along the path laid down by Hyde, O'Conaire, MacNeill, Cusack and many others through sharing news, ideas, articles of Irish cultural interest and more, as well as helping to support Irish language and cultural initiatives. You can find out more about An Claíomh Solais by clicking on the buttons below, or join our team as we begin the great Gaelic restoration!

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