Hungary and Ireland

We do not know that there has been published in Ireland in our time any book in English more important than “The Resurrection of Hungary.” It may look absurd to write thus of a penny pamphlet, but we are weighing our words. “The Resurrection of Hungary” marks an epoch, because it crystalises into a national policy the doctrines which during the past ten years have been preached in Ireland by the apostles of the Irish Ireland movement.

That movement originated with the foundation of the Gaelic League; the Gaelic League continues, and must always continue, to be the soul and nerve-centre of the movement; but the movement is wider than the Gaelic League. There are departments of national life with which the League voluntarily precludes itself from dealing. Now, the pamphlet before us concerns itself with the whole national life, and more especially with political nationality.

It enunciates with regard to political nationality the truth which the Gaelic League enunciates with regard to spiritual nationality; that the centre of gravity of a nation must be within the nation itself. Its main argument is thus not one which can legitimately be discussed in the columns of AN CLAIDHEAMH SOLUIS. We must content ourselves with recommending every member of the Gaelic League to buy the pamphlet and to study it for himself. Here we can refer only to points which come within our own special sphere.

Perhaps the fact which most clearly stands out in the story of a national revival so brilliantly told in this pamphlet is that the revival had its beginning in a language movement. Nay, it is insisted on that the revival would have been impossible only for the fact that the spirit of traditional Hungarian nationality preserved a continuous existence in the ballad-making of certain poets and dreamers who refused to believe that Hungary was dead, and who sang in Hungarian of her coming triumph.

The movement of revival which eventuated in the creation of a free and prosperous and renowned kingdom commenced with the language and industrial propaganda of Szechenyi.

Szechenyi’s position from 1825 up to the rise of Deak and Kossuth corresponds almost exactly to the position of the Gaelic League.

“Revive your language, educate yourselves, build your agriculture and your industries,” this was the basis of his teaching … He laboured unceasingly to implant love of country in his people’s hearts – to improve their intellectual and industrial condition. His busy brain was ever devising new schemes to benefit the country, his iron will surmounting the obstacles that barred their path, his steady hand pointing the way to their realisation.
He strove to unite the nation – peasant and noble – in a common brotherhood of affection and awaken them to a recognition that the interests of one were the interests of all – to make them realise that whether they were gentle or simple they were first of all Hungarians.”

The parallel is even closer:

“As Szechenyi, a non-Hungarian, speaking Hungarian, realised the value of the language which had come in Hungary in those days, as it is in Ireland in modern times, to be deemed a lingua rustica – so non-Irish-speaking Irishmen in our time have realised the value of the Irish language and thrilled it again with life.
Szechenyi throughout his life could never speak Hungarian without an effort or without an Austrian accent – some of his lieutenants in the revival could never speak three sentences of it – but they taught all Hungary to be proud of it, and taught all young Hungary to speak it, so that to-day the Hungarian language is the only language of millions in Hungary whose fathers and grandfathers spoke no word of it.”

The early pages of the pamphlet tell the fascinating story of how, under Szechenyi’s leadership, Hungary waxed hopeful and strong and enterprising and progressive and creative; how a National Academy arose, a national Press sprang up, a national literature, destined before the end of the century to become one of the most vigorous and original literatures of Europe, commenced to grow.

Students who would wish to follow the fortunes of the Hungarian language movement in greater detail are referred to the lecture on “The Need of an Irish Academy,” which was recently delivered in Liverpool by Dr. Kuno Meyer, and which we have been so fortunate as to secure for publication in AN CLAIDHEAMH SOLUIS. Dr. Meyer, who has just returned from a long visit to Hungary, works out the parallel between the two countries in the most interesting fashion.

The moral of the whole story is that the Hungarian language revival of 1825 laid the foundation of the great, strong, and progressive Hungarian nation of 1904. And so shall it fall out in Ireland.

Pádraig Pearse

Article originally published on: Saturday 26th November 1904

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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!

The Outlook

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 a

A Spinning-Wheel Ditty

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First Girl.
Mallo lero, and eambo nero,
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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

A Plea For Prose

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 dai


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


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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

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