Gaelic League Carnival Poster, 1912

The Gaelic League was founded in 1893 to revive the Irish language, which was falling increasingly out of use, especially in urban areas where English was dominant. The majority of its members were middle- and working-class English-speakers, and by 1908 it boasted roughly 600 branches, primarily in cities. One of the ways that the organisation attracted new members was by offering opportunities for socialising and fun alongside Irish language study. Ant Oireachtas, its annual national festival was launched in 1897. As the poster notes, by 1912, there were even special excursion trains to carry visitors from Cork, Limerick, Galway, Belfast and other locales to the festivities in Dublin.

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