Dr Éamonn Costello
Feb 20 2017 Posted: 09:14 GMT

NUI Galway’s Centre for Irish Studies and Comhrá Ceoil have announced details of the first talk in this year’s Martin Reilly Lecture Series, which will be given by Dr Éamonn Costello.

Entitled ‘Muintir Chonamara agus Oireachtas na Gaeilge: The role of the Conamara Gaeltacht community in shaping Ireland’s oldest festival’, the lecture examines the engagement of the Gaeltacht community of Connemara with Oireachtas na Gaeilge throughout its history and takes place on Tuesday, 28 February at 6.30pm in the Galway City Library.

Established in 1897 by members of the Gaelic League, the Oireachtas is Ireland’s oldest arts festival and is primarily concerned with promoting and celebrating the Irish language. However, for much of its history the native Irish speaking community, an Ghaeltacht, had little impact or input into the festival’s programme of events. This all changed in the early 1970s when the Connemara-based civil rights movement, Gluaiseacht Cearta Siabhialta na Gaeltachta, turned the Irish language issue from being primarily a nationalist cause to one which was primarily concerned with minority rights. The actions of the Gaeltacht civil rights movement inspired the Connemara Gaeltacht community to appropriate the Oireachtas for a period in the 1970-1980s. This period of appropriation and the events leading up to it will be the focus of the talk.

Originally from An Cheathrú Rua, Dr Costello is an Irish traditional musician and holds an MA and PhD in ethnomusicology, as well as a BA in Irish Music and Dance. He currently teaches Irish in the Irish language department of the School of Culture and Communication, at the University of Limerick; he is secretary of the International Council for Traditional Music Ireland (ICTMIre); and is a founding member of TradSong, a research cluster based at UL.

This series of free talks is dedicated to Martin Reilly, the celebrated Galway uilleann piper, and gives an opportunity to researcher-practitioners in Irish traditional music and dance to present their work in a public forum.  The success of the series thus far confirms the interest in research of this kind in Galway, where traditional music and dance are part of the cultural fabric of the city.

For more information on this and other planned talks in the series email Martinreillylectureseries@gmail.com or follow on Facebook at Martin-Reilly-Lecture-Series.

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