Earlier this month I was delighted that I got a chance to work on this documentary with the director Sean O’Cualain form Sonta Films. It looks at the Gaeltacht Civil Rights movements of the late 60’s and 70’s and asks whats happened to the spirit of those times as we look at the issues facing the gaeltacht region and in particular the Irish language. I think its great and perhaps even important.
It airs tonight, Tuesday Dec 30th at 9 on TG4.
If you have any interest in the Gaeltacht or in the Irish language I urge you to watch it.
Here is a promo for the doc
It was produced and directed by Sean O’Cualain. It was shot by Reamonn MacDonnacha, edited by my good self and was scored by Darragh Dukes.
Prominent Gaeltacht Civil Rights Campaigner in the 70’s and elected official wrote this piece about the film
Over the past week sean has been releasing some short video pieces with extra material that we were unable to discuss in the finished film. There are some interesting issues raised here as well. You can watch those clips on Sean’s Vimeo page
In 1969 a group of young people in Conamara came together to fight for the rights of their local communities. Poverty, emigration and a lack of respect for the Irish language was their motivation. The group became known as The Gaeltacht Civil Rights Movement and they chose 8 aims they felt were required to save their communities and native language. The following twenty years transformed Conamara into a modern and vibrant, rural community, but are the aspirations and hope of that generation still in tune with those of today’s, a generation who benefited greatly from the fruits of the change.
Here’s what Sean had to say about the documentary
I mí na Samhna 2014, d’iarr mé ar grúpa sean-chairde ó Chonamara theacht le chèile. Os cionn dhá scór bliain ó shoin, bhí a ngrúpa, Gluaiseacht Cearta Sibhialta na Gaeltachta ar cheann do na grúpaí pobail ba réabhlóidí ó bhunú an stát. Throidear ar son cearta a muintire le go mbeidís féin i gceannas ar a gcinniúint féin. Lena mbeart agus a mbriathar, shlánaigh siad pobal a bhí ligthe i ndearmad ag an stát. I 1974 nuair a d’eirigh leo Oireachtas na Gaeilge a thógáil amach as BAC agus a reachtáil sa nGaeltacht don gcéad uair riamh, bhí an ghluaiseacht i mbarr a réime, agus iad fós ag iarraidh an pobal a mhisniú agus a spreagadh. Ag an Oireachtas sin d’impigh Joe Steve Ó Neachtain ar phobal na Gaeltachta a ndroim a chur le rútaí aibí an chultúr, len í a chosaint, ach is amhlaidh anois gur chas muid ár ndroim leí.
Céard a tharla dúinn ó 1974? An mar a chéile inniú mianta, agus spriocanna glún na réabhlóide sin agus muide na glúnta a lean. An mairfidh an Ghaeltacht glún eile?
Seán Ó Cualáin