Conradh na Gaeilge, historically also known as the Gaelic League, was founded in Dublin on July 31, 1893 by Eoin Mac Néill with the support of Douglas Hyde, Eugene O'Growney, Luke K. Walsh and others. The league developed from Ulick Bourke's earlier Gaelic Union and became the leading institution promoting the Gaelic Revival, placing a particular emphasis on encouraging the speaking of Irish, and on providing modern literature in the language.
The league's first newspaper was An Claidheamh Soluis (which translates as "The Sword of Light") and its most noted editor was Pádraig Pearse.
After the foundation of the Irish Free State in 1922, the organisation had a less prominent role in public life as Irish was made a compulsory subject in state-funded schools, however the organsation is still one of the most active voluntary Irish language organisations campaigning for an urgent review of the teaching of Irish in our education system, and for the rights of Irish speakers in general. For example, Conradh na Gaeilge successfully campaigned for the enactment of the Official Languages Act, 2003, which gave greater statutory protection to Irish speakers and created the position of An Coimisinéir Teanga, or language commissioner.
The organisation has branches in several parts of Ireland and is closely involved in the development of the annual cultural festival An tOireachtas as well as Seachtain na Gaeilge, Ógras and An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha. Conradh na Gaeilge has recently opened free legal advice centres - Ionaid Saor Chomhairle Dlí - in Dublin and Galway in partnership with FLAC. The organisation was also among the principal organisation responsible for co-ordinating the successful campaign to make Irish an official language of the European Union.
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