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Scholarcast 46: Children & the Irish Cultural Revival

Marnie hay


The Irish cultural revival of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries bolstered calls for increased or outright political independence for Ireland by emphasising the uniqueness of Irish culture and by extension its separate nationhood. At a time when societies in the western world increasingly saw children as a national resource, many Irish nationalists recognised that children had an important role to play in the revival and promotion of indigenous Irish culture at both a practical and a symbolic level. This podcast discusses how and why various Irish nationalist individuals and organisations attempted to engage children and youth in the Irish cultural revival, particularly in the early twentieth century. It also explores the link between the promotion of a specifically Irish cultural identity and the political socialisation of Irish nationalist youth in the same period. For some children, an engagement with the cultural revival helped to influence their political socialisation as Irish nationalists, fostering their willingness as adults to support the Irish struggle for independence.

Marnie Hay

Marnie Hay is a Lecturer in the History department at St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, a college of Dublin City University. Her research interests include the Irish cultural revival, the Irish revolution, and the history of children and childhood. She is the author of Bulmer Hobson and the nationalist movement in twentieth-century Ireland (Manchester University Press, 2009) and several articles, many of which examine Irish nationalist youth culture in the early twentieth century. She is currently writing a monograph entitled Scouting for rebels: Na Fianna Éireann and the Irish revolution, 1909-23, which will be published by Manchester University Press. She previously lectured in history at University College Dublin, where she completed her PhD, and Trinity College Dublin, where she also held a research fellowship.


Series edited by: Giulia Bruna and Catherine Wilsdon
General Editor: P.J. Mathews
Scholarcast original theme music by: Padhraic Egan, Michael Hussey and Sharon Hussey.
Recording, audio editing, photography, video and development by: John Matthews, Vincent Hoban, Brian Kelly & Ken Doyle at UCD Media Services.

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