Historical Interviews

A glimpse of the history

We welcome you to explore the interviews that we conducted with members of Conradh na Gaeilge from across Ulster. Throughout the interviews, you will see the memories that the interviewees have of Conradh na Gaeilge and Comhaltas Uladh in their local areas. It is important that this history be preserved, and that we hear from people who have gone through it. We would strongly recommend that you watch these interviews and learn a bit about the history in your own county. We would again like to thank all interviewees for taking the tie to undergo their interviews with us.

Dr. Niall Comer

Dr. Niall Comer is the current president of Conradh na Gaeilge, and he is also an Irish lecturer in Ulster University. He was born and raised in County Down but now resides in Derry. Niall gives an insight into his own experience with Irish when he was growing up, the things and people that inspired him to pursue a life through Irish, and the influence that Conradh na Gaeilge and Comhaltas Uladh had on his life.

Sinéad Ní Mhearnóg

Sinéad Ní Mhearnóg is a member of Pobal Ar A’n Iúl, a branch of Conradh na Gaeilge which was founded in Omagh in 2014. Pobal Ar A’n Iúl aims to inspire, promote and facilitate Irish in the Omagh area. In this interview, Sinéad describes the the history of Irish in the area, as well as her opinion on the importance of projects like this. 

Dermot Hughes

Dermot is originally from Dublin, and his link to this project is a little different; he is a nephew of Bertha Geddis, a devout Presbyterian who secretly attended Irish classes on the Falls Road. Bertha was also a member of the Hollywood branch of Conradh na Gaeilge, the minutes of which are on display in the county Down. Bertha’s story is one of a kind, and Dermot’s account of her life is certainly worth a watch.

Pádraig Ó Cuinneagáin

Pádraig Ó Cuinneagáin is a primary school teacher and is a member of the Glór Bhréigne branch of Conradh na Gaeilge. Pádraig describes his own experience with the language, the various events that Glór Bhréifne provide for the community, as well as his own opinion on this project.

Seoirse Ó Dubhthaigh

Seoirse Ó Dubhthaigh is a memver of the Cluain Ard branch of Conradh na Gaeilge in Belfast. His granfather, Aodh Ó Dubhthaigh, was the regional organiser for Conradh na Gaeilge in Ulster at the beginning of last century. The Ó Dubhthaigh family were originally from Donegal, and they had a significant role in the founding of Coláiste Uladh in Gortahork. He gives an insight into the family’s life during this interview.

Pronnsias Ó Rathaille

Pronnsias Ó Rathaille was a member of the Enniskillen branch of Conradh na Gaeilge at the end of the 1960s/start of the 70s. In this interview, Pronnsias explains the people who had a central role in the foundation of the local branch, the difficulties that the branch had to overcome, and the various events that they provided.


An tOllamh Nollaig Mac Congáil

Nollaig Mac Congáil (B.B., Ph.D.) is a Professor in the National University of Ireland, Galway since 1974. He is originally from Derry, and in his interview, he gives an insight into the early years of Conradh na Gaeilge, as well as the role that English Newspapers and media had on Irish propaganda at the first few years of Conradh na Gaeilge.

Dominic Ó Brolcháin

Dominic Ó Brolcháin is a membber of Craobh Sheosaimh Uí Bhrolcháin and he is also in charge of the Irish language group, ‘Míle Fáilte’. Dominic was raised in Bessbrook in county Armagh and in his interview, he gives us an insight into the way in which he took an interest in Irish, the days that he spent in the Gaeltacht, as well as the people who inspired him in the direction of Irish. 

Séamus Mac Giolla Phádraig

Séamus Mac Giolla Phádraig is a member of the Craobh Rua branch of Conradh na Gaeilge, and he was also the former secretary of Comhaltas Uladh of Conradh na Gaeilge. Séamus comes from Pomeroy, and in his interviews, he gives us an insight into the various responsibilites he had as secretary, the difficulties that the organisation faced, as well as his own experience with the language.

Monica Uí Ghacháin

Monica is the daughter of Máirtín Ó Gacháin, a former Conradh na Gaeilge organiser, who worked tirelessly on behalf of the organisation at the beginning of last century. Monica lives in England, and during her interview, she gives an insight into the work that her father did on behalf of the organisation, as well as recalling her memories of him. We are extremely grateful for the continuous support of Monica and her husband Bill throughout the duration of the project.

Pádraig Mac an tSaoir

Pádraig Mac an tSaoir is from Creggan in county Antrim, and he is an Irish language officer in his local GAA Club, Creggan Kickhams. Pádraig was the secretary of the local branch of Conradh na Gaeilge in Creggan, and he speaks to us about how exactly he became interested in the language, as well as his opinion regarding Conradh na Gaeilge in his local area.


Séamus & Seán Mac Seáin

Séamus and Seán Mac Seáin come from West Belfast. They played a significant role in the foundation of the Shaw’s Road Gaeltacht (1969) and Bunscoil Phobal Feirste (1971). They both learned Irish in Cumann Chluain Ard and since then, have lived their lives through Irish. In this interview, they give us an insight into their lives growing up, as well as the importance that community co-operation had during the foundation of the urban Gaeltacht. 

Pádraig Ó Baoighill

Author, historian and short-story writer Pádraig Ó Baoighill is originally from Rannafast in Co. Donegal, but he has a wealth of experience of Irish matters in county Monaghan. Pádraig was inspired by local writers such as Séamus and Seosamh Mac Grianna, and he has spent his whole life promoting Irish. Pádraig is a long-standing member of Comhaltas Uladh, and in this interview, he gives an insight into matters of Irish in both Rannafast and Monaghan throughout the years.