Recycling History – the bicycle and protest in Ireland

Messenger boys in early 20th century Dublin.

By Barry Sheppard

Since the late nineteenth century, the humble bicycle has played a minor, yet significant role in Irish history. Internationally, the bicycle has been an integral instrument of protest and cultural change.

It has also been useful tool which has helped shape aspects of modern Ireland during its often turbulent political and social history.

From use during times of revolution, to a tool of cultural nationalism, and a vehicle for calling attention to indigenous language rights, the bicycle is inextricably linked to a formative period in Ireland’s history.

The following article will highlight the role the bicycle has played in history ‘from below’ in matters relating to the Irish language and cultural nationalism from the late nineteenth century, right through to recent decades.

Cycling became popular among the middle classes in the 1860s and took off in the 1890s among the wider public.

From the 1860s onwards, the bicycle became a fashionable pursuit of the middle classes and the well to do.  Numerous cycling clubs across Ireland were established, as the craze was in keeping with Victorian sensibilities of the period. Innovations in cycling during the 1880s led to cycling becoming a safer pastime.

Modifications by John Kemp Starley and John Dunlop, rendered the penny farthing, with its large front wheel, obsolete. Starley’s ‘Rover Safety Bicycle’ in 1885 was faster and safer to use, while Dunlop’s ‘pneumatic tire’ made bicycles more stable, and allowed them to navigate over less favourable terrain without too much inconvenience for the cyclist.[1]

Cycling takes off in Ireland

Image result for cycling ireland 1890s
The penny farthing bicycle seen here, was superseded by the ‘safety biycle’ in the 1880s.

By the mid-1890s, however new methods of mass production and fierce international competition saw a fall in prices, resulting in the product being placed within the means of more people. The increase in availability paved the way for something of a social revolution.

Cycling gained much popularity across Ireland, to the point that it completely changed how large swathes of the population engaged in recreational activity and transport.

Further to this, as a form of transport it revolutionised society.  Previous distances which may have taken the best part of a day could now be easily done within an hour.  This had a huge impact in rural areas especially.

A released Invincible prisoner, James Fitzharris was amazed in the 1890s by the prevalene of bicycles in Dublin.

An interesting observation was made at this time by James Fitzharris, more well-known as “Skin the Goat,” the getaway driver who transported the ‘Invincibles’ assassins to the scene of the Phoenix Park murders in 1882.  Upon his release from Kilmainham Goal in 1899, Fitzharris stated that he was “fairly paralysed” at the changes in Dublin since he went to prison seventeen years previously, and especially at the number of cyclists around the city.[2]

This change was, of course noticeable to someone who had spent the best part of two decades locked away from society.  Nevertheless, the boom in cycling was also commented upon by those whose liberty was untouched.

The bicycle, while still immensely popular with those who had the disposable income to engage in the craze, was no longer solely their pursuit.  Those with less means could access the instrument, and would soon use it to draw attention to a variety of social causes.

The bicycle and social protest

It wasn’t long after the wider introduction of the bicycle that it would be used as a tool of protest and a vehicle for social change. It has been argued that bicycles are not merely forms of transportation, but ‘instruments of communication, sources of identity, vehicles for pleasure, and tools for technological, cultural, and political critique’.[3]

In San Francisco in July 1896 100,000 spectators watched as a mass of cyclists rode through San Francisco’s streets to protest dangerous road conditions for cyclists

As they were now available in numerous countries, bicycles were becoming international tools for change.

Perhaps the first mass protest using bicycles took place in San Francisco in July 1896 where one hundred thousand spectators watched as a mass of cyclists rode through San Francisco’s streets to protest dangerous road conditions for cyclists since the introduction of automobiles.[4]

That such an ordinary transportation machine was able to draw attention to a variety of social issues has gained much scholarly attention in recent years.  The bicycle’s dual role as instrument of social agitation and ordinary use is summed up succinctly by Dave Horton, who states the ‘bicycle is both symbolic, an iconic object of political discourse, and practical, an object in daily use, and one which, furthermore, lends distinctive form to the lives of political activists’.[5]

Indeed, the bicycle was used in this regard in many situations.  What connects the variety of causes is that the majority were grassroots movements.

In Britain, the rising popularity of the bicycle has been seen as a catalyst for many social reforms, including women’s suffrage. It is argued that suffragists ‘were able to start the process of personal independence through travel thanks to the two-wheeled invention’.[6]

Furthermore the bicycle has been credited with advancing socialist ideas in a number of countries. In 1891 the journalist Robert Blatchford and a number of his colleagues resigned from the Manchester’s Evening Chronicle over the owner’s reluctance to publish anything which advocated socialist ideals. Upon leaving this publication, they launched a new paper they called The Clarion.

An impromptu distribution network of the paper by cyclists eventually evolved into the Clarion Cycling Clubs. The Clarion Cycling Clubs stood for a new sort of politics – what we would now call a “bottom up” politics.[7]

Men and women travelled around Britain, preaching the principles of a socialist society, adhering to the Clubs’ motto – ‘Cyclists for Mutual Aid, Good Fellowship and the Propagation of the Principles of Socialism, along with the social pleasures of Cycling’.[8]  It was this combination of the political message and the pleasure of cycling which was appealing to the public, and which was to be found in Ireland later around language rights and revival.

Cycling and cultural nationalism in Ireland

Image result for irish volunteers bicycles
Irish Volunteers on bicycles at the Howth gun running in 1914.

Around this period, the early 1890s, in parallel with this cycling revolution, there was of course a cultural revolution rapidly spreading across Ireland, revitalising language, literature, and sport, and eventually politics.

The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), formed in late 1884, and sought to incorporate field sports, athletics, and cycling into its vision for an Irish Ireland.

Cycling helped to spread the Gaelic cultural revival

Earlier that year, however the Irish Cycling Association (ICA) had also been formed.  Therefore, with two organisations catering for the growing cycling craze, there was naturally a rivalry between the GAA and ICA for members.[9]

While ICA rightly saw the GAA as a threat in terms of attracting cycling enthusiasts, the GAA had a competitive edge, offering a national aspirations as well as sporting identity to potential recruits. By 1910 the ICA had folded leaving the nationalist-minded GAA as the main governing body for cycling as well as the other sporting codes which fell under its jurisdiction.

The Irish language was of course an integral part of this cultural revival.  Language revival prior to this had been the preserve of well-to-do and well-meaning antiquarians, which led to criticisms that Irish linguistic pursuits were backward-looking and irrelevant to a modernising Ireland.

Critics of the late nineteenth century cultural movement argued that language enthusiasts were ‘bent on returning Ireland to a medieval mind-set just when it seemed Ireland was about to modernise’.

However, Declan Kiberd and P.J. Matthews dismiss this argument, stating that many were ‘critical traditionalists’ who were keen to modernise in a non-imperial way, with the language being a vehicle for this ‘non-imperial’ modernising.[10]

This is certainly true of the language rights activists this article is concerned with. Forward-facing cultural revivalists, of course stressed the link between language revival and the cultural self-belief that could produce a more vibrant industry, agriculture, and sense of community.

This viewpoint is certainly reminiscent of the ‘bottom up’ approach to cultural and political change of by the aforementioned Clarion Cycling Clubs.  Indeed, the ideals of the Irish revival movement, as forward-looking and non-imperial agents of change were to be found in the Irish language cycling clubs which became popular at this time and helped to spread the revival’s message.

Cycling clubs attached to language preservation and revival groups became popular at the turn of the twentieth century. For example, during this period Belfast was becoming well-known for its cyclists and language enthusiasts.  In May 1904, what was essentially a ‘Wanted’ advertisement appeared in the Donegal News which stated:

‘On several occasions last year we brought under the notice of our readers many items of interest with success, and in opening our columns this season we wish to refer to the delight which a Gaelic Cycling Club would give to many who “paddle their own canoe ” on weekly trips. We are informed that at present there is quite a host of cyclists in Belfast, members of various Irish organisations who are willing to join in such a project, and knowing that the districts surrounding Belfast are celebrated for their scenery, beauty and historic interest’.[11]

This combination of language, cycling, and historical interest all contributed to a social and cultural identity, which was in keeping with revivalists ideals. These ideals were to gain more political capital in the immediate years which followed.

The importance of bicycle clubs in relation to the spread of the language and cultural awakening in this period is well illustrated by the example of Seamus O’Maolieoin, IRB man and teacher in Mullingar Christian Brothers School.  In 1912 He established Irish language facilities, dancing, a choir and an Irish language and cycling club in the town.

The popularity of the cycling club was helped by approval of the clergy, leading the Midland Reporter newspaper to exclaim in 1913, ‘thank God there has been a great National awakening in the language revival in the last year after years of apathy’.[12] It was becoming clear that the bicycle was vital to organising people in social groups, to the benefit of the cultural revival.

Cycling and nationalist revolution

Image result for cycling ireland 1916
Michael Collins aboard his trademark bicycle.

When violent revolution began with the Easter Rising in 1916 the bicycle played an important role in the insurrection, and in the later War of Independence.

There are numerous Bureau of Military History Witness Statements featuring testimonies from people who earned their stripes cycling from town to town during the cultural revival, as well as later acting as dispatchers, or who used bicycles to transport arms around Dublin during the Rising, and subsequent War of Independence.

One Witness Statement even highlights the lengths some people went to in an effort to join in the fighting.

One particular entry shows that one young Newry man Patrick Rankin cycled from Newry to Dublin to join in the 1916 uprising. Another impressive feat in the same conflict was undertaken by Peter Paul Galligan, who cycled from Dublin, via Maynooth and through County Carlow, to get to Enniscorthy to give orders to volunteers there, and to cut the railway line to prevent the British from bringing reinforcements to Dublin.

By the Autumn of 1916, even before the release of internees from Frognoch, the authorities noted the ‘revival’ of ‘Sinn Fein’ activity.  Noting the growth of the GAA, the formation of cycling clubs, holding of social events, advocating the wearing of a ‘distinction ring by Irish speaking persons and members of the Gaelic League’; they argued that these visible and tangible symbols that were indicative of the transformation which had already occurred in the minds of individual members of the Irish nation.[13]

Of the numerous witness statements in the Bureau of Military History, one entry by Sean Prendergast demonstrates the symbolic power of the bicycle in the public sphere during the revolutionary period.  Speaking about the death and funeral of Vol. Joseph Norton in 1917, who had previously taken part in the Rising the year before, Prendergast stated.

“There was a large representation of the Dublin Brigade I.R.A. – over 1,500 attending. The Cyclist Corps of the City Regiment was in full attendance, Cumann na mBan, Citizen Army, Fianna and some of the men who were with deceased in Lewes Jail. The firing party was selected by the Dublin Brigade. After the internment three volleys were fired over the grave and the “last post” sounded. The cyclists numbering a thousand caused a sensation as they marched through the city and were dismissed in O’Connell Street”.[14]

The bicycle was used for protest, political campaigning and for guerrilla warfare in the Irish revolution

Not only was the bicycle a useful propaganda tool, as outlined by Prendergast.  It was an effective tool in guerrilla warfare.  It greatly increased guerrilla mobility during the War of Independence.  Furthermore, it was a largely silent mode of transportation and was difficult to detect.  However, it wasn’t only used by republican fighters, the British military also used bicycle patrols during martial law in counter-insurgency operations.[15]

During the last months of conflict, before the truce of 1921, British intelligence ordered raiding parties on 10 May, 1921 to seize all bicycles in their areas when engaging with Volunteers, as they knew the importance of the machines in insurrectional activity.  This has been termed as the ‘Bicycle War’ by historian Joseph McKenna.[16]

So we can see that in this period, the bicycle was now recognised as a tool of protest, a vehicle of identity within the cultural movement, and a crucial tool in the Irish revolution. 

The bicycle and protest in Post-Partition Ireland

Gaeltacht cyclists ride to Dublin to demand rights for their community.

The political settlement of 1921 led to stagnation within the language movement in the south, while in the north it remained a ‘bottom up’ movement, in the hands of small groups due to the hostility to the language by the northern Unionist government.

Many members of the Gaelic League in the Free State believed that they had taken language revival as far as they could and it was now the job of the fledgling Irish Government to take it to next level. It was felt that the time could be right to pass on the torch as there were enough language enthusiasts on both sides of the Treaty split to ensure a ‘forward looking language policy in Dáil Eireann’.[17]

An early objective of the Cumann na nGaedheal government in relation to the protection of the Irish language was to halt the decline of the language in the Gaeltacht regions.  What became known as the Gaeltacht Commission was established, headed by Richard Mulcahy.

They were charged with assessing the conditions in Gaeltacht regions and advising on suitable solutions. The opening remarks of the report, which was published in 1926, paid tribute to the cultural importance of the language: ‘We believe that the Irish people as a body recognise it to be a national duty…to uphold and foster the language’.[18]

In 1934 members of Muintir na Gaeltachta set out from Rosmuc in Connemara to Dublin by bicycle to confront the government on their failure to address the issues facing the Gaeltacht regions.

The findings of the report were initially welcomed, yet inaction by the ruling party on the fundamentals of the report led to accusations that the Government viewed the language ‘with a great deal of false sentimentality’.[19]

This proved to be the case in many ways, leading to the decline in the language across the state, with Gaeltacht regions particularly impacted by the reluctance of the government to enact the Commission’s recommendations.

The global economic downturn of the 1930s exacerbated already dire conditions in the Gaeltacht regions, leading to increased pressure on the newly-installed Fianna Fáil government, who came to power in 1932.

A number of pressure groups emerged, including Muintir na Gaeltachta, headed by Mairtin O’Cadhain and Sean Costigan, who forcefully argued that land reform, fishing rights, and agricultural development was key to the survival of Gaeltacht areas.   The organisation was heavily influenced by socialism and found favour among republican groups in the 1930s.

The radical nature of the organisation raised suspicions among certain circles. Niamh Hourigan has stated that ‘They were viewed with suspicion by political elites and conservative elements within the Gaelic League’.[20]  They were also heavily monitored by the police in the Free State.

A defining moment for the organisation came at Easter time 1934. In a symbolic act of protest using bicycles, members of Muintir na Gaeltachta set out from Rosmuc in Connemara to Dublin late on the evening of March 29, 1934 with the intention of confronting the Ministers for Land and Agriculture and ultimately de Valera himself on the failure of successive governments to enact the Gaeltacht Commission report and to highlight the issues facing the Gaeltacht regions. Significantly, the delegation travelled at night to avoid interception by the police, and headed for Dublin.

A Garda memo has shown that the police were aware of the protest, and showed considerable concern. The memo read ‘a number of young men (one hundred or so) from Carraroe, Rosmuc and Inveran, lead by Sean Costigan NT [National Teacher] […] propose to journey to Dublin to secure an interview with the Ministers for Lands and Agriculture’.[21] A headline in the Irish Press in the days after the meeting read, ‘Voice of Gaeltacht shall be heard’ and detailed the trip.

They described how thirty-six Gaedhailgeori cycled from Connemara to Dublin on 29 March, a far cry from the one hundred previously reported. Having stayed overnight in the city, they marched with their bicycles on the 30th March from the Gaelic League offices in Parnell Square to Merrion Street where de Valera received six of their number, including O’Cadhain and Costigan at government buildings.[22]

This journey of protest has been recognised as the genesis of the Gaeltacht ‘colony’ project in Rathcairn, Co Meath.  However, the symbolic act of protest has had a longer-term impact, which will be addressed further, below.

Rás Tailteann

Image result for ras tailteann 1956
The Ras riders ride in Northern Ireland behind the Irish tricolour in 1956.

In post-partition Ireland, the bicycle was used to challenge contested boundaries. In the late 1940s, the international cycling body, the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale – cycling’s main governing body) attempted to impose rules upon cycling bodies to abide by national borders as they stood in post-war Europe.

This, of course was a loaded request for Ireland, as it meant that the National Cycling Association of Ireland had to restrict its activities to 26 counties.

Ireland’s national bicycle race, the Ras Tailtean was the occasion for controversy in 1956 by flying a tricolour during stages in Northern Ireland.

The NCA was subsequently expelled from the international body for failure to abide by this ruling, and replaced by Cumman Rothaiochta na hÉireann, who operated within the 26 counties.

A politically-minded cohort in the now-expelled NCA, led by prominent republican Joe Christie (who was subsequently involved in the blowing up of Nelson’s Pillar), decided to organise races in competition with the CRA, styled as the “Rás Tailteann”, which harked back to the days of the ancient Tailteann Games (and those which took place in the Free State in the early years of its existence), and would operate on an all-Ireland basis.[23]

The first stage of 1955’s Rás had crossed the border to Newry, and the second stage, the longest of the Rás — 225km from Newry to Sligo —went through counties Down, Armagh, Tyrone, and Fermanagh, with little controversy.  Three stages to be held in the north in 1956, which didn’t pass off as peacefully.

Trouble occurred on the second day of the 1956 race, when Christie flew a large Tricolour from the roof the lead car. The flag had been banned in the North under the Flag and Emblems Act of 1954.  RUC officers seized the flag in Lurgan, Co Armagh.  Christie was reported to have stated that “the national flag will fly as long as this national sports event continues”.  Hostile spectators also pelted the convoy of cyclists at Cookstown.[24]

Language in the North

Of course, in the North, Irish language speakers were in a worse position than those in the Free State.  In the south there was some support among politicians, even if it was mere lip-service at times.  The lack of any significant political backing forced a grassroots approach to language preservation in the north.

Newspaper archives during this period provide an interesting insight into language preservation groups operating within the Northern Irish state.

Gaelic cycling clubs were common in the North in the 1940s, with the twin aims of touring the country and learning the Irish language.

The Ulster Herald in Sept 1943 highlighted language groups who still utilised the bicycle as part of their cultural armoury.  The article stated that ‘the powers that be in the North’ arranged the school curriculum ‘so as to exclude as far as possible any chance of Irish’, before providing a run through of successful Irish language initiatives by grassroots groups. It stated that their readers may be surprised to learn that such initiatives had been in operation for years in the Tyrone area.

The article specifically mentions the value of Gaelic Cycling clubs in letting ‘all and sundry know that Irish DOES exist in Tyrone and many other places (in the North) as well’.[25]

A previous Ulster Herald article from May 1943 heralded the Tyrone Gaelic Cycling club, which brought together Gaelic speakers and students during the summer months to learn Irish together, and to increase their knowledge of the country and its history.[26]

An article in the Strabane Chronicle in July of that same year highlighted the importance of a distinct linguistic communal identity which the Gaelic Cycling clubs helped to foster throughout the State from places as far apart as Armagh and Derry.[27]

In Belfast we see a similar communal identity, which gelled around the everyday use of the Irish language. Gabrielle Maguire gives a background to the vibrant, yet frustrated Irish-speaking community in Belfast in the post-War period.  Maguire states that 40s and 50s ‘saw societies, campaigns and enterprises come and go – but each, somehow left its mark on the revival story’.

Publications and groups such as Glun na Buaidhe 1943-45, Fal in the 1950s, and their monthly newspaper Dearcadh, ‘gave an insight into the close affinity which Belfast Irish speakers felt with the traditional Gaeltacht’.

Maguire further shows the importance of initiatives such as an Irish language Credit Society and a Gaelic Cycling Club was to this community.[28] Significantly, this community were, and continue to be heavily influenced by Mairtin O’Cadhain and his radical ‘bottom up’ cultural and political philosophies.[29]

Drawing upon this rich and long cultural heritage, the Belfast-based Irish language cycling organisation Cumann Rothaíochta Loch Lao have, in recent years paid tribute to O’Cadhain and in particular the 1934 cycle protest by Muintir na Gaeltachta, in order to draw attention to Irish language rights in Northern Ireland.

This group’s aim is to promote the social use of the Irish language amongst learners and fluent speakers through cycling activities, in much the same vein as the examples given above.  In 2014, the group chose to pay tribute to the 1934 Muintir na Gaeltachta protest, by cycling from Belfast to the Rathcairn Gaeltacht in Co Meath.

Belfast riders reenact the 1934 cycle for Irish language rights in Northern Ireland in 2014.

This was, what can be called a practical commemoration, paying tribute to O’Cadhain’s efforts in 1934, on the 80th anniversary of the event, and to raise funds for Irish-speakers in Belfast who were embroiled in a court case with the northern Department of Education over its refusal to grant Irish Medium pupils free travel passes to Belfast’s Coláiste Feirste Irish Medium school.

Interviewed by the Irish News in 2014 on their commemoration, a group spokesperson stated that they regarded it as fitting that such an anniversary was marked by “Belfast Gaels” cycling “100 miles to the same Gaeltacht area, which is still thriving today, in support of the same human rights that are being denied to school children from North Belfast”.[30]

In 2014, Belfast Gaels cycled from Belfast to Rath Cairn, Meath in homage to the 1934 Gaeltacht bicycle protest and to highlight the lack of Irish language rights in the North.

In the wake of the commemoration I interviewed some of the group’s members on their motives and connections with past revivalist groups and protests movements.

One of the group’s members, Feargal Mac Ionnrachtaigh stated that the seeds of the current language revival movement in and around Belfast were sewn by the founders of the Shaw’s Road Gaeltacht in Belfast, who themselves were directly inspired by Mairtin O’ Cadhain, after he visited Belfast in the 1960s.

And like O’ Cadhain’s organisation, the modern language revivalists were not ‘owned’ by any political party.[31] This is a significant point, as this grassroots movement is in keeping with previous ‘bottom up’ protest movements who operated outside of state agencies.

While the primary motive for the 2014 protest was to raise funds for Irish-speaking children in Belfast. Mac Ionnrachtaigh states that their protest was not only to commemorate the 1934 cycle, and subsequent commemorative cycle in 1954 which took place on the twentieth anniversary, and went from Rossmuc to Rathcairn (at which O Cadhain delivered a speech), but to show a direct lineage from groups such as Muintir na Gaeltachta to language groups which had been founded in the years since.

Significantly, this 2014 act, which was inspired by, and paid tribute to Mairtin O’Cadhain, has evolved into one the biggest protest movement for Irish language rights on the island of Ireland,   An Dream Dearg; a group which has formed to voice their frustrations at the treatment of the Irish language and the denial of the rights of Irish speakers under the now-suspended Stormont parliament.


For over one hundred years, since the recreational pursuit of cycling became popular, it has attracted those who have agitated for cultural and political change.  This has taken in a variety of causes, from road safety, women’s suffrage, and political revolution.  In Ireland it was perhaps fortuitous that the pursuit became more democratised around the same period as Ireland’s cultural revival.

Since that time it has in many ways become inextricably linked to cultural and political change during the all-important decades in Ireland which straddled the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries.

Its importance during bloody revolution is something which is reflected in personal testimonies in Ireland’s Bureau of Military History entries.  Its impact upon cultural revival movements has been invaluable.  What is hugely important is that it has invariably been used by those who have felt disenfranchised by the status quo. This permits the researcher to look view them as important markers in what is termed ‘history from below’.

From that vantage point we can see the issues which connect many of organisations and groupings over long periods of immense political and social change on the island of Ireland.




[1] Penny-farthing History and Facts:

[2] Brian Griffin, ‘Cycling and Gender in Victorian Ireland’ in Éire-Ireland Vol. 41:1&2(1):pp. 213-241

[3] Zach Furness, ‘“Put the Fun Between Your Legs”: The Politics and Counterculture of the Bicycle’

[4] Ibid.

[5] Dave Horton, Social Movements and the Bicycle:


[7] Ian Bullock, National Clarion Cycling Club History –

[8] S. G. Jones, (1988): Sport, Politics and the Working Class, Manchester, 1988), p. 108.

[9] A Brief History of Cycling Ireland:

[10] Declan Kiberd and P.J. Matthews, Handbook of the Irish Revival: An Anthology of Irish Cultural and Political Writings 1891-1922 (Dublin, 2016), pp. 31-33.

[11] Donegal News, 14 May, 1904.

[12] Michael Wheatley, Nationalism and the Irish Party 1910-1916, p. 63.

[13] Jonathan Githens-Mazer, Cultural and Political Nationalism in Ireland: Myths and Memories of the Easter Rising, PhD Thesis, (University of London, 2005), p. 215.

[14] BMH Witness Statement, Sean Prendergast – BMH.WS0755

[15] William Sheehan, A Hard Local War: The British Army and the Guerrilla War in Cork 1919-1921

[16] Joseph McKenna, Guerrilla Warfare in the Irish War of Independence 1919-1921, p. 211.

[17] B. Ó Cuív, in D. Williams, The Irish Struggle 1916-1926 (London, 1966), p. 163.

[18] Coimisiun na Gaeltachta Report (Dublin, 1926), p. 3.

[19] The Gaelic League Keating Branch, You May Revive The Gaelic Language (Dublin, 1940), p. 31.

[20] Linda Connolly and Niamh Hourigan (eds), Social Movements and Ireland, p. 132.

[21] Suzanne M. Pegley, The Development and Consolidation of the Gaeltacht Colony Rath Cairn, Co. Meath 1935-1948 (Maynooth, 2007), p. 61.

[22] Irish Press, 02 April, 1934.

[23] Jimmy Dignam, The Rás – A Political Contest:

[24] When Republicans Got on Their Bikes for a United Ireland

[25] Ulster Herald, 25 Sept. 1943.

[26] Ulster Herald, 08 May. 1943

[27] Strabane Chronicle, 31 July. 1943.

[28] Gabrielle Magurie, Our Own Language: An Irish Initiative (1991), p. 30.

[29] See Feargal MacIonnrachtaigh, Language, Resistance and Revival: Republican Prisoners and the Irish Language in the North of Ireland, (London, 2013).

[30] Irish News, 16 Jun. 2014.

[31] Interview with members of Cumann Rothaíochta Loch Lao, August 2015.

Leave a Reply to Rylands BlogGet on your bike and Ride Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *