Nationalism from the Pulpits – The Rev. Michael P. O’Hickey, Irish Education and the Gaelic Ideal

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Throughout the period 1870-1916 a great emphasis was placed upon the need to develop a more defined sense of ‘Irishness’ amidst a growing concern that a process of ‘Anglicisation’ was undermining the ‘Irish way of life’ as well as the growing demands for some level of political independence. The formation of the Gaelic League, and its emphasis upon the revitalisation of the Irish language, put the role of education back onto centre stage as it became a prominent manifestation of the widening divide between the aspirations of Irish nationalism and the perceived hopes of the various London administrations of the period.
This paper will examine the role played by the Reverend Michael P. O’Hickey in helping to establish a greater sense of Irish nationalism within the Catholic clergy of Ireland through his lectures and seminars at Maynooth College and assess the legacy of his contributions to the debate about the shape of Irish education. I will analyse the position of O’Hickey in relation to the state of Irish education and identity why he felt changes were necessary. Moreover, I will examine the impact that his teachings had upon younger priests of the time and how he was, ultimately, undermined by the Catholic hierarchy who feared the direction that he was taking. As such I will assess the events that led to his dismissal as Professor of Irish at Maynooth and examine the future direction of his politics thereafter, until his death in 1916.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventSixth Galway Conference on Colonialism EDUCATION AND EMPIRE - NUI Galway, Galway, Ireland
Duration: 01 Jun 201001 Jun 2010


ConferenceSixth Galway Conference on Colonialism EDUCATION AND EMPIRE


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