October 16, 2017
The Irish and Gaelic Language in Canada and the Ottawa Valley
Author and scholar Danny Doyle presented the history of the Irish language, both in Ireland and Canada, to an interested crowd of GVHS members and friends on October 16, 2017. Bringing together census data and historic accounts, he showed the prevalence of the language - once spoken from Newfoundland through to the Yukon - and discussed the reasons for the language's abandonment and near-total exclusion from the Canadian folk memory, unlike other immigrant languages. A fluent Irish language speaker himself, Danny complemented his talk with songs and poetry. One attendee sent us his thoughts the next day, writing,
I always wondered why nobody in my family ever spoke Gaelic or even alluded to it as a memory. To hear Gaelic recited is to hear the language of my dreams. Thanks to the Gatineau Valley Historical Society for the presentation...".