WE have now traced the ideals that animate the Irish-Ireland movement, and the hopes which that movement inspires in its followers. Ireland to-day seems to have a better chance of recovering her freedom than at any time since the Submersion. Should freedom come, the Gaelic ideal will be laboured for as earnestly as freedom has been fought for. We have not had space, so spacious has been our main topic, to discuss the various activities that will leap to life in free Ireland to speak of how Irish farmers and societies will buy ships for lreland as the democracy of Norway bought Norway’s mighty fleet and so change Ireland’s foreign trade from a passive to an active condition, as the economists say; nor to talk of the beauties that will blossom forth in National art, when Gaelicism inspires our architects to revive Hiberno-Romanesque; nor yet to set down the charm that National culture will lend to social life. But it must be remembered, that most of the activities that freedom would bring to perfect life can live in some struggling form even in an unfree Ireland. If Ireland has to wait yet another space for what has been accorded to the Czecho-Slovaks, she will not wait to press ahead, with the strength of Self-Reliance, in economic, social, linguistic and artistic activities that an Anglicised generation neglected. With the Sword of National Boycott, Labour Solidarity, in one hand, and the Trowel of Gaelicism in the other, the Gael will labour, even while still menaced by an unfallen English Empire, to build up the walls of the Gaelic State – the Co-operative Commonwealth – the Workers’ Republic.
The strength of Ireland is the spirituality of her ideal. Not for material wealth is she striving, but for human liberty and the restoration of a civilisation that enriched the world. Thus, the resurgent forces of the new Republics will befriend her and seek her aid in the reduction of the last strongholds of Capitalism and reactionary might. The liberality, the moral beauty of Gaelic ideals, will in turn win to her the good men who, after all, are really in the majority in estranged people at home. Who could decline to follow a movement that leads to where the Children of Patrick shall know division no more?
It is not remarkable that Gaelicism counts for so much, that it is a cause summing up all there is of good in Ireland, and linking together so many seemingly unconnected movements. The co-operative work of Mr. George Russell; the economics, the historical vision, the vast schemes of National reconstruction which lie before us like an architect’s plans in the writings of Mr. Arthur Griffith; the researches of Professor MacNeill; the language and literary work of An Craoibhin; the world-changing teaching of Connolly; the tender love of the Irish Saints and fiery passion of Padraic Mac Piarais – these and many other labours that have called out of the Nation giants for their performance – all work to the same end from their distant beginnings. The reason for this unity is, that a true unit, Irish Nationality, has awakened them. There is really but one cause in the world, the cause of the weak truth against the strong lie. Lenin and Trotsky in Russia battling against lies and force; Labour struggling against its self-appointed tyrants; the Gaelic tongue striving against the foreign jargon; Ireland striving against England all are but phases of the single war that still rages undecided, though certain in its outcome the warfare of the Christian State against the Gates of Hell.