From An Claidheamh Soluis, 20 August 1904
Whilst the significance of the Oireachtas as the outcome and expression of a great movement of national revival does not appear to be appreciated by the daily press of the Irish metropolis, it is coming to be appreciated by many newspapers further afield.
The London Daily Chronicle, for instance, had a special representative in Dublin for the Oireachtas. Some of the leading French papers commented on the celebration. At home in Ireland periodicals which have not hitherto been looked upon as even possible allies of the Gaelic League in spreading sound ideals of nationality have devoted a considerable amount of sympathetic criticism to the Oireachtas.
Amongst these the Society Pictorial has an article which, with some blunders and bizarreries, is on the whole more live and informing than the insipid ill-digested reports we were treated to during the week by the dailies. May we point out one misconception of our contemporaries?
It speaks of certain “rabid Leaguers” who “regard the spread of the language amongst those who have no knowledge of it, and its jealous retention by those who have it, as the be-all and the end-all of the vast organisation of the Gaelic League.” The preservation and extension of spoken Irish is officially the primary object of the League; but we suggest that if there be Gaelic leaguers, “rabid” or otherwise, who regard the speaking of Irish as the be-all and the end-all of the movement, they have yet to grasp the movement’s inner meaning; for our final goal is Irish Nationality, and we value the language not solely or even mainly for anything that it is in itself, but chiefly because it is an essential of Irish Nationality.
It is well that this should be clearly understood both within and without the League. As we put it a few weeks ago, the speaking of Irish is not an end but a means to an end: the end is Nationality.