Profile: Emma Ní Chearúil

Emma Ní Chearúil

Emma Ní Chearúil is a graduate of Modern Irish at Maynooth University and currently working with Conradh na Gaeilge. We asked Emma to tell us about her experiences working with the Letters of 1916. (English version below)


Bhí an deis agam bheith páirteach le Litreacha 1916 théis dom agallamh a chur ar Emma Clarke agus Eoghan Ó Raghallaigh don chlár Fios Feasa ar Raidió na Life.  Thuig mé láithreach go raibh rud éicint tábhachtach, rud éicint speisialta, i mbun acu agus bhain mé an-sult as an taighde agus na litreacha acu go dtí sin a léamh.  Níos deireanaí, bhí deis agam ceann dá mbeochomhráite Twitter a stiúradh agus rinneamar plé ar laghad na litreacha Gaeilge a bhí aimsithe acu agus cúiseanna leis sin.

Tá rud éicint iontach pearsanta faoi litreacha.  Is breá liom an tionscnamh seo toisc go léiríonn sé an gné dhaonna den stair.  Seachas fíricí agus staitisticí nó leabhair staire, cuireann sé mothúcháin in iúl agus léiríonn sé scéalta agus meon na ndaoine ón am sin ar chaoi nach féidir léiriú ach le foinse phríomha ar nós litreacha ná cártaí poist. Chomh maith, toisc gur tionscnamh sluafhoinsithe é seo,  tá neart scéalta nach gcloistear cheana théis tíocht chun solais – scéalta a bheadh caillte i gcaitheamh ama, agus mar sin is cnuasach iontach luachmhar é seo.

Sílim go dtabharfaidh Litreacha 1916 tuiscint agus léargas suntasach dúinn ar scéalta agus saolta i stair na hÉireann agus na daoine a bhí baint acu le ná a bhí tionchar ag imeachtaí 1916 ar a saol.

courtesy of Conradh na Gaeilge
courtesy of Conradh na Gaeilge

I collaborated with Letters 1916 after interviewing Emma Clarke and Eoghan Ó Raghallaigh for Fios Feasa on Raidió na Life.  As soon as I came across the project I knew it was something important, something special, and I thoroughly enjoyed going through their website and the collection to date whilst researching it. I later hosted one of their live chat evenings on Twitter, in which we discussed the lack of letters sourced as Gaeilge and why that might be.  There is something very personal about letters; I love this project because it shows us the human side of history.  As opposed to facts, figures and history text books, it will showcase emotion, anticipation and insight that only primary sources like personal letters and postcards can hold. Because of the crowdsourced nature of the project too, there are likely many unheard stories that have come to light, which may have otherwise been lost over time, making this an invaluable collection.

I think Letters of 1916 will give us a really important insight into stories and lives from Irish history, it shows us the real people who were affected by, contributed to, or had a first hand understanding of the events that unfolded in Ireland in 1916.


Emma tweets as @gingeripod.

(originally posted on the Letters of 1916 tumblr)

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