Presbyterians and the Irish Language, originally published in 1996, is the first to establish the rightful place of the Irish language in the Presbyterian heritage in Ireland. It traces the Presbyterian Irish-speaking tradition from its early roots in Gaelic Scotland through the Plantation and Williamite War periods to its successive revivals in the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
There are biographies of influential Irish-speaking Presbyterians, clerical and lay, whose love of the language helped to ensure its survival. The author contends that the origins of the Gaelic League are as likely to be found in Presbyterian Belfast as in Catholic Dublin. At a time when the Irish language was losing ground to a combination of forces, it was Presbyterians who were to the fore in saving valuable manuscripts, in teaching through the language and in publishing works in Irish. The result is an absorbing account of an integral but little-known strand in the fabric of Presbyterianism. It adds significantly to the mutual understanding between the main traditions on our island and provides evidence for the view that we share more than divides us.