Shrule native Dr. Pádraic Frehan recently published a book titled Education and Celtic Myth: National Self-Image and Schoolbooks in 20th Century Ireland. The book is published by Rodopi, a publishing house based in Amsterdam the Netherlands and New York USA and is available both in Paperback and in E-Book format. Pádraic has a long association with Amsterdam, having lived there for a number of years and also successfully conducting his doctoral research in the School of European Studies at the University of Amsterdam.
The book is not only relevant to those involved in academic research on Irish Studies but also to the general reader interested in the development of education in Ireland from the 18th century onwards and the impact it has had in the formation and development of the Irish nation.
Education and Celtic Myth
National Self-Image and Schoolbooks in 20th Century Ireland
Dr. Pádraic Frehan
Amsterdam/New York, NY 2012. 361 pp. (Studia Imagologica 20)
Paperback: ISBN: 978-90-420-3590-4 :: E-Book: ISBN: 978-94-012-0865-9 ::
Online info: http://www.rodopi.nl/senj.asp?BookId=IMAGOL+20
The book examines one aspect of the national self-image of Ireland as it was trans-generationally transmitted in the Irish National School environment through the medium of the Celtic mythology tales.
Celtic mythology embodied a unique Irishness without being contentious in the wider social and political spheres and the texts had the capability to impart a national self-image, a character and ideological model for the young generation to follow and exemplify, while concurrently act as a sanctuary in which a unique, neutral, Irish self-past and contemporary self-image could be connected to.
From 1922 onwards a state-run National School curriculum was set up to propagate a national ideal through the teaching of the Irish language, Irish history and a rekindled awareness of Ireland’s unique past. The mythology tales were employed to portray this unique past and their inclusion in the textbooks provided a platform for the policies of the inculcation of national pride, self-respect and self-image in the Irish nation, official government and Department policy following the Second National Programme Conference and Report in 1926.
The aim of this book is an imagological one focusing on what made these tales ideological. The study incorporates a triangular approach: contextual, intertextual and textual. It is at the point of intersection between 4 specialisms: the historical study of Irish nationalism; the history of culture and education in 20th century Ireland; imagology and corpus linguistics. The conclusions drawn are based upon factual, statistical information garnered from the analyses conducted on the corpus and utilise information that is concrete and not hypothetical. This volume is of interest for all those working in Irish school literature, Irish studies – especially cultural, intellectual and educational history of Ireland, imagology and European studies.