The Gaelic Revival, beginning in the late 1800s, represents the foundation for the modern struggle for Irish independence and the modern resurgence of interest in the Irish language. The remote, tiny village of Béal Átha’n Ghaorthaidh (Ballingeary) played a key role in this revival.
On 4th July 1904, Coláiste Múinteoireachta na Mumhan, the first Irish lan-guage teacher training college in Ireland opened in Béal Átha’n Ghaorthaidh to provide summer-school training courses. In the years following, many famous individuals from the modern history of Ireland spent time in the vil-lage, learning the language or supporting the Coláiste. These included Terence MacSwiney, Cathal Brugha, Liam de Róiste, Tomás MacCurtain, Richard Mulcahy, Thomas MacDonagh, Claude Chevasse, George Clancy and Patrick Pearse among others. Coláiste na Mumhan is still operating to-day, as one of the longest-running institutions in the country to offer an au-thentic language experience. The village of Béal Átha’n Ghaorthaidh re-mains at the heart of that experience, a special place at the heart of Gaeltacht Múscraí.
The building in which the original Coláiste Múinteoireachta na Mumhan was housed has survived to this day. Located in the heart of the village, be-side the church, this iconic building is now owned by Coiste Forbartha Béal Átha’n Ghaorthaidh CLG, a not-for-profit community organisation incorporated as a company limited by guarantee. This building offers a direct physical connection with the earliest days of the Gaelic Revival, a doorway to the past and a personal link to the famous names who passed through here.
Coiste Forbartha is currently in the process of developing Ireland's first "Museum of the Irish Language and Gaelic Revival" in this building. For more information visit www.ansugan.ie