Further to that photocopied letter of Art Bennett’s that Tom McKeown found among his papers – a story we published here last month.
It seems that Bennett did indeed write a History of Ireland: that he did, indeed, write it in Irish; but sadly it disappeared immediately without trace.
That is, until a full century after his death, when Father Raymond Murray chanced upon the manuscript and happened to recognise Art’s writing.
The bitter irony here is that the Gaelic League – committed to the revival of the Irish language and literature – was formed less than a decade after Bennett’s death. Such a recent and original work, from one widely acclaimed as the last of the
And underlined the essential continuity of the Irish language in everyday life.