Recording the Manx: Éamon de Valera's visit to the Isle of Man in 1947

The visit of Éamon de Valera to the Isle of Man in 1947 was one of the most important events in the history of the Manx language.

This Manx Radio programme, produced and presented by Charles Guard, tells the story of the visit of the Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland and the subsequent steps that De Valera took to provide recording equipment and personnel to help local language speakers record the (then) last native speakers of the Manx language.

The programme features various interviews and new insights into this important event in Manx cultural history, including interviews with De Valera’s grandson, Eamon O Cuív, who provides interesting and hitherto unknown background to the visit. Charles Guard also talks to archivists in Dublin and gives a more rounded picture of the commitment that De Valera had to the Celtic languages. Finally he talks to those active in the language movement today a movement that has undergone a dramatic transformation in the last twenty-five years. At the centre of these interviews is Adrian Cain, the Manx Language Development Officer at Culture Vannin.

This programme was first broadcast on Manx Radio, Tynwald Day, 5 July 2017.