Chapter 11: Events 1990 – 1994
1990: The Irish Futures Society and our Esperanto Association of Ireland jointly arranged an Esperanto conference on 20th April in Trinity College, Dublin. It was very interesting and very well organised, but the number attending was disappointing. Garbhan Mac Aoidh spoke about Esperanto to Rotary International in Tullamore, and our Tullamore club took part in the parade on St Patrick’s Day. Christopher Fettes attended the 50th Spanish Esperanto Congress in Catalonia. On Saturday 13th October some of our members held a street demonstration in Molesworth Street in front of the Dublin Office of the European Union. An Esperanto Exhibition was held in the Central Library, Dublin, and classes were held in the Parnell Vocational School, Parnell Square. Twenty-eight articles appeared in periodicals and newspapers.
1991: The Association took part in four sections of the Festival of Languages in the City Hall, Dublin, and our members showed their almost professional acting talents. (Incidentally, the organisers were amazed when our group was the only one that prepared its improvised sketch in the language that they were to put on show, whilst all the other groups did their preparations in English!)
Maire Mullarney, Christopher Fettes and Liam Ó Cuirc attended the 76th World Esperanto Congress in Bergin, Norway. Christopher again organised the Children’s Congress. The educational journal Authentik published long articles about Esperanto provided by Maire Mullarney. There was a meeting between the Committee of EAI and Mr Harkin, of the International Section of the Department of Education about the work of UNESCO, UNESCO-clubs, and their relation to Esperanto. At this time the Cafe Club moved to Galligan’s Cafe, 27 Westmoreland Street. In all 20 articles about Esperanto were published.
1992: There was the first planting of a Peace Tree on Christopher Fettes’s farm. There was a conference between our Association and the Irish Government about the possible use of Esperanto in the preparatory work for Economic Development of the Shannon Estuary. Maire Mullarney spoke at the Irish Association for Applied Linguistics about “Gender in a Planned Language”. In Gluais there was a good article about Breandán O Mearáin and his plan to publish “multilingual Irish dictionaries” that would use Esperanto as a bridging language. Also two others of our members worked upon an Esperanto/Irish: Irish/Esperanto dictionary. Dr Seán Ó Riain of the Department of Foreign Affairs published an excellent article about Dr Hyde and Dr Zamenhof.
1993: Maire Mullarney and Máire & Garbhan Mac Aoidh attended the 78th World Esperanto Congress in Valencia, Spain. Christopher Fettes helped to arrange the 28th Children’s Congress in the same country. The Esperanto
Group in Tullamore donated a box of Irish-language children’s books to the new local Irish-language school.
For the first time an Esperantist, Trevor Sargent, was elected to the Irish Parliament. The Green Party supportively mentioned Esperanto in its election manifesto. Somhairle Mac Aoidh now works at Esperantotur, Poland, and plans to lead a group from Poland to Ireland in 1994.
During the period 1970 – 1994 we have organised an Annual General Meeting every year; arranged classes; maintained a free correspondence course; published an excellent periodical; helped the Esperanto movement in Africa; met visiting Esperantists from abroad etc. The Dublin Café Club has met every week but in various places. It is led at present by Lorcán Mac Meanmain and Filip Ó Fathaigh.
This is the end of the beginning of our history. About the future I shall say only, in the two-word slogan of Zamenhof – Obstine antaŭen! [Obstinately forward – KK].