Chapter 9: The Great Congress of 1969

Congress members on steps of Dining Hall, Trinity College, Dublin

The Congress of that year was actually a joint congress of the British and Irish Esperanto Associations, and was the brainchild of two people, Jeremy Addis and Pat O’Reilly.  The congress was a brilliant success.  Nearly two hundred Esperantists participated from the following 13 countries:

England   136 Italy  1 N.Ireland 14
Czechoslovakia      4 Yugoslavia   1 Scotland 17
France      1 Wales  4 Switzerland   1
Hungary     1  Isle of Man  1 R. of Ireland 18
Netherlands      1        

Everything was well organised.  It was publicised at the World Esperanto Congress in Madrid the previous August, and also at the 52nd British Esperanto Congress in Manchester the previous Easter.  Every congress member in Manchester received an envelope with a printed

At Dublin Airport there was a notice in Esperanto and a special information point for Esperantists.  Every congress member received a map of Dublin, a beautiful 32-page congress book and “latest information”.

The Inauguration and Welcome Evening was held on Friday, 4th April. On Saturday, the 5th, were the specialist meetings, films in Esperanto, buffet and dance.  On the Sunday (6th) there were the Annual General Meeting of the British Esperanto Association, Ecumenical Service, lectures, art and entertainment evening, etc.  On Monday, 7th April, there were excursions.

At the Inauguration a proposal was accepted, that requested the official adoption of Esperanto as an international language.  Afterwards this proposal was sent to the Irish government, Messrs Addis and O’Reilly welcomed the participants on behalf of the Irish Esperanto Association, and Liam Ó Cuirc welcomed them on behalf of the island’s Irish speakers.

One of the participants in the Congress was Christopher Fettes, a young teacher at the College of St Columba, Rathfarnham, who later became Treasurer and, later still, President of the Irish Esperanto Association.

Chapter 10: A New Beginning

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