Hello there my friends! It's Aidan here.
Well the Irish Hedge Schools. It's a tale of wisdom, resilience, and the pursuit of knowledge in times long gone by. Sit yourself down with a cup of Barrys tea, and let me tell you a short history of the Irish Hedge Schools.
Back in the 1700's, nestled amidst the Emerald Irish countryside, Hedge Schools were educating young Irish students under thatched roof and thick hedgerows.
Here's myself in a Hedge school in wee Donegal! The teacher never showed up that day.
These Hedge Schools were illegal under law. They were under the watchful eye of the British authorities. Because back then in the 1700's, it was all British laws that ran Ireland and the Penal Laws at the time were aimed at snuffing out any Irish Catholic teachings and Gaelic culture. Catholic education was illegal!
An example of a Hedge school ran in a small shed in Roscommon
Yet, the Irish people, with their deep love for knowledge and resilience in their bones, stood strong. They protected these schools and their students. The fighting Irish never let it go.
Imagine, a simple cottage or old barn and within its walls, a gathering of eager Irish minds hungry for learning. They were secret sanctuaries of education.
Reconstruction of a Hedge school in Donegal.
Pupils would journey miles through wild landscapes, trudging over hills and wading through rivers, to reach the coveted Hedge Schools. To find freedom for their future, in Ireland or abroad.
Sláinte to our heroic teachers and their pupils, the fighting Irish.
Slán for now,