New Irish Language Development Officer for Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise

Tuesday January 24th 2023

Dr Rita Kelly.

Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise (Irish Guild of the Church of Ireland) has appointed Dr Rita Kelly as Irish Language Development Officer for the Cumann. 

Rita is a well-established poet and writer in both Irish and English. For five decades, she has been involved in many Irish language developments and activities, both culturally and literary. 

Rita is a native of Galway and is associated with East Galway in particular, but has lived in many different places, including Germany, Manhattan, Waterford and along the River Barrow near Carlow.

She now lives in Birr, Co Offaly, an ideal location for travelling to all corners of the country – in this position of Development Officer, she will be working with the Church of Ireland community of the entire country, North and South, to promote the use of Irish.

Rita is very active in her own Birr Group of Parishes.  In 2022 she was commissioned as a Lay/Parish Reader, and she is a member of the Birr Parish Select Vestry. 

“This new position allows me to bring people together, to connect people to each other, people who speak wonderful Irish, people who are members of the Church of Ireland since childhood but don’t often get the opportunity to use it or the opportunity to worship in Irish,” Rita said.

Rita joins with the Cumann Gaelach in acknowledging the great work done by her predecessor, Caroline Nolan, who was first appointed in 2011.

The Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise was founded in 1914 with the following aims:

  1. Promote the spirit and the mentality of the ancient Celtic Church and to unite all those within the Church who value that aspect of their heritage.
  2. Promote the use of Irish within the Church.
  3. Collect from Irish sources, hymns and suitable devotional literature.
  4. Encourage the use of Irish art and music within the Church.

The Cumann organizes and supports regular Church Services, in different places, from time to time, throughout the country – eg for St Brigid’s Day, St Patrick’s Day, certain feasts and festivals.  The Cumann supports Services in Irish in Christ Church Cathedral, in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork, Christ Church Cathedral Waterford.  Now, after the pandemic, the Cumann hopes to give the same support to parishes throughout the country in the provision of Services through Irish.

This position of Development Officer is funded by Foras na Gaeilge. Rita hopes that people will contact her to seek whatever help she/The Cumann can provide to support them in the promotion of the use of Irish within the Church of Ireland community.

Contact Rita at  or on 00383 (0) 87 6728974.


Back to latest news

Site Directory