An Amazing Map of Europe the Irish Language from the late 1920's..

An Amazing Map of Europe the Irish Language from the late 1920's..

This is  very rare Irish-language school map of Europe which stretches out to the Causcusus, down to Persia and back across the Middle East North Africa is just one of two known to have survived,  dating back to the late 1920's or early 1930's at the latest. The cartographer was ‘An Seabhac’ , a pen name for Pádraig Ó Siochfhradha. This political map of Europe was printed by G.W Bacon & Co. Ltd. in London and used by Comhlucht Oideachais na hÉireann as a learning tool for classrooms across the country during the inter-war period.

I've produced a short 3 minture video showing the original and our reproduction which you can watch by clicking on this link:

 The map, on a scale of 1 inch to 68 miles, gives scale in both miles and kilometres, providing scale-to-size guides as well as a map key outlining the following: main railroads / networks, steamboat routes, undersea cables, capital & major cities and river lengths. The ornamental clocks show what time of day it is at the longtitudinal lines when it is midday at Greenwich. At the time of print, the population of Europe and Russia combined was 550,000,000 but stands at 889,800,000 today. This unique map allows us to consider political Europe after WWI, yet before the colossal upheaval evoked by WWII, the Cold War and the fall of the USSR, and post colonial developments in the Middle East. It affords us a moment in time, as well as the intriguing linguistic insight into pre-standardised Irish.

There are a multitude of notable political and linguistic aspects to this map that indicate the period in which it was crafted and will provide many talking points:

Éire is not recognised as being partitioned. Partition occurred in 1921, however due to the overall portrayal of Europe in this map we can ascertain that those involved did not recognise the border between Northern Ireland and the Free State.

An tSec-Shlobhaic [an tSeicslóvaic],Czechoslavakia, created in 1918, appears in Central Europe. The same territory is now made up of Czech Republic and Slovakia.

An Úcráin (Ukraine) is clearly shown, albeit as part of the former USSR.

An Iúg-Shlaibh [an Iúgslaiv], Yugoslavia, also formed in 1918, appears in the same region now made up of Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Macedonia.

An Phailistín (Palestine) is clearly shown where the state of Israel has largely sinced replaced it, while modern Lebanon does not exist, being part of An tSiria (Syria).


This map is a remarkable and beautiful work by ‘An Seabhac’ , which was collected by Martin Walton, and been lovingly restored to its former glory by his grandson to reproduce the political geography of the age through Irish. It is an exact replica of the original wall hanging and printed on high quality canvas with black wooden mounting supports which replicate the exact way it would have been hung in classrooms around Ireland. For more visit


Back to blog