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The Church of Ireland (a member of the Anglican communion) undertook the first publication of Scripture in Irish.
The first Irish translation of the New Testament was begun by Nicholas Walsh, Bishop of Ossory, who worked on it until his murder in 1585.
The work was continued by John Kearny, his assistant, and Dr.
Nehemiah Donellan, Archbishop of Tuam, and it was finally completed by William Daniel (Uilliam Ó Domhnaill), Archbishop of Tuam in succession to Donellan. The work of translating the Old Testament was undertaken by William Bedel (1571–1642), Bishop of Kilmore, who completed his translation within the reign of Charles the First, however it was not published until 1680, in a revised version by Narcissus Marsh (1638–1713), Archbishop of Dublin.
The National Schools run by the Roman Catholic Church discouraged its use until about 1890.
This was because most economic opportunity for most Irish people arose at that time within the United States of America and the British Empire, which both used English.
William Bedell had undertaken a translation of the Book of Common Prayer in 1606.
In 1571, the first book in Irish to be printed in Ireland was a Protestant 'catechism', containing a guide to spelling and sounds in Irish. This was published in 1602-3 by the printer Francke.A combination of the introduction of a primary education system (the 'National Schools'), in which Irish was prohibited until 1871 and only English taught by order of the British government, and the Great Famine () which hit a disportionately high number of Irish speakers (who lived in the poorer areas heavily hit by famine deaths and emigration), translated into its rapid decline.Irish political leaders, such as Daniel O'Connell (), too were critical of the language, seeing it as 'backward', with English the language of the future.The number of speakers was also declining in this period with monoglot and bilingual speakers of Irish increasingly adopting only English: while Irish never died out, by the time of the Revival it was largely confined to the less Anglicised regions of the island, which were often also the more rural and remote areas.In the 20th and 21st centuries, Irish has continued to survive in Gaeltacht regions and among a minority in other regions.The tracts were edited and published by Osborn Bergin as a supplement to Ériu between 19.