Ray is a former President of Oireachtas na Gaeilge. He is a teacher, writer and musician whose published works include biography and children's poetry and stories. He has written several plays for children and adults, some of which were commissioned by An Taibhdhearc, the national Irish language theatre in Galway. He and his colleague Joe Ó Dónaill are well known exponents of the Lúibín - the traditional Gaelic satirical two-hander which is sung in verse. Oireachtas na Gaeilge honoured them with a lifetime achievement award for their contribution to the preservation and promotion of this ancient Gaelic art form. Ray was for many years Principal of an all-Irish school in Dublin. He currently lectures in the Irish language Deptartment of the Marino Institute of Education, an associated college of the University of Dublin, Trinity College.
Hedge School Presentation: Traditional Irish Arts: Oireachtas na Gaeilge, 120 years of Culture and Fun
The Oireachtas na Gaeilge is an Irish language and cultural organisation which was founded in 1896. Many of the leaders of the 1916 Rising were active in it. Pádraig Pearse was national secretary for many years. It is stronger now than it has ever been in its 122 year history and the annual gathering regularly attracts up to 10,000 Gaelic speakers, most of them young people, during the first week in November every year.
The Oireachtas, more than any other organisation, has been responsible for nurturing and promoting the sean-nós (old style) dancing and singing, which is enjoying a worldwide revival at the moment.