Remembering Tony Birtill

In 2021, Liverpool Irish Festival, the city and the island of Ireland lost a great Gaeilgoir (Irish language specialist).

Tony Birtill, a Festival Board member, Conradh Na Gaeilge teacher and Oideas Gael trail leader passed away on 21 Oct 2021. In his honour, partners have held tributes and memorials to him ever since.

This page, collects the tributes to share with friends and family and to remember a great a man, community member and friend. 


In 2023, Tony’s sister, Angela, gave a great speech about Tony as her brother and comrade. Use this link to download the PDF or this one to see the event details.

Greg Quiery, a longstanding friend of Tony’s, provided this memorial in 2022 (event details here) and The Guardian obituary in 2021. Tomás Ryan also reflected on his peer, Conradh Na Gaeilge colleague and friend, back in 2021.

Across partnerships, an ongoing legacy for Tony has been built at the Liverpool lrish Centre. This takes the form of a library and bursary, which can be read about in more detail here.


We were fortunate that, before his passing, we were able to record an interview with Tony. Documented for an event we held in March 2021, it celebrated the relaunch of his newly edited volume: Hidden Histories (event information here). The event recording can be seen below.

At the time of the recording, there was much being spoken about with regards The Irish Language Act. A (then) fellow Board member and pupil of Tony’s, Siubhán Macauley, presented an essay on the subject. Friends of Tony -and thosew interested in the Irish language- may still be interested in it.

A keen historian, Tony wrote many essays, and papers. One he produced for the Festival -on Noel Chavasse (of Liverpool’s Chavasse Park fame)- is still available to read.

Future of this page

As we continue to remember Tony, we’ll keep adding to this page, in honour of all that Tony built and stood for and as a celebration of his work, thought and passion. We remember him.