My relative died in 1955. I see the phrase "a noted Gael" in the local newspaper write-up on him. The write-up is headed "Gael's Death". Could someone help me understand what that means?
He was a longstanding member of the local GAA club, on the committee etc. Is it related to that?
I see the phrase turn up in a Google search in other old obits and elsewhere, but I don't quite understand the significance.
In 1955, GAA almost certainly. Earlier on it would usually have meant Gaelic League.
It would have referred to the GAA but I think the GAA have hijacked the term, sure the Gaels of Ireland wouldn't even have played Gaelic football, maybe some form of ball game but nothing like Gaelic football is now. Joe Brolly is the one who always uses the term.
Would be associated with the GAA alright, but would also indicate attachment to Irish culture generally, in particular promotion of the Irish language. And including native literature, music and customs.