Vintage American Cars. Good Golly Miss Molly!

Since I’ve gone the personal route today some more revelations. I love cars: fast cars and old cars (unfortunately the two don’t always go together – unless one earns considerably more money than I do). Combine that with photography and you have the perfect blog posting, as aptly illustrated over on CR Cooper Photography. Enjoy…     Related articles … Continue reading

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Some Classic Irish Language Book Covers

I love books, especially old books (much to the detriment of my bank account). I’ve managed to gather a wide and varied collection of my own, from 19th century Fenian memoirs to mid-20th century Sci-Fi pulps, and lately I’ve started looking around for more Irish language publications (particularly the various Seanchló editions). Happily one can often combine … Continue reading

We Are 42%

Another image borrowed from the Occupy movement with another Irish spin. More of the original images are available from and The 42% of course refers to the percentage of Irish people who described themselves as speaking fluent or partial Irish in the 2006 Census of Ireland. We are still awaiting the results from the most recent 2011 census. Related articles Bella, Joan And Me ( The … Continue reading

Tá An Réabhlóid Ag Teacht!

Inspired by the images emerging from the Occupy movement here are some more adaptations of my own, this time in the style of classic activist posters. I have two versions of the same graphic for you to check out with two messages.

Bella, Joan And Me

Last week I wrote a piece criticising some of the points made by the Scottish journalist and SNP politician Joan McAlpine in her article addressing the thorny issue of the SNP’s controversial anti-sectarian bill in Scotland. Joan had previously expressed views supporting the new legislation and (unsurprisingly) stirred up something of a hornets’ nest around her, coming … Continue reading

180 New IT Jobs Announced In Ireland. But Who Are They Going To?

Good news on the jobs front from RTÉ: “180 new jobs have been announced by Version 1, an IT consulting and outsourced managed services company. Most of the jobs will be in Dublin. The firm is hiring graduates and senior technology consultants with Microsoft, Oracle and Java qualifications. The jobs will be filled over the … Continue reading

The Contrasting Fortunes Of Gaelic Scotland And Gaelic Ireland

Scotland is to create its first Scottish-speaking museum, one primarily dedicated to its native language and culture. From Culture24: “The first museum in the UK to use Gaelic as its first language is to open on the Isle of Lewis. The Heritage Lottery Fund has announced that it is investing £4.6 million in a new museum … Continue reading

Cearta Teanga, Cearta Daonna – Draft Poster

There are some striking images emerging from the Occupy movements in the United States and Spain, particularly the comic and manga-inspired illustrations from Oakland, so I’d thought I’d experiment with some adaptations for the Irish-speaking community and our own struggle for equality. This is a simple first draft to see what people think, in a big old gif format. … Continue reading

Go Lassie Go, Getting It Wrong

The Scottish journalist and SNP politician Joan McAlpine is someone I have enormous respect for. She has worked tirelessly for the betterment of the Scottish people and nation, and she’s been a passionate advocate for the same brand of progressive nationalism that many  in Ireland also embrace. So it is bitterly disappointing to read her … Continue reading

When Policemen Want To Commemorate A Police State Its Time To Worry…

I’m really thinking of setting up a regular “Only In Ireland” series here at An Sionnach Fionn, just so I can take into account the madness, the sheer schizophrenic, self-hating insanity of the colonial mindset in Ireland. For only in Ireland could one come across a shameless rewriting of history of the type presented by … Continue reading

Basque And Catalan Nationalists The Real Victors In The Spanish General Election

With the results from the Spanish general election now in it seems that the opposition centre-right Partido Popular (PP) has achieved the substantial gains predicted by the polls, taking an overall majority in the Spanish parliament. The governing centre-left Partido Socialista Obrero Español (PSOE) of Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba has seen its vote drop dramatically as the Spanish … Continue reading

Mind Your Language, Please!

The right-wing British establishment newspaper, the Daily Telegraph, carries a typically dismissive article on the Liet International Song Contest, which was held last week. The competition is an opportunity for musical artists from the minority language communities of the European Union to compete with each other. Through the Liet International organisation, which stages the event, bands, singers, schools, sporting and social groups from across Europe meet … Continue reading

Sábháil Ár dTeanga

The outrage sparked by the Fine Gael-Labour government’s controversial decision to abolish the office of An Coimisinéir Teanga continues to grow. The Irish Times carries the latest news: “ACADEMICS, IRISH language organisations and former minister for the Gaeltacht Éamon Ó Cuív have criticised the decision to merge An Coimisinéir Teanga’s (the Irish Language Commissioner) office with … Continue reading

Agóid Tobstailce @ Dáil Éireann

Some photos of the student demonstration held outside Dáil Éireann yesterday evening, a couple of hours after the shock government announcement of the abolishment of the office of the Language Commissioner.          

We’re All Speaking German Now – Apparently

So who’s in charge? That’s the big question on everyone’s lips as the latest demonstration of the emasculation of Ireland’s nationhood plays out in the media. The revelation that members of the German parliament have been privy to Ireland’s upcoming budget has led to claims and counter-claims in abundance. It seems humiliation on an international stage is to become our national sack cloth and … Continue reading

Irish Rights Are Civil Rights!

Some more reactions to the announcement today by the Fine Gael-Labour coalition government that the office of An Coimisinéir Teanga, the Language Commissioner, is to be abolished, and along with it any pretence of equality between Irish and English speaking citizens in Ireland. From Julian de Spáinn, General Secretary of Conradh na Gaeilge: “This announcement from the Government … Continue reading

Second Class Citizens With Second Class Rights

Two weeks ago I predicted that the Fine Gael led coalition government would use a review of the Official Languages Act of 2003 to reverse a decade’s worth of progress on equal rights for Ireland’s Irish speaking communities. And, hey, guess what news was announced today? The Irish Times carries the story: “The decision to close the office of the Irish Language Commissioner has led … Continue reading

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

You thought things were bad? Think again. Things are really bad. Michael Taft cuts through the (admittedly half-hearted) government spin to present our economic situation as it really is: “If one were to look at the headline rate – GDP – you’d say, well, it’s not great in Ireland but we’re doing better than the Eurozone. However, when one looks below … Continue reading

Deutschland Über Europa

Ah, poor old Saor Éire. It was nice while it lasted. Ireland’s freedom and democracy? What’s that to the rulers of the “New Europe”. Instead we have technocrats and an autocracy where once we had votes and a system of representative government. And, it would seem, in the near future a new treaty series of amendments to the Lisbon Treaty dictated to us … Continue reading

The Book Smugglers. Ireland, Lithuania, And The Freedom Of Language

One of the most interesting, and thought-provoking, Irish language documentaries of recent years will be screened at a film festival in Estonia, reports IFTN: “Irish production companies Planet Korda Pictures and Vinegar Hill’s co-production with Lithuanian production company Era Films, ‘The Book Smugglers’, a documentary which was directed and written by Jeremiah Cullinane (Hitler’s Irish Movies, Dangerous … Continue reading

Scary Éire?

In the debate over the relative values of the Irish and English languages in contemporary Ireland one of the arguments being put forward by a small but powerful minority of anti-Irish zealots in the Anglophone community is that we should be learning another non-English language instead of Irish for “economic” reasons. The one picked from … Continue reading

Ireland – The Mentality Of A Slave

I’ve written before about the power of the Anglophone community in Ireland and no better case proves that point than the dispute over the naming of the small town of Daingean Uí Chúis in County Kerry. Situated in the Irish speaking area of Corca Dhuibhne in the south-west of Ireland in 2005 the town’s English name, … Continue reading

The British Separatist Minority In Ireland. Or How To Use Political Violence And Get Away With It

Jude Collins is one of my favourite Irish bloggers, an author and journalist with a seemingly indefatigable supply of opinions (where does he get the time?). With the Irish media establishment speaking with one voice on what was known in my youth as the “National Question”, he represents one of the few places where one can hear intelligent, well-argued counter-opinion (the … Continue reading

A “Sunningdale For Slow Learners”. From 1923

The Irish Election Literature blog carries a fascinating Sinn Féin general election manifesto from 1923, with an opening paragraph focusing on “Justice and Brotherhood”. What is worth noting is the pledge from SF for a regional government in the North of Ireland to accommodate the separatist British ethnic minority: “Sinn Féin will offer to North-East Ulster peace based on such a measure of local autonomy as is consistent … Continue reading

“It Would Be Better If I Didn’t Exist…” Special Needs Children In The Irish Education System

The Cedar Lounge Revolution carries a very personal article on the worsening situation for children with special needs, and their parents and carers, in our education system. “My 15-year-old son has autism, exacerbated by verbal dyspraxia, severe receptive language difficulty and an IQ of 69 – just inside the level that means he is officially intellectually disabled.  He cannot functionally read … Continue reading

Cúla Caint – The New TG4 App For Kids

In some related Irish language news The Journal carries a report on a new children’s application, Cúla Caint, from TG4: “… TG4 has launched its first Irish language app. Designed with kids in mind, the Cúla4 app provides more than 100 Irish language words so it is also ideal for those new to the language. As well … Continue reading

Oireachtas na Samhna

The Irish Times carries a very personal report celebrating the weekend’s Oireachtas na Samhna, the annual Irish language and culture festival, this year held in Cill Airne: “IT IS the time of Samhain and I am heading south to Killarney. Every year at this time I find myself on the road to somewhere. The reason – Oireachtas na Samhna. … Continue reading

There’s No Éire In Ireland!

Here comes trouble. Many months ago I predicted that Fine Gael in government, in line with its current anti-Irish stance, would do its best to gut the Official Languages Act of 2003. That’s pretty much the one piece of legislation in the whole of Irish state law that protects the rights of the nation’s Irish … Continue reading

Opposition To Irish – It’s A Tribal Thing

A few days I wrote ago about the judgement by a British court in the North of Ireland ruling that the northern department of education must provide a bus service for students based in rural areas attending the Irish-medium school Coláiste Feirste. This hopefully brought to an end a long-running dispute and furthered the rights of … Continue reading

A White Leaping Flame – Somhairle Mac Giolla Eoin

A new collection of the works of the great Scottish language poet Somhairle Mac Giolla Eoin (Sorley MacLean) has just been published as reported in the Stornoway Gazette:  “PUBLISHED to coincide with the 100th anniversary of his birth, and surely the definitive collection of his work, this Collected Poems of Sorley MacLean – ‘Caior Gheal … Continue reading

A Good Sign For The Future

  In more news on the growing acceptance and respect in Scotland for its native language, the Scotsman reports on the growth in Scottish language signage across the country:  “GAELIC is being used to promote firms even when most of the staff do not speak the language, a study has found.  A review of the … Continue reading

  • blog awards ireland Nominated: Best Politics Blog 2013, Best Personal Blog 2013, Best Blog Post 2013
  • blog awards ireland

    Nominated: Best News/Current Affairs/Political Blog 2014, Best Mobile Blog 2014, Best Blog Post 2014