A Year Of The French

There is an interesting series of articles, in French, on the status of the Irish language in the North of Ireland over on the Couleurs irlandaises blog. The author looks at several aspects of the “culture wars” in the north-east of the country beginning with the post “Le gaélique: patrimoine fédérateur ou marqueur communautaire?”, followed by “Bûches … Continue reading

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A Trail Of Tears – Native American History Resonates For An Irish Audience

One of the leading online publications for news on the indigenous communities of the United Sates and Canada is the thirty-year old Indian Country Today. With its wide and varied reporting on all aspects of Native American life, culture and politics it has provided a real insight into how the aboriginal peoples of North America view themselves and has always … Continue reading

Rising Boats, Trickle Down Economics And The Politics Of Regression

Another entry for my “Only In Ireland” series, this time thanks to Fine Gael’s Brian Hayes TD, with an entirely delusional piece given pride of place in the equally delusional FG Sunday Independent under the headline of the year, “A rising tide will lift all our boats!”: “In 1959, on taking power at a bleak time in Irish history, Fianna … Continue reading

Aboriginal Sensitivities

In May 2011 the New Democratic Party (NDP), the perennial also-rans of Canadian politics, shocked the body politic and much of the Commentariat in Canada by scoring its highest ever vote at a federal election. In the traditionally separatist province of Québec it all but demolished the establishment nationalist party of the Bloc Québécois (BQ) sparking … Continue reading

État de Louisiane – French America

English, English, English! The language of modernity. The language of technology, the media and business (always business). The language of the “West”. Yet, even in the heart of the “West” the English language is not the only spoken tongue or the sole definer of identity. From the southern US state of Louisiana (or La Louisiane) comes an … Continue reading

Lá An Dreoilín Shona Duit!

May I wish all my readers a happy Lá an Dreoilín. Enjoy the hunting ;-)

Playing Fantasy Troubles

A lot of articles, books, documentaries and news pieces have been produced over the last two decades exploring the origins of the Peace Process in the North of Ireland, and none more so than in the murky world of Britain’s Dirty War. It has become de rigueur in certain British nationalist circles (and amongst their sympathisers) to … Continue reading

Irish Books For Irish Children – A Success Story

The Irish publishing industry has always struggled against the domination of the book market here by overseas English-language publishers, particularly those from Britain. The effective “dumping” of British titles on Irish bookshelves has left little room for native publishing houses and writers to flourish and this has only gotten worse with the steady decline in … Continue reading

An Anti-Irish Free State?

I’ve written several pieces here about the shock and dismay felt by many Irish-speaking citizens across Ireland at the decision by the current Fine Gael-Labour coalition government to abolish the office of An Coimisinéir Teanga or the Language Commissioner; a decision justified as a necessary requirement of the hack and burn austerity measures dictated by the IMF-ECB. However … Continue reading

Searglighe an tSionnaigh Fionn

Apologies to everyone who has been emailing, tweeting or commenting over the last few days but (to borrow a description used of the late Jeffrey Bernard) An Sionnach Fionn has been unwell. Unfortunately it wasn’t the festive level of “unwellness” achieved by the legendary Fleet Street journo turned bonhomie but a rather more prosaic bout of … Continue reading

Dáithí Ó hÓgáin – Ar Dheis Dé Go Raibh A Anam

A brief post to mark the passing of Professor Dáithí Ó hÓgáin, a man who brought academic rigour to the popular promotion of Early Irish Literature, Mythology and Folklore. From the Irish Times: “The funeral takes place today of folklorist and UCD emeritus professor Dáithí Ó hÓgáin. Prof Ó hÓgáin, originally from Bruff, Co Limerick, but living in Bray, Co Wicklow, was a professor … Continue reading

The SNP – Going For A Proportional Measure Of Freedom?

A new poll, reported in the Scotsman newspaper, shows an increase in the support for independence amongst voters, with the majority plumping for “devo-max”: “The survey suggests 38% of people would vote to take Scotland out of the UK which is up three points from a poll in August. A total of 57% of respondents were against … Continue reading

Colonially Speaking

While in my earlier post it was good to see positive news for Ireland’s Irish-speaking population, it’s depressing to be reminded yet again of the same old bigotry and discrimination that is so prevalent elsewhere. Last week I reported on the hostile reaction of politicians from the British minority in the north-east of Ireland to … Continue reading

An Irish Slam!

Nice report from the Derry Journal on the recent All-Ireland Poetry Slam competition held in the Maiden City and its winner, Irish poet Séamas Barra Ó Suilleabháin. The only thing that mires the article is the apparent inability to record the champion’s name correctly: Seamus Barra O’ Suilleabhain is not Séamas Barra Ó Suilleabháin. “A captivating poet performing only … Continue reading

Taking Back “Our Territory”

Following on from yesterday’s piece on Québec and Canada, some potentially important developments for the indigenous peoples of La belle provence, as reported by the National Post: “A group of Algonquins in West Quebec is preparing to launch what could be the largest land claim in Canada’s history — for a swath of territory covering … Continue reading

The SNP And The EU – We Have The UK Surrounded

Just a quick post to note the latest – unprecedented – polling numbers for the SNP, reported in the Herald Scotland over the weekend: “SUPPORT for the SNP has risen to an all-time high and Alex Salmond’s popularity has increased, while Labour’s decline in Scotland has continued, according to the latest survey. An Ipsos MORI poll shows … Continue reading

The Québécois Demand Their Rights, While The Gaeilgeoirí Plead For Theirs

Some interesting news on the revived language debate in Québec. With Francophone nationalism at a House of Commons level suffering something of an electoral meltdown in the recent Canadian general election the focus amongst some Québécois activists has shifted to the French language itself. Even the nominally federalist NDP, an all-Canada party with its strongest (if possibly temporary) support in Québec, has found itself dragged … Continue reading

Irish Republican Army – The History Of A Name

While many decry the growth of the internet for its allegedly deleterious effects on the absorption of information by the human mind, as well as the decline of the reign of the printed word, I tend to view such claims with scepticism. The world wide web, like any technology, is what you make of it. … Continue reading

His Master’s Voice

Ah, elitism, ‘tis the bane of Irish society. Ever since the days of the Liberator there have always been those who thought they were the natural masters of the Irish people. No, not the nasty ol’ Brits but rather those who did well under the Brits, thank you very much. That’s the same ones who … Continue reading

Freedom To Talk

If the message hasn’t been driven home that the Irish language and those who speak it are at the top of the Fine Gael-Labour government’s list of targets, then the latest news from the Irish Times will surely leave no doubt: “National cultural institutions, such as museums and parks, could be forced to close or restrict access … Continue reading

Fighting The Peace

Outreach? What outreach?! Looking on at the hostility of many in the British separatist minority as they react to the half-hearted overtures by the Joint First Minister Peter Robinson to northern “Roman Catholic voters” one is struck yet again by the fact that many who regard themselves as “British in Ireland” will never come to terms with … Continue reading

The Politics Of Distraction

Here is another entry for my occasional “Only In Ireland” series. Following on from the slow drip of revelations that the same old cronyism is continuing for those privileged elites who make up the same old Golden Circle (FG-Lab model mark VII), some more news, via The Journal: “ENDA KENNY HAS defended the appointment of his … Continue reading

Fight The Power!

From Galltacht, the Hidden Ireland blog, Eoin Ó Riain brings the latest news on the campaign to defend the office of the Language Commissioner, An Coimisinéir Teanga, from the government program to roll back Irish civil rights legislation. “The rain was coming down in sheets last Friday in Galway city. The Pillo Hotel was the venue for a meeting called to … Continue reading

What’s All This Shouting? We’ll Have No Trouble Here!

Following on from the DUP leader Peter Robinson’s “outreach” to “Catholic voters” in the North of Ireland (by which he means, one presumes, British Catholic voters in the North of Ireland), another dose of reality, via UTV: “Crowds gathered outside as the council met to further discuss the row that was sparked when Sinn Féin’s Niall Ó Donnghaile … Continue reading

Scotland Calling

Despite the intensity of the British establishment’s campaign against the proposed independence referendum in Scotland, with it’s focus on First Minster Alex Salmond in particular, the numbers are slowly slipping away for the British Unionist cause. According to the Scotsman newspaper: “SUPPORT for Scottish independence has risen to its highest level for six years, with almost a … Continue reading

#AnGhaeilge

  Some more fun with Occupy images, this time from here, with Sábháil Ár dTeanga and #AnGhaeilge theme.

Abair Leat!

A new online Irish language social network, Abair Leat!, is to be launched (actually relaunched) in 2012 and is currently going through its beta testing. According to Silicon Republic: “The world’s first social network exclusively dedicated to the Irish language – Abair Leat! – is to launch in the new year. Its creators are busy testing it and … Continue reading

British Minority To Irish Majority: Your Language Is Foreign Gobbledegook

Last week the DUP leader and Joint First Minister Peter Robinson made an “outreach” at his party conference to Roman Catholic voters in the North of Ireland (or rather British Unionist voters who also happen to be Roman Catholic) with lots of feel-good stuff about acceptance, sharing, equality and suchlike. At the same time murmurs emanated from … Continue reading

Special Educational Needs And Gaelscoileanna

It is widely recognised that some of the best educational services in Ireland for children with Special Needs is through Irish-medium schools. The smaller, more pupil-and-family orientated nature of Gaelscoileanna has benefited many children with special educational requirements, something the Northern education minister, John O’Dowd, has acknowledged: “Partnership across all sectors is the key to meeting the needs of all … 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