Scotland Moves Forward – While Ireland Goes Into Reverse

In Ireland a significant number of government departments and other public bodies, along with many public officials, have spent much of the last decade actively opposing the nation’s Official Languages Act of 2003, a piece of legislation introduced eighty years after independence with the objective of ensuring some form of limited equality for Irish-speaking citizens … Continue reading

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The Banality Of Discrimination

The most notable thing about discrimination, whether towards a race or an ethnicity, is the utter, petty banality of it all. In Ireland Irish-speakers experience this on a regular basis (not to mention the institutionalised bigotry rife throughout much of the Irish state) but we’re not the only Gaels forced to deal with it. In Scotland Scottish-speakers face many of the same challenges in their daily lives. … Continue reading

Éamon Ó Cuív – Republican Dissident?

Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin in government together? Something surely to send the Seoníní elite at the Irish and Sunday Independent newspapers into a bug-eyed frenzy of outrage and opposition to a new “Pan-Republican Front”. Yet here is Éamon Ó Cuív in the Oirish Mail on Sunday: “Éamon Ó Cuív has called for Fianna Fáil to consider coalition with Sinn Féin in … Continue reading

People Not Pots?

For all you hardcore historian-types out there an interesting article from Discover Magazine on the “pots-not-people” paradigm that dominated archaeological studies from the 1970s onward but now seems to be changing as our knowledge of DNA characteristics in ancient population groups, etc. grows. “With the recent publication of the paper on the archaeogenetics of Neolithic Sweden I feel like we’re nearing a precipice. That precipice overlooks … Continue reading

Words Of Wisdom

Just a quick post to note and recommend the wonderful, informative and always entertaining Irish Blog at Transparent Language. Its idiosyncratic nature is its joy. There are more Irish language online resources here and here. If you like languages (and just plain wisdom) then also have a look at the Omniglot Blog, which is part of the Omniglot website. Related articles Institutional … Continue reading

Institutional Discrimination In The Irish State – The Culture Of An “Anglophone Stormont”

If you’ve been wondering just exactly why the Fine Gael – Labour coalition government seems so utterly determined to scrap the office of An Coimisinéir Teanga or the Language Commissioner, despite a torrent of criticism and opposition both at home and abroad, read on. Seán Ó Cuirreáin has released his 2011 Annual Report on the adherence to the regulations governing the Official Languages Act of 2003 … Continue reading

Québec Independence – Only A Matter Of Time?

Two fascinating reports today on the independence movements in Québec and Scotland and the effect both are having on each other. The first article is from The National Post: “Former Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff says Quebec “eventually” will become an independent country and that a victory for Scottish separatists in an expected 2014 referendum will launch a new effort by … Continue reading

Native Americans – Trapped In The USA

Unexpected but welcome news in the Guardian as a United Nations (UN) committee is about to carry out an investigation into the treatment of the citizens of the Native American nations within the United States of America. “The human rights inquiry led by James Anaya, the UN special rapporteur on indigenous peoples, is scheduled to begin on … Continue reading

More Cloak And Dagger Shenanigans In Fantasy Troubles

And so it rumbles on, the latest chapter in the tale of Britain’s super-superspy and double-agent extraordinaire Freddie “Stakeknife” Scappaticci, with the audio recordings of calls between Ian Hurst (the nom de guerre of Martin Ingram, an alleged former British military Intelligence agent) and Sir John Wilsey (former General Officer Commanding the British Army in the Occupied North of Ireland during the early 1990s). Not much … Continue reading

David Starkey And The Dark Side Of English Nationalism

Well, we’ve seen the SNP leader and Scotland’s First Minster, Alex Salmond, compared to the dictator Robert Mugabe by the “respected” BBC journalist Jeremy Paxman (recent convert to the cause of the Apologia Pax Britannica), so should it come as any surprise that he is now being compared to the dictator “Adolf Hilter”? This latest … Continue reading

From Boycott To Frankfurt, Only Our Rivers Run Free

“When apples still grow in November When Blossoms still bloom from each tree When leaves are still green in December It’s then that our land will be free I wander her hills and her valleys And still through my sorrow I see A land that has never known freedom And only her rivers run free” … Continue reading

Estonia – Defending What Anglo-Ireland Won’t

I’ve drawn attention to the Baltic nations of Eastern Europe before and how they have successfully mounted a defence of their respective languages and cultures over the last century and more despite the proximity of far greater and more influential neighbours: and contrasted this with Ireland’s abysmal record over the last one hundred years. Now the Guardian examines Estonia and its emergence as a new … Continue reading

Wales, Scotland And Manifestations Of Greater England

Wales Online is reporting on what some critics are claiming was an attempt by a local branch of the British Labour Party in Cardiff to stir up “ethnic” tensions between Welsh-speaking and English-speaking residents in the city in the run-up to local government elections in Wales. “Labour has pulped 5,000 copies of a Cardiff council election … Continue reading

The United States And The Native American Nations – Progressing Towards True Equality

Some welcome news for dozens of Native American nations as the US government has announced that it is to pay more than 1 billion dollars (around 760 million euros) in settlements to end a series of long-running legal battles with a number of indigenous peoples in the United States. From a report by the Indian Country Today Media Network : “The Obama administration announced April 11 its … Continue reading

Speak English! Or Else…

On Tuesday I discussed the slow but steady linguistic change currently taking place in Wales, with increasing numbers of Welsh people returning to their native language, largely due to a positive political environment in which equality legislation and clearly defined language policies have shaped the cultural landscape of the nation. Over the last two decades … Continue reading

John Redmond And The Blood Sacrifice – For The British Empire

Moronic statement of the week? Step forward the Irish Times and this piece from today’s newspaper: “The introduction of the Third Home Rule Bill by Liberal Party prime minister Herbert Asquith on this day 100 years ago, in exchange for Irish nationalist support for the 1911 Parliament Act’s curtailing of the House of Lords’ powers, was for … Continue reading

A Pluralist Ireland? Does That Include The 1.7 Million Irish-Speakers?

A new report on the administration of primary schools in Ireland and the teaching of religious studies has been published by the Forum on Patronage and Pluralism in the Primary Sector, a state advisory group on education. Among its recommendations is the recognition of the high demand for teaching through the Irish language, both in dedicated schools and within the broader educational system. … Continue reading

If It’s Good Enough For The Welsh, Why Is It Not Good Enough For The Irish?

In Ireland, after eight centuries of foreign colonial rule and despite nearly a century of independence, some of the population have been so thoroughly anglicised in their language, culture and thinking that an Anglophone minority continue to believe that it is their absolute right to hold undisputed sway over this country. This small but militant … Continue reading

The Myths Of Easter 1916 – And The Truth

Introduction The annual commemoration of Éirí Amach na Cásca or the Easter Rising is upon us yet again. Some ninety-six years ago on Easter Monday, 1916, members of several Irish Republican organisations came together to unite in a general insurrection against British rule across the island of Ireland. Orchestrated by the secret revolutionary movement of Bráithreachas Phoblacht na hÉireann or the Irish Republican Brotherhood (popularly known as Na Fíníní or the Fenians) the … Continue reading

In Europe No One Can Hear You Scream…

Great article over on the Cedar Lounge Revolution on the autocratic instincts of the European Union elites now being played out in Greece: “One has to wonder at the logic of an EU approach which argues for austerity as a path to growth. But one has to wonder further at an EU approach which seems to … Continue reading

The Empire Strike Back!

The results from the 2011 Census of Ireland published last week revealed continued growth in the Irish-speaking communities of the nation and the raised social standing and acceptance of our indigenous language and culture. 1,777,437 million people or 41.4% of the population stated in the census that they were able to speak Irish, an increase of 7.1% since the 2006 results. Of that number 801,063 … Continue reading

Brittany And Europe’s “Rogue State” – France

France prides itself on being a nation that embodies the principles of democracy and freedom with a republic born through bloody, revolutionary struggle (and not once but several times). It is part and parcel of its collective image of itself; and one that it tries to project to the world. In the minds of many … Continue reading

Colum Kenny, The Irish Independent And Some Media Spin

Colum Kenny is a regular columnist for the Oirish Independent newspaper, popular amongst right-wing types and other motley conservatives. Here’s his bio from Dublin City University (DCU): “Professor Colum Kenny, B.C.L., Barrister-at-Law, Ph.D, School of Communications. Areas of special interest include broadcasting, journalism, media, culture and society. He is the author of, among other titles, The Power of Silence: Silent Communication in Daily Life … 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