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… Read More Scotland Moves Forward – While Ireland Goes Into Reverse

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.… Read More The Banality Of Discrimination

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… Read More Éamon Ó Cuív – Republican Dissident?

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… Read More People Not Pots?

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… Read More Words Of Wisdom

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

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… Read More Québec Independence – Only A Matter Of Time?

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… Read More More Cloak And Dagger Shenanigans In Fantasy Troubles

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… Read More David Starkey And The Dark Side Of English Nationalism

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… Read More Estonia – Defending What Anglo-Ireland Won’t

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… Read More Wales, Scotland And Manifestations Of Greater England

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

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… Read More John Redmond And The Blood Sacrifice – For The British Empire

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.… Read More A Pluralist Ireland? Does That Include The 1.7 Million Irish-Speakers?

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

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… Read More The Myths Of Easter 1916 – And The Truth

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… Read More The Empire Strike Back!