A New Look For An Sionnach Fionn

An Idirlíon

You may have noticed a few changes in the layout of An Sionnach Fionn today though hopefully they are not too dramatic. Why the changes? Simply a case of trying to meet reader demands. Since the start of the year the number of visitors to ASF has shot up with around 30% of those coming … Continue reading

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Reynard the Fox

Nice to hear that An Sionnach Fionn has been nominated for three separate categories in the Blog Awards Ireland 2014 (the same number as last year, so I must be doing something right!). The categories are “Best Political/Current Affairs/News”, “Best Mobile Compatible” and “Best Blog Post” (for the article “Chief Superintendent Harry Breen, What You … Continue reading

ASF Via Surface 2 Pro

The beautiful writing of Dubhghlas de hÍde in traditional Irish script

So I’ve made the switch from a super-heavy Qosmio x500 laptop to a Surface Pro 2 with attached Type Cover for writing my blog posts (and a lot more). It’s a helluva change. At the moment I’m spending more time hitting the backspace key than any other while typing and using Win8 in tablet form (as opposed to laptop or PC) is, to … Continue reading

The Cló Gaelach Or Irish Typefaces


Following on from the popularity of a recent post examining some online sources for Irish literary studies I thought a few of you might be interested by information on the Cló Gaelach (literally “Irish Type”), the family of typefaces formerly used in Ireland for Irish language texts. They originated in the 16th century with the creation of … Continue reading

.éire Versus .ie

The people of Wales now have two national domain names to register their websites with, “.cymru“ and “.wales”, reflecting their nation’s bilingual status. Of course in Ireland we still persist with the “.ie” domain, usually using the “/ga” extension to direct users to the Irish language pages of any particular website (.ie. = “ireland” not … Continue reading


  On the list of occasional workplace chores that HR departments and managerial teams feel the need to inflict upon their employees surely the two worse offenders are the team-building day (an oxymoron if ever there was one) and those buy-in training courses that confine you to an anodyne hotel conference room with people you probably … Continue reading

The Logainm Relaunch

A quick (if late) post on the Placenames Database of Ireland or Logainm, a comprehensive topographical index of our island nation that became something of a surprise internet hit upon its official launch in 2013, and which has now been given a major overall by Fiontar, the Irish language studies and research unit of Dublin City University. … Continue reading

Some Basque Lessons

This article on the resilience of the indigenous language of the historic Basque nation in north-eastern Spain and neighbouring France is filled with the sort of optimism that one rarely hears in relation to the Irish language. From The Blue Review, a publication of Boise State University in the United States: “Steve Mendive is a history/government … Continue reading

Ireland And Scotland, Our Democracies, Our Voices

The recent polls in Ireland and Scotland make for interesting reading in the run-up to the European and local elections (though only the former contest is being held in our fellow Gaelic neighbour). While the percentages for Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are within a whisper of each other both parties are expected to do … Continue reading

Ireland Spends More Money On Non-Irish Translations

In case you missed it (because you know the newspapers aren’t going to report this one), from RTÉ: “New figures show that Government departments spent more than €1m on translation costs last year. However, less than half of this was spent on translating documents into the Irish language. The figures show that the Department of … Continue reading

Atmo-Craft, Colin Wilson

During a quick discussion over on CLR in relation to Joss Whedon’s short-lived Sci-Fi series “Firefly” I was reminded of the New Zealand comics’ artist Colin Wilson and the incredibly realistic hardware illustrations he produced in the early 1980s for “Rogue Trooper”, 2000AD’s future war series. Some of the best – and most convincing – designs … Continue reading

Irish TV And Cinema? Some Hope

I was going through my collection of Blu-ray and DVD movies and box-sets over the weekend, not to mention several hundred hours of digital content on my main HTPC, and it suddenly struck me that less than 1% of the total was actually Irish-made. I have a huge catalogue of films and TV shows from … Continue reading

Even A Fanboy Has His Limits

Is it just me or is there now a dearth of thoughtful and well-informed websites and blogs on the genre worlds of Sci-Fi and Fantasy literature? Oh yes, the banner-heavy, paragraph-light sites that focus on the latest Marvel or DC movie franchises are in plentiful supply. However most of these flash-happy affairs have as much … Continue reading

Learn A Language In Six Months?

Since this is generating some internet buzz I thought I’d post it: How to learn any language in six months, Chris Lonsdale at TEDxLingnanUniversity. I’m always suspicious about “fast-track” learning. Most are gimmicks and as I know from experience learning a new language when in adulthood is as much about a person’s intuitive abilities as anything … Continue reading

An Irish Equivalent For Geek Or Otaku?

I was recently asked if there is an Irish word that is the equivalent of the Anglo-American term Geek or its Japanese near-equivalent Otaku (おたく/オタクおたく/オタク). I couldn’t think of anything unless one went for something like a crude Gaelicisation of the originals in the form of Geic (?) or Odacú (?). Then I remembered the … Continue reading


On the streets of Droichead Átha, the very definition of flannbhuí. And a beautiful example it is.

Glenn Greenwald On War By Other Means

From Glenn Greenwald a must-read for Republican and progressive activists in Ireland and elsewhere examining how the internet is used and abused to manipulate individuals and groups in the interests of major nation-states. To defeat one’s enemy one must understand (or become?) one’s enemy. “One of the many pressing stories that remains to be told from the … Continue reading

Republican Think-Tanks

There is a considerable debate going on amongst Irish Republicans and interested observers in Ireland over the future direction of revolutionary republicanism. With a renewed focus on the ideological aspects and political traditions of Republicanism as it pertains in the 21st century some new ideas are emerging as well as much self-analyses (and quite a … Continue reading

It’s All About The Metadata

I’ve written before about the importance of “raw data” in any revolutionary or military struggle and while that may seem obvious the means of collecting and sorting through such information is far from so. While the Snowden revelations have shocked many (although few have altered their online behaviour despite what they learned) they are only … Continue reading

Removal Of The RSS Feeds – Apologies

Yes, I know, the RSS feeds to like-minded websites in Ireland, Scotland and elsewhere have been removed from An Sionnach Fionn. I’m afraid the reasons are technical, mostly to do with slower load times on my own webpages and poor SEO ranking due to the presence of multiple RSS links on ASF. So what to … Continue reading

Drool Cars

As I face up to the troubling fact that wanting a certain type of car is not the same as being able to afford a certain type of car, along comes Digital D-Tour with these Californian specimens of automotive beauty. Sigh…

Ogham – Ireland’s Indigenous Alphabet

Here’s a fascinating article on the Product Design and Development website examining an archaeological project in Ireland to preserve in electronic form the earliest written examples of the Irish language, the inscribed Ogham alphabet from the early centuries CE. “Dotted around the rugged landscape of Western Ireland and the Irish Sea are individual stones standing … Continue reading

British War Hysteria – The Hibernoban!

So to another round of Fantasy Troubles as the news media in Britain, with a nod and a wink from domestic “security sources”, launch a febrile attempt to whip up some old fashioned anti-Irish hysteria in the lead up to Christmas. And how are they doing that, you ask? Why, by claiming that Irish insurgent … Continue reading

Sony Xperia Z Ultra 6.4″ Smartphone – Oh How I Love Thee

A few weeks ago I was discussing my need for a new mobile phone to replace my existing three year old HTC Desire and after much research I finally settled on the Sony Xperia Z Ultra 6.4″. Online retailer amazon.co.uk had a SIM-free version with a Sony SmartWatch 2 SW2 and shipment to Ireland for only €727.66 which was … Continue reading

Win 8.1, WiFi And Lenovo’s Q190

So Win 8.1, the service pack that is not a service pack, has been disgorged into Win 8 machines all over the world and as is the wont with Microsoft software updates it comes with its fair share of issues. In the case of my Lenovo IdeaCentre Q190, a HTPC or multi-media computer connected to … Continue reading

Redesigned Slate – The Web Equivalent Of Spaghetti Junction

  Good god, has anyone else seen the redesigned “slate.com”? What a sprawling, over-crafted mess. Any website that all but needs a map to navigate it is dead in the water. Meanwhile over on “salon.com“.

The Racist Republic Of Ireland

Ah, ‘tis good to see that Anglophone racism continues to thrive in contemporary Ireland. Where would we be without our fellow hate-filled citizens or their media demagogues?

Wikipedia, Where The Fantasists Go To Play

Go to the Wikipedia entry titled “Waffen-SS foreign volunteers and conscripts” and you will learn that the Waffen SS, the infamous Nazi-affiliated German military organisation during the 1930s and ‘40s, incorporated a 400 strong “Irish Brigade”. Except what you are reading is completely and utterly untrue. There is no evidence whatsoever that such a group … Continue reading

The Guardian Enters GUBU Territory

From the Guardian newspaper: “Guardian editors on Tuesday revealed why and how the newspaper destroyed computer hard drives containing copies of some of the NSA and GCHQ secret files leaked by Edward Snowden. The decision was taken after a threat of legal action by the government that could have stopped reporting on the extent of American and British government surveillance revealed … Continue reading

The Syrian Weapons Bazaar

The military blog of the New York Times, “At War”, has maintained some excellent coverage of the complex conflict in Syria, digging down into the facts behind the headlines. One of its latest articles deals with the thorny issue of man-portable air-defence systems or MANPADS. So far the various anti-government insurgencies in Syria seem to … Continue reading

Blog Awards Ireland 2013 Nominee

Just to let you know that An Sionnach Fionn has been nominated for two categories in this year’s Blog Awards Ireland 2013: “Best Politics Blog” and “Best Personal Blog”. Thanks to all those who nominated me and to everyone who reads, comments and links to An Sionnach Fionn. Go raibh maith agat, a charide.

Big Boost For Online Scottish Language Resource

Some great news for the ongoing development and growth of the Scottish language. The government of Scotland has announced a major increase in the funding of Faclair na Gàidhlig, a project to establish an online Scottish dictionary similar to Ireland’s Foclóir.ie and Focal.ie. From the BBC: “The Scottish government has given £2m funding for an online Gaelic … Continue reading

Racist Fun With The Journal.ie

YAY! The Daily Edge, part of the “Irish” news and current affairs website TheJournal.ie, has a “humorous” article today on those funny native Irish names used by those funny Bogwogs Irish people who identify with or express themselves through Ireland’s indigenous language and culture. Oh, it is hilarious: “Can you pronounce these baffling Irish names? … Continue reading

Second-Class Irish

A Word From Japan, the occasional blog of an Irishman who was formerly resident in the Land of the Rising Sun, highlights the manner in which the indigenous language of the island of Ireland is used, abused and most of all, simply ignored. “Más fiú é a dhéanamh, is fiú é a dhéanamh i gceart … Continue reading

Britnats Target SNP Website Through Avast!

Here’s a thing. The avast! Online Security and Web Reputation Plugin, a web browser extension bundled with one of the world’s most popular free security programs, rates the online homepage of the Scottish Nationalist Party as “bad”. That means the SNP’s website has been found by multiple avast! users to be a “dangerous” internet location to visit, … 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