Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

The latest electoral poll shows Sinn Féin on 21%, just a handful of points behind Fianna Fáil’s 25% and Fine Gael’s 27%. So are we detecting signs of a slow panic taking seed amongst the Britanophile Randinistas at the all-powerful Independent stable of newspapers? Judging by the headline above and more importantly the picture chosen … Continue reading

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Revisionism Or War By Other Means

There is huge controversy in France at the moment after it was revealed in a local newspaper that a monument to be erected at the site of a famous WWII clash between the French Resistance and the Waffen SS (part of the German Occupation Forces) was to commemorate the sacrifices of both the Resistance fighters … Continue reading

Ian O’Doherty – The Answer To A Question Nobody Asked

The latest noxious brain-fart from the Daily Mail wannabe in today’s Irish Independent newspaper: “Despite RTÉ’s incessant efforts to make the rest of us care about the North, most people have far more interesting things on their minds. Grass growing. Paint drying. Studying theology. That sort of thing. Frankly, most of us look at this … 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

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

A Native Place

The new Irish language social networking site Abair Leat!, which is primarily aimed at language learners, has been officially launched by the Irish-American comedian and Gaeilgeoir Des Bishop. From the Irish Times: “… Abair Leat! is the first user generated content application of its kind and allows users to create a personal profile, add friends and exchange … Continue reading

Discrimination Dressed As Reasonableness… Isn’t It Always?

An article in the Irish Times decries the alleged “preferential” treatment given to Irish-speaking children in the education system because some students receive higher grades for successfully completing their study and examinations solely through the medium of the Irish language. No matter that Irish-speaking children are otherwise discriminated against in Ireland through the lack of Irish-medium schools, education services … Continue reading

Have You Seen The Size Of My Gun?!

The “Oirish” Daily Mirror carries an eye-grabbing headline: “We could have killed the Queen on Ireland visit, claim Real IRA” Well of course they would claim that but is there any more to this report than a mere headline? “THE Real IRA last night claimed they planned to kill the Queen when she visited Ireland. … Continue reading

Horrible Histories With The Sunday Independent

The Irish Independent’s pet “historian”, John Paul McCarthy, has written a lengthy article on some of the behind-the-scenes events relating to the 1981 Hunger Strikes documented in the Irish and British government papers released at the start of the year. As always he has his own very personal interpretation of Irish history. “The State Papers for 1981 deal with … 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

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

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

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

Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil – The Irish News Media And The Sam Smyth Scandal

As many regular readers may know (you are there, aren’t you?) I frequently bang on about the inequities of the “media establishment” in Ireland. In general I pretty much loathe ‘em, the whole right-wing, faux liberal, elitist Anglo shower. Bah! But for those of you who ask, “A Shionnach, but why?”, here, in several easily digestible paragraphs, … Continue reading

Anglophone Intolerance Speaks The Same Language – In Scotland Or Ireland

Just in case you thought it was safe to speak the Scottish language in Scotland along comes journalist Gina Davidson with an anti-Gaelic diatribe in the Scotsman that twists logic and reason to breaking point: “CAST your mind back a couple of years to the council’s school closures programme. After all the wailing and knashing of … Continue reading

Playing The Race Card In Ireland

Poor old Kevin Myers is at it again: propagating his “race theory” of Irish politics (and society) thanks to the platform provided to him by his acolytes in the Independent group of newspapers. His latest attempt to whip up some “ethnic tensions” centres on an old and cherished theme of his: that Fine Gael, Ireland’s … Continue reading

Eoghan Harris, Free Speech And The Art Of Dissemblance

So, the Anglomedia’s “Anyone But McGuinness” campaign has taken a bit of a twist with claims that ex-Workers Party apparatchik and Sindo columnist Eoghan Harris has been threatened in an anonymous phone call to the Independent News and Media offices. According to the report from the organisation: “A caller to Independent News and Media, purporting to be … Continue reading

RTÉ Versus TG4

Ireland’s Anglophone media establishment has never been comfortable with the Irish language. Or indeed Irish speakers. The existence of both is too much of a challenge, too much of a threat to its assumed identity: not quiet Irish, not quite English, not quiet anything really. That is why so many Irish journalists and commentators ape … Continue reading

Lies, Damned Lies And The War In Ireland

Journalist Martina Devlin sets the readership of the Irish Independent (and others) fairly hopping with outrage over her latest opinion piece. Can she be long for the Indo Group? One suspects not. In Ireland’s news media élite being More-British-Than-The-British is considered de rigueur. But it’s fun while it lasts: “It’s the blatant revisionism that gets my goat: the deception … Continue reading

David Norris – One Revelation Too Many?

The sheen has certainly gone off Senator David Norris, someone I used to have enormous respect and admiration for (even if his bonhomie demeanour and scattershot approach to politics did at times did grate on one’s nerves). We’ve had the scandal over his much debated opinions on paedophilia, pederasty and the age of consent expressed … Continue reading

McGuinness Won The Audience But Did He Win The Debate?

The audience poll results are in from Vincent Brown’s Presidential Debate on TV3, and though entirely unscientific, they show Martin McGuinness way out in front, leaving the rest as also-rans. It remains to be seen whether the same will be true at the ballot box in a few weeks time but undoubtedly some optimistic news … Continue reading

Anyone For Some Apartheid? Anglo-Irish Style!

  Yesterday’s Irish Independent featured a letter pleading for support from readers for a new campaign to remove obligatory Irish language teaching from the education system. Thereby, presumably, creating a two-tier education system, one for English speakers and one for Irish speakers (didn’t we have something like that before? I thought, in part, we fought a revolution over it? … Continue reading

English Ireland. A Nation Without A Soul?

Wonderful article in the Irish Times by Lucille Redmond on language and identity. “According to linguist Mark Abley, a language dies every 14 days, never to be heard again. Pádraig Pearse’s “Tír gan teanga, tír gan anam” echoed linguistic pioneer Johann Gottfried von Herder, who wrote “The breath of our mouths is the picture of the world”, … Continue reading

Panic Grips The Sycophants Of The Golden Circle

Ah, the fun of watching a terrified media establishment in Ireland working itself up into a panic at the prospect of Martin McGuinness being elected to Áras an Uachtaráin by the Irish people (the ignorant, lazy and mentally unstable Irish people, according to John Waters – who probably shouldn’t have a vote in the first place, hmmm, … Continue reading

Language Rights Are Civil Rights

Seán Ó Cuirreáin, An Coimisinéir Teanga or the Irish Language Commissioner, is the person tasked with ensuring that our public services are available to the Irish speaking population in their own language (and given the hostility of some English speakers to their Irish speaking peers a monumental task it is). On Tuesday he announced the launch of a new … Continue reading

The Sunday Independent – The Real Threat To Irish Democracy

Today’s Sunday Independent newspaper makes for incredible reading. There is one subject and one subject only; Martin McGuinness. And one clear strategy: keeping him out of Áras an Uachtaráin by any means necessary. The vitriol directed towards McGuinness is simply astonishing. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything quite like it before, at least outside the pages … Continue reading

British Journalist Lectures The Irish People On “Democracy”. Laugh Now Or Laugh Later?

One presidential candidate, two journalists and two conflicting opinions. The first journalist is Nick Cohen, a regular contributor to various centre-left publications in Britain, including the Guardian and Spectator. In a lengthy article for today’s Observer he writes: “All the countries the euro crisis is ravaging can recall a time of dictatorial rule and revolutionary … Continue reading

Gay Byrne Claims Provisional IRA Were “Gangsters”. Sorry, That Should Read, Gay Byrne Claims Old IRA Were “Gangsters”

So, things are hotting up in the oul presidential to-an’-fro as that granddaddy of Irish media personalities, Gay “The Poppy” Byrne, wades in with his t’uppence worth of opinion (actually, being an employee of RTÉ he’s probably charging a hell of a lot more than a penny or two). According to a piece in the … Continue reading

Fulminating West Brits Go Nuts – Or Fun With Martin And Co!

Ah, only a few days into Martin McGuinness’ presidential candidacy and the Irish media establishment, those paragons of right wing, unregulated free market capitalism (Celtic Tiger? Nothing to do wiv us, gov’nor!) and wannabe English, Neo-Unionist types have gone into a frenzy of righteous indignation. The Golden Circle is imperilled! From your super, soaraway Evening Herald we have commentator-cum-television reviewer Andrew Lynch (quality…): “Nobody … Continue reading

No Irish Wanted Here!

A familiarly depressing report from the Associated Press in relation to the recent Líofa 2015 initiative launched by the North’s minister of culture. The aim of the project is to have 1000 new fluent Irish speakers in positions of influence in the North of Ireland, and the event was notable for the number of members … Continue reading

British Journalism And The ‘Agreed Narrative’ On News From Ireland

There is a highly critical post by the British journalist and media lecturer Roy Greenslade in his Guardian blog today, where he brings the British news media to task for yet again ignoring a story from Ireland that does not suit the agreed narrative on Irish affairs promulgated by Britain’s media establishment. In this case the story is the remarkable address by the Reverend David … Continue reading

BBC Alba’s Audience Soars By 100,000 Viewers In Just Three Months

Since its launch in 2008 the Scottish language television channel, BBC Alba, has spent most of its time relegated to the backwaters of satellite broadcasting (and since May 2011 on one of the cable providers in Scotland). This left it somewhat difficult for the majority of viewers in Scotland to tune in or watch it … Continue reading

Irish Language Television – Innovative, Dynamic, Irish…

Irish language television seems to be providing the most dynamic programming in Ireland these days, with the output from independent production companies and TG4 going from strength to strength. 2012 looks like it will be another bumper year of quality TV with a number of new shows in the offing, as well the continuation of … Continue reading

The Death Spasms Of L’Ancien Régime Anglais

It’s interesting to read the Wall Street Journal’s take on the contest over Scotland’s political future that is being played out between the main Scottish Nationalist party in the form of the SNP and their British Nationalist opponents in the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties. ‘The British government has ramped up its campaign against Scottish independence, … Continue reading

Playing With The Numbers – Or How To Subvert Democracy In Scotland

British Nationalists have been twisting themselves up in knots lately over the not-too-distant referendum on Scottish independence with more (and sometimes unexpected) voices echoing Scottish Nationalist opinion. Some of the scare tactics we saw earlier in the year are beginning to emerge again as some Unionists embrace the politics of fear in an attempt to prop up support … 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