Britnat Nastiness Is Mainstream In The UK Press

Merryn Somerset Webb is a relatively well-known business journalist and editor in the UK who writes on a wide range of financial matters for the British press. So it was somewhat surprising to see her recent article in “MoneyWeek”, a conservative-leaning investment magazine, examining the burgeoning status of the Scottish Gaelic language in Scotland. Even more so when her piece is couched in a surprisingly vitriolic manner towards her… Read More Britnat Nastiness Is Mainstream In The UK Press

Antipathy To The Irish Language Is A Legacy Of Colonialism

Irish is the indigenous language of the island nation of Ireland and has held that unique position for at least the last 4000 years. Beginning with an Indo-European dialect introduced to the country as early as 2000 BCE, modern Irish – An Ghaeilge – developed through a series of steps that linguists have categorised as Proto-Celtic, Goidelic, Primitive Irish, Old Irish,… Read More Antipathy To The Irish Language Is A Legacy Of Colonialism

The Old, Old Story

From two newspaper articles over the last twenty-four hours. The Derry Journal reporting on the opinions held in 1972 by the British army general, Sir Harry Tuzo, GOC (general-officer-commanding) the British Occupation Forces in Ireland from 1971-73, and a vigorous opponent of a negotiated settlement between the (Provisional) Republican Movement and the UK, on the character of the Irish people:… Read More The Old, Old Story

The Celtic Language Insurgents

Predictably enough, following the successful intimidation of a small community council in the majority Welsh-speaking village of Cynwyd by English language lobbyists, we learn that elsewhere in Wales the country’s native tongue is being rejected by a number of local government bodies on the spurious grounds that it is somehow alien to their regions. From the news and current… Read More The Celtic Language Insurgents

Drowning Welsh-Speakers In The English Language

A few days ago I highlighted a story from Wales where an anglophone lobbyist in the village of Cynwyd, a majority Welsh-speaking area in the north-eastern county of Denbighshire, had secured legal backing in her campaign to force the local community council into adopting a policy of full bilingualism, supposedly to meet the demands of the village’s minority English-speaking residents. Despite the fact… Read More Drowning Welsh-Speakers In The English Language

In Wales, They Speak Welsh, So Get Over It!

The small village of Cynwyd in the narrow, oblong county of Denbighshire, in the north-east of Wales, has a population of less than 600 men, women and children, most of whom rely on local farming or light industry for their livelihoods. While the region was formerly noted for its thriving Welsh-speaking communities today just over 20% of the county’s inhabitants are fluent-speakers, though in Cynwyd itself and the surrounding area these are in a… Read More In Wales, They Speak Welsh, So Get Over It!

Begging For Permission To Be Irish In Ireland

The majority of the population of the island of Ireland can only be Irish when the minority of the population who do not regard themselves as Irish are ready to permit it. That seems to be the message of journalist Malachi O’Doherty in the unionist-leaning Belfast Telegraph newspaper, as he comments on the attempts by Newry, Mourne and Down Council to meet demands for dual… Read More Begging For Permission To Be Irish In Ireland

Killing Irish-Speakers With Kindness

In light of the recent ruling by the courts that the Gardaí failed to follow the law by not producing bilingual results of breathalyser tests given to suspected drink-drivers (despite the fact that the Evidenzer machines used in the tests were programmed to print out result certificates in both English and Irish) the conservative eco-activist and newspaper columnist Victoria… Read More Killing Irish-Speakers With Kindness

#MyNameIs And #NINA As Facebook Claims Irish Names Are Not Real Names

Over the last several months a number of people from Ireland and the Irish diaspora have been barred from the American social networking platform, Facebook, because it refuses to recognise the legitimacy (or existence?) of names in the Irish language. Yes, I know, it sounds bizarre, particularly as Facebook’s European HQ is based in Dublin, but in several recent cases the company’s online administrators… Read More #MyNameIs And #NINA As Facebook Claims Irish Names Are Not Real Names

Native America To Native Ireland, Extermination By Any Other Name

Former libertarian favourite and would-be United States presidential candidate for the Republican Party, Rand Paul, seems to have completed his political journey from wayward centralist to right-wing rabble-rouser. Long gone are the days when he used to gain the admiration of some progressive commentators in the news media as he now competes with the other wannabes of the GOP… Read More Native America To Native Ireland, Extermination By Any Other Name

Restorative Justice For The Celtic Peoples

Returning to the issue of righting old wrongs, what might be described as restorative justice for dispossessed cultures, Paula Young Lee makes these observations on the decision by Barack Obama to officially recognise the name of the highest peak on the North American continent, Denali: “For decades, the Alaska Federation of Natives has been pushing to restore… Read More Restorative Justice For The Celtic Peoples

Attitudes Towards The Irish Language On The Island of Ireland 2015

The Economic and Social Research Institute, the well-known independent think-tank, has released a new, one hundred page study titled, “Attitudes towards the Irish Language on the Island of Ireland, August 2015”, edited by Dr. Merike Darmody of the ESRI and Tania Daly of Amárach Research. The document outlines the current status of our indigenous language and… Read More Attitudes Towards The Irish Language On The Island of Ireland 2015

The Irish Language Deniers

In an interesting if factually flawed article the surprisingly authoritarian newspaper columnist Victoria White, the eco-activist wife of the Green Party’s lame duck leader Éamon Ryan, takes to the pages of the Examiner to express a degree of resigned sadness at the passing of the Gaeltachtaí, the traditional and supposedly state-recognised Irish-speaking regions of the country. The chief culprit for the… Read More The Irish Language Deniers

Super Colonised Irish Syndrome

  In today’s Irish Times newspaper Seaghán Mac an tSionnaigh reviews the latest in a wave of books from a new generation of writers and historians challenging the inferior position of Ireland’s indigenous language, and the conventional narratives which have shaped our understanding of the suppression – and extermination – of those who speak it: “In The Broken Harp, Identity and… Read More Super Colonised Irish Syndrome

It Is No More A Sin To Kill An Irishman Than A Dog

From a quote in an article by the Huffington Post examining the institutionalised discrimination faced by Irish-speaking citizens and communities in Ireland, which I featured last week: “In February 2014, at an Irish language rights march and protest in Dublin, Brenda Ní Ghairbhí, a manager at Seachtain na Gaeilge (Irish Language Week), remembers a speech… Read More It Is No More A Sin To Kill An Irishman Than A Dog

Israel’s Journey From Jewish State To Pariah State

Are there any issues more divisive in “Western” political discourse than the existence, history and policies of the modern nation-state of Israel? Outside of the United States and a few other countries nothing seems to divide people as much as discussing the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian struggle, with majority opinion very much aligning on the side of the latter… Read More Israel’s Journey From Jewish State To Pariah State

Irish Is Not Dying, Irish Is Being Killed

When the greater part of Ireland won its independence from the United Kingdom in the early 1920s the number of native Irish-speakers across the island, north and south, was close to 6% of the total population (a figure which excludes fluent non-native speakers of Irish, perhaps another 3%-5%). This represented over 250,000 men, women and children, the vast… Read More Irish Is Not Dying, Irish Is Being Killed

JK Rowling, In Defence Of Greater England

Sometimes an individual should simply stick to doing what he or she does best. In the case of the British author J.K. Rowling her “best” is continuing her spectacularly successful career of writing fantasy books for children; and not becoming an online agent provocateur for Greater England: a veritable troll-baiting champion of its hegemony over the island of… Read More JK Rowling, In Defence Of Greater England

The Right To Hate The Second-Class Irish

  Another year, another dire record of public services to Irish-speaking citizens and communities by the supposedly bilingual Irish state (note the word “Irish” in that description. Ah, the irony…). From a report by the Irish Examiner newspaper: “The Irish-language commissioner has questioned the effectiveness of the Government’s efforts to promote the use of Irish… Read More The Right To Hate The Second-Class Irish