Ireland Of The Apes

Speak English! Not Irish!

Are we really so enslaved to our post-colonial neuroses, so malformed by centuries of external domination, that even after ninety years of independence we are still unable to contemplate giving equal prominence to our own language on our own road signs alongside the language of our one-time masters? And what excuses do we cushion our own pathetic feelings of … Continue reading

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The Problem With Irish? Not Enough Politics!

Labhair Gaeilge

There is a great article over on Diaga on the importance of persecuted communities with distinct languages and cultures achieving some form of political autonomy if their identities are to survive. I recommend that you read the whole thing but here are some highlights: “Mulling over the Scottish ‘no’ vote last week, it occurred to me just … Continue reading

The Embarrassment Of Being Irish

The BBC can do Irish but RTÉ can't

So after eighteen years of an online presence our self-proclaimed “national public service broadcaster”, RTÉ, has finally got around to providing a web-based Irish language news site (though you might have to search through the RTÉ homepage to find it). I suppose one should welcome the move as a sign of more demand driving more … Continue reading

Australia’s Shame

Protesting Aboriginal or Native Australian rights in Australia

Native Australians make up just 2% of Australia’s population but form an incredible 26% of the national prison population, rising to 90% in some regions. That is a shocking indictment of the continental nation’s relations with its indigenous peoples. Something is very, very wrong in the land down under and Vice magazine highlights one particular … Continue reading

The Irrational Nature Of The Anti-Irish Bigots

English versus An Ghaeilge

Have some indigenous Gaelic moles crept into the hallowed Hibernophobe halls of Independent House, publishers of the Indo stable of newspapers? A couple of weeks ago we witnessed some atypically discrimination-free commentary on the rights of Irish-speaking citizens from Clare Cullen in the Irish Independent. Now we have radio reviewer Darragh McManus offering some more sane opinions in the same … Continue reading

Irish-Medium Education Overcoming The Odds

Labhair Gaeilge

Over the last decade the devolved government in Wales, with near cross-party unanimity, has used its growing powers over education to encourage Welsh-medium education by facilitating the growth of existing and new Welsh-speaking schools across the country. In 2013 nearly 24% of primary and 21% of secondary age students attended Welsh-medium schools, a rise from … Continue reading

No Speak The Irish!

Gunmen of the UDA-UFF, a legal British terrorist faction in Ireland, pose for the cameras

As if the precarious position of Irish-speaking citizens and communities in Ireland was not difficult enough living under the authority of a state hostile or indifferent to their needs, in the north-east of the country they must also face the threat of violence too. From the Belfast Telegraph: “A community centre has suffered a wave … Continue reading

Better Together Star: Catholics Look Better Hanging From A Tree

British Unionism or British Nationalism the English Defence League

The British Unionist parties heading the “Better Together” or No (surrender?) campaign in Scotland’s upcoming referendum on independence seem to have all but abandoned their scruples when it comes to defeating the SNP-led Yes side. Their language and rhetoric has become increasingly vitriolic with oblique references to verbal and physical violence littering their speeches as … Continue reading

Fingal Irish

Scary Eire

  I’ve discussed before the truly excellent blog Dublin Gaelic which discusses the history of the Irish language in the capital and its hinterland, focusing in particular on the historic dialects of Irish in the region (now essentially lost; the contemporary version of Dublin Irish is based upon dialects from the west of Ireland mixed … Continue reading

Hold Your Tongue

The National Library of Scotland, Early Gaelic Book Collection

Karen Matheson, the lead vocalist with the popular Scottish folk band Capercaillie, recounts something that was once very familiar to speakers of the two main Gaelic languages, Irish and Scottish. From the Herald Scotland: “WHEN Karen Matheson was growing up in the small Argyll village of Taynuilt, her mother refused to speak Gaelic to her. She herself … Continue reading

The Irish State Versus The Irish Language

English versus An Ghaeilge

More on the controversial decision by the Fine Gael-Labour coalition to appoint two government minsters to departments dealing with Irish-speaking communities and citizens both of whom have little to no ability in the language despite the fact that a number of their colleagues are fluent speakers. The now familiar hostility and apathy towards our indigenous language … Continue reading

Irish-Speakers Lie Down!

The Ladies of Fine Gael - old habits die hard

If there is a nation anywhere on the planet more ashamed and embarrassed of its own existence, of its very language and culture, than Ireland then I think we need to hear of it. Only the modern Irish could disdain their millennia-old identity in pursuit of some nebulous form of Anglo-Americanism. Only the modern Irish … Continue reading

  • blog awards ireland Nominated 2013: Best Politics, Personal Blog Categories; Best Blog Post
  • blog awards ireland

    Nominated 2014: Best News, Current Affairs, Politics, Mobile Blog Categories; Best Blog Post

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