Ciníochas (Racism)

The Irish State Versus The Irish Language

Irish rights activists protest in Dublin at the controversial decision the Fine Gael-Labour coalition government to appoint ministers dealing with Irish-speaking communities and citizens who have little to no ability in Ireland's national language, 2014

Irish rights activists protest in Dublin at the controversial decision by the Fine Gael-Labour coalition government to appoint ministers dealing with Irish-speaking communities and citizens who have little to no ability in Ireland’s national language, 2014 (Íomhá: Irish Times)

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 and culture by the government parties could hardly be any more pointed. From the Irish Examiner:

“Taoiseach Enda Kenny provoked uproar in the Dáil when he insisted that appointing two ministers to the Gaeltacht Department who did not speak Irish would inspire other people to learn the language.

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams branded the decision to promote Heather Humphreys to Cabinet rank in the portfolio, and make Donegal TD Joe McHugh her junior — despite neither of them having much grasp of Irish — as a “backwards” step.

Mr Adams said the situation was made even more bizarre by the fact that the other junior minister in the portfolio did speak fluent Irish, but was not responsible for any Gaeltacht issues.

“It is evidence of the disregard that the Government has for the Irish language,” Mr Adams said.”

From the Irish Independent:

“Mr McHugh defended his lack of Irish by saying he did live close to a Gaeltacht region in Donegal.

Under questioning from Irish speaking politicians, Mr McHugh said he understood their questions but did not have the confidence to reply in Irish.

The Donegal TD and the newly appointed senior Minister in the Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht, Heather Humprheys, struggled with the native language during their first Dail debate.”

From the Donegal Democrat:

“Conradh na Gaeilge staged a wild cat protest outside the Department of the Taoiseach earlier today to oppose the appointment of Donegal TD Joe McHugh as the the new Minister of State for the Gaeltacht.

The protest was prompted by the fact that the Donegal TD is not proficient in Irish.

Julian de Spáinn, General Secretary of Conradh na Gaeilge said: “10,000 people marched on February 15 in Dublin for fairness and equality for the Irish language and Gaeltacht community.

“The Taoiseach should therefore, even at this late stage, assign responsibility for Gaeltacht Affairs to another Minister of State who has previously demonstrated their proficiency in the Irish language, such as the Minister of State Aodhán Ó Riordáin who is already assigned to the Department Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, or appoint an additional person who is proficient in the language, such as the Teachta Dála Seán Kyne or someone else.”

According to Conradh na Gaeilge this is the first time since the establishment of the State that the Minister of State for the Gaeltacht is not proficient in the Irish language.

“This further lowers the status of the Irish language and the Gaeltacht community when taking into account that there was a Senior Minister proficient in Irish with responsibility for the Gaeltacht in the last Government, that this was lowered to a Minister of State with a proficiency in the language in the new Government in 2011, and that this is to be lowered yet again by this Government in its appointment of a Minister of State without proficient Irish, and by furthermore assigning another responsibility to him (i.e. natural resources). All this displays a total lack of prioritising the needs of the Irish-speaking and Gaeltacht community in the agenda of the current Government,” Conradh na Gaeilge stated.”

Twenty-six Irish language scholarship students from Canada and the United States, 2014 (Íomhá: Galway Advertiser)

While elsewhere in the country, via a report by the Galway Advertiser:

“Nineteen Canadian and seven American Irish language learners were presented with awards at Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge in An Cheathrú Rua in the Galway Gaeltacht recently.

Awards were also presented to six Irish language instructors selected by the Ireland Canada University Foundation (ICUF) to teach Irish at a range of locations across Canada for the academic year 2014-15.

These awards are the result of ongoing collaboration developed by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has developed with ICUF and the Ireland-United States [Fulbright] Commission for Educational Exchange. They reflect the deep interest in the Irish language in the United States and Canada where, every year, many Irish language learners choose to attend courses at the National University of Ireland, Galway Galway, An Cheathrú Rua and other venues. The awards are financed in partnership with universities and institutions in both Canada and the United States.”

It seems that if you speak the Irish language, and wish to do so while being treated with respect and equality, anywhere but Ireland is the place to be…

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Irish-Speakers Lie Down!

Fine Gael - No Irish

Fine Gael – No Irish!

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 could set about completing a process of ethnocide begun in colonial invasion and annexation several centuries ago. It is sad. It is laughable. It is truly an Irish joke. The faltering Fine Gael-Labour coalition has announced that the new minister for Irish-speaking regions and the Irish language in general will be the non-native, non-fluent English-speaking politician Joe McHugh. Yes, that’s right, the government official ultimately charged with matters relating to Irish rights and services will be someone with barely any grasp of the language those rights and services should be offered in.

From Seán Tadhg Ó Gairbhí in the Irish Times:

“As rumours circulated this morning about the imminent elevation of Fine Gael TD Joe McHugh to the post of Minister of State at the Department of the Gaeltacht, Irish speakers reacted with a mixture of bemusement and anger.

By necessity they have become fluent in all known dialects of double-speak. When it comes to paying lip service to the language, our political classes have long since lost their capacity to surprise all but the most naive of Irish speakers.

Just last week the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste published a ten-page Statement of Government Priorities for the next two years. There was no mention of the Irish language or the Gaeltacht. The Irish language speaker is under no illusion about how the language is viewed by Government, and it’s been a long time since anyone made him feel like a priority.

But this was different. Nobody saw this one coming. Even as the rumours on twitter about McHugh’s appointment hardened into confident predictions, some clung to the notion that the correspondents in Leinster House must be mistaken. The idea that the Taoiseach would appoint a non-Irish-speaking “Minister for the Gaeltacht” seemed a bridge too far.

Well, they just did and we now have a Gaeltacht minister who doesn’t have enough Irish to conduct a credible live interview about Gaeltacht affairs with RnaG or Nuacht TG4.

Our politicians have often shown great ingenuity in finding new ways to undermine the language while simultaneously professing their unceasing commitment to its promotion, but for sheer audacity and shamelessness Enda Kenny has now set the bar higher than anyone imagined it could go.

The last pretence has been dropped.

“Lads, did ye hear the one about the Minister of the Gaeltacht who couldn’t speak Irish?” Essentially, that is what the Taoiseach is asking us while trying to keep a straight face.”

From Clare Cullen in the Irish Independent:

“This government have made some idiotic decisions since being elected but this one takes the cáca.

Enda Kenny has made the decision of appoint a ‘Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs’ “with a special responsibility’ for Gaeltacht matters” that openly admits his “conversational Irish certainly wouldn’t be great”.

To draw a parallel, this would be like me being appointed, in France, as a Minister for the preservation of French, with only school French. French that I haven’t spoken since I left school seven years ago and would then be expected to write, read and pass legislation in. Not only that, but the senior Minister in the Arts department, Heath Humphreys, has little or no Irish.

Sinn Fein’s Peadar Toibin pointed out that “for the first time Irish language documents would have to be translated into English” for the ministers and the department’s first language would now be English.

…to appoint a junior Minister for the Gaeltacht who openly admits he can’t speak it is beyond embarrassing. It’s amaideach.

Fianna Fáil TD Éamon Ó Cuív released a statement saying that “fluent Irish should be an absolute prerequisite for a Minister with responsibility for the language; without it they cannot adequately carry out their duties in Gaeltacht Affairs”. He should know – he was in charge of Gaeltacht Affairs from 1997 to 2010.

Conradh na Gaeilge Secretary General, Julian De Spáinn, said the Taoiseach “effectively reduced the status of the language” by not providing a Minister of State unable to “communicate with Irish speakers in their own language”.

The Journal.ie reported that when challenged in the Dáil, Kenny claimed that Joe McHugh would take a “refreshers course” in Irish and RTE reported that he booked a course through Oideas Gael in Glencolmcoille. The whole thing reads like an unaired Father Ted episode!

Enda Kenny’s record with the Irish language is very poor – or, at least, a cruel indifference. Remember when he proposed to remove Irish from the Leaving Cert as a compulsory subject?

Kenny has stopped even paying lip-service to the upkeep of the language with this appointment, deliberately ignoring the needs or wishes of  100,716 people (census 2011).

That number is only those living in Gaeltacht areas – there are many more Irish speakers living in non-designated Gaeltacht areas. Many of those who don’t even count Irish as a language they are fluent in still don’t want to see the language die – but the criminal indifference of the country’s leader to the upkeep, promotion and encouragement of the language will certainly see it faster to its grave.

The worst thing is that he knows he can get away with it. There will be a small amount of uproar from a niche group and he will just close his curtains while they protest outside – the same way the government did when the students protested. There isn’t enough people that really, really care to get a national response, and he’s taking full advantage of that. Even those that do care may feel that they shouldn’t protest unless they’re fluent, which is not the case. Ireland needs to show the government that we care about our national language and  support those that have taken it upon themselves to preserve it for the next generation.

Irish speakers are already fighting an uphill battle to keep the language alive. Pennies are spent on the provision of Irish language services (none of which are up to standard), the Gaeltacht areas are underfunded, undervalued and under-resourced. The national broadcaster has next to no Irish language programming and TG4 is half the station it should be…

Not only is it difficult but there have been cases of the language being illegal in parts of the country. The Belfast telegraph reported that in March this year, the national treasurer of Sinn Féin Poblachtach Diarmuid Mac Dubhghlais was arrested and charged “under anti-terrorism legislation” by the PSNI for giving “his name and address in Irish when he was stopped by police”. Legally, in the Republic, you have the right to speak to a guard as Gaeilge but I would not feel confident that it would not be seen as being ‘difficult’.

Even if you don’t care about Irish, you should respect the right of Irish citizens to their national language.”

Meanwhile, and with hardly a murmur from the dominant Anglophone media, the coalition policy of starving Irish-speaking communities and citizens of resources claims yet another organisational victim. From The Journal:

“SIX STAFF AT an Irish language board have been laid off as the board has decided to close Comhdáil Náisiunta.

The Irish language support centre says that the decision was made after government funding was withdrawn.

The decision to close the centre, which was founded in 1943, was made at a meeting in Dublin last night.

In a statement, the centre says that it had taken the decision “with a heavy heart”.

President of the National Council Deirbhile Nic Raith commended the “professionalism of the staff, and the great work carried out on behalf of the language for over 70 years”.

She said that the work done by the congress had made it a key organisation in the Irish language movement.”

In case you don’t understand the message from the ruling Fine Gael and Labour parties and the Irish state as a whole it is an easy one to summarise: Irish-speakers lie down!

The Calm Before The Storm

British Unionist and Orange Order supporters light huge bonfires across Belfast, Ireland’s second city, 2014 (Íomhá: Roghnú Glas)

The infamous Ku Klux Klan had – and probably still has – burning crosses. The equally infamous Orange Order has burning bonfires. The function of both is the same: celebration, defiance, intimidation. With “only” three ethnically motivated stabbings, scattered and desultory rioting, a handful of inter-communal clashes, minimal damage to property, shorter than previous road and street closures or diversions, several arrests and no police injuries it has been what is generally viewed as a “good” July 11th and 12th. The increased number and size of bonfires, complete with prominent sectarian and racist messages and effigies targeting Irish, Chinese-Irish, Polish-Irish and other communities, is considered a small price to pay. Not to mention the heavy preponderance of flags celebrating the KKK, various British terrorist organisations and British Army units noted for their participation in war crimes here in Ireland.

Last year the Orange Order refused to denounce violent protests by their supporters and the British terror factions dutifully followed suit and brought mayhem onto the streets. This year the Orange Order instructed that there be no violent protests by their supporters and the British terror factions dutifully stayed off the streets. However we are told that there are no links between both…

The view of Fitzjames Horse is the most honest opinion so far.

 

A Colony Cannot Be Reformed

A 1960s’ civil rights march in the north-east of Ireland demanding equality in housing, jobs, justice and voting. Decades on little has changed

In case you missed it, from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights at the United Nations:

“Press Statement by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on adequate housing…

From 29 August to 11 September 2013, I undertook an official visit to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland at the invitation of the Government. My visit included various cities in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The main objective of my visit was to assess the country’s achievements and challenges in guaranteeing the right to adequate housing and non-discrimination in this context, in accordance with existing international human rights standards. The assessment includes legislation and policy frameworks as well as the consideration of concrete outcomes from those policies, examining how they respond to the housing needs of women, men and children, with a particular focus on those most vulnerable and disenfranchised.

Planning systems reforms are also being considered in Northern Ireland, devolving powers to Local Councils, which will also be territorially redefined. In this context, I want to express my concern at the potential that this decentralization may have for increased sectarianism and discrimination.

… population groups, highlighted by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in 2009, which continue to face inadequate access to affordable housing are Catholics in Northern Ireland, specifically in North Belfast. The current allocation scheme was created to be fair and open, and to allocate accommodation on the basis of meeting the housing need of people. Despite the efforts of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, I remain concerned that full equality has not been achieved yet.”

Nearly five decades on from the eruption of the war in the north-east of Ireland and the causes of the conflict remain as current as ever. Despite the signing of the Belfast Agreement in 1998, despite supposed power-sharing and improvements in civil rights institutionalised discrimination based upon religion and ethnicity remains the dominant feature of the last remnant of the historic British colonial state on our island nation. One cannot reform the unreformable. One can only wipe the slate clean and start again.

The Irish Government’s Anti-Irishness

Some of the now obsolete materials of the popular website "gaelport.ie" and CNnaG, yet another resource for the Irish-speaking communities of Ireland dumped because of the apathy and hostility of the Fine Gael-Labour government

Some of the now obsolete materials of the popular website “gaelport.ie” and GNnaG, yet another resource for the Irish-speaking communities of Ireland dumped because of the apathy and hostility of the Fine Gael-Labour government

The Irish-speaking citizens and communities of Ireland are under attack. They are under attack from a coalition government of two parties who seem determined to finish the ethnocide of the indigenous Irish language and culture begun eight centuries ago. For how else could one explain the events of the last three years? The rolling back of legislation giving minimal equality to Irish-speakers in relation to public services and the withdrawal of bilingual provisions? The lowering in status of those whose duty it is to uphold the law on behalf of Irish-speakers while neutralising that role through a lack of resources? The regulatory excision or debasement of traditional Irish-speaking communities? The reduction or termination of state support for voluntary organisations and charities operating through the Irish language? The arrest and detention of Irish-speaking citizens for speaking in Irish? The imposition of acceptable levels of inequality between Irish-speaking and English-speaking defendants before the courts, with juries and trials loaded in favour of the latter? It is a catalogue of institutionalised discrimination with the acquiescence of the highest echelons of the government itself.

Now Gaelport, the popular main community website for Irish-speakers at home and abroad, has finally ceased to function following the inexplicable withdrawal of state funding and with no replacement in sight. Or even likely. It is just the latest in a series of recent closures of Irish language media, print and electronic, in each case due to the movement of government resources to elsewhere (like the tens of millions of euros devoted over the last decade to Bord na gCon – the dog-racing authority!). From the Hidden Ireland blog:

“Comhdháil Náisiúnta na Gaeilge was established in 1943. Its role is to act as a coordinating body for voluntary Irish language organisations.

Gaelport.com was the leading Irish language news and information website listing Irish classes, Irish job vacancies and Irish language events. It was a project of the Comhdháil funded by Foras na Gaeilge. As such it was an award-winning news site for Irish-speakers and indeed those whose Irish was a little rusty as a lot of the material was in two languages.

In January of this year Foras na Gaeilge announced the six organisations chosen to partake in their new funding model. As Comhdháil Náisiúnta na Gaeilge, the organisation who runs Gaelport.com along with many other projects, was unsuccessful in its efforts to secure a place among the six lead organisations there remained no option for the board of An Chomhdháil but to cease the employment of its six staff members in light of its core-funding being completely cut.

It had been hoped to transfer the bulk of the work, including gaelport.com, carried out by the Comhdháil since 1943.  With their almost 71 years of experience they were hampered by the fact that successful organisations were unsure of the resources which would be allocated to them after 30 June 2014. This may still be the situation. (While writing this we understand that Foras na Gaeilge are also withdrawing funding from another website used extensively throughout the world, beo.ie, which will make it very difficult to continue! The unenviable record of Foras na Gaeilge is thus added to as they continue on this incomprehensible destruction, without replacement, of the Irish language media, at least three newspapers and some other periodicals).

The most alarming and disgraceful part of this is the lack of communication from Foras na Gaeilge with the Comhdháil and the other organisation whose employees work is so little appreciated that they have given no advice or shown any concern for the future of these dedicated people.

The board of Comhdháil Náisiúnta na Gaeilge had little choice but to wind down the operation and organisation in an orderly way until the funding was finally withdrawn from it at the end of June.

A metaphor for how the political establishment in Ireland views those who speak or identify with our indigenous language: materials from the forcibly closed website "galeport.ie" operated by CNnaG

A metaphor for how the political establishment in Ireland views those who speak or identify with our indigenous language: materials from the forcibly closed website “galeport.ie” operated by CNnaG

Today we have seen terribly sad pictures being tweeted of a skip being filled with the ruins of 71 years of voluntary and dedicated activity!

Nobody denies that the organisation of the voluntary sector in the language movement should be rationalised but the unthinking bureaucracy which so recklessly wielded the axe leaves an angry and untrusting public. This could be seen when up to 10,000 people marched through Dublin in February, a thousand marched in Conamara later in February, thousands also marched in Belfast in April and smaller gatherings took place in other venues. Part of the reason for these marches was the Government’s policy or lack of policy for the National Language.

The Irish people should be grateful to the staff of Comhdháil Náisiúnta na Gaeilge and their dedicated work over the past seventy years. That has now been lost because a lack of appreciation or indeed understanding of Foras na Gaeilge.

Foras na Gaeilge is the body responsible for the promotion of the Irish language throughout the whole island of Ireland. It is difficult to see how this slaughter may be called promotion. It is difficult to see any logic at all in their actions.”

From 2011 to 2013 the coalition government of Ireland, under Fine Gael and Labour, spent nearly two billion euros of Irish-taxpayers money on overseas aid. They did it to help communities abroad (not to mention the “pet charities” of politically influential friends and supporters domestically, as we have seen with the high-profile scandals of recent months). Meanwhile the politically-powerless Irish-speaking communities at home were being deliberately and knowingly starved of resources. There is a lesson to be learned there.

Power does not grow from the bottom of a begging bowl.

Irish In Ireland? Oh The Humanity!

Ireland in chains

Éire in chains

Richard Haass, the latest diplomatic envoy from the United States to the permanently ailing Irish-British peace process, has offered the tentative proposal that the Irish language be granted some form of “official” recognition in the north-east of Ireland. Predictably we are told that politicians from the British Unionist minority in the region will react with fury at the suggestion that the indigenous speech of this island nation is given any recognition at all, underlying of course the essentially colonial nature of the political entity called “Northern Ireland”. From a report by the Belfast Telegraph:

“Richard Haass has risked the anger of unionists after he said the Irish language should be considered for official use in Northern Ireland.

He also called for a Troubles museum to be built in an acceptance speech as he was awarded the Tipperary Peace Award.

Those previously honoured with the prestigious award include Nelson Mandela, Mikhail Gorbachev and Bill Clinton.

Referring to the aspiration of many people for Irish unity, he said: “Irish identity could and should be respected in many ways within existing constitutional arrangements, possibly including a larger, official role for the Irish language.”

While Irish already has some legal protections, such a move would likely mean more use of Irish on roads signs, State documents and court proceedings – something unionists consistently and vocally oppose.

After the 2006 St Andrews Agreement, the Government promised to introduce an Irish Language Act, although it never happened.

Then when devolution was restored in 2007, the DUP took the Culture ministry and plans for the act were ditched amid claims it would be too expensive to implement laws that would see Irish enshrined in all facets of public life.”

Financial concerns have nothing to do with the hostility to the Irish language and culture displayed by Unionists (or anyone else). British ethno-national supremacism and the poisonous legacy of Britain’s colonial history in Ireland – now that has everything to do with it. When it comes to Ireland the ideology of British nationalism can be summed up in one phrase: vae victis!

Talking of mind-sets shaped by colonialism the politically-promiscuous Trotskyist John O’Mahony, he of the multiple identities, offers this observation in Workers’ Liberty while discussing Frank McCourt’s turgid poverty porn “Angela’s Ashes”:

“Amidst many terrible things, quite the worst schoolroom oppression of that time was the attempt to use a foreign language, Gaelic, as a teaching medium, except in religion and commerce, for children whose language was English and who lived in a society whose language was, and for generations had been, English. It is still English…”

To which I reply, in the English vernacular, bollocks!

In Support Of A Reunited Brittany

Support the Reunification of Brittany

In 1941 the Vichy regime in France ordered the partition of the north-western Celtic nation of Brittany as part of administrative restructuring during its collaborationist rule with the Nazis. Nearly a fifth of the territory of the Bretons, including the historic capital city of Nantes, was incorporated into an artificial region called Pays de la Loire. Despite repeated promises that the changes imposed by the Vichy dictatorship would be undone the French state continues to uphold the divisions created during the mid-20th century and is now in the process of reinforcing them for the 21st century. The people of Brittany are fighting this policy of divide-and-rule from Paris with a major campaign of demonstrations across the country as highlighted in this recent post from the blog of the Wessex Regionalists. While we in Ireland have the Fearg le Dearg or “Red with Anger” movement fighting for the civil rights of those who identify with our indigenous language and culture in Brittany they have Bonnets Rouges or the “Red Caps”, a similar protesting force. The centuries of institutional discrimination by the French state towards the Breton people must be confronted head on and Brittany must be reunited.

British Unionism, Nationalism In Denial

NR Green (Íomhá: Newsletter)

In a glorious example of the Irish political rhetoric known as “whataboutery” the columnist N.R. Greer takes to the pages of the Newsletter to attack the critics of the sectarianism and racism that is at the heart of the ideology of British Unionism in Ireland (and perhaps inevitably so given the origins of political Unionism in the foreign colonial invasion and exploitation of this island nation). Everyone from Moslem preachers to Chinese-Irish politicians are the problem not those who encourage and electorally prosper from fundamentalist politico-religious hatred as part and parcel of their politics and identity.

“There has been an on-going effort to ensure that Unionists are branded “bigots”, read the online comments section of any local newspaper and you will clearly see that to be the case. That “racist” is now being added to the pot is not a surprise.

The danger is that this relentless campaign to smear Unionists will provoke a backlash. If you stoke up tensions and scream “racist” at people long enough, some of them are eventually going to get fed up with it and lash out.

When this happens the anti-Unionist brigade will of course say “told you so” and admit no complicity in fanning the flames.”

So if the British terror gangs in Ireland start murdering Irish men, women and children again because of their perceived nationality or ethnicity, race or religion, it will be a “backlash” provoked by those in that community protesting at the hatred being directed towards them by the very people who would threaten them with violence? It is the equivalent of an argument blaming a woman for being raped because she publicly protested against the prevalence of rape.

I wonder if some young Moslem-Irish lad foolishly attacked the home of the self-styled evangelical preacher James McConnell would Greer regard that as someone “fed up” with being demonised and blame McConnell for fanning the flames which were brought to his own door?

No, probably not.

The Threat Of The Gaelic Ail-Caoíde

Three highly dangerous Ail-Caoíde militants about to stage an insurrection in Dublin to impose their Gaelic Sharara Law! Note the way their mouths are sealed with red tape as part of their evil customs. What next? Veils? Oh, the horror. Oh, the humanity. Won’t someone think of the children?

Talking of petty bigots whose anachronistic opinions are derived from centuries of colonial supremacism here comes another tirade against one of the indigenous languages of these Celtic Isles. Drew Cochrane, editor of the Largs & Millport Weekly News, spouting some ripe Daily Mail-style rhetoric for his Anglophone (and -centric) readership. Funny how people who complain about “political correctness” are the very ones the term is most applicable to?

“IT’S great to see democracy at work, or is it just plain daftness in the corridors of North Ayrshire Council?

So, more than 99 per cent of us don’t understand Gaelic, and have no desire to learn the language but, heh, that doesn’t matter. We’re getting it anyway.

The SNP-led council are so beholden to that well-known piece of legislation, the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act that they, apparently, feel compelled to change their NAC brand logo to include the Gaelic for North Ayrshire Council.

Why would you go to such lengths to satisfy less than one per cent of the population?

They say they have a statutory duty to promote Gaelic alongside English as the language of Scotland. No they don’t. They chose to do it.

It’s a farce and I was going to say a waste of money. However, the Scottish government has set up a pot of gold for positive discrimination of Gaelic and they pay councils to go Gaelic.

However, today is another plank in the political correctness gone mad syndrome.

As this newspaper knows well, you are not allowed to say anything which is not favourable to Gaelic.

The most abuse the paper ever faced was when young journalist David Walker offered his personal opinion, in this column, that a disproportionate amount of money was spent on Gaelic broadcasting.

Gaelic fanatics issued a ‘fatwah’ and Gaelic messages were posted, swearing at him and accusing him of being a racist. They can be an intolerant lot.”

And that, a chairde, is what we call irony-free thinking.

I’m off now to hold a meeting with the other members of the Gaelic Ail-Caoíde as we strive to impose our Gaelic Sharara Law upon Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man.

[With thanks to our brother in Gaeldom, @MisneachNYC. May the Tuatha Dé Danann, the fíor-déithe, guide him and all of us in our great journey to martyrdom, and may we meet on the far golden shores of Eamhain Abhlach. Beir Bua!]

British Reformation Politics

 

DUP, the Party for Northern Ireland (suicide-bombers, shirt-lifters and bog-trotters need not apply!)

DUP, the Party for Northern Ireland (suicide-bombers, shirt-lifters and bog-trotters need not apply!)

The legacy of British faith- and race-based colonialism right here in Europe, right here in Ireland. From The Impartial Reporter newspaper:

“THE new Chairman of Fermanagh District Council, Bert Johnston believes First Minister Peter Robinson “has shown good leadership” despite his remarks on Muslims sparking controversy…

Mr. Johnston, a long-standing member of the Democratic Unionist Party, said he supported his party leader’s “right to free speech” after he defended James McConnell who described Islam as “heathen” and “Satanic” in a service at his Belfast church.

In an interview with The Impartial Reporter, the DUP veteran said the comments by Pastor McConnell, which police are investigating as “a hate crime motive”, did not anger him…

“I don’t show respect to the Islamic faith,” added Mr. Johnston, “I am a Christian. I don’t show respect to something I don’t believe in. You are trying to lead me into a path that I should show respect to something I don’t believe in,” he said, adding: “But I do not condone any attacks on anybody that is a Muslim or Hindiu or any other religion.”

When asked if that included gay people after he once told this newspaper “Homosexuality is obnoxious to our holy God and gay marriage is very sad,” Mr. Johnston said: “If somebody comes to me and has a problem I will not ask them their sexual orientation”.

But asked what message his previous comments sent out, the Council Chairman said: “It might send out a message to warn them that they [gay people] are sinners that need to be saved.”

“Yes, they are sinners,” he added, “I base that on that they were born in sin. It is not me who said it – it is the Bible.”

Asked how he would be reaching out to those in our society who speak Irish, the Council Chairman said: “I’ll not be speaking Irish, I don’t intend to go down that road of learning the Irish language.

“I wouldn’t have much reaching out for a start because most people speak English. I think there would be very few people in Fermanagh that speak Irish. I have no problem getting on with people who speak Irish as long as they don’t speak it to me because I wouldn’t be able to understand it.”

Mr. Johnston’s role as Chairman of Fermanagh District Council continues until April 2015 when the new Fermanagh and Omagh District Council begins.”

If you are a Moslem man or woman, a gay man or woman or an Irish-speaking man or woman it seems that Fermanagh will be a very cold house indeed over the next year or so. God help you if you are all three…!

[With thanks to @MisneachNYC, @ClubLeabharNYC and others]

Speaking In Code

 

No, these de-humanizing caricatures of ordinary human beings aren't conversing in Irish. However the communities they represented still paid the price of sustained demonization by others...

No, these de-humanizing caricatures of ordinary human beings aren’t conversing in Irish. However the communities they represented still paid the price of sustained demonization by others…

Declan Lynch, the one-time enfant terrible of Irish journalism now turned middle-aged establishment terrier, has taken to the pages of the Irish Independent newspaper to bewail the challenge offered by the resurgence of progressive republicanism at the ballot box to the decades-old political consensus of our nouveau Ascendancy. He makes a typically jaded attempt to link the rise of Sinn Féin to the support of Far Right nationalist parties across the European Union during the recent parliamentary elections. No matter that SF is a centre-left party with a strong anti-racist record or that other groupings and candidates on the Left scored significant victories at the polls. No, in the tale of rebellious peasants penned by Lynch to appease the prejudices of his like-minded peers in the Big House (with or without Spanish-style arches) all of Europe’s plebian masses, and their electoral expressions, can be lumped together into one unpleasant outpouring of something called “populism”. However, as always with Lynch, one must read the code that runs through his words to understand his real targets, certain terms and phrases that those who think the group-think will readily understand:

“In recent weeks Sinn Fein fielded candidates who came across like gaelscoil teachers…”

What, a Dheagláin, you mean they had Irish language names and surnames? And they dared to speak the Irish language too? Hmmm. Forget about Europhobes. In Ireland we have our very own Hibernophobes.

Meanwhile elsewhere in the pages of the Irish Independent another middle-aged journo-writer-RTÉ-insider Pat Fitzpatrick has his go on the anti-Irish merry-go-round with his division of modern Irish society into “hilarious” categories for the amusement of the prejudiced:

“AN SLUA NUA

A sub tribe for our second most popular language. (If you exclude Polish, Mandarin Chinese and probably Spanish.) The gaeilgeoir tribe is now split in two. There is the old hard-core crowd, who still scour the trad music scene in west Clare. They are cultural purists, who find something deeply erotic in a black-haired beauty working her magic on the squeezebox.

The new gaeilgeoir tribe, An Slua Nua, is made up of subtle snobs and rugby fans. (There is a crossover here, as you can well imagine.) The snobs (Na Snobi) are those who reckon that sending their kids to a gaelscoil is the only politically correct way to keep their kids away from the lower classes. (They are not wrong.) Na Snobi are usually members of the Quite-Well-Off Complaining Class who can’t afford to send their kids to a fee-paying school.

Of course, sending your kids to a school where the parents must speak Irish could be seen by some as a form of racial segregation. Na Snobi are at pains to point out they are not racists.”

No, Irish men, women and children who speak the Irish language are not racists. However those who attack those men, women and children for speaking the Irish language? That is a different matter. For what category of human beings have we previously seen in European society presented as an affluent, influential and self-segregating community allegedly recognisable through certain cultural and linguistic traits? Oh the irony

The Great Irish Paradox

And one could say much the same for the language, a Shéamais

And one could say much the same for the language, a Shéamais

From the Daily Beast:

“Here in Odessa, the conflict has nothing to do with a linguistic divide. Everyone speaks Russian. As one pro-Maidan activist explained by analogy, “Irish terrorists speak English but fight for Ireland.”…”

That they do. And that, a chairde, is the problem in more ways than one.

Ireland Spends More Money On Non-Irish Translations

Scary Eire

Scary Éire

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 Social Protection had the highest spend on translation.

It spent more than €360,000 on translation costs into other languages, while the Department of the Environment spent €19,384 on translation into other languages.

The Department of Education and Skills had the highest spend in terms of Irish language translation, with a bill of over €107,000.

The Department of Social Protection spent over €35,000 on translation costs into Irish, and the Department of the Taoiseach spent €33,866 on translation into Irish.”

The next time an Anglophone supremacist decides to attack the equality of rights between Irish- and English-speaking citizens you might remind him or her that we now live in a multicultural Ireland. And that includes those people whose culture is expressed through our indigenous language.

Three Welsh Rights Activists Arrested

The three civil rights activists belonging to Cymdeithas yr Iaith arrested in Aberystwyth this morning

The three civil rights activists belonging to Cymdeithas yr Iaith arrested in Aberystwyth this morning (Íomhá: Walesonline)

Three activists fighting for Welsh language rights, two women and a man in their twenties, were arrested today by police in Wales after they painted slogans on a local government building demanding greater equality for Welsh-speaking citizens from the devolved government in Cardiff. From the Daily Post newspaper:

“Three campaigners have spray painted the Welsh Government offices in Aberystwyth this morning in a language protest about an alleged lack of support for the Welsh language.

Cymdeithas yr Iaith is blaming the First Minister’s “lack of action in response to the Census results”.

The activists’ organisation said that they painted slogans including pleas for “Addysg Gymraeg i Bawb” (Welsh-medium education for all) on the wall of the Welsh Government building in the town at 7:45am.

The society says that the protest is part of a general Cymdeithas campaign to put pressure on the Labour Government to act urgently in light of crisis facing the Welsh language.

Dyfed Powys Police said: “Police confirm that three people were arrested following an incident in the Welsh Assembly buildings in Aberystwyth this morning.”

On March 7, a dozen Welsh language campaigners chained themselves to a fence outside the same government offices in protest against an alleged lack of support for the Welsh language.

They struck in Aberystwyth in a four hour protest. Police were at the scene but said the event was peaceful.

It follows a similar protest in February at the Welsh Government’s offices in Llandudno Junction.”

Doctor Orders Child And Parent Not To Speak In Welsh

The Welsh Not, one former symbol of anti-Welsh racism in Britain

The Welsh Not, one former symbol of anti-Welsh racism in Britain

From a report by the Daily Post newspaper in Wales:

“A hospital has apologised after a doctor asked a mum and her daughter to stop speaking Welsh.

The North Wales mum had taken her 15-year-old daughter to the emergency department at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd,  Bodelwyddan on Tuesday.

She said the doctor had made the comment when she was treating her daughter.

While the mum and daughter had a discussion in Welsh, the mum claimed the  doctor said she would take it as a “personal  insult” to her if they continued speaking in their own language

The mum said her daughter “was crying and upset.” She said her daughter replied that she had a right to speak Welsh.

Yesterday, Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board apologised for what it called an “insensitive and unacceptable” comment.”