The Irish Republic

Photo of Mae Burke, Eithne Coyle and Linda Kearns, Cumann na mBan revolutionaries, taken shortly after they escaped from a British POW camp, in Carlow, Ireland 1921

I remember writing an essay many years ago where I stated that the Irish revolution was the making of Ireland’s language revival and the Irish counter-revolution was its breaking. Nothing in the last ten years has altered that opinion. The internecine victory of the reactionary forces of the old Catholic Nationalist bourgeoisie in 1923, with … Continue reading

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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

A Department Of Irish And Irish-Speaking Communities

Labhair Gaeilge

A great article over on Diaga Language which relates to my own piece yesterday on the lack of state-subsidised and accredited Irish language courses for adult learners in Ireland. As always you really should read the full post but here are the main points: “…I’ve been looking to find an advanced course over the last few days … Continue reading

Irish Ways And Irish Laws

Dearg Le Fearg, Irish Rights Are Civil Rights!

It seems that even the most reactionary dung-hill can produce the odd progressive rose. Here is Clare Cullen in the Irish Independent with some entirely sensible points in relation to Irish language education and the (constitutional) obligations of the state towards its citizens following the news that several TDanna were availing themselves of free Irish … Continue reading

No Time For Irish – Government Policy In Ireland

Featured Image -- 11510

A few weeks ago the appointment of two ministers by the government of Ireland with responsibilities directly effecting the interests of Irish-speaking communities and citizens was mired in controversy when it became clear that neither appointee could actually speak the Irish language (despite the presence of several other fluent candidates in the government parties). Both … Continue reading

The Politics Of Brutal Bruton

John Redmond The British Ventriloquist

Former Fine Gael leader and arch Euro-federalist John Bruton is generally regarded as the most economically right-wing Taoiseach Ireland has had in living memory. His term of office in the mid-1990s was pretty poor even by the mediocre standards of Irish politics, not helped by his obvious pro-British sympathies and antipathy to the emerging détente in … Continue reading

Equal In Any Language

We Are 42% - Gaeilge Anois!

In yesterday’s Guardian newspaper the journalist and political activist Ellie Mae O’Hagan argues that the Welsh language should be part of the school curriculum not just in Wales but in other parts of the island of Britain too. Since “England and Wales” are essentially treated as one constitutional and legal entity under British law it … 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

Oíche Sheanchais, The First Irish Language Sound Film

Mian Ní Cheallaigh, An Cladach, Contae na Gaillimhe, Éire, 26ú Bealtaine 1913

From a report by the Galway Advertiser: “The first Irish language ‘talkie’ ever made has premiered at a renowned Italian festival of rediscovered and restored film… Oidhche Sheanchais, an 11-minute film featuring Aran islanders from the Man of Aran cast listening to a story told by seanchaí Seáinín Tom Ó Dioráin, was the first ‘talkie’ … Continue reading

The Irish Government’s Anti-Irishness

Agóid Tobstailce @ Dáil Éireann

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 … 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

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

The Many Faces Of The Labour Party

Joan Burton, the aspirant leader of the rapidly decaying Labour Party, has loftily informed the waiting news media that she has no intention of entering into coalition with Sinn Féin because the party, “…still had questions to answer over its links to the atrocities of the Troubles.” Hmmm. Just as well no one mentioned Group … Continue reading

God Damn You All

Since the days of Thomas Davis and Michael Doheny, James Stephens and Charles Kickham, the adherents of Irish Republicanism have been the bêtes noires of the Roman Catholic Church. That is why the Vatican and its Irish hierarchy supported the counter-revolution of 1922-23 and the usurpation by the so-called Free State of the pluralist Republic established in the revolution of 1916 . … Continue reading

First Preference Votes In The 2014 Local Elections Are Mapped

The newish website Irish Political Maps has a list up displaying the percentage of first preference votes for parties in the recent local elections separated out by Local Electoral Areas. An essential read with Dublin in particular making for some interesting thoughts.

Joan Burton, A Bridge Too Far

If there is an Irish government minister more disliked by Seán and Síle Citizen than Joan Burton you’d be hard put to find him or her. Even Burton’s own Labour Party members visibly wince when discussing “the Voice” and her regular on-air car crashes. It’s not that she is a particularly inept politician or media-performer. It’s … Continue reading

The All-Ireland Percentage Vote For The European Parliament 2014

Thought I’d show some of the figures for the All-Ireland vote for the European Parliament being discussed on the blog “We In Coming Days” (with thanks to the contributor Feckitt and SO’T). A useful reminder of the democratic reality on our island-nation which Britain’s imposition of partition continues to impede.

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

The Green Party And Irish Language Rights

I’ve been sent a Green Party / Comhaontas Glas press release in relation to its Irish language polices in the run-up to the European and local elections and it makes for some interesting reading. Will it overcome my well-known antipathy to the Greens following their disastrous coalition with Fianna Fáil and the erosion of national sovereignty … Continue reading

ASF – The European And Local Elections

Several readers of An Sionnach Fionn have asked me how I intend to vote in the upcoming European and local elections. Though some people might object to such a question I believe that it is a fair enough one. If you have a personal website that posts political opinions on a regular basis then one’s own political biases should be up for review. I’m open to … Continue reading

The Irish Parliament? Some Chance!

An announcement from the European Parliament on its increasing recognition of Irish as an equal language of the European Union, via a report by the Irish Times newspaper: “The European Parliament website is now available in Irish, the parliament has announced in a press statement. All major sections of the Europarl website are now in … Continue reading

Political Shenanigans

Enda Kenny, Taoiseach na hÉireann, on the importance of water conservation and the dilemma faced by tens of thousands of people in Ireland who can’t afford to pay the new Euro-Tax Mark II Water Tax, as reported by The Journal: “You can turn off the tap.” So there you go, Seán and Síle Citizen, political … Continue reading

Fine Oibre Government Faces Electoral Shock And Awe?

So local residents at Togher in Cork and Raheny in Dublin are refusing to allow domestic water meters to be installed in their estates by contractors from Uisce Éireann (Irish Water) resulting in a large posse of Gardaí descending on both communities. Just the headlines the Fine Oibre coalition needs in the run-up to local and European … Continue reading

Ireland’s English State

Another year, another name-and-shame report from Ireland’s Language Commissioner, the independent ombudsman tasked with overseeing the implementation of the country’s Official Languages Act of 2003. This legislation guarantees limited rights for Irish-speaking citizens alongside their English-speaking peers (emphasis on the “limited”). However since its inception the profound levels of institutionalised discrimination in Ireland’s Anglophone public … Continue reading

Five Thousand March For Irish Rights In Belfast

Last Saturday up to five thousand people took part in An Lá Dearg i mBéal Feirste, a march through the city of Belfast in support of Irish language rights in the north-east of Ireland. Despite the disruptive presence of a small crowd of protesters from the British Unionist community (who waved British flags while making … Continue reading

Generation Shame

  One of the great puzzles of modern Ireland, and certainly an endless source of fascination for foreign observers of our island nation, is the great shame – embarrassment even – felt by some members of an older generation of Irish people when it comes to their own Irishness. Like some bizarre mark of Cain numerous … Continue reading

Saving The Language Commissioner

It’s been a hard struggle, and a long one, but the Fine Gael-Labour coalition government has finally succumbed to public pressure and agreed to retain the independent office of the Language Commissioner, the state official who oversees the implementation of the Official Languages Act. In Ireland the default language of government is English meaning that … Continue reading

Time For Truth, An Fhírinne Anois

With thanks to the Mirror, a powerful video from the Irish victims support organisation “Relatives for Justice” which campaigns for truth and openess in relation to the former conflict in the north-east of Ireland. Though focused on those who suffered at the hands of the British Forces and their terrorist allies the pain and suffering on display … Continue reading

Law And Order, Ireland

  So the Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan has finally jumped ship after a catalogue of controversies involving allegations of systemic corruption within Irish law enforcement. However, lo an’ behold, hot on the heels of his splashdown comes news of another scandal-in-waiting. It seems that phone-calls to and from a significant number of Garda stations in Ireland … Continue reading

The Ireland Inspires Video Gets A Response

An answer to the “Ireland Inspires” promotional video released by the Irish tourism authority, Fáilte Ireland, from students in Galway.

The Mafiaization Of Ireland

Every journalist in the world is influenced one way or another by his or her personal beliefs and values. Simple common sense tells us that and to be frank would we want news reporters who serve as little more than conveyor-belts of information? However the line between “influence” and “acting in accordance with” is a … Continue reading

Support From New York City For Irish Language Rights In Ireland

Well done to everyone who gathered at the famous Rocky Sullivan’s Pub in Red Hook, Brooklyn, to show their support for the constitutional and legal rights of Irish-speaking communities and citizens in Ireland. These rights are under renwed assault from the current coalition government in Dublin supported by a hostile Anglophone media. [ASF: With thanks … 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