Current Affairs Politics The Irish Language - An Ghaeilge

No Irish For The Irish Parliament?

Gerry Adams TD

Eoin Ó Riain tackles the latest example of Gaeilgeoir-baiting that has tarnished the pages of the Irish Times, courtesy of journalist Miriam Lord, the newspaper’s political sketch writer. Over the last few months she has penned regular articles criticising, ridiculing or mocking the Sinn Féin TD Gerry Adams for daring to speak in the Irish language in the Irish parliament. As you do. Though her column, the Dáil Sketch, is noted for its satirical edge the Sinn Féin leader’s use of Irish seems to have been singled out as a particular bête noire for the award-winning journo. However as Eoin Ó Riain rightly points out whatever one’s political opinions of Gerry Adams, or of his linguistic fluency, as a political leader he has quite possibly contributed more to Irish being heard as an equal language of governance in the chamber of Dáil Éireann than anyone else in the last fifty years.

If only Miriam Lord was as enthusiastic in applying her snide remarks to those who have sold away the rights of the citizens of Ireland as she is of those who stand up for them.

UPDATE: Commentator Mick Fealty makes many of the same points on Irish news blog Slugger O’Toole.

10 comments on “No Irish For The Irish Parliament?

  1. I may need some assistance as Mr Fitz is shaping up for an argument on the Irish Language my thread mentioned earlier. Interestingly he has signed up for Liofa. The argument is essentially about ownership of the language. I’ve also linked to a West Cork, protestant, Irish speaking aspect which is seldom mentioned. I’d appreciate any input on this. The links are all here:


  2. On another related matter and as an advocate of wearing the Easter Lily I have often heard it said that Sinn Fein hijacked it! More nonsense. Although it is now associated with SF they didn’t ‘hijack’ it, FF and the rest of us just stopped wearing it. What a pity as we should never forget the sacrifice of those who went out in 1916, and the following years. I am non-political but in both these instances I must say: Beir bua Gearoid


    • I quite agree. Up to the 1960s and early ’70s FF and Labour, and some Fine Gael, would wear the Easter Lilly every year as appropriate. Then they simply walked away and left it. For them to complain of Sinn Féin taking up what they abandoned is utter hypocrisy. But then you could apply that point to several other areas 😉


  3. Why no mention of news of the PUP embracing the Irish language, surely this positive news should get a mention on your blog?? Get it up there!!


    • Very true but I can’t post everything. I have to work some time, if only just to pay the bills 😉

      I have highlighted the work of Linda Irvine before but I will certainly try to post something here. Thanks for the Comment 🙂


  4. GRMA as an tagairt! Beir bua!


  5. However as Eoin Ó Riain rightly points out… as a political leader he has quite possibly contributed more to Irish being heard as an equal language of governance in the chamber of Dáil Éireann than anyone else in the last fifty years.

    Actually I think that distinction goes to Michael McDowell, bastard though he was. As I recall he introduced a number of pieces of legislation through Irish, and it was argued that he did so so that very few in the house would understand what he was up to (in one instance to introduce a law that would allow the EU to phone tap Irish citizens).


    • Ah yes, there is indeed a rather notorious tradition of introducing “difficult” legislation to An Dáil via the Irish language (for those that can). Good point!


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