The Oirish Independent newspaper, that bastion of Anglophone supremacism, carries yet another hate-rant against TG4, the Irish language public broadcaster. Two weeks ago TG4 secured some of its biggest audience figures when 550,000 people tuned in to watch the channel’s live Saturday coverage of the rugby match between Leinster and Munster at the AVIVA stadium. The next day another 500,000 watched Sunday’s Ladies’ Gaelic Football Finals at Croke Park making TG4 the top TV channel in Ireland that afternoon. The previous night the station was narrowly beaten by bigger rival RTÉ as the most watched television channel in Ireland (despite the latter having a budget some five times bigger than TG4’s).
However according to the Indo’s TV reviewer (the same one as here?):
“ I was most encouraged recently by a letter from a man who runs a sporting pub in Dublin, who informed me that his customers simply refuse to watch sport on TG4. In particular, they can’t understand why rugby is shown in Irish, when it would get far more viewers if it was shown in the actual national language on RTE.
This speaks to a number of themes that are dear to me. It reveals how quickly we reject the Irish language as soon as it intrudes on our enjoyment of life in any meaningful way.”
Presumably these rugger-loving chaps (and I’m pretty sure that in this particular establishment it is mainly chaps) don’t make up the half-a-million viewers who did watch the sports on TG4. And in particular the rugby.
In the interests of public safety should we not be told the name of the “sports pub” where the Irish language, and by inference Irish-speakers, are not welcome? After all one wouldn’t want to walk into the wrong bar and say the wrong thing, or rather use the wrong language, and be escorted from the premises for doing so – or worse.
Oh, no doubt these Anglophone fundamentalists will tell us that though they hate the Irish language they do not hate Irish-speaking men and women. Just as Christian fundamentalists tells us that they hate homosexuality but do not hate homosexual men and women. Or Islamic fundamentalists hate America – but not Americans.
But, seriously, who believes that?