Current Affairs Politics The Irish Language - An Ghaeilge

Attacking The Weak By Pretending They Are Powerful – How Ireland’s Media Elite Work

Stop speaking Irish?
Stop speaking Irish?

Can someone tell me what the “Irish language lobby” is? Apparently it is immensely powerful. Or so the Irish Times believes:

“There is growing anger among student teachers about new charges for Irish courses in the Gaeltacht. Students are required to attend a three-week language course in first and second year. In the past, the courses were subsidised but this has been withdrawn, leaving students to pick up the cost, estimated at about €1,500.

A wider question is whether student teachers should be obliged to have a C3 or better in higher-level Irish in the Leaving Cert.

Aodhán Ó Riordáin of the Labour Party says the requirement for “honours Irish” effectively acts as a barrier to poorer students who aspire to become primary school teachers.

DEIS secondary schools, he says, are rarely in the position to offer higher-level Irish for their students. And poorer families do not have the resources to pay for grinds or to send their children to the Gaeltacht on summer courses. His comments merit discussion.

But who is brave enough to run with them and risk the wrath of the immensely powerful Irish-language lobby?”

Ah yes. The coalition government of Fine Gael and Labour which has been systematically dismantling the legal and social rights of the Irish-speaking citizens of Ireland since its inception starves that community of even further resources but it turns out the fault lies with the community itself.

Or as the Galway Independent reports:

“Irish language organisation Conradh na Gaeilge has hit out at the Government’s failure to properly consult the Gaeltacht community in the implementation of the 20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language, 2010-2030.

President of Conradh na Gaeilge, Mr Donnchadh Ó hAodha, said that the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht had given the Irish-speaking community no role or representation within the current structure that makes decisions with regard to the strategy.

“There is a colossal difference between being consulted with and having concrete input into decisions being made,” said Mr Ó hAodha. “It is not enough to consult with the Irish-language and Gaeltacht community if that community doesn’t have representation on the board that makes the decisions regarding the Strategy.”

Conradh na Gaeilge claims that stakeholders in other industries and cultural sectors are represented at policy-making tables when important decisions are being taken and the group is demanding that the same recognition and role be afforded the Irish-speaking community.

Julian de Spáinn, General Secretary of Conradh na Gaeilge said that attacks on Irish language institutions such as the merging of the offices of An Coimisinír Teanga and the Ombudsman, would not have occurred had there been proper consultation with the community.

“The 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language is failing to have any real impact on the public as the Irish-language and Gaeltacht community have no ownership or control over its implementation,” said Mr de Spáinn.”

Perhaps someone, somewhere, in our national media might address the influence of the immensely powerful English language lobby? No? Ah, I thought not…

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