Hating people who speak Irish is not racist, sure it's just a bit of fun...
Hating people who speak Irish is not racist, sure it’s just a bit of fun…

One of the more amusing spectator sports of recent months has been derived from watching the seething antipathy expressed by the anglophone and federalist media in Canada towards the governing Parti Québécois in the province of Québec. It goes far beyond mere political animus and into the realms of existential angst as many “Unionist” Canadians battle with a desire to retain their continent-spanning federation in its present form versus an obvious wish to see the Francophone component of that essentially Anglophone nation ejected forthwith.

Everything, politics, economics, culture and history, is fair game in this war of wills. So we are told by a leading national newspaper in Canada that “only” 33% of non-Francophones in Québec support its laws guaranteeing French-language rights, in particular the so-called Bill 101. Given that non-French speakers constitute around 19% of the total population in the province one might think it pretty good that nearly a third are supportive of language protection. But no. While there has been some understandable controversy in recent years over the manner in which the regulations under the Charter of the French Language have been upheld there seems little doubt that without it the Francophone population of Québec would have succumbed to the pressures of its Anglophone neighbours decades ago. If not voted into law in the 1970s there would be no 80% plus French-speaking majority in Québec or anything close to it. Economic and social bullying, and above all else the institutional discrimination of an Anglophone establishment would have ensured that by now we would have witnessed the cultural extinction of a French-speaking population of six million men, women and children.

Which is perhaps a lesson for us here in Ireland. When “shock-jock” presenters on popular Anglophone radio stations can claim with no fear of legal repercussion that parents who raise their children through Irish are engaged in “child-abuse” for doing so or that the Irish language “problem” will end when the last speaker of Irish dies then one must wonder if the aim of some on this island nation is also the “extinction” of a population they find troublesome.

[With thanks to An Lorcánach]

5 comments on “I’m Not A Racist But…

  1. Tá ciníochas fós beo agus láidir agus gránna ach ní adhmhaíonn daoine go bhfuil siad mar sin.
    D’fhoghlaim siad an meon aigne sin. Ba chuid den ord soisialta é: ‘muidne níos fearr ná sibhse.’
    Dúradh liom X3 aréir go mba chóir go mbeadh muid buíoch do na Sasanaigh.
    1. Mar bhí go leor Éireannaigh ansin a bhí níos fearr as ó thaobh cúrsaí eacnamaíochta de.
    2. Mar go raibh sé in am dúinn a ‘Get over all that’.(stair) agus
    3. Mar ‘Shur the queen didn’t do anything wrong’.
    É seo go léir ó Éireannach a cheapann nach fiú Gaeilge a labhairt mar níl aon mhaitheas ann ó thaobh $$$ de. Ní thuigeann sí céard atá ar siúl ar an raidió agus sa Tuairsceart AGUS sa Deisceart faoi láthair agus is cuma léi, ceapaim..
    Ach ní raibh sí ina aonar.
    Dúirt beirt eile go raibh sé drochbhéasach agus páistiúil agus gur chór dom ‘Get past it.’
    Cén fáth? PC dul amú? Aineolas? An meoin ‘Don’t rock the boat’?
    Is céard a spreag é?
    Táimid (Celtic Arts Center) in áit ina bhfuil Churchill agus Liz agus a leithidí ag breathnú anuas orainn ó na ballaí is d’iarr mé an mbeadh muid in ann iad a chlúdú le cuirtíní don Deireadh Seachtaine Gaeltachta.atá pleanáilte againn. B’shin é. Ceist.
    An rud aisteach faoi?
    Nuair a d’iarr mé é sin ar an mbean (Sasanach) atá i gceannas ar an áit, bhí fadhb ar bith aici leis.
    Ba iad na hÉireannaigh agus Meiriceánaigh a labhair liom ag rá go mba chóir go mbeadh náire orm faoi.
    Na ceachtanna múinte fadó faoi ordlathas dearmadtha ag na daoine a mhúin é ach fós ag na daoine a d’fhoghlaim é! #frustrachas


  2. an lorcánach

    thanks very much for that, sionnach – troubling stuff: not sure if it was ‘Liam Mac an Bháird’ who was interviewed on Niall Boylan yesterday afternoon but he put up a damn good fight against regular caller ‘Limerick Joe’ (virulent British colonial apologist and confirmed Anglocentric) — — this must be the fourth or fifth time related topic of Irish (and the cost to state purely in financial terms) has been covered over the last two years by either Niall Boylan or David Harvey on 4fm

    sentiments seem to be changing though from last time i viewed them as shown with two comments:

    Should Gardaí have to speak Irish? Should it become a requirement to speak the language or is it a waste of time?
    Anaximander Museo: “Italians speak Italian, French speak French, Germans speak German, English speak English etc. etc. are we so ignorant that we don’t want an identity…? Ignorance is bliss!!!”

    “We are currently talking about the Irish language and we are wondering if it is actually relevant in todays society?”
    Tara Mohan: “Course its relevant! … its our culture. Its the first language of ireland. Theres still gaeltacht areas! Irish is evrywhere! So stupid that ppl ask these questions its not doing any harm. I dnt even think this is a worthy question!!”


  3. John Mitchel

    From ‘Sunday Business Post’: Letter to Editor (in reply to previous week’s letter from former president of Conradh na Gaeilge):

    ‘Time to speak up as gaeilge’

    ‘Perhaps Maolsheachlainn Ó Caollaí should reprimand his silent gaelgoir friends rather than the government bodies who have spent a fortune in finance and time over decades on promoting the language. May I ask: where are all these Irish speakers we continuously hear about? Why do they not speak Irish in public and not confine it mostly to their social clubs and gaelscoileanna? If the gaelgeoiri spoke Irish as their first official language then the government, and indeed the ordinary citizens, would have to respond. If Irish speakers feel so strongly on Irish then SPEAK UP. Put your opinions where your mouth is. Let us hear Irish being spoken in the normal environment and the country will respond positively.

    Noel Mac Canna, Baile Coimín, Co Chill Mhantáin


    • Thanks for the transcription, John. In an article by thejournal.ie highlighting the lack of accommodation for 200 pupils in Gaelcholaiste an Phiarsaigh, an Irish-medium school in south Dublin, one person contributed this nicely prejudicial insight on the purpose of gaelscoileanna:

      One sure way of sending your kids to an all white school.

      The irony being the individual who left the comment is apparently an Irishman in a relationship with a non-Irish or non-Caucasian person. How bizarre is discrimination in Ireland towards Irish-speakers that even people who should be the most aware of and opposed to racism are themselves anti-Hibernophone racists? It is almost literally insane.

      No wonder Irish-speakers keep their mouths shut.


      • John Mitchel

        Thanks very much for that: I heard it’s supposed to be the old VEC on Sydenham Road near Dundrum; newsletter from local Cllr Jim O’Dea came in the post about it. Notions of “white flight” has been tagged to all-Irish schools since mid-2000s. To be honest it sticks only in the sense that a portion of parents who send their children there now have no interest in Irish (but that’s always been the case). Hard to imagine that the majority are there for any reason other than out of principle and not simply lying. And of course there’s the wider issue of education at that school and fee-paying schools where students get grinds on Leeson Street!


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