The BBC can do Irish but RTÉ can't
The BBC can do Irish but RTÉ can’t. Oh the irony…

So after eighteen years of an online presence our self-proclaimed “national public service broadcaster”, RTÉ, has finally got around to providing a web-based Irish language news site (though you might have to search through the RTÉ homepage to find it). I suppose one should welcome the move as a sign of more demand driving more service. Or perhaps it was a modicum of embarrassment felt in the swish conference rooms of Montrose. Of course that doesn’t mean RTÉ is about to go bilingual as 95% of its online activities remain in English (though in fairness that matches its TV and radio output). Despite claiming to be our national you-know-what RTÉ will continue to have no Irish language version of its website. Unlike of course the British Broadcasting Corporation. Yes, that’s right the BBC websites in Britain are available in Irish while RTÉ’s in Ireland are not.

The phrase you are looking for is “…for fuck’s sake”.

Meanwhile some more “FFS” news as our national police service, An Garda Síochána, starts the process of inducting one hundred new recruits some of whom it has agreed will be Irish-speakers in order to better serve the community (and prevent law-abiding Irish-speaking citizens from being arrested for speaking in Irish to English-speaking officers. Though of course if you were an Irish-speaker charged with an offence you wouldn’t be entitled to a fair trial in your own language anyway thanks to the Supreme Court’s gradation of civil rights based upon language use). From a report by, er, RTÉ:

“Today saw the first group of Irish language recruits from the Garda Training College in Templemore.

It followed complaints to the commissioner in 2010 about the lack of gardaí in Gaeltacht areas and especially those who were unable to conduct their business with the public through Irish.

It was decided that 10% of recruits would be Irish speakers.

Around 1,000 people applied to the garda training course in Irish last December and January and the first group began today.

They will complete the same course as English language recruits, but also do an examination through Irish.”

I should point out that the total number of new recruits will be one hundred. No, not one hundred Irish-speaking recruits. One hundred recruits overall of whom a minimum of ten (that’s 10!) will be Irish-speakers. At that rate it will take approximately 133 years to achieve 10% fluent Irish-speakers in the Garda Síochána. Again the phrase you are looking for is “…for fuck’s sake”.

5 comments on “The Embarrassment Of Being Irish

  1. Ashling Larkin

    Truth be told RTÉ and others simply don’t care, Sionnach.

    Wanted to send posting of really excellent archive of podcast conversations with important figures in the Irish language movement via @Cuanbos. Very much worth listening to if your readers have time and have Leaving Cert Irish or equivalent. Beir beannaċt. [Breandán Ó Doiḃlin] [Deasún Fennell] [Míċeál Ó Cróinín]


  2. an lorcánach

    well that answers the irish language requirement for the guards anyway!


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