In light of two recent posts, “The Acceptable Form Of Racism In Ireland” and “Sinn Féin’s Bluff And Bluster On Irish Rights”, and the subsequent contributions in the Comments (for which thanks to all), I thought this short article over on Diaga, “Language Resistance 2 – Ambivalence (Québec)”, makes some excellent points of its own. Meanwhile the northern wing of the Oirish media gives some room to the British journalist Ruth Dudley Edwards to promulgate the old blood-libel against those who speak and fight on behalf of the indigenous language of this island nation.
“Under the 1922 Free State constitution, with Gaelicising Ireland an ideological priority, Irish had been given equal status with English as an official language and became a mandatory qualification for the civil service and school certificates. …it was given a position of privilege in schools, where it was frequently beaten into children by struggling teachers.”
Of course those self-same children – and their Irish-speaking counterparts – frequently had English “beaten” into them too. In fact we have plenty of historical evidence from the 20th century of Irish-speaking men, women and children being forced to adopt the English language because of institutional and societal discrimination. It was speak English or, in some cases, die. Have you ever read or heard of the reverse? Of course not because there was no policy by the Free State regime or any subsequent democratic Irish government to “Gaelicise” the country. It is pure fantasy; Orwellian propaganda popularised by British-apologists and those infected with the poisonous cultural legacy of British colonial rule in Ireland. And if you need more proof of that…:
“It is, for instance, a disgrace that John O’Dowd at the Department of Education is proposing to privilege Irish over English, or foreign languages, and that Culture Minister Caral (a bogus version of Carol) Ni Chulin’s priority is Irish.”
Teaching Irish in Ireland is giving the language a position of “privilege”? I suppose teaching French in France or German in Germany would seem equally bizarre to the Anglophone supremacists of the Irish press corps. Talking of France and Germany I wonder does Ruth Dudley Edwards believe that Jean and Johannes are “bogus” versions of John? And it’s Carál Ní Chuilín not “Caral Ni Chulin”.
Did I say “journalist“?