How do you eliminate institutional discrimination against a minority community when public servants from an apathetic majority community dominate nearly all government departments and services? By ensuring that those who are discriminated against are allocated fair representation within those departments and services. From a report by the Journal:
“A REPORT COMMISSIONED by the Joint Committee on Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht has recommended, amongst other things, that at least 10% of public workers in each department of government should be proficient in the Irish language.
The report on the Official Languages Bill 2014 was announced yesterday on Raidió na Gaeltachta by Senator Labhrás Ó Murchú, a vice chairman of the 20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010-2030.
Other recommendations made within the report include that the visibility of Irish on both official online resources and social media be greatly increased, and that all official documents should be published bilingually in a single document.
Contrary to popular perception, the total number of people who can speak Irish in this country has increased slightly in recent years, with a 7% increase in number of speakers between the two most recent censuses in 2006 and 2011.
Speaking to TheJournal.ie, General Secretary of Conradh na Gaeilge Julian de Spáinn thinks the 10% figure is very achievable, but doesn’t think the report goes far enough in other ways.
“…really all you’re talking about is having 30% of new hires to public service as being proficient. It’s not that much to ask, they’re already being taught the language in school, this would simply be making good on that investment.
The PSNI took a very similar approach when it came to balancing out the ratio of Catholics to Protestants in the police service, so I see no reason why the same principle can’t be applied here.””
Meanwhile the updated legislation includes some surprising proposals; surprising because one cannot believe that such rules need to be enacted in the first place, especially after ninety odd years of an independent Irish nation:
“Head 9 New Section: Irish names and postal addresses
The use by persons of the Irish language or English language version, whichever they so wish, of their names and addresses when communicating with public bodies.
The purpose of this Head is to allow people to use either the Irish or English versions of their names and addresses when communicating with public bodies. The underlying principle is that those wishing to use the Irish versions of their names should be treated no less favourably by public bodies than those wishing to use the English versions.
The proposal is also intended to address the difficulties which can be encountered by people whose names are in Irish when their personal details are being inputted into information technology (IT) systems used by public bodies. This can manifest itself, for example, in the form of the síneadh fada being omitted or not being accommodated as a recognised character in IT systems.
The inclusion of this provision has potential practical implications in areas such as IT and other business systems used in the public sector and will, therefore, require a lead-in time prior to its implementation in order to allow public bodies to amend their systems. As a result, it is proposed to enable the Minister to implement this provision on a phased basis on a date or dates to be prescribed by regulation. The aim of this approach is to allow the Minister to add to the list of bodies to which this provision applies as their business systems are adjusted to accommodate it. On a practical level, public bodies will be
informed of this new requirement under the Act on an administrative basis and asked to provide a timescale within which they agree to make appropriate adjustments to their systems.”
Yes, that’s right. In 2015 it requires Irish laws to permit Irish citizens to use Irish names with the Irish government in the Irish state.
As a an Israeli-American friend remarked to me on this matter: that is seriously fucked up.