Mick Wallace, Enda Kenny, Not Mincing Words

Mick Wallace outside An Dáil (Íomhá: thejournal.ie)

On one of the very rare days dedicated to the use of the Irish language in Dáil Éireann the controversial independent TD Mick Wallace asks a question in English after apologising for his lack of Irish fluency, Fine Gael leader and Taoiseach na hÉireann Enda Kenny answers in Irish, Wallace refuses to use (or has mislaid) one of the translation headsets provided to all deputies in the legislature, and a row ensues as the Wexford politician accuses the premier of “hiding” his reply through the use of Ireland’s indigenous language, while the Mayo TD scolds Wallace for not employing the translation facilities provided and insisting on an answer in English. Make up your own mind…

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12 comments

  1. leisceoir… during gaeltacht bill in july 2012 the technical group with ming-the-scrupulous apologised for lack of Irish during seachtain na gaeilge… not sure if last year mick wallace spoke but today he just couldn’t be arsed using headset – pure laziness – or even using free translation services to have a text/phonetic question read out and just gifted to teacher-kenny an opportunity to condescend (clearly enjoyed) showing mick up as a stupid school boy … own goal –

    mick could have made serious contribution on an important topical subject (through Irish)

  2. This is what I just don’t get. (Assuming Wallace is Irish and had an Irish education). I was obliged to learn French at school (in the UK) for four years. I wasn’t very interested, didn’t get to sit the exam, but at least I can read French material when I need to. Jānis here, like most continental Europeans, learned English at school and so he can understand and speak English. All Irish kids afaik have *years and years* of Irish lessons at school starting at kindergarten. So why can’t this dick understand Irish? And if he can’t who is to blame? Surely these are the questions that need to be asked in the Dáil on Lá na Gaeilge?

    1. Only 4 years?
      In Latvia we have to learn English for 12 years and another foreign language (usually Russian or German) for 6 years.

      1. It would have been five, but the school gave up on my class after four. In the UK, and probably most English-speaking countries, generally foreign languages start to be taught around the ages of 11-14, at the point where the kids are just too old to pick them up easily 😉
        However afaik your experience with English would have been much closer to that of Irish citizens with Irish, so something somewhere must be terribly wrong.

      2. This talk may be of interest, although she is pushing her POV so the examples might be selective.

        “Irish speakers are immigrants in their own land” — Discuss?

        1. legal aliens in their own land — dissenters subject to the laws of the european union.

  3. It appears that the Dáil was remiss in providing the head-sets to each Deputy so it was not that easy for Mick Wallace to find one. This morning on the Radio a political correspondent said that even in the press gallery they were not provided until the session was in progress for some time but that when they were provided the translation was excellent and clear!

  4. Bhí an eachtra sin náireach!!The incident was embarrassing in it’s own right if that’s possible
    M Wallace shortcomings were bad enough but the manner in which he was reprimanded (I agree that he needed to be told) didn’t cover Enda Kenny in glory)Chuala mé an comhrâ ar R na G agus bhí na daoine ar an clár ag baint sult as !

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