Current Affairs Politics The Irish Language - An Ghaeilge

The Right To Hate The Second-Class Irish

World War E, a metaphor for the battle between the Irish and English languages in Ireland?


Another year, another dire record of public services for Irish-speaking citizens and communities by the supposedly bilingual Irish state (note the word “Irish” in that description. Ah, the irony…). From a report by the Irish Examiner newspaper:

“The Irish-language commissioner has questioned the effectiveness of the Government’s efforts to promote the use of Irish language in the public service.

An Coimisinéir Teanga, Rónán Ó Domhnaill, said there was “a fundamental flaw” in the language scheme system which details which services will be provided through the medium of Irish.

Mr Ó Domhnaill said that such a system depended to a large degree on what a public body was offering at a particular point in time rather than working towards recognised standards of services through Irish.

He pointed out that one government department was promising to publish 25% of its press releases in Irish but that these might not be issued up to 24 hours after the English version.

Another department, which uses its website as one of its major means of communication, is only committed to publishing corporate documents in Irish online, Mr Ó Domhnaill said.

The primary role of An Coimisinéir Teanga is to ensure state bodies comply with their obligations under the Official Languages Act to making public services accessible through Irish.

Mr Ó Domhnaill claimed there were “substantial gaps” between the legislation and its practical implementation. He said it was his firm view that the system of language schemes must be fundamentally altered.

Mr Ó Domhnaill said the weaknesses which were identified in a recent review of the Official Languages Act regarding the language rights of citizens were still noticeable.

However, he said that the heads of an Official Languages (Amendment) Bill which were published as part of the 10-year review were incomplete and did not tackle the difficulties identified in the document.

Mr Ó Domhnaill also expressed disappointment at the lack of posts identified by government departments with an Irish-language requirement.

Among the bodies that were found in breach of regulations governing use of the Irish language during the course of last year were the Railway Procurement Agency, Dublin Bus, and the HSE.”

The facts are simply this: twelve years after the introduction of legislation guaranteeing the rights of Irish-speakers to the same levels of service from the government as their English-speaking peers such rights remain half-hearted at best, tokenistic at worse. Continuing to foster a decades-old culture of institutional discrimination against Hibernophone citizens while claiming to do otherwise is the lowest form of chicanery. That is especially true when the present Fine Oibre coalition government, FG and Labour, has established an unenviable record on the issue of our indigenous language. It has become one of the most hostile administrations to take power in Ireland since the winning of independence in the 1920s. It is hardly surprising that prejudice – for that is what it is – is second-nature in some departments and agencies when some staff view Irish-speaking men, women and children as an alien and unwelcome minority. In light of such attitudes, carefully cultivated by elements of the state and reflected in the popular Anglophone media, it is inevitable that incidences such as this arise, as featured by the Irish Times:

“A complaint against a radio presenter who described some supporters of the Irish language as being “nutters”, “mad” and “insane” has been upheld by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI).

An Irish language speaker, Muireann Ní Mhóráin, had claimed the FM104 Phone Show broadcast last June that included these statements had caused her great offence.

She also objected to a contributor who said that Irish parents sending their children to Gaelscoileanna was a “middle class thing to do . . . they think they’re higher than other people”.

Ms Ní Mhóráin said that this statement was untrue in her case, as her first language was Irish.

The station said that Mr Barry also used the words “mad” and “insane” to describe some Gaeilgeoirí, but that he had meant a certain type of Irish language speaker.

He also suggested that if an Irish language speaker insisted on accessing state services through the language, he could be characterised as an “awkward son of a bitch”.

Ms Ní Mhóráin also objected to the use of the word “Taliban” to describe those involved in promoting the language on the programme.

FM104 stated that this was a phrase commonly used to describe Irish language lobbyists.

…the committee held that presenter Chris Barry had “consistently interrupted contributors who did not agree with the editorial position of the programme on the Irish language and he had characterised one of the contributors as an ‘awkward son of a bitch’”.

The authority found that the tone and manner of the presenter’s contributions were therefore “unfair and contrary to the BAI’s code”.”

When obvious prejudice can pose as fair comment then you know that there is something rotten in the state of Ireland. The problem here, amongst many others, is that those who promote such vile attitudes believe them to be so widely held as to be the norm, thus they cannot believe that others would object to them or that their right to engage in the promotion of such biases might be curtailed. It is like the Orange Order being denied the right to march through certain communities beating out their sectarian and racist chants, or the supposed right of the KKK to promote their petty hatreds and jealousies in African-American or Jewish-American neighbourhoods. Bigots will inevitably act with outrage when their bigotry is denied expression.

However, regulatory judgements aside, it seems that little will change, as the tabloid Herald illustrates:

“IRELAND was home to a thriving branch of the German Nazi party in the 1930s, including a number of members who held positions in the Civil Service.

There were up to 75 Germans and Austrian Nazi Party members here led by archaeologist Adolf Mahr, who was appointed director of the National Museum in 1934.

He ended up working on Nazi propaganda broadcasts into Ireland. Many of the broadcasts were in the Irish language because the Nazis believed Gaelic speakers might be more inclined to be anti-British.”

Yes, of course they did.

More here on the realities of being second-class Irish and the biggest reality of all; extremist Anglophones do not dislike or hate the Irish language: they dislike or hate those who speak the Irish language. Every Irish-speaking man, every Irish-speaking woman, every Irish-speaking child.

13 comments on “The Right To Hate The Second-Class Irish

  1. Sinéad Rohan

    Listened to broadcast at the time and Barry (not real name) has form as he’s very dismissive of the language, in general discussions as well as when it’s not a specific topic. But not alone is it on FM104 it’s 98FM and 4FM. Stirring things is fun on topical issues and it’s ordinary callers on air not PR people, so it’s not simply about balance: it’s that these Dublin-centric shock-jocks genuinely dislike the language and as you say by extension many Irish language speakers. Nothing will change their minds. 4FM must have covered “is the Irish language worth it” 10 times as a topic since 2012.


  2. I Like the Graphic on top there.
    FWIW..I have noticed the state distance itself from the Irish language too.
    In the forms of the New Irish Naval Service ships.
    The ships used to be named after Irish Girls names.
    LE Aoife..Le Deirde etc.
    Now We got Samuel Beckett and James Joyce Yawn!!!!
    Perhaps the Tony O Reilly clan gave the Navy the names they should use..Whilst they are out protecting their “families” oil interests in Ballyroe.

    I know the Navy is nothing but a jumped up Coast Guard..But the still could have kept up the tradition…..After all this is what Navies do!!!!
    Ofc..Before that the Slua Muiri and the FCA have been “anglicised” WAY before.

    OFc (part two)..Irish parents seem to be using English names Like Emily and English football louts for their Brats also!!!!!

    Going back to naval matters I think this is an interesting read about the Trawler off County Down

    When I watched the RTE show Charlie..One of these incidents came up.
    It’s interesting that The Irish Govt..Were complete cowards in NOT getting the Brits to pay full price of the ” Sharelga” traweler

    Also in 9 years 50 fishermen were killed.
    So I suppose it makes no difference what names the Irish call their ships.
    They are not able to control the waters around Ireland.
    And the State has no interest in equiping them or mandating that they do.
    What’s the point of Independence..If you are a weak kitten?????????

    anyway..This was just something that was bugging me.
    I suppose the Prefix LE for Long Eireannach will be replaced by HMS in due course. to complete the anglicisation process
    Free State scumbags wouldn’t surprise me.


    • Jānis

      If you’re weak and can’t defend yourself then the most logical action is to join a stronger military alliance.
      Like NATO, for example.

      Countries like Switzerland can pretend that they’re neutral because no one wants to attack them in the first place.


      • But it’s Nato Member submarines which have been dragging down Irish trawelers..At least during the height of the Cold War.
        Sweden is Neutral..and they have an arms industry..and their forces are/were capable..
        ofc..they have undergone budget cuts since the end of the USSR too.

        I would only be in favour of Nato me,membership as a bargaining chip for irish unity.
        Also, they should allow Ireland to break economic rules and still trade..just like they have done for South Korea.
        Maybe if we had somebody capable in charge of Ireland we could have been a south Korea ourselves..Outside the EU…But home to many world beating industries.


        • Jānis

          Those were accidents not acts of war – it’s not like the Brits are actively hunting Irish fishermen.


    • L.E. Samuel Beckett and the L.E. James Joyce are just awful. And named as such for supposed tourism reasons. The mind boggles. There was a recent debate in An Dáil which touched on the dropping of Irish language titles for state agencies, bodies, etc. People have noticed. FG-Labour are a dreadful shower of Redmondite twats.


      • Jānis

        Well, what’s the point of putting “GARDA” on a cop car if the people who are sitting in it can’t speak a word in Irish?


      • If they had to change names.
        I’d have gone for John P Holland or Admiral Brown of Foxford / Argentina
        But they should re use the names they already have..other Countries do it.

        Agreed on FG-Labour..But what we really need is an Irish SNP.
        They have guts….None of the Free Staters have any.
        including FF.
        I hope we get something like that (SNP ) for Ireland soon.
        i.e somebody the country could rally around..en masse.
        in the past, there was a great many people..Even Grattan, whilst No Republican was a better Irishman that these Blewshirts.


        • Jānis

          What guts do they have?
          Their vision of Scotland is a monolingual English speaking country that uses the British pound.


      • I’d be going for L E Lios Ceannúir myself inspired by the earlier suggestion of Holland but a name with a fada would cause consternation.
        On the issue of special “toppings for tourists” I noticed yesterday that Dublin has a Leprechaun Museum!
        Will need to restrain myself now before I contribute any more comments!


        • Wow.
          I had to look up that place.
          What a beautiful place..and yes County Clare for Jp holland.
          and as for a Leprechaun museum…
          I shall be in a good mood and just put it down to harmless fun !!!!..perhaps.. 🙂


  3. Great article. Haven’t listened to the broadcasts mentioned. I’d like my breakfast to stay down !The image used with the article heading reminded me of BLACKHAWK DOWN and Joe Strummer and THE MINSTREL BOY

    The Minstrel fell! But the foeman’s chain
    Could not bring his proud soul under;
    The harp he loved ne’er spoke again,
    For he tore its chords asunder;
    And said “No chains shall sully thee,
    Thou soul of love and bravery!
    Thy songs were made for the pure and free
    They shall never be sung in slavery

    Everything that Sinêad says about shock jockeys is true but their modus operandi is something that station management might want to reconsider Pick two opposing stands on any issue, use(in two ways) people who are clearly ignorant of all the facts(DON’T under any circumstances inform them) and then harness their prejudices on air and you’ve got incitement of hatred. The personal lot of the participants is not improved and the Host(parasie) distances himself from the often foul mouthed contributions When regulations covering journalism/broadcasting aer examined one finds that management know s just how far they can push it and get away with it

    The above was not meant to be meandering.
    The broadcast that “took the biscuit” recently was Ray Darcy on RTE being disparaging about cutting to Nuacht
    Fairly interesting thread on baords ie


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: