From a quote in an article by the Huffington Post examining the institutionalised discrimination faced by Irish-speaking citizens and communities in Ireland, which I featured last week:
“In February 2014, at an Irish language rights march and protest in Dublin, Brenda Ní Ghairbhí, a manager at Seachtain na Gaeilge (Irish Language Week), remembers a speech given by a woman who was raising all of her children with Irish. As this woman shared her experience of visiting a doctor’s office, she became very emotional, recalling how her children could not communicate with their doctor because he had no Irish and they had no English. Experiences like these illustrate just some of the frustration and marginalization that can exist when proper services are not provided for those in the minority.”
Now take this report by the Irish Medical Times:
“The Department of Health has just seven staff, or almost 2 per cent of the total number of employees, who are capable of carrying out their duties through both the Irish and English languages.
“My Department is committed to ensuring that customers who wish to conduct their business through Irish can be facilitated to the greatest extent possible,” Minister for Health Dr Leo Varadkar said in the Dáil.”
It would be even more instructive to discover just how many of the 65,000 employees in the national Health Service Executive are fluent in our national language (and that excludes another 40,000 sub-contracted staff). Anglophone supremacists casually justify their bigotry by claiming that “no one speaks Irish anyway” while simultaneously ensuring that those who actually do speak it are denied the right to do so in the key areas that matter: employment, education, welfare and health. It becomes, as intended, a self-fulfilling statement. Or to quote:
“The argument about a doctor being unable to treat a small boy because his parents did not teach him English is completely bogus. Our local vet can treat my dog who can only bark.”
Which reminds one of the long, Medieval roots of anti-Irish racism on this island nation – even as embraced and practised by self-hating Irish people:
“…it is no more a sin to kill an Irishman than a dog or any other brute”
If you’ve chosen to live in a country whose nation has chosen to speak English you should teach your kids English as soon as possible – not doing so is irresponsible and will only lead to unnecessary problems.
(Also the mother could have simply translated everything her kid said to English)
Can’t really blame the doctor here. If he’s discriminating against Irish speakers that means that I and everyone around me are also discriminating against them.
He is not an Irish speaker for the same reasons why I’m not one.
Which is something I’m sure members of the Communist Party regime in Riga would have said when Russian became the country’s second language and the default language of government and law in the 1950s. A fluency in Russian is indispensable to personal and national prosperity and advancement, the language of the international proletariat, etc.
Are you saying that 90%+ of Irish citizens are basically the same thing as a hostile foreign occupation force?
That’s probably not the best approach to promote the Irish language.
Aren’t both Irish and English speakers supposed to belong to the same nation?
The nation that has chosen to use English as its only language.
The Latvian nation has chosen to use Latvian as its only language and people who choose not to learn it don’t belong to my nation.
The Soviet language laws were artificially imposed upon us and they weren’t supported by the locals. We repealed them as soon as the Russian shit empire collapsed because that’s not what we want – and we confirmed that in the Russian language referendum in 2012.
That’s not the case in Ireland. The Irish want to use English everywhere (and require others to use it as well) and they don’t care about other languages.
The british empire was far shittier than any ‘oppression’ endured by the latvians you eastern prick.
Janis the Russian soviets were only in Latvia for about 50 years.
The Brits were in Ireland for hundreds of years.
If the Soviet Union had of lasted 100+ years Latvian would have been wiped out.
So, to somehow believe that Latvia made a choice is not really correct.It’s simply a case that there was enough of a Latvian speaking population left after the Russians left.
Ireland did NOT have that luxury.
The problem for Ireland was it spent too long under the Brits and nobody saw any value in making a serious effort to restore Gaelic as the everyday language
In Israel..there were many different languages so they decided to resurrect Hebrew to get everybody speaking one language.to make a homogenous society.
If Ireland was left with 5, 10 or 15 different languages in 1922…Then Gaelic may have been adopted as a “standard” language..Or if the Brit had of been kicked out in the 13th or 14th Century there would have been enough Irish language speakers left to take a leadership role. and create a gaelic ireland.
The Latvian speaking population didn’t change much. What changed was the amount of invaders who weren’t Latvian speakers or related to the locals in the first place.
They can be compared to NI’s planters who don’t even consider themselves part of the Irish nation and want to stay in the UK.
I’d like to think that an average dubliner is better than the “curry my yoghurt” guy, but maybe I’m wrong…
Suggest you read carefully the reply by Oz below – he’s nailed it.
Your ignorance and attitude is shocking, especially considering your nationality. You could easily pass for a certain type of Englishman, and that’s not meant as a compliment!
I think it’s important to teach children both languages – English & Irish. I think to fail to give both to children is to put them at a disadvantage. English is necessary in most of the Country. Irish is the traditional language of the country, a community language in parts, and spoken throughout in networks and at events.
It would be a shame for an Irish child to be unable to access the traditions, myths and legends of Ireland in the language they were written down in. It would be more shameful for a child to be ignorant of the Irish language when it is used daily on the Island by 50,000 children in Irish medium education and 60,000 – 80,000 others in the home/community, as well as less often by maybe half a million more.
I live in West Dublin and I know several families in the area for whom Irish is the home language. There are many other families I know who use both languages with their children.
When I was living on a Native American “reservation” in North Dakota, there was an old law still on the books, which said it was lawful to shoot any Indian on a horse. It wasn’t; but the law was let standing for a long time as a slap in the face to the indigenous population. Same troubles, different place.
Does anyone have any good sources illustrating the official attitude/policy against the Irish language other than the Statutes of Kilkenny / The Remonstrance of the Irish Chieftains?