Irish is the indigenous language of the island nation of Ireland. Irish is the national and first official language of the nation state of Ireland. Irish is the chosen language of education for teachers, parents and children attending a primary school in Ireland. Yet the families and staff at Gaelscoil Bhaile Munna had to wait twenty-two years for permission and funding by the government to build a school out of actual bricks and mortar instead of prefabricated wooden huts.
“FOR YEARS, GENERATIONS of primary school kids at Gaelscoil Bhaile Munna in Ballymun have been waiting for a new building.
…the gaelscoil started out with two prefabs in 1994 that were supposed to be temporary. It now has six prefab buildings that house around 180 pupils.
There’s no hall for school plays or gym lessons and just a small playground for pupils.
…building will get underway this summer, it was announced yesterday.
“We’ve been waiting for this for years,” said local councillor Noeleen Reilly, who campaigned on the issue and who says teachers have been working in “substandard conditions for decades”.
Gaelscoil Bhaile Munna is highly regarded in the community, with parents reporting high level of engagement with teachers and staff.
“It’s a fantastic school and the teachers are brilliant,” said parent Sharon Keating, who has two children currently enrolled in the school. “But the prefabs are awful. There’s no hot water for the kids to wash their hands in and they often feel the cold in winter.”
Lorraine Pollard’s three children went to Gaelscoil Bhaile Munna and her two grandchildren now attend.
“We were waiting so long I thought I’d be sending my great-grandchildren to those prefabs,” she said.”
Like the alleged “€1 billion euros a year” spent on our native language by the Irish state, a mythical figure conjured up out of thin air by an anti-Irish diatribist in 2011, the supposed “elitist” nature of Irish-medium education is proven once again to be a despicable lie. Like the racists who hide their hate behind the “White Lives Matter” campaign in the United States, playing the victim to negate the experiences of the truly victimised, Black Americans, so some English language advocates in Ireland attempt to claim the mantle of victimhood here. Victimised by the very existence of Irish-speaking men, women and children; an existence they would be only too happy to see brought to an end.
No doubt any competent plumber could sort out the hot water problem in a afternoon for a reasonable price. Are there no plumbers, employed or unemployed, in Baile Munna, or no parents with the required skills? What´s the Irish for, ¨The Lord helps those who help themselves¨ ? (Mind you that could be the government, never hesitant when it comes to helping themselves to your taxes).
Seriously though, it would be interesting to know if this is a state school or a private set-up, how it´s funded and governed etc. Do the parents get any say in decisions? What if any has been the school´s effect on Irish speaking out ¨in the wild¨ in that part of Dublin etc. etc.
If that 1 billion figure is not correct, then can you provide the correct one?
That 1 billion is not correct. It includes the cost of pay for teachers who would be employed anyway to offer other kinds of education. Then it becomes a value judgement on what kinds of education are more valuable, subjectively.
If you want to take the 1 billion as the cost, pulling in every conceivable expenditure as being spent ‘promoting Irish’, then effectively every other cent spent by the state is spent ‘promoting English’-all communication by the State as Béarla, all the pay of all Public Servants who communicate in English. By that logic almost the entire budget of the State is spent ‘promoting English’.
When you think about it, bringing kids up either at home or in school to speak Irish means that they´ll be fluent in Irish AND English, the English is unavoidable, a sort of bonus. OTOH if they´re educated in English, then they´ll be literate in English … only. Viewed in that light, what is there to lose??
But almost everyone learns Irish at school already. And most still don’t become fluent. In fact some of them start to outright hate the language. I would most likely start to hate it too if the state decided to introduce mandatory lessons for immigrants or something like that.
An obscene amount of money wasted with little to no results.
The state promotes English, because that’s what people demand from it.
Exactly. The €1 billion euros claim made in 2011 is based on some fantastical estimate that the good professor has never made public, and for obvious reasons. The Dept. of Education budget in 2011 was €8 billion euros, 77% of which went on pay and pensions! Are we really expected to believe that of the €3 billion left, two thirds went on all other curriculum subjects, administrative costs, building costs, grants, etc. while a full one-third went on just teaching Irish in the classroom? Bollocks!
Big row right now across the water from you in Wales over this program (now apparently removed from the BBC´s website) which makes way over the top claims about the cost of implementing new Welsh language regulations. It seems there is no real basis for some of the figures mentioned.
So it´s not just the Sean Bhean Bhocht, even the Welsh have their nay-sayers …
If they really want to save the language then bilingualism is not enough. That only leads to a situation where only the minority language speakers are bilingual.
Some people in that video also said that they identify as Welshmen, but do not actually speak the language and think that it’s not necessary in order to identify as Welshmen. This is another sign that the language is doomed. If it’s not a necessary part of the Welsh national identity and you can receive all services in English, then – what’s the point of learning Welsh?
Thanks for that, I will try and write something up on it this week. Snowed under in work so pretty much exhausted when I fall out and home.