How colonised are the Irish? Very colonised? Super colonised? Utterly-and-completely-fucked-up-beyond-all-hope-of-recovery colonised? One might be inclined to chose the latter given the number of English-speakers in Ireland who regard Irish-speakers with disdain. Some anglophone lobbyists seem to argue that those who adhere to the indigenous language of this island nation, rather than the language imposed upon it by foreign… Read More Beyond The Pale. Irish-Speakers In Modern Ireland
The Language Commissioner, Rónán Ó Domhnaill, has offered a carefully worded response to an article published in last week’s Irish Examiner by the eco-conservative journalist Victoria White. Through her newspaper column White derided the legislative basis for language rights in Ireland while extolling the lyrical, airy-fairy, oh-so-gossamer nature of our indigenous tongue, one that has no place as the living language of several hundred thousand citizens in a… Read More Anglophone Supremacism: Spurious Arguments, Factual Inaccuracies
If you and your family are native Irish-speakers and you live in an Irish-speaking region, it seems not unreasonable to expect that your children will be educated by an Irish-speaking teacher when they attend the local Irish-speaking school. However in Ireland there is nothing reasonable about the institutional discrimination towards Hibernophone communities that permeates parts of the state, notably the… Read More Did You Hear The One About The Irish Name Spelled With Chinese Letters?
It’s not discriminatory – its health and safety! That seems to be the disapproving line taken in this article from Breakingnews.ie on the long-delayed decision by a state agency to erect bilingual Irish-English signs on the Luas line, Dublin’s (government-supported but privately-operated) light rail system. The move is being taken at the insistence of An Coimisinéir… Read More The Irish Language Is The Most Dangerous Language Of All The World’s Most Dangerous Languages
Another year, another dire record of public services to 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… Read More The Right To Hate The Second-Class Irish
Another year, another name-and-shame report from Ireland’s Language Commissioner, the independent ombudsman tasked with overseeing the implementation of the country’s Official Languages Act of 2003. This legislation guarantees limited rights for Irish-speaking citizens alongside their English-speaking peers (emphasis on the “limited”). However since its inception the profound levels of institutionalised discrimination in Ireland’s Anglophone public… Read More Ireland’s English State
It’s been a hard struggle, and a long one, but the Fine Gael-Labour coalition government has finally succumbed to public pressure and agreed to retain the independent office of the Language Commissioner, the state official who oversees the implementation of the Official Languages Act. In Ireland the default language of government is English meaning that… Read More Saving The Language Commissioner
An Coimisinéir Teanga or the Language Commissioner is a legal officer of the Irish state who’s role under the Official Languages Act of 2003 is to ensure the equal provision of public services to the nation’s Irish-speaking and English-speaking communities. This is in line with the constitutional imperative placed upon the Irish government to protect… Read More An Invisible People With Invisible Rights
In response to yesterday’s surprise resignation by the Language Rights Commissioner Seán Ó Cuirreáin, an act of protest against the culture of Anglophone discrimination towards Hibernophones that pervades the Irish state and government, this comment left on the website of the Irish Independent newspaper sums up the reaction of many English-speakers in Ireland. The message is… Read More Ireland’s Apartheid Republic
Seán Ó Cuirreáin, an Coimisinéir Teanga or the Language Commissioner, released his Annual Report for 2012 at an event in Galway yesterday and it has proven to be yet another dreadful year for the advancement of civil rights for Irish-speaking citizens in Ireland (you can read last year’s 2011 Report here). 2012 saw the highest number of complaints yet, 756 in total, the… Read More Arrested For Speaking Irish – Welcome To Anglo-Ireland!
Following on from the revelations of serious breaches by a significant number of public bodies in relation to their legal obligations under the Official Languages Act of 2003 (contained in the 2011 Report by An Coimisinéir Teanga), an Oireachtas committee is to bring a number of civil servants before it for questioning. While the deliberate obstruction of… Read More Shining A Light On Institutional Discrimination?
If you’ve been wondering just exactly why the Fine Gael – Labour coalition government seems so utterly determined to scrap the office of An Coimisinéir Teanga or the Language Commissioner, despite a torrent of criticism and opposition both at home and abroad, read on. Seán Ó Cuirreáin has released his 2011 Annual Report on the adherence to the regulations governing the Official Languages Act of 2003… Read More Institutional Discrimination In The Irish State – The Culture Of An “Anglophone Stormont”
On Tuesday I discussed the slow but steady linguistic change currently taking place in Wales, with increasing numbers of Welsh people returning to their native language, largely due to a positive political environment in which equality legislation and clearly defined language policies have shaped the cultural landscape of the nation. Over the last two decades… Read More Speak English! Or Else…
In Ireland, after eight centuries of foreign colonial rule and despite nearly a century of independence, some of the population have been so thoroughly anglicised in their language, culture and thinking that an Anglophone minority continue to believe that it is their absolute right to hold undisputed sway over this country. This small but militant… Read More If It’s Good Enough For The Welsh, Why Is It Not Good Enough For The Irish?
In today’s Irish Times (following on from yesterday’s bizarre anti-Irish rant by Ann Marie Hourihane) Finbar McDonnell examines the Fine Gael-Labour coalition government’s attitudes to it’s Irish speaking citizens in these economically straitened times: “THE VIBRANT Seachtain na Gaeilge festival runs nationally until March 17th, with tomorrow a Lá Gaeilge in the Dáil. At the same time, Irish language groups are campaigning against the… Read More The State Of Irish – In The Irish State
Do you know that you live in an officially bilingual Ireland? Believe it or not but the Government of Ireland committed itself to a policy of “official bilingualism” across the country way back in 2006. In a statement issued six years ago, and supported by all the major parties in Oireachtas Éireann, the government pledged itself to… Read More Speaking In Two Tongues
From the Irish Times, a story about a seemingly causal act of unthinking discrimination that actually reveals quiet a lot about the thinking of those who regulate and govern our lives: “NEW INFORMATION signs provided to taxi drivers to display in their vehicles could be in breach of the Official Languages Act, Foras na Gaeilge has said. The signs,… Read More The Pettiness Of Casual Discrimination In Ireland
Over the last several months I have regularly highlighted the alarm felt by many in Ireland and beyond over the Fine Gael-Labour government’s attitudes to the Irish language and the Irish-speaking population of Ireland (and those who identify with both). It has become clear that the discriminatory policies adopted by Fine Gael in opposition have been carried over into government and with the connivance of… Read More Irish Rights Are Equals Rights – So Fight Back!
There is a letter in The Irish Times from a host of Irish civil rights campaigners, journalists, businesspeople, academics and student leaders protesting the decision by the Irish government to abolish the Office of An Coimisinéir Teanga (the Language Commissioner) through the amalgamation of his agency with that of the Ombudsman. Ostensibly made to meet budgetary restrictions imposed by the… Read More Fighting For The Truth
I’ve written several pieces here about the shock and dismay felt by many Irish-speaking citizens across Ireland at the decision by the current Fine Gael-Labour coalition government to abolish the office of An Coimisinéir Teanga or the Language Commissioner; a decision justified as a necessary requirement of the hack and burn austerity measures dictated by the IMF-ECB. However… Read More An Anti-Irish Free State?
From Galltacht, the Hidden Ireland blog, Eoin Ó Riain brings the latest news on the campaign to defend the office of the Language Commissioner, An Coimisinéir Teanga, from the government program to roll back Irish civil rights legislation. “The rain was coming down in sheets last Friday in Galway city. The Pillo Hotel was the venue for a meeting called to… Read More Fight The Power!
Inspired by the images emerging from the Occupy movement here are some more adaptations of my own, this time in the style of classic activist posters. I have two versions of the same graphic for you to check out with two messages.