Wales to get an ‘unpopular’ Langauge Act?

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A new Welsh language act is part of the price being asked by Plaid for its participation with Labour in a new coalition government in Wales. It doesn’t look like its a terribly popular move in the wider Welsh population, since it proposes extending the current Act’s provisions to the private sector:

…an ICM poll for BBC Wales found 63% of those questioned thought the law should not be changed. And only 24% said they thought all private business should be bilingual.

  • Dewi

    I’ll buy it and read it Cruimh.

  • RG Cuan

    WILLOWFIELD

    Your denial at this stage is a bit of a joke. Our Welsh observers also recognise this. Maybe it’s time to place your bias to one side?

    The Life and Times Survey asked ‘What is the main language spoken in your home?’ It found that for around 17,000 people this main language is Irish Gaelic. If you have an issue with this then take it up with NILT.

    The Census found that there are over 75,000 people in the north who understand, speak, read and write Irish. If that isn’t fluency then i don’t know what is. I am fluent in four languaes but rarely write in two of them.

    You wanted to know which areas in the north had high concentrations of Irish speakers. I provided some. Over 20% of Newry and Mourne can speak Irish and many do on a daily basis.

    Is you studied Census figures from the south you would know that the vast majority of Irish speakers live outside the traditional Gaeltacht areas.

    I stand by my figures and suggest you open your mind before blindly attacking the credibility of any community. Perhaps you would have a different outlook if you actually had any significant contact with Irish speakers?

  • Cruimh

    “It found that for around 17,000 people this main language is Irish Gaelic.”

    Not so fast.

    It found that it was claimed “that for around 17,000 people this main language is Irish Gaelic”

    For obvious reasons people might be exaggerating the extent to whch they use the language in the home. The answers were not verified.

  • RG Cuan

    I take your point Cruimh however i can say that Irish speakers would not look favourably on someone who claimed to speak Irish at home but actually did not.

    We don’t need to boost our figures, we have the speakers.

  • willowfield

    The Life and Times Survey asked ‘What is the main language spoken in your home?’ It found that for around 17,000 people this main language is Irish Gaelic. If you have an issue with this then take it up with NILT.

    I think we ought to be sceptical about these claims as we know that it is in the interests of the Gaelic language lobby to exaggerate the numbers who speak Gaelic. Anecdotally, we also know that Gaelic lobbying groups have encouraged people to tick Census boxes and respond positively to surveys in order to boost the figures.

    The reality in NI is that there are no native speakers of Gaelic – those who speak it have learned it at school, not home. They are the product of a largely (but not entirely) politically-inspired artificial revival. The last native speakers died decades, if not centuries, ago. I know less about Southern Ireland, but I do know that native speakers have survived there.

    The Census found that there are over 75,000 people in the north who understand, speak, read and write Irish. If that isn’t fluency then i don’t know what is. I am fluent in four languaes but rarely write in two of them.

    Only a naive person, or someone in whose interests it is to claim a high figure, would claim that all 75,000 of those box-tickers were fluent in Gaelic. Many who ticked this box will have had some ability to speak, read and write without necessarily being fluent. And even those who are fluent cannot necessarily be considered to be Gaelic-speakers in the sense that it is their first language, or that they are bilingual.

    You wanted to know which areas in the north had high concentrations of Irish speakers. I provided some. Over 20% of Newry and Mourne can speak Irish and many do on a daily basis.

    I’m glad you have revised downward your claim about Newry & Mourne following my challenge.

    I stand by my figures and suggest you open your mind before blindly attacking the credibility of any community. Perhaps you would have a different outlook if you actually had any significant contact with Irish speakers?

    I suggest that you don’t insult the intelligence of readers by making exaggerated claims about the numbers of people who speak Gaelic as a first language or who are bilingual.

    PS. Can you explain why, when I last visited the Gaeltacht, I didn’t hear anyone speaking in Gaelic?

  • DK

    Surely the problem with a language act that forces businesses to go bilingual is that it will have to be enacted by all businesses, even in areas where it is not wanted (maybe not a big problem in Wales, but certainly one in NI). The zealous nature of at least some will ensure that the chip shop on the Newtownards road that does not have Irish signs will be shopped to the authorities and fined. The one on the falls without irish signs will be tolerated.

    It is obvious that in Northern Ireland we have to have parity of esteem, so every sign needs to be trilingual, with ulster scots present as well. And that needs to be on the census too: “Do ye spak ulster lang?”. I personally know someone who said that they lied on the census and claimed that they spoke irish purely because they thought it might lead to more funding for the “poor irish schools”.

  • Dewi

    Re the famous Newtonards Rd chip shop.

    The scale and coverage of any language act is obviously a decision to be made. The experience from over here however is that PR, education and official persuasion only go so far. In Welsh speaking areas peer pressure works well to a degree until a new supermarket opens and u have to go throough the persuasion process again.

    What I still fail to comprehend is the Unionist viewpoint on this – which seems, I have to say , fairly consistent and can probably be summarised thus:

    “Speak it if u want but I don’t want to hear it, see it, or heaven forbid, get it taught to my kids”

    A strange rejection of one element of your cultural background.

    P.S. Are the faggots and peas any good ?

  • Cruimh

    “What I still fail to comprehend is the Unionist viewpoint on this – which seems, I have to say , fairly consistent and can probably be summarised thus:

    “Speak it if u want but I don’t want to hear it, see it, or heaven forbid, get it taught to my kids”

    A strange rejection of one element of your cultural background. ”

    Dewi – It’s historical. It was well supported by prods until gaeldom became linked to Catholic Nationalism – Hyde was forced out of the gaelic league – and untimately physical force republicanism.

    “A prominent member of Sinn Féin, who is also an Irish language activist, has been quoted as saying ‘Every word of Irish spoken is like another bullet being fired in the struggle for Irish freedom.’”

    Quoted in CAIN

  • Dewi

    A prominent member of Sinn Féin, who is also an Irish language activist, has been quoted as saying ‘Every word of Irish spoken is like another bullet being fired in the struggle for Irish freedom.’

    Cruimh
    Since when did you listen to anything Sinn Fein said ??? LOL

    Seriously that’s accepting another negative definition of Unionism.

  • Cruimh

    “Since when did you listen to anything Sinn Fein said ??? LOL ”

    I listen to what they say very carefully!
    Their policy documents are fascinating. Seriously.

    If and when people like Adams and MacConnaith stop using the issue as a political weapon then we can move forward. But there is a LOT of damage people like that have caused that will need to be undone.

    It’s the tricolour Syndrome.

  • RG Cuan

    DK

    Irish speakers are not asking for businesses to provide Irish language services. They are calling for bilingual signs in pro-Gaelic areas, increased provision for Gaelscoileanna, promotion of Irish language media and the opportunity to deal with the government in Irish.

    WILLOWFIELD

    We also know that Gaelic lobbying groups have encouraged people to tick Census boxes and respond positively to surveys in order to boost the figures.

    What? Can you prove these allegations? As an Irish speaker i have never heard of Irish language organisations encouraging such actions.

    The reality in NI is that there are no native speakers of Gaelic – those who speak it have learned it at school, not home… The last native speakers died decades, if not centuries, ago.

    You obviously have not been paying attention or maybe just refuse to believe the facts.

    The last speakers of local Gaelic dialects died in the 1970s/80s. By then the revival was in full swing and there are now thousands of people who speak Irish as their first language at home. Around 17,000 actually with between 20,000-30,000 people using Irish on a daily basis.

    People who are brought up in Irish and use the language at home are native speakers, anybody with an understanding of linguistic issues will tell you this.

    I’m glad you have revised downward your claim about Newry & Mourne following my challenge.

    I said that more than 20% of the population of Newry & Mourne speak Irish. This is true. I never claimed that they all did so daily. They don’t, but many do. Newry, South Armagh and South Down have a substantial and vibrant Irish language community and your claims to the contrary will do nothing to change this fact.

    Overall Wilowfield, what do you have against Irish Gaelic speakers? Irish is the native language of this island and is spoken by tens of thousands throughout the country. It is a language for all – Protestant and Unionist as well as Nationalist and Catholic. 95% of the north’s placenames come from Irish and it is an instrinsc element of our culture and heritage.

    Even if you don’t want anything to do with it, can you not allow Irish speakers to simply live their lives without attacking any call for equality? Afterall nobody is forcing you to speak Gaelic, are they?

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    I really think some of the attempts here to downsize the number of Irish speakers or supporters attending Irish language marches or ticking the census box is pathetic and says more about the inferiori arguments of Cnuimh, WIllowfield and DK than it does anything else that they have to resort to such folly.

    Willowfield is anxious to undermine the 5,000 figure quoted by RTE for the attendance of a recent Irish language march and wonders if RTE’s reporter spoke to one of the organisers and got the figure from them. Not at all, I saw a team of reporters with counters out counting the attendance. We all got a ticket from RTE with a number on it and it came to 5,000 EXACTLY.

    DK thinks that people lied on the census to get money for the poor Irish schools. Notwithstanding that the Gaelscoileanna are underresoourced (and outperforming) as compared to English language schools, the fact that his friend lied on the census form says more about his friend than it does about the 167,000 who told the truth and said they did use the Irish language regularly or however frequently. One swallow doesn’t make a summer.

    Mac Cionnaith, by the way, is no longer in Sinn Féin. Do you not read the news? But even if he were, he’s as much entitled to speak Irish as anybody else. It’s not his problem that he has a language and culture that bothers you, it’s your problem.

    I don’t know what Gaeltacht you visited or what time of the night you went out to test the locals. One thing though that most people are agreed on that there is a decline in the use of Irish in the Gaeltachtaí and that the language is resurging in the cities, in urban areas. That said, there’s a healthy number of people still using Irish in Gaeltachtaí such as Gaoth Dobhair, Conamara, West Kerry, West Cork, Waterford and Meath.
    Also, there is the fact that Gaeltacht people will switch to English if they feel that someone in their company is excluded because of language. They were just trying to be polite, W.

  • Cruimh

    “I really think some of the attempts here to downsize the number of Irish speakers or supporters attending Irish language marches or ticking the census box is pathetic and says more about the inferiori arguments of Cnuimh, WIllowfield and DK than it does anything else that they have to resort to such folly. ”

    If you are referring to the point I made to RG Cuan last night, which he accepted with good grace, Oilibhear Chromaill, I’d be interested to know why you disagree?

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    What obvious reasons are there for exaggerating the amount of Irish spoken in the home Cnuimh?

    The LIfe and Times survey doesn’t verify every other question it asks, does it?

    Do you want spy cameras in houses to check out whether they’re speaking Irish or not. I don’t doubt that spying and bugging has been a part of the Uninist/British modus operandi over the years and no doubt they’ve picked up a fair bit of Irish – and possibly Ulster Scots – in that time.

    The reality is, Cnuimh, what people do behind their front doors is up to them, if they pursue a way of life as Gaeilge, it becomes pretty clear quickly whether they’re serious about it or not. As a member of an Irish speaking household, I’ll admit that I also use English in conversation at home but only for a fraction. Does that cast doubt on the status of my household as an Irish speaking one?

    Remember there are no grants or special favours in the north for speaking Irish at home…. so there’s no vested i nterest…

  • Cruimh

    “What obvious reasons are there for exaggerating the amount of Irish spoken in the home Cnuimh? ”

    Are you serious? People tend to give answers tha they think they should give – ask kids do they brush their teeth twice a day and a lot more will say yes than actually do. Ask people do they always stick to the speed limits and their answers are unreliable. There are lots of reasons why people would say – guilt, community solidarity, genuine intent to start ( We should make more of an effort ) etc etc.

    I’m not saying that the figures have no validity -but for something as loaded as this where there is no verification, one should not take a ticked box ina survey as being gospel.

    The rest of your reply is churlish and silly – and goes WAY beynd the point I was making about the figures in the NILT survey OC.

    Oh, and re spy cameras etc etc ( MOPE aside ) – there has been quite a lot of discussion about whether or not certain people getting subs in the gaeltacht areas actually merit them.

    Lift those MOPE chips off your shoulders OC and you’ll find that a lot more of people in the broader community that grouches like you currently antagonise will become a lot more sympathetic to REASONABLE requests. I’d love to learn Irish – but the sort of people pushing the lingo are what keeps me from making the effort.
    Seriously.

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    And you’re calling me a grouch and MOPE for pointing out that people have no obvious reason for saying they speak Irish at home when they don’t. You mention the Gaeltacht – there they do, they get grant aid if they say they speak Irish and they can speak whateever they want. This is no secret – I mentioned it earlier this afternoon.

    As for learning the language, learn it or not, I don’t care. It’s up to you and if you’re going to cite me as an excuse for not learning it, well you’re even sadder than I think you are.

  • willowfield

    R G CUAN

    What? Can you prove these allegations? As an Irish speaker i have never heard of Irish language organisations encouraging such actions.

    No, I can’t prove them, but I certainly believe them.

    The last speakers of local Gaelic dialects died in the 1970s/80s. By then the revival was in full swing and there are now thousands of people who speak Irish as their first language at home. Around 17,000 actually with between 20,000-30,000 people using Irish on a daily basis.

    So you claim.

    People who are brought up in Irish and use the language at home are native speakers, anybody with an understanding of linguistic issues will tell you this.

    Only in the sense that they have deliberately sought out to learn the language – they are “artificial” in that sense.

    I said that more than 20% of the population of Newry & Mourne speak Irish. This is true. I never claimed that they all did so daily.

    That is what you were implying.

    Overall Wilowfield, what do you have against Irish Gaelic speakers?

    Nothing.

    Irish is the native language of this island and is spoken by tens of thousands throughout the country.

    What do you mean by “native” language? This type of thing implies that those not of Gaelic stock are not “native”.

    It is a language for all – Protestant and Unionist as well as Nationalist and Catholic.

    How is it the language of PRotestant and Unionist? The Protestant/unionist population is not a Gaelic population. Gaelic is not part of its heritage.

    95% of the north’s placenames come from Irish and it is an instrinsc element of our culture and heritage.

    I have never said anything to the contrary.

    Even if you don’t want anything to do with it, can you not allow Irish speakers to simply live their lives without attacking any call for equality? Afterall nobody is forcing you to speak Gaelic, are they?

    You seem to have missed the point of my contributions which has been to inject a bit of realism into the claims of speakers, and Oilibhear’s assertions that because a well-organised lobby has written letters to the Department that there must therefore be a huge demand for Gaelic legislation right across the country.

    OILIBHEAR

    I really think some of the attempts here to downsize the number of Irish speakers or supporters attending Irish language marches or ticking the census box is pathetic and says more about the inferiori arguments of Cnuimh, WIllowfield and DK than it does anything else that they have to resort to such folly.

    I really think some of the attempts here to exaggerate the number of Gaelic-speakers or supporters attending Gaelic-language marches or ticking the Census box is pathetic and says more about the superiori arguments of Cnuimh, WIllowfield and DK than it does anything else that they have to resort to such folly.

    Willowfield is anxious to undermine the 5,000 figure quoted by RTE for the attendance of a recent Irish language march and wonders if RTE’s reporter spoke to one of the organisers and got the figure from them. Not at all, I saw a team of reporters with counters out counting the attendance. We all got a ticket from RTE with a number on it and it came to 5,000 EXACTLY.

    I think you’ve just made my point for me.

  • Cruimh

    And you’re calling me a grouch and MOPE for pointing out that people have no obvious reason for saying they speak Irish at home when they don’t.

    Don’t be PATHETIC

    I called you a MOPE for THIS crap

    ” I don’t doubt that spying and bugging has been a part of the Uninist/British modus operandi over the years”

    Remember – you are the ones asking the rest of us to accomodate you. Try being a bit more pleasant -
    your arrogance and rudeness is the reason most people are negative.

  • Dewi

    “How is it the language of PRotestant and Unionist? The Protestant/unionist population is not a Gaelic population. Gaelic is not part of its heritage.”

    Willowfield – it is ! It’s yours as much as anyone. I posted the below before – I’ll see if I can look up anything else.

    http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/61/297.html

  • Dewi

    http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/issues/language/pritchard04.htm

    That’s from CAIN – hard work actually but I had to read do you do as well !!

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    I’m not asking you to accomodate me or the 167,000 others who speak Irish. I am merely demanding my rights – it’s not for you to accomodate me. These are my rights as an Irish person living in my own native land. I don’t infringe on your rights to enjoy state subsidised British culture and I expect nothing less in return.

  • willowfield

    DEWI

    I’m familiar with those claims but – again – they are hugely exaggerated. Emigrants from Scotland were NOT mostly from Gaelic-speaking areas – they came from the Lowlands, plus many of the planters and immigrants were English. They spoke Scots and English.

  • willowfield

    What are these rights, Oilibhear, and how can you not enjoy them?

  • Cruimh

    “I’m not asking you to accomodate me”

    yes you are.

    “I am merely demanding my rights”

    Rights are what are granted by the state.

    And it’s this culture of “demand” mixed with your arrogance, belligerence and ghetto mentality that makes you unlikely to make much progress if you are expecting support from the majority – and I’m not talking about prod/RC or Unionist/Nationalist.

  • RG Cuan

    WILLOWFIELD

    The last speakers of local Gaelic dialects died in the 1970s/80s – this is not a claim, this is a fact. See Pádraigín Ní Ualacháin’s excellent work, A Hidden Ulster, Four Courts Press, 2003.

    Only in the sense that they have deliberately sought out to learn the language – they are “artificial” in that sense.

    Are you saying that people today who are brought up in Irish are not native speakers just because their family spoke English for two or three generations? Language shift back to traditional tongues is happening all over Ireland, Wales and the Basque Country, to name but a few.

    Your viewpoint also means that every Hebrew speaker in modern Israel is only an ‘artifical’ speaker as the language was revived there in the 20th century.

    What do you mean by “native” language? This type of thing implies that those not of Gaelic stock are not “native”.

    Native is this sense means indigenous as Irish Gaelic is the oldest known language spoken in Ireland. It’s a simple fact and does not take away anything from later settlers’ desires to be called Gaelic/Irish – it’s just they often give the impression they don’t want to be. It is however in contrast to the English language which is native to England.

    How is it the language of Protestant and Unionist? The Protestant/unionist population is not a Gaelic population. Gaelic is not part of its heritage.

    What a statement! Is culture now based on politics and genetics? Can somebody, no matter what their background, not enjoy the language of their own country?

    I know many Protestants/Unionists who speak Irish and are proud of the culture of the land they’re from. Although you dismiss the information supplied by DEWI (and there are many books and research on this issue) the fact remains that many planters did come from Gaelic-speaking areas of Scotland and their surnames etc. support this.

    In addition, try telling the Gaelic-speaking Presbyterians of Skye, Lewis and Harris they don’t have a Gaelic heritage and you’ll definitely be told where to go.

  • Gan Ainm

    As a proud Unionist, from a Protestant background, it disappoints me to read comments such as Willowfield’s.

    Gaelic happens to be the primary indigenous language of Northern Ireland and speaking it does not take away from my Unionist identity in any way.

    Just because parties like Sinn Féin support Irish does not take away from the language itself, or its many speakers.

    Cruimh, while Oilibhéar’s comments seem a bit heavy-handed, i can assure you 99.9% of Gaelic speakers would love if you started learning the language and would be very helpful in assisting you.

  • Cruimh

    “Native is this sense means indigenous as Irish Gaelic is the oldest known language spoken in Ireland. ”

    I don’t think that is true – surely the traveller tongue Shelta/Cant is a lot older ? And Yola is considerablyolder than any Irish currently in use.

  • Cruimh

    Gan Ainm – I haven’t given up even though I’m an old dog ;)

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    You misunderstand rights fundamentally – though I’m not surprised. RIghts are yours inherently and by right – they are not granted by anyone. They are yours and mine by virtue of our humanity.

  • Cruimh

    I disagree OC. You are defining your own rights and insisting the the rest of us – who vastly outnumber you – fit in with your demands.

  • RG Cuan

    Irish Gaelic is older than both Cruimh.

    The Cant, or Shelta, is a mixture of Irish and English and probably only developed after the Famine, when many Irish were displaced and started ‘travelling’ around the country.

    Yola is a variant of Middle English and is essentially extinct. It arrived in Ireland with the Normans. Like most languages, (English has actually changed considerably over the last 1000 years), Irish has just developed from this period, not changed totally. The Irish from the time of the Norman invasion is still more or less intelligible.

  • Cruimh

    RG – I was careful how I phrased that about Yola. It has very few speakers, but I’m assured that it still exists and is still spoken in a few homes. To all intents and puposes though it’s dead. But I’m being pedantic.

    There are various people claiming different things about Cant – some say it has roots way, way back – and if we allow 20th Century/Modern Irish it’s roots then Cant’s roots qualify it as well!

  • RG Cuan

    That’s interesting Cruimh about Yola, i must check it out.
    I always believed that only some vocabularly existed in Wexford and that the basic aspects of the language (grammar, syntax etc.) were no longer in use. A bit like Ulster Scots in a way i guess.

    I’ve read the differing opinions on the Cant (which supposedly comes from the Irish Caint, or ‘Talk’) but i’m not 100% about its 13th century origins. Interesting stuff though!

  • Dewi

    http://www.ethnologue.com/show_country.asp?name=IE

    I’m sorry – Geek again. Ethnologue says 6000 odd speakers of Shelta

  • Cruimh

    Interestingly enough Eleanor McEvoy has an album entitled “Yola” – but I don’t see anything on the bio sites as to where she was born.

  • Dewi

    Not getting anywhere but I reckon if we manage the timing of our contributions we’ll keep the thread in slugger’s top ten for three hundred years.

  • RG Cuan

    Think Eleanor McEvoy was born in Baile Átha Cliath/Dublin. So she’s not a Yola speaker, nor an Irish speaker either i guess!

    Nice idea DEWL but i’m guessing Irish, and Welsh for that mater, won’t be that controversial in 300 years, just a part of normal, peaceful bilingual life!

  • Dewi

    RG Cuan

    You replied 14 minutes too soon ! – but agree with your sentiments !

  • Cruimh

    I’ve been to Wales – played Rugby somewhere called Taff’s Wells. Dreadful hangover next day for some reason.

  • Dewi

    Cruimh – you were 8 minutes too early – I’ve played in Taff’s Wells also. Do u rememeber a castle looking down upon you ? Castell Coch – very pretty !

  • Cruimh

    Dewi – I don’t remember an awful lot about it LOL – I was carried off the pitch unconscious – allegedly after my head made contact with the post, but I have my doubts about a villanous knuckle-dragging swarthy welsh forward! I was only playing because several were too drunk, 3 were injured and one was in jail in liverpool ( jay walking – liverpool cops are bastards ;) )
    This was a long time ago.

  • Dewi

    Cruimh – you are an advert for cultural outreach !

  • Cruimh

    Welsh Beer was great ;)

  • willowfield

    R G CUAN

    Are you saying that people today who are brought up in Irish are not native speakers just because their family spoke English for two or three generations?

    Two or three generations? Wise up – you really think people in west Belfast were speaking Gaelic in the 1940s and 50s?

    Your viewpoint also means that every Hebrew speaker in modern Israel is only an ‘artifical’ speaker as the language was revived there in the 20th century.

    Well, yes, “artificial” in that sense. I’m not disparaging it and maybe that’s not the right word, but the point is that people are deliberately choosing to learn to speak the language anew – that is not the same as inheriting it from generation to generation.

    Native is this sense means indigenous as Irish Gaelic is the oldest known language spoken in Ireland. It’s a simple fact and does not take away anything from later settlers’ desires to be called Gaelic/Irish – it’s just they often give the impression they don’t want to be. It is however in contrast to the English language which is native to England.

    You need to be careful when bandying about words like “native”. This distinction between “native” and “other” can lead along a dangerous path.

    What a statement! Is culture now based on politics and genetics? Can somebody, no matter what their background, not enjoy the language of their own country?

    Someone can enjoy any language, but to claim that the Protestant population is a Gaelic population is as silly as claiming that white Americans are actually Sioux or Cherokee or whatever.

    I know many Protestants/Unionists who speak Irish and are proud of the culture of the land they’re from. Although you dismiss the information supplied by DEWI (and there are many books and research on this issue) the fact remains that many planters did come from Gaelic-speaking areas of Scotland and their surnames etc. support this.

    “Many” planters? Proportionately very few.

    In addition, try telling the Gaelic-speaking Presbyterians of Skye, Lewis and Harris they don’t have a Gaelic heritage and you’ll definitely be told where to go.

    WHy would I tell people with a Gaelic heritage that they didn’t have a Gaelic heritage? What an absurd statement. Those whom you mention do have a Gaelic heritage, unlike those from Lowland Scotland.

    GAN AINM

    Gaelic happens to be the primary indigenous language of Northern Ireland and speaking it does not take away from my Unionist identity in any way.

    That doesn’t mean that Gaelic is part of the Ulster Protestant culture or heritage. That’s just wishful thinking.

    OILIBHEAR

    You misunderstand rights fundamentally – though I’m not surprised. RIghts are yours inherently and by right – they are not granted by anyone. They are yours and mine by virtue of our humanity.

    That’s a bit optimistic and naive. Rights cannot exist unless they are defined, recognised, understood and accepted. That can only be done by organised society. In the modern western world, that means the state.

  • Dewi

    Willowfield – I don’t think we are going to get consensus here. Do you play Rugby ?

  • willowfield

    No. Why?

  • Dewi

    Just ever been to Taff’s Well ? (see above)

  • willowfield

    Neither been nor even heard of it.

  • Dewi

    Willowfield – sorry – just reckon we have run our course on the thread subject. What do u do for fun ?

  • willowfield

    I’ve retired from playing football, but I watch.

  • Dewi

    Can all participants post at least twice on this thread each day for the next three years ? In whatever language you want ! – Ym mha bynnag iaith sy’n well da chi ?

  • Cruimh

    “whatever language you want ! ”

    Ulster Scots will- and quite rightly – be greeted with derision.

  • RG Cuan

    WILLOWFIELD

    Two or three generations? Wise up – you really think people in west Belfast were speaking Gaelic in the 1940s and 50s?

    There were people speaking Gaelic in west Belfast in the 1940s/50s, including a few native speakers from Tyrone and Donegal. I was however referring to people now living in areas where native Irish was last spoken in the north, such as South Armagh, Mid and West Tyrone, South Derry and the Glens of Antrim. There are after all many more Irish speakers in these areas than there are in Belfast. In these rural regions Irish was the community language of thousands right up to the early 20th century. So, ok, maybe not two generations but definitely three or four.

    You need to be careful when bandying about words like “native”. This distinction between “native” and “other” can lead along a dangerous path.

    I do so on a linguistic and historical basis, with no implication whatsoever that people who later settled or were planted here are somehow ‘others’.

    Someone can enjoy any language, but to claim that the Protestant population is a Gaelic population is as silly as claiming that white Americans are actually Sioux or Cherokee or whatever.

    I never claimed this, but your use of terminology is confusing. As you note yourself, religion and culture are not interconnected. If by ‘the Protestant population’ you mean those of a Lowland Scots background in Ireland, then i agree, they are not a ‘Gaelic population’. However, not all Protestants in Ireland are from the Lowland Scots tradition. Some are from the Gaelic highlands and islands, some are of an Anglican, or other denominations, from England and some are Gaels who converted.

    The point is, whatever religion or background people have, we all live on this island now and can all take part in the culture of the country. Be it Gaelic or Scots. Each should complement the other rather than encourage bigoted attacks and so-called ‘realism’.

    As Gan Ainm has pointed out, just because certain parties support Irish does not take away from the language itself, its value to our society or its thousands of speakers.

  • Laird.ie

    Wull dey b epocted to spake Ollsder Sots?

  • RG Cuan

    O aye Laird, thon kind a hing happens ye ken!

  • willowfield

    R G CUAN

    I do so on a linguistic and historical basis, with no implication whatsoever that people who later settled or were planted here are somehow ‘others’.

    Good.

    I never claimed this, but your use of terminology is confusing. As you note yourself, religion and culture are not interconnected. If by ‘the Protestant population’ you mean those of a Lowland Scots background in Ireland, then i agree, they are not a ‘Gaelic population’. However, not all Protestants in Ireland are from the Lowland Scots tradition. Some are from the Gaelic highlands and islands, some are of an Anglican, or other denominations, from England and some are Gaels who converted.

    Thanks. So you acknowledge that, generally speaking, the Protestant population is not of Gaelic stock. In return, I acknowledge that there is a small element of Gaelic genes as you note.

    The point is, whatever religion or background people have, we all live on this island now and can all take part in the culture of the country. Be it Gaelic or Scots. Each should complement the other rather than encourage bigoted attacks and so-called ‘realism’.

    I never said otherwise.

  • RG Cuan

    All seems good then.

    Everybody’s ready to live in and accept our increasingly bilingual society and we’ll all be better for it!

  • Dewi

    RG Cuan – and keep the thread going !

  • Cruimh

    “RG Cuan – and keep the thread going !”

    Or else Dewi ? ;)

    ( Threads issued on Slugger – boom Boom! )

  • Dewi

    Cruimh – or I’ll be terribly upset Lol

  • Dewi

    We are down to number nine……….Willowfield I think it’s your turn !

  • Cruimh

    Reading “The Best Of Myles” last night I was reminded of Oilibhear Chromaill’s dependence on his (self-proclaimed) ‘rights’.

    ” In the present century we have amassed a formidable list of ‘rights’ never heard of before. I think it is true to say that only an inferior person has rights. When you hear a person talking about his rights, you may be sure he is trying to gain by dint of shouting something which he lacks (or had and lost) by reason of some culpable deficiency in himself. You never hear successful men talking about their rights.”

    Quite!

    Iechyd da Dewi!

  • Dewi

    I’m with Oli Cruimh – u can only get so far without statutory support.

    “You never hear successful men talking about their rights”

    Perhaps not but in this context the success of Gaelic speakers in producing a daily paper there is an astonishing achievment which is only now happening here (with public funds)

    Slainte !

  • dewi

    Sliante sorry (now that was embarrassing !)

  • Cruimh

    “the success of Gaelic speakers in producing a daily paper there is an astonishing achievment which is only now happening here (with public funds) ”

    Dewi – if you are talking about Lá it#s worth remembering that the Organisaton that runs it is heavily subbed by the Brits ! But then again even AP was originally funded by a Brit ;)

    http://www.phoblacht.net/boycottga.html

  • http://hIA OILibhear Chromaill

    Of course Cnuimh you get it wrong again. Lá Nua is funded in its own right by Foras na Gaeilge, the cross border language body, after winning a public tender, defeating the bid of the Irish News. The funding, to say the least, is meagre and inadequate yet miraculously the newspaper has five editions a week, Monday to Friday, distributes a PDF version on the internet, provides a daily podcast and email update. The Belfast Media Group is no different to any other media group in the north, all of whom have got grant aid from the British Government at one stage or another. Of course what the Irish News and Belfast Telegraph get, in addition to direct grant aid, is indirect grant aid in the form of advertising. Ridiculously, however, these two bastions of the free and independent press also get Irish language ads from the government, the parallel of the very same English ads from the same agencies alongside them. Wouldn’t it make more sense that if the Irish language ads are to be published anywhere, they should be published in the Irish language newspaper which would be more cost effective and reach the audience it is intended to reach.

    As for your contention that it’s only ‘inferior’ people who seek rights, well that just says it all really, about your ‘superior’ attitude rather than anything else. The pity is that you’ve so little to feel superior about….. and your attitude to the Irish language says nothing else except that you have a vast inferiority complex on that front…. Alot of me thinks the lady doth protest too much action going on between your two ears…

  • http://hIA OILibhear Chromaill

    It’s worth mentioning in relation to the post which started this thread way back when that the latest row in which the BBC has landed itself has echoes in the way the broadcaster’s news division in Wales handled a survey reportedly showing a negative reaction to an enhanced Welsh language act.

    That the BBC briefed journalists to the effect that the British Queen had stormed out of a photoshoot with a world famous photographer because of, supposedly, something said by snapper based on a ‘rearranged’ clip from a film shortly to be broadcast has its echoes in the way they reported a survey carried out a week or more before the One Wales document was agreed between Labour and Plaid Cymru as if it were a reaction to that agreement.

    So when are heads are going to roll about these latest ‘sexed up’ reports…..

  • willowfield

    OILibhear

    Of course Cnuimh you get it wrong again. Lá Nua is funded in its own right by Foras na Gaeilge, the cross border language body, after winning a public tender, defeating the bid of the Irish News.

    Er, who funds Foras na Gaeilge?

    Ridiculously, however, these two bastions of the free and independent press also get Irish language ads from the government, the parallel of the very same English ads from the same agencies alongside them. Wouldn’t it make more sense that if the Irish language ads are to be published anywhere, they should be published in the Irish language newspaper which would be more cost effective and reach the audience it is intended to reach.

    Great idea.

  • http://hIA OILibhear Chromaill

    Of course you’re right, W, Foras na Gaeilge is funded by the British and Irish governments. The point I was trying to make was that the funding was not the result of a mere grant, but of a tender process, open to all companies to apply for.

  • Dewi

    Roughly how many do u sell OC ? And how many staff ? Do u distribute in the rest of the Island or just there ?

  • http://hIA OILibhear Chromaill

    the latest ABC for Lá Nua is 4,404 but it’s a few years old. It gets 10,000+ different visitors every month to its website, http://www.nuacht.com, now in the process of being revamped.

  • RG Cuan

    Lá Nua is an all-island paper Dewi – i could buy it when i lived in Dublin – with an office in Donegal.

    I believe that your own daily, Y BYD, will be launched next March.
    Iontach maith/Da iawn!

  • Dewi

    RG Cuan

    I’m a sponser to “Y Byd” and can’t wait for it to come out – just worry about Web and changing nature of how people get the news.

  • Cruimh

    “Of course Cnuimh you get it wrong again.”

    Poor OC retreats into dishonesty.

    I pointed out that the parent company takes British Money.

    True or False OC ?????

    http://www.phoblacht.net/boycottga.html

    “As for your contention that it’s only ‘inferior’ people who seek rights,”

    More dishonesy from OC – it was a direct quote from Flann O’Brien.

    I have a delightful picture of OC sitting in his sod cabin sulking because yesterday was a good day for the Orange, muttering away to himself in pidgin Irish while the rest of his family watch Coronation street ;)

  • Dewi

    I have a delightful picture of OC sitting in his sod cabin sulking because yesterday was a good day for the Orange, muttering away to himself in pidgin Irish while the rest of his family watch Coronation street ;)

    I feel sorry for the family watching Coronation street – why is that fun cruimh ?

  • Cruimh

    You’ll understand better when you read “The Speckled People” Dewi!

  • Dewi

    I’ve ordered it ! – Give me a break will ya ! – In the meantime try and appreciate diversity…and learn Irish – it’s yours as much as anyones !

  • Cruimh

    “try and appreciate diversity”

    I do :) I’m listening to some Macaronic poetry as I write this.

    “…and learn Irish”

    Hours in the company of the likes of OC ?
    I’d sooner join the Plymouth Brethren – they have more fun and a happeier outlook on life ;)

  • Dewi

    Macaronic ???

    Try Welsh stuff – we call it cynghanedd – - seven syllables and lots of alliterations and internal rhymes – fr’instance:

    I arrived in a Rover

    Or my best ever on a work colleague’s coming of age:

    Twenty one and wonderful.

    I know it’s daft but little things !!

    (It’s much better in Welsh !!!)

  • Gan Ainm

    Hours in the company of the likes of OC?

    Come on Cruimh, you can’t paint all Irish speakers with the same brush!

  • Cruimh

    “Come on Cruimh, you can’t paint all Irish speakers with the same brush! !

    I was taking the p Gan Ainm. Hard to resist. God, wouldn’t it be dreadful if they were all like him ? ;)

    One of my relatives who speaks Irish is just back from the Henrides – had a wonderful time with gàidhlig speakers.

  • Cruimh
  • Dewi

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/vaughanroderick/2007/07/hedd_perffaith_hedd.html#commentsanchor

    Don’t read it cos it’s in welsh – but it refers to Hedd Wyn, one of our better poets, who died in Ypres in 1917. Deputy first minister Ieuan Wyn Jones was in Belguim today to pray tribute to the fallen.

    He won the National Eisteddfod Chair but was dead when it was awarded so famous for that….but Hedd Wyn’s poetry was good but not as good as the remembrance stuff for him.

    Trawsfynydd tros ei feini – trafeilaist ar foelydd Eryri
    Troedio wnest ei rhedyn hi – hunaist ymhell ohoni.

    That’s an “Englyn” by r williams Parry

    Trawsfynydd! Over its rocks — you traveled
    On the bare hills of Snowdonia;
    Tread you did its bracken,
    You fell asleep far from it.

    That’s a literal translation.

    Wish I could write stuff like that !

  • Dewi

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=CtEnp_CrPYs

    Cruimh – is that Gearoid’s band ?

    Irish language reggae…brilliant !!

  • Cruimh

    Not something you see every day of the week, eh ? ;)

  • Dewi

    Excellent stuff Cruimh…of to a barbeque today in Taff’s Well – spooky.

  • http://hIA OILibhear Chromaill

    I don’t know how Thursday was a good day for the Orange except that they began to display, for the first time, signs of civility. However it wasn’t all rosy in the garden….

    To be quite honest I had a good day myself on Thursday – no sitting in a sod cabin for me. But I’m slightly sad that such thoughts occupy poor Cnuimh’s fevered imagination….not as sad as he is however.

    You used the quote from Flann O’Brien as a direct contribution to the debate and I presume that you were using it to support your position. However perhaps you didn’t understand what you were doing.

    Lá Nua has no parent company. The Belfast Media Group owns 50% of the shares, the other 50% is owned by Irish speakers throughout Ireland. I have a share myself. To say that the Belfast Media Group is a parent company is to misunderstand the relationship. It is a partner company. The Belfast Media Group gets far less of British Government money than the Belfast Telegraph, Newsletter or Irish News and probably gives multiples of what it gets back in tax revenue. Apart from that observation, you’re going to have to find your own information about what money the BMG gets from the British Government.

  • Dewi

    OC – best of luck to La – keep up the good work.