Slugger O'Toole

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Latest posts from Concubhar (see all)

Concubhar has posted 9 times (2 in the last month).

‘Silver Liberties’, Sinn Féin and the Ciste

Tue 15 April 2014, 10:04am

Tweet One of the artistic injustices of the Troubles has been righted this week with very little fanfare indeed.   Down at the Ulster Museum, an artwork, entitled ‘Silver Liberties’, by Lancashire born artist, Conrad Atkinson, has been hung this week.  Back in 1978, it was the piece, created to mark the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, […] more »

Sinn Féin to the fore for the photo, to the rear of the movement

Sat 12 April 2014, 7:40pm

Tweet Sinn Féin, with the shamelessness we’ve become accustomed to from Establishment politicians, were to the fore in today’s ‘LáDearg’ parade in Belfast with several aspiring candidates behind a banner proclaiming the party’s support for an Irish Language Act in the north. Shameless because the several thousand protesters who paraded in colourful good form from […] more »

Showdown at the Cultúrlann

Thu 6 February 2014, 8:03am

Tweet More heat than light was produced at a special broadcast of the leading Irish language current affairs radio programme, RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta’s Cormac ag a Cúig, at the Cultúrlann on Tuesday evening when Foras na Gaeilge deputy chief executive, Seán Ó Coinn, faced an audience embittered by the recent decision by the cross […] more »

An Irish speaker’s reaction to Orangeman’s outburst

Sat 1 February 2014, 10:34pm

Tweet Belfast’s County Orange Order Grandmaster George Chitick may protest that he never intended to offend Irish speakers with his exhortation to Protestants not to learn the language he termed part of the ‘republican’ agenda. But Irish speakers in Belfast and throughout the north are well used to such insults, going back to the time […] more »

The North short-changed in Irish language shake up

Fri 17 January 2014, 4:48pm

Tweet So yesterday (Thursday) Pobal, the Irish language advocacy group for Northern Ireland, had its critique of the failures of the Stormont Assembly and Executives regarding the Irish language strategy endorsed by no less an organisation than the Council of Europe. But today the cross border body, Foras na Gaeilge, announces the new ‘lead organisations/ceann […] more »

Cuts and splits: How the Irish language community’s most effective advocates are being silenced

Thu 9 January 2014, 9:44pm

Tweet At an event on the Newtownards Road on Thursday to open Belfast’s newest Irish language centre, Linda Ervine, sister in law of the late David Ervine, spoke of ‘An Ghaeilge’ as her language. It was nothing to hide or be afraid of speaking, an attitude which might come as news to some unionist politicians. […] more »

Shock horror! Independent publishes its own Irish language news supplement

Thu 26 September 2013, 12:37pm

Tweet If you told me ten or five years ago that the only Irish language newspaper of any description would be provided by the Irish Independent, I would have ended up spending the rest of the day in intensive care.   Independent News and Media have long been regarded as one of the arch enemies […] more »

Partitionism is alive and well in All Ireland

Thu 19 September 2013, 9:00am

Tweet Irony is lost on some people. Like the person I spoke with in India representing a well known mobile phone company, which is available on both sides of the border, as I tried to finalise a mobile phone contract in Northern Ireland/the North of Ireland. I explained to her that I had moved back […] more »

Farewell to Gaelscéal

Tue 5 February 2013, 11:44am

Tweet I am writing this article in English (though I will probably write something similar in Irish for Gaelscéal) because I want slugger fans, the majority of whom are English readers, to read it and engage with the issue, rather than get bogged down in whether or not it should be in Irish or English. […] more »

Latest comments from Concubhar (see all)

Concubhar has commented 272 times (3 in the last month).

  1. Comment on Sinn Féin to the fore for the photo, to the rear of the movement
    on 13 April 2014 at 8:33 pm

    I respect your point of view Cara. But I don’t agree with you. I didn’t politicise the issue. Sinn Féin did. They were to the fore in getting their photo taken for the parade and they were giving out leaflets proclaiming their great gaiscí for Irish at the Cultúrlann.
    One of the issues I raised, Cara, regarding the travel situation, was raised by a speaker from the platform. The other issues were raised during other events that day and on other days. I have highlighted them.

    Regarding your rather personalised attack on myself, well fair enough. I have made my own mistakes in the past. None of these however was to be ‘unimaginative and hostile to outsiders’ as you allege. I reject entirely that untrue and baseless allegation you make against Lá/Lá Nua I am sure that An tUltach would similarly reject it. It seems that you think it’s ok for these papers/magazines to be closed down. I thought it was a poor day’s work myself.

    I voiced my opinion on a blog. It seems that this is to leave oneself open to personal attack. Well, that only tells me one thing. Those making the attacks are losing the argument.

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  2. Comment on Sinn Féin to the fore for the photo, to the rear of the movement
    on 13 April 2014 at 7:24 pm

    Tacapall, it’s art in the Cultúrlann, even if it isn’t to your taste. It tells a story and it’s an interesting story. Next time you’re passing – call in and find out more.

    I know well that there are many Irish speakers within Sinn Féin who have devoted many years of their lives to the development of Gaelscoileanna etc and I would count them among people I would like to call friends. However, my criticism is directed at Sinn Féin the party whose leadership I feel has led the party down a parth which sees the Irish language as something to be used in order to achieve power. Personally I have no time for any party in Irish polilical life any more – they’re all as bad as one another in way or another. If politics could change anything, it would have been abolished long ago. Violence is, as well as being morally wrong, counterproductive.

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  3. Comment on GAA concludes a lucrative deal with Sky Sports…
    on 2 April 2014 at 5:21 pm

    What it could mean is that northerners will have to sign up to Sky if they want to watch All Ireland semi finals or finals. Which kind of makes a mockery of the All Ireland dimension. If it happens in the same way as soccer, when RTÉ’s broadcast of Republic of Ireland international fixtures is blocked in the six counties because Sky owns the rights.

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  4. Comment on Showdown at the Cultúrlann
    on 7 February 2014 at 11:07 am

    I know what you’re saying, Banjaxed. However, leaving those issues to one side, it’s important not to lose sight of the damage being done by the Foras bureaucracy and those who give the orders to the Irish language sector. I believe strongly if other publicly funded bodies were behaving in the way they are, they would be hauled before the PAC quicker than you could say Uisce Eireann…..and grilled not so gently by Mary Lou McDonald.

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  5. Comment on Showdown at the Cultúrlann
    on 7 February 2014 at 10:46 am

    That’s great then – because, after 30 June, we’ll be back to the era when state support for Irish language promotion will be no more, 16 years after the Good Friday Agreement which promised so much but delivered only for unaccountable bureaucrats and their political dancing partners.
    I’m all for a more independent Irish language infrastructure – however, Irish speakers pay taxes too and are entitled to commensurate support, on the same basis of any other sector.
    I had to laugh at FJH above and his assertions that there’s an Irish language industry and his talk about ‘money swilling around’. Only 14 workers will lose their jobs at the end of June in the six counties yet that will devastate the Foras supported Irish language promotion sector in the north. The few that will be left, those working as development officers under Scéim an Phobail, will face the axe at the end of the year as ‘geographical profiling’ is introduced into the criterion for the next edition of the scheme. This follows the aborted competition last year, aborted because the northern entries made up 80% of the successful applicants, those who had scored highest in the competition, so now they want to run it again to ensure less northern success.
    What this is really about is dubious administration by the burreaucrats – Foras na Gaeilge and above. The money will still swill – just not in the north.

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  6. Comment on Showdown at the Cultúrlann
    on 6 February 2014 at 6:01 pm

    The DUP is what it is. It never pretended to be a pro Irish language party, or even pro diversity. Sinn Féin needs to do more than just patronise the Irish language community with lip service. It’s merely fulfilliing the DUP’s agenda at present in relation to the Irish language – and the DUP itself is out of step with the many Protestants, Unionists and Loyalists who think that Irish is part of their identity too and attending classes with Linda Ervine. That would not have been possible were it not for the good work of the Iontaobhas ULTACH. Eaten bread is soon forgotten, no doubt. Sinn Féin should remember that it isn’t only the DUP’s disaffected voters who have the vote…

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  7. Comment on Showdown at the Cultúrlann
    on 6 February 2014 at 5:51 pm

    Well, let’s see the logic tested in the courts in the light of the O’Keeffe judgement, especially in respect of the employees of Iontaobhas ULTACH. that body was nominated in leglislation as a body which would be core funded.
    Apart from that, it’s not just your taxes paying for them. It’s my taxes too. As for Foras being an arms length body to achieve certain objectives, if its objectives were to devastate the Irish language infrastructure of the North, it’s achieving that. As for promoting the Irish language, it’s open to question and very debatable. I agree with you, however, maorláthas/bureaucracy is damaging the language.

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  8. Comment on Showdown at the Cultúrlann
    on 6 February 2014 at 4:47 pm

    I think that the bean counters are busy counting everybody’s beans but their own.
    You call it an Irish Language Industry – I call it an Irish Language Infrastructure, which had been in place way in advance of the advent of the beancounters and had been alive on a shoe string.
    However your point is well made, it’s not so much about the people and their liveliehoods but about the promotion of Irish on the ground. This was being done, in my view, very constructively by the affected organisations – at the same time there is always room for improvement. I’m not aware of DCAL’s call for action plans which you claim were not produced but at the same time DCAL itself is most remiss in not producing an Irish language strategy which has been in the works for several years and any action plan would have to take account of that – so that may explain the delay. On top of that DCAL has also been sharply criticised as a result of an inspection visit by the Council of Europe Monitoring Team wrt the implementation of the European Charter of Regional and Minority Languages in respect of Irish. Based on an analysis by Pobal of the NIE’s failures, the monitoring team delivered a damning indictment of the Executive’s failure to implement the Charter and report on its implementation. The next day, coincidentally, the announcement is made that Pobal’s funding is to be axed. Problem solved. As for accountability, you seem to be unconcerned over Foras na Gaeilge whose accounts are way behind and whose website fails to detail the membership of its own board…. And the Ulster Scots Boord will come into focus too, don’t worry….

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  9. Comment on Gerry Adams on the ‘current situation in Northern Ireland’
    on 6 February 2014 at 3:53 pm

    I have written elsewhere regarding the devastation of the Irish language infrastructure in Northern Ireland. Good work was done by Pobal, Forbairt Feirste, Iontaobhas ULTACH and Altram and which is now under threat following the implementation of a new funding model which Sinn Féin is actively supporting, claiming it is fulfilling their All Ireland agenda.
    I see now the party will be redoubling its efforts to achieve an Acht na Gaeilge. As an Irish speaker in the south, where there is such an Act, I found the legislation there to be a bureaucratic mess, made and designed by bureaucrats in order to be abused by them. In Northern Ireland, there are promises of a strategy re the Irish language but no product yet. However, if the Northern Ireland Executive were, in the interim, to take their obligations under the European Charter for Regional and Minority Language wrt Irish seriously and implement them now, it would be a step forward. Instead an Executive which includes a Sinn Féin Minister with responsibility for Culture (including language) refuses to move forward on those commitments (to which they have already agreed) and, even, refuses to engage with the inspectors charged by the Council of Europe to monitor the implementation of the commitments with respect to Irish.
    In that context it’s pointless to go around talking about an Irish Language Act(Acht na Gaeilge) as if it will somehow not encounter numerous obstacles and is unlikely to be introduced never mind implemented in our lifetimes. Not alone is it pointless to go around talking about it, but its hypocritical when your own party is dismantling the infrastructure which was in place, and arose from the grass roots, before the Good Friday Agreement, which would be necessary to ensure the implementation of such an act.
    When POBAL’s analysis of the lack of action by the Sinn Féin-DUP led Northern Ireland Executive was endorsed by the Council of Europe on 16 January, this was a problem for the Northern Ireland Executive. Luckily Foras na Gaeilge, the cross border body with four SF members on board, were on hand to save the day. Next day, on 17 January, the Foras announced that the 19 core funded organisations charged with promoting Irish throughout Ireland was to be reduced to six groups based in the 26 Counties. Pobal was not among the successful groups and is set to close on 30 June. Problem solved then. Maith thú Gerry!

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  10. Comment on Showdown at the Cultúrlann
    on 6 February 2014 at 11:29 am

    Blissett, a chara,
    I will answer you in English as the thread is in English. I raised the issue because the Foras on this and other occasions has said that it bears no responsibility for workers in organisations it funds, if that organisation ceases to be funded by Foras and consequently gives workers notice, in some cases with no redundancy provision. I think that’s a wrong on those people. I think the Louise O’Keeffe case established, inter alia, that the State cannot abdicate its responsibility for its workers and although there are substantial differences between the cases, there are similarities also on the issue of responsiibility. Whatever my contention, I do believe those people affected should seek professional legal advice. Má tá suim agat na ceisteanna seo a phlé i nGaeilge, is féidir é a dhéanamh ag

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