Durkan is a Dad…

CONGRATULATIONS to SDLP leader Mark Durkan, who is a dad for the first time. Dearbháil Sarah Isobel Durkan was born in Altnagelvin Hospital at 1950 GMT on Monday. She weighed 6lbs 7.

  • PS

    Are you sure he doesn’t have a daughter in her twenties Gonzo? If he doesn’t then I must be imagining the person I’m thinking of!

    Congratulations to father and mother in any case.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    It’s your imagination.

  • Davros

    ‘A FAMILY FOR SDLP LEADER AND WIFE’

    Advice on good parenting has come from all quarters, including party colleagues who have warned the 44-year-old that the baby will “put some manners on me and sort me out”.

    Any comments Mick ? LOL

  • PS

    Well not exactly my imagination, I was mistaking his neice for his daughter. My mistake!

  • cg

    Paddy
    Mary Durkan is his niece but the jaw structure is quite similar 😉

  • Davros

    Paul Durcan has daughters in their twenties.

  • Fraggle

    Paul Durcan or Paul Durkan Davros?

  • PS

    Doubt it Davros, Paul Durcan is a Sligo footballer and unlikely to have daughters of that age! Damn fine midfielder in his day as well.

  • Davros

    Paul Durcan. He wrote that they were ‘the pure, orginal brokenness of our marriage’ after seperating from his wife. Been ages since I read it, but there are poems about them in “Greetings to Our Friends in Brazil.”

  • Davros

    Cough, Cough…. and I thought you were at University Paddy ? 😉

  • cg

    Whats worse Davros is Paddy knows Mary as she used to be the President of the Union, don’t get me started on that one 😉

  • Davros

    Do tell!

  • cg

    Davros
    I could mention the Student’s Union being sold out to the University without any consultation with students but I am too much of a gentleman to say something like that 😉

  • Davros

    Just remembered …page 12 Irish News today reports
    that his Nephew Mark H Durkan is tanding for election, as are John Hume’s niece Seanna and Peter Anderson’s neice Elisha McLaughlin

  • cg

    I warned you about that paper before Davros 😉

  • Davros

    Ach, politics … I thought you were going to say you had seen Paddy snogging a Stooper LOL

    I hear Queens Union is grotty … how much is the beer? I must drop in next time I’m looking at your bookshop. I’ll buy you two a beer.

  • cg

    “Ach, politics … I thought you were going to say you had seen Paddy snogging a Stooper LOL”

    LOL, Ha Ha must tell the other boys. I doubt he will be pleased with you, or possibly me.:)

    “hear Queens Union is grotty”

    It is not, that said its undergoing a £5 million re-development.

    “I must drop in next time I’m looking at your bookshop. I’ll buy you two a beer.”

    I for one will hold you to that.

    Paddy courting stoops…..LOL

  • Fraggle

    was Mary not an independent?

  • Mick Fealty

    Congratulations Mark. I’ve one at 18, a middle one at 16, and the littlest is nearly a month old. I love them all, but I’m not sure any of them has yet managed to put manners on me yet! There’s plenty of time yet though!!

  • ricardo

    congratulations!

  • Mark McGregor

    I’m glad to see Mark now has something to fill his time. Something rewarding too.

  • Peace and Justice

    For the majority of people in the British Isles who don’t speak Irish, how do you pronounce “Dearbháil” and what is the English version?

  • maca

    “what is the English version?”

    Just curious, why do people always ask this?
    No offence intended P&J, I just find it funny. If someones name is Jörgen do people ask for the English version?

  • Davros

    Especially as it’s easy to google.

  • Mark McGregor

    Mick,

    I’ve left it 24 comments before posting the obvious.

    What a terrible blog. Who cares. Why blog it. What.

    I know it is hard to find an SDLP story but is this the best Slugger’s can do on SDLP coverage?

    Shame on you.

    Shame on the SDLP.

  • Mark McGregor

    Didn’t you do a wedding thing too… the online Ulster Tatler now?

  • Davros

    What a disgusting post.
    Have you been drinking again Mark ?

  • Henry94

    Congratulations to Mark and his wife and welcome to Dearbháil Sarah Isobel.

    I remember Mark from the struggle to take USI back from the stickies. He’s a great guy.

  • Peace and Justice

    “Maca: If someones name is Jörgen do people ask for the English version?”

    I’m asking for the English version of “Dearbháil” because the child will be growing up in the UK. To give a child a name that 99% of the population can’t pronounce puts that child at a disadvantage. So the Jörgen example is not valid. But it’s Mr Durkan’s personal choice and I will the family well.

    Separately, let’s hope fatherhood makes Mr Durkan more mature. Will he now be man enough to stand up to the Sinn Fein IRA death squads and go into Government in Belfast with other democrats? Even Mr Durkan’s friends in the Republic think Sinn Fein IRA are not fit for Government in the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland. Will Mr Durkan finally take the SDLP around the table with other democrats or will he continue to wait for directions from Sinn Fein IRA?

  • Henry94

    P & J

    I’m asking for the English version of “Dearbháil” because the child will be growing up in the UK. To give a child a name that 99% of the population can’t pronounce puts that child at a disadvantage

    You don’t know much about the UK these days do you? They’re are a lot of names you might struggle with.

  • Brecht

    “How do you prounce Dearbhail”

    I’m guessing “Derval”,having learnt ten words of gaelic thirty-five years ago.

  • Mick Fealty

    Siobhan is an extremely popular in England, even amongst people with no Irish connection. The wee girl across the way from us’s family is entirely English – she just tells her teachers/playschool leaders how to spell Niamh.

  • J Kelly

    P&J not the thread to be making cheap political points.

  • Brecht

    In Australia Siobhan gets the Sigh-o-ban treatment but along with names like Declan and even Hamish, is becoming more popular.Look out Bruce.

  • Peace and Justice

    Life can be tough enough for your children without making it more difficult by using them to spread the gospel of Irish. The majority in Northern Ireland can’t pronounce or spell Irish names – never mind the rest of the British Isles. Poor “Dearbháil”, every time she speaks to a call centre (in the British Isles or India) she will be spending five minutes spelling out her name. Or perhaps she will use one of her other names, Sarah or Isobel.

    The universal language is English. For example, many people in the Far East adopt English names as their main priorities are business and simplicity. But anyway, good luck to the girl!

  • slackjaw

    ‘Life can be tough enough for your children without making it more difficult by using them to spread the gospel of Irish.’

    Erm, have you considered that maybe her mother and father just like the name?

    And a nice name it is too. Congratulations to all concerned.

    ‘For example, many people in the Far East adopt English names as their main priorities are business and simplicity.’

    Yes. I often thought that if I ever had children, I would adopt a no-nonsense approach to naming in the interests of business and simplicity, and would name them 1, 2, etc.

  • Christopher Stalford

    “I could mention the Student’s Union being sold out to the University without any consultation with students but I am too much of a gentleman to say something like that ;)”

    Oh aye, because the Students Union has to be saved. Despite the fact that its a crappy building, stinks of pee and provides a second-rate service to its students. Its also a closed shop, in complete contradiction of practice everywhere else.

    Leaving that aside, congratulations to Mr and Mrs Durkan and to Mary on the new arrival.

  • cg

    Christopher
    Grow up

  • Christopher Stalford

    What did I say that wasn’t true. Queens Students Union is a filthy dump providing a second rate service to its members. It should be knocked down and replaced with a more commercialised, customer-orientated student centre. Students don’t need a Union.

    Furthermore, I wasn’t given the choice of being a member of the Union or not. If you are a Queens student you MUST be a member of the Union. This is a closed shop and it should be illegal.

  • Peace and Justice

    “Slackjaw:
    I often thought that if I ever had children, I … would name them 1, 2, etc.”

    You just can’t get voting out of your mind! If you want to continue your fantasy in “Romantic Ireland”, dream on! Good luck to all those people with Irish names which nobody can pronounce or spell out there in the bigger world!

  • cg

    “If you are a Queens student you MUST be a member of the Union”

    Stop being an arsehole. You didn’t have to go to the union or take any part in it. You chose to participate so stop being a hypocrite.

  • Fraggle

    Peace and Justice, you are a fool and a philistine. You dissemble when you object to Irish names out of concern for the the plight of those afflicted with one.

    I, myself, have a traditional Irish name and it has in no way held me back. I have lived in Scotland, England and Ireland. I can’t recall the last time I failed to get a job that I applied for. I wouldn’t want to work for a company that discriminated against me due to my name in any case.

    Young Miss Durkan has been born into a successful, intelligent and high-achieving (cue jokes about the electoral success of the SDLP) family. Her name will in no way hold her back in life if her cousins are anything to go by (Mary etc.). She may well grow up in the UK, as you say, but she will be growing up in Derry, which, last time I checked, wasn’t as British as Finchley and Irish names are commonly used.

    Incidently, are you aware of how many Irish names are commonly used in Britain. Ask most English people and they’d think names like Kevin are English.

  • Alan2

    “Niamh” How is that pronounced?
    It just goes to show the divide – such names being all but alien until people leave school and enter mixed work places.

  • Davros

    Ask most English people and they’d think names like Kevin are English.

    I thought Kevin was English ? There isn’t a V in Irish ?

  • Alan2

    Isn`t Hamish a Scottish name?

  • Fraggle

    yes Davros, an english spelling or anglicization if you like, of an irish name

  • Ringo

    Alan2-

    Niamh pronounced ‘Nea-ev’

    Or Nee-uv in Kerry.

  • Fraggle

    Hamish is an interesting one. it is actually the same name as Seamus.

    When speaking irish, when you address someone called Seamus, you say (phonetically) “A Hamish”.

  • slackjaw

    Peace and Justice

    ‘You just can’t get voting out of your mind!’

    On the contrary, I have not voted in almost 8 years.

    ‘If you want to continue your fantasy in “Romantic Ireland”, dream on!’

    And to think that I was living in the real world! How will I know when I have woken up?

    ‘Good luck to all those people with Irish names which nobody can pronounce or spell out there in the bigger world!’

    Well, as someone who has a pretty unpronounceable surname by your standards, I think the bigger world is smarter than you give credit.

    By the way, when it comes to pronunciation by non-native speakers, written English isn’t exactly the most intuitive of languages. Try getting your average non-native speaker to read the sentence ‘McCrea coughed on the way to Lough Neagh’ and see how it sounds.

  • El Matador

    “I’m asking for the English version of “Dearbháil” because the child will be growing up in the UK. To give a child a name that 99% of the population can’t pronounce puts that child at a disadvantage.”

    Am I alone in thinking this is completely racist? That like asking someone from India or China “What’s the English version of your name” because you don’t accept their right to have a name from their own culture.

    A name is a name. It is made no more or no less valid by trying to translate it into a different language

  • Peace and Justice

    “Fraggle:
    .. I can’t recall the last time I failed to get a job that I applied for.”
    Now why doesn’t that surprise me? I thought you HAD to be a Roman Catholic these days to get a job!

    “Fraggle:
    I wouldn’t want to work for a company that discriminated against me due to my name in any case.”
    But I suppose in your little “Irish” world, it is all right to discriminate against people because they are Protestant. The Police in Ulster is one example. Sinn Fein/IRA murdered Roman Catholic policemen; Roman Catholics stopped joining; Sinn Fein/IRA then claimed the police was too Protestant; then discrimination was formally introduced against Protestants – and fully supported by the Pan Nationalist Front.

  • declanp

    Ah Mr Stalford.
    Strange how those of a right leaning orientation seem to object to students organising.
    The education act (1994) means that although you (as a student of a University) are automatically a member of the Union, you are not forced. You can choose to leave at any point. Simply send a letter detailing you request to the President.
    I am sure they will welcome your request to be shut out in the cold with no representation or union facilities.
    It’ll be pretty lonely when you have the combined power of one person behind you, Chris, but then it’ll be worth cutting off your nose to spite those evil trots eh?

  • Peace and Justice

    “El Matador:
    Am I alone in thinking this is completely racist?”

    I already said that it’s Mr Durkan’s personal choice and I wish the family well. I’m simply pointing out that I’ve no idea how to pronounce the name – just like 99% of the British Isles. It’s a pity SOME Roman Catholics see the use of Irish names as a political act. But it’s up to them and as I said earlier – good luck in the bigger world!

  • declanp

    Erm Peace and Justice,
    What UK do you live in? I live in one where you would have much more trouble pronouncing Welsh, or Scottish Gaelic names. The Ulster dialect owes much to both scots and Irish (gaelic) and so you probably speak more irish than you think.
    Thats not to mention the non native languages that abound in the UK. English may be common, but it is not the only correct language.
    The UK includes more than just England and N Ireland – or did you forget the Welsh and Scottish?

  • smcgiff

    The commonly heard version of Seamus (Shame us) leads me to think my parents did not have high hopes for me!

  • maca

    P&J
    “To give a child a name that 99% of the population can’t pronounce puts that child at a disadvantage. So the Jörgen example is not valid.”

    Really, so there are no Jörgens in the UK? And what about all the foreign footballers in the UK who raise families there?
    Btw, can you pronoucnce Sami Hyypiä? How about Berg? What about Welsh names? Or Scottish Gaelic names? Or British Muslim names?

    “It’s a pity SOME Roman Catholics see the use of Irish names as a political act”
    It’s only political when the Irish do it I presume? Your bigotry is plain for all to see.

  • Vera

    P&J
    “It’s a pity SOME Roman Catholics see the use of Irish names as a political act.”

    IF some people give their children Irish names as a political act (and doubt most of them do) then it is surely because of attitudes like yours. If someone told me that I couldn’t or shouldn’t use names from my culture, you can be damn sure it would get my blood up and make me resist them for all I was worth!

    Anyway, it is ridiculous to suggest that an Irish name would hold anyone back in this day and age. Irish names are quite fashionable at the moment throughout the English speaking world.

  • Ringo

    PJ

    Catholics see the use of Irish names as a political act. But it’s up to them and as I said earlier – good luck in the bigger world!

    I’d say you could do with a good look at the bigger world alright. Try America for starters,they’ve an incredible array of names over there – and might I suggest Chip if you ever get bored with your own one?

  • Peace and Justice

    “Maca:
    Really, so there are no Jörgens in the UK?”
    Some of the non-British people living in the UK actually use their native language or at least it’s their mother tongue. A bit different to the political use of names by SOME Roman Catholics.

    “Ringo:
    Try America for starters,they’ve an incredible array of names over there.”
    Having been to many different countries, I’m well aware of the range of names around the world. But for people to deliberately pick a name for their children for political reasons (that 99% of the population in their native country can’t pronounce)is interesting to say the least!

    “Vera:
    If someone told me that I couldn’t or shouldn’t use names from my culture, you can be damn sure it would get my blood up and make me resist them for all I was worth!”
    I’m not telling anyone that they shouldn’t use Irish names that virtually no one can pronounce. I’m just amused at the irony of it all!

    As a final comment on this, what people call their children is their own personal choice. But it’s right that we question the political motivation of some Roman Catholics and the consequences for their children in the future.

    Once again, congratulations to the Durkan Family!

  • Davros

    Might be relevent, might not, but does anybody know if either Mark or Jackie Durkan are Irish Speakers ?

  • maca

    P&J, you’re talking rubbish really.
    Names mentioned earlier such as Niamh, Siobhan etc are commonly used in English anyway. Many Irish names are like that and can be used both in English and Irish. Ciaran, Diarmuid, Cian, Gráinne, Aisling, Aoibheann, etc etc etc etc etc.

    No, you have NO right to question what people call their children unless they start naming them after hitler or something. Irish names are no more difficult than any other European names and are NOT chosen for political reasons. We are Irish so chose Irish names, no more than that.

  • Brecht

    The more multi-cultural a society becomes the less importance is placed on how ones name is pronounced. you simply ask the person “how is that pronounced”. Then engage in conversation about each others culture. Unless of course you are a neo-nazi. The more cultures added to the mix the more enlightened and educated we become.

  • Christopher Stalford

    Ah declan, strange that you’ve entirely missed the point. The point is, people should be entitled to access of the facilities provided at the university regardless of whether they are members of a poxy union that does no good for them anyway. The Students “Union” should be like any other society, if people want to join they can, if not they shouldn’t be forced to. To deny students access to facilities because they aren’t members of a union is a closed shop. As for the building itself, I would rather see a new student centre, run on a commercial, customer-orientated basis.

  • Christopher Stalford

    And as for people of the right being dismayed at the prospect of students organising – have you been at any Queens demonstrations – the Students Union couldn’t organise a bun fight in a bakery.

  • declanp

    Christopher,

    The Union buildings are not “University facilities”, they are student union facilities. Run by the Students, for the students, primarily with money from the students.
    The University has many facilities which of course you need only be a member of staff or student to use.
    However the Union keeps its facilities for its members – Just like all other private members clubs.

  • cg

    Christopher
    The Union has to power to grant membership to whoever it wishes.
    You should know that as you and your colleagues removed Bernadette McAliskey’s life membership last year.

    A disgrace, which thankfully has been rectified this year.