“Is rud tábhachtach dom bheith Éireannach i mo chultúr”

Anton Mac Cába i gcomhrá le Eric Culbertson, fear a bhfuil ina Ard-Mháistir Oird Bhuí Phort an Dúnáin, agus ghrá mor leis don Ghaeilge. Mar a deireann sé insan iris Comhar, eagran Eanair sa bhlain, “tá an pobal Protastúnach ag lorg féiniúlachta difriúla. B’fhéidir go mbeidh an Ghaeilge mar chuid den féiniúlacht sin”.le hAnton Mac Cába

An céad uair gur casadh an tUrramach Eric Culbertson orm, bhí mise ag teacht amach as carabhán Harold Gracey ag Droim Cria. Bhí an tUrramach Culbertson ag dul isteach chun Ard-Mháistir Oird Bhuí Phort an Dúnáin a fheiceáil, le linn coimhlinte páraídí na mall-nochaidí. Níorbh áit é mar a mbeifeá ag súil go mbuailfeá le Gaeilgeoir eile.

Is iomaí duine de bhunadh Protastúnach ó Thuaidh a chuireann suim sa Ghaeilge. Don chuid is mó, is daoine iad go mbeadh bá acu leis an náisiúnachas nó an sóisialachas. Ní hamhlaidh don Urramach Culbertson, sagart in Eaglais na hÉireann ar an Mhuileann Nua in oirthear Thír Eoghan. Is sráidbhaile beag Protastúnach é an Mhuileann Nua, bailtí Caitliceacha thart timpeall air.

Tháinig an tUrramach Culbertson ann ó Shasana, roimh sosanna cogaidh na nochaidí, i ndiaidh dó guí chuig Dé. Ba faoi shláinte Harold Gracey a bhí an céad comhrá idir mé féin agus an tUrramach Culbertson. Bheiféa ag dúil lena leitheidí de chomhrá le Leas-Ard Stiplíneach ag Ard-Lóiste Buí na hÉireann; atá ina bhall den Ord Dubh agus de Phrintísigh Dhoire; ina rúnaí ar Pháirtí Aondachtach Uladh i dtoghcheantar Lár Uladh; fear a labhraíonn go minic ar an ardán don Ord Buí agus fear a labhair leis na Fir Buí ag Droim Cria.

Ní bheifeá ag dúil len a leitheidí de chomhrá bheith as Gaeilge. Mar gurb as Gaeilge a labhraíomar. Tá sé dílís don Ríocht Aontaithe, mar a mbeifeá ag dúil leis, ach don Ghaeilge chomh maith. Tá sé ar a dhícheall chun beocht nua a chur i sean-sruth a bhíodh riamh sa chhultúr Gaelach, an sruth Protastúnach-Aondachtach-Buí.

Rugadh agus tógadh i nDún Éideann é. Bhí dúchas Gaelach ar dhá thaobh an teaghlaigh. Ba de bhunadh na nGarbhcríocha a mháthair. B’as an tOiléan Dubh, ó thuaidh ó Inbhear Nís dá shin-sean athair ar an taobh sin.

“Ba Ghaeilgeoir é, níor labhair sé Béarla ar bith sula ndeachaigh sé ar an scoil agus é cúig bhliain d’aois,” arsa an tUrramach Cuthbertson. Mhair an dúchas sin sa chlann. Bhí rud beag Gàidhlige ag a sheanmháthair agus ag a mháthair. Ba de chlann bródúil Mhic Gill-Eain iad. “Bhí an sloinne sin an-tábhachtach do mo mháthair agus domsa,” ar seisean. “Thug mé cuairt ar an chaisleán a bhí ag an chlann sin in Oileán na Muileach.”

Ba de bhunadh na gCríocha, lámh le teorainn Shasana, dá athair. Ba cheantar sin mar a raibh dúchas Gaelach na hAlban sciobtha chun siúil leis na céadta bliain. Ba chainteoir Gaeilge as ceantar Bhaile na Finne i nDún na nGall dá shin-seanmháthair ar an taobh sin, Sorcha Nic Giollabhuí. Bhí an bheirt sin-sean-tuismitheoir seo marbh sular tháinig an tUrramach Cuthbertson ar an saol.

Is cuid dá Bhriotaineachas é Gaeilge a labhairt. “Is Gael ó thaobh an chultúir mé, agus is Briotaineach ó thaobh na polaitíochta mé,” arsa an tUrramach Culbertson. “Is rud tábhachtach dom bheith Éireannach i mo chultúr. Is rud tábhachtach é an taobh Gaelach. Is cuid de mo theaghlach é an Ghaeilge. Mothaím go bhfuil mé Albanach-Éireannach.”

De bharr cúrsaí polaitiúla bheith mar atá ó Thuaidh, tá sé intuigthe go bhfuil leisc ar go leoir Protastúnach a bheadh bainte le cúrsaí Gaelacha sin a fhógairt. Ní hamhlaidh don Urramach Cuthbertson. Le trí bhliain anuas, eisean a reachtaíonn an Seirbhís Gaeilge Lá Fhéile Pádraig in Ardeaglais Naoimh Phádraig, Ardmhacha.

“Rinneadh roinnt gearán, bíodh is gur Tuaisceart Éireann Tuaisceart Éireann,” ar seisean. “Is fear buí mé. Nuair a chuala daoine sin, ní raibh freagra acu air.”

Léann sé Gaeilge, agus is fearr leis ach go háirithe leabhair faoina shruth féin den traidisiún Gaelach. “Tá cuid mhór leabhair suimiúla le Risteard Ó Glaisne, ‘De Bhunadh Protastúnach’ mar shampa, faoi bhunú Chonradh na Gaeilge agus na Protastúnaigh a rinne obair mhór, mar shampla Richard Rutledge Kane,” ar seisean. “Léigh mé sin le déanaí. Leigh mé leabhar Richard Giltrap, a scríobh ‘An Ghaeilge in Eaglais na hÉireann.”

Leabhar a bhíonn go minic lena lámh ná Leabhar na nUrnaí Coitinne ag Eaglais na hÉireann. “Úsáidim an leabhar sin sa tseirbhís Lá Fhéile Phádraig san Ardeaglais,” ar seisean. “Rinne an Canónach Gary Hastings obair an-mhaith (leis an leabhar).”

Dar leis go bhfuil sé ag leanúint traidisiúin fir amháin: Richard Rutledge Kane. “Is é Kane mo laoch, toisc gur fear buí é,” ar seisean. Ba shagart eile in Eaglais na hÉireann é Kane, a bhí ina reachtaire ar Theampall Chríost i gCearnóg an Choláiste i mBéal Feirste. Bhí sé ar bhunaitheoirí Chonradh na Gaeilge i mBéal Feirste, agus ina fhear buí chomh díograiseach céanna i rith an ama.

Tá sé de cháil ar an Cathánach gur shínígh sé Cúnant Uladh as Gaeilge, lena chuid fola féin. Nuair a tháinig Winston Churchill go Béal Feirste roimh an Céad Cogadh Mór, agus é ar son Rialtas Dúchais d’Éire, bhí Kane (thug sé Ó Cathain air féin i measc na nGael) orthu siúd a dhíbír ó Halla Uladh i mBéal Feirste é.

“Bhí daoine eile ann,” arsa an tUrramach Culbertson. “Bhí Samuel Neilson, a scríobh graiméar Gaeilge. B’eaglaiseach Preispitéirach é, tá suim agam sa bhfear sin. Is fear an-tábhachtach é Dúbhglas de hide. Daoine mar an Easpaig Bhedell sa 17ú Aois, gur Sasanach é a tháinig go hÉireann mar easpag ar an Chill Mhór, d’aistrigh sé an Bíobla ó Eabhrais agus Gréigís go Gaeilge. Toisc é an obair sin a dhéanamh, bhí Bíobla as Gaeilge a lán blianta sular raibh as Gàidhlig. Ní raibh roimh 1780 sa Gàidhlig, ach bhí Bíobla Gaeilge ann.

Bhí saibhreas Gaeilge i measc na bProtastúnach. Bhí na Protastúnaigh ag obair i gcónaí ar stair na Éireann, ar an teanga, ar an fhilíocht, daoine cosúil le Samuel Ferguson agus na Protastúnaigh eile.”
Bean a chuaigh i bhfeidhm go mór air ná Róis Ní Ógáin, gur Rose Young an leagan Béarla a bhí ar a hainm.

Bhí sí muinteartha leis an Tiarna Brookeborough, príom-aire clúite Aondachtach Thuaiscirt Éireann. Rinne sí duanaire sean-fhocal agus sean-amhrán as Gaeilge. Céad éigean bliain ó shoin agus an tAondachtachas ag teacht chun tosaigh, ní raibh leisc air úsáid a bhaint as abairtí Gaeilge.

Bhíodh ‘Uladh Abú’ ann, agus fógraí as Gaeilge nuair a tháinig an Rí agus an Bhanríon ar chuairt go Béal Feirste. Ba chuid dá mBriotaineachas a nGaelachas. Ba thraidisiún é a chuaigh faoi thalamh, ach níor briseadh é,” arsa an tUrramach Culbertson.

“Bhí fadhbanna leis an Ghaeilge sna Trioblóidí. Tiocfaidh sé arais. Tá mé cinnte go nglacfaidh an pobal Protastúnach páirt sa chultúr Gaelach. Tá suim láidir ag an phobal Protastúnach sa Deisceart sa Ghaeilge. In Eaglais na hÉireann tá Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise, déanann sé obair an-tábhachtach.”

Ba mhaith leis éagsúlacht na sruthanna sa chultúr Gaelach a thabhairt lena chéile. Dar leis, tá a chuid oibre le déanamh ag achan duine, más é seirbhísí Gaeilge a reachtáil, nó leabhair a scríobh, nó páipéar nuachta a scríobh. Téann an tUrramach Culbertson go Dún Geanainn achan lá leis an nuachtán laethúil Lá a cheannach.

“Tá daoine Protastúnacha trína chéile faoina bhféiniúlacht,” ar seisean. “Níl mé cinnte go bhfuil féiniúlacht Albaníse Uladh láidir do Phrotastúnaigh. Tá litríocht san Albanís Ultach. Níl scríobhneoirí mór ann. Tá an pobal Protastúnach ag lorg féiniúlachta difriúla. B’fhéidir go mbeidh an Ghaeilge mar chuid den féiniúlacht sin. Tá suim ag Protastúnaigh anseo sna rudaí Éireannacha. Tá dinnéar achan bhliain ag mo chór anseo, chan mé amhrán Gaeilge do na daoine ansin, Cearc is Coileach, bhain siad sult as.

Sílim go bhfuil níos mó suime ag Protastúnaigh sa Ghaeilge ná mar a shíleann tú.”

  • Nathan

    There has always been a rich vein of love for the Irish language among the more Republican minded Church of Irelanders. Donald Caird, the former Archbishop of Dublin, is a fluent Irish speaker and a member of the Irish Guild of the Church for instance. He was greener than most Archibishops who came before him.

    There are also some Irish methodists who are keen about the language also e.g. the late Risteard Earnan O Glaisne of Bandon, Co.Cork who happened to be a relative of Graham Norton’s brother-in-law. This proud Protestant lay preacher worked tirelessly throughout his life to make Protestants conscious of Irish cultural heritage, of which the native language plays a vital part.

    If we are to have an Irish Protestant Museum one day (which I discussed earlier on the Carson petition thread), then these are the Protestants we need to re-include in the national narrative – they are inspirational figures of the southern Protestant community.

  • AM

    Ana suimúil ar fad, Mick. (Think though that it would be helpful to provide a synopsis or translation for those not able to read Irish. Furthermore, in terms of bilingualism, whilst I can read and understand the post, ní féidir liom ‘comment’ féin a scríobh as Gaeilge – I simply don’t speak it well enough. Though I guess it’s probably more accessible to all, if comments are either bilingual or in English.)
    Douglas Hyde also springs to mind…

  • Droch_Bhuachaill

    Á, nach deas é go bhfuil fear den eaglais Phrotastúnach in ann grá a bheith aige do theanga na nGael- mar a deireann muid i gCiarraí, Fair Play do.

    Ní rud nua é seo, Mar a dúirt mé cheanna, bhí lóiste de chuid na nOiráisteach i mBeal Feirste sna seachtódaí faoin ainm ‘Oidhreacht na hÉireann’, agus bíonn seirbhísí Protastúnacha sa chathair sinn chuile seachtain as Gaeilge. I cuimhin liom pictúir a fheiceáil uair amháin do oll-chruinniú Aontachtach sna 1890adaí, agus banner mór ann leis na focail ‘Éireann go Brách’ air.

    Ná dein dearmad freisin gurb iad Protastúnaigh a chuir an chéad leabhar Gaeilge i gcló….

    Ní le aon traidisiún amháin aon teanga, agus tá súil agam nach bhfuil an iomarca damáiste déanta ag an tslí ar úsáid SF an Ghaeilge mar uirlis pholaitiúil.

    P.S: An-alt ag Robert Macmillen i bhFoinse an tseachtain seo faoi slugger. Fair Play Dhuit, Mick!

  • Mick Fealty

    Ni fhaca me go foill e, ar an drochuair. Ta se ar a bhealach chugam tri mhean an phoist.

  • darth rumsfeld

    “There has always been a rich vein of love for the Irish language among the more Republican minded Church of Irelanders”

    True, but that misses the point. Culbertson isn’t a republican-indeed he’s not even Irish. Richard Kane wasn’t a republican. Sir Samuel Ferguson wasn’t, and nor was Archbishop Bedell. I can’t speak for Bro. Eric, but I imagine he hearks back to a time when the definition “Irish” was comfortably worn by all Unionists and Protestants.

    When even WB Yeats was moved to rail against the factionalism which tainted the Irish Republic it’s no wonder that so few are comfortable with that identity these days-though it is to be regretted. Perhaps less derision for the Ulster-Scots and Anglo-Irish strands of Irishness would help.

    I always thought it was a scandal that noone in the Irish language movement shot down Danny Morrison’s contemptible claim that the Irish language could be used as an engine to drive the move to end partition. What an opportunity to build bridges thrown away.

  • Stephen Copeland

    A Mhick, a Dhroch_Bhuachaill,

    [DB] P.S: An-alt ag Robert Macmillen i bhFoinse an tseachtain seo faoi slugger. Fair Play Dhuit, Mick!

    [MF]Ni fhaca me go foill e, ar an drochuair. Ta se ar a bhealach chugam tri mhean an phoist.

    Tá sé ar-line anseo: Blagáil Slugger.

  • AM

    Nach lazy feckers sibh go léir, Darth chomh maith..oscail an doras lads and let a few others in 😉
    AM

  • ÓR

    mar a dúirt Seán Mac Reamoinn “we do well not to assume that Gaelic always meant Roman Catholic.”

    Creidim féin go bhfuil gá le daoine mar Eric Culbertson agus a leithéid, agus tá súil agam go mbeidh i bhfad níos mó Protastúnaigh ag teacht i dtreo a gcultúr Gaelach amach anseo de bharr daoine mar seo.

  • Nathan

    “True, but that misses the point. Culbertson isn’t a republican-indeed he’s not even Irish. Richard Kane wasn’t a republican. Sir Samuel Ferguson wasn’t, and nor was Archbishop Bedell. I can’t speak for Bro. Eric, but I imagine he hearks back to a time when the definition “Irish” was comfortably worn by all Unionists and Protestants. ”

    It hardly matters to me whether they were republican or not. What matters is that they were members of the Church of Ireland. Members of the only all-Ireland institution which can genuinely accommodate all shades of political beliefs within its ranks to this day – whether Republican, Unionist or otherwise.

    When even WB Yeats was moved to rail against the factionalism which tainted the Irish Republic it’s no wonder that so few are comfortable with that identity these days-though it is to be regretted. Perhaps less derision for the Ulster-Scots and Anglo-Irish strands of Irishness would help.

    I don’t deride those Protestants who feel they wish to champion a hyphenated identity as opposed to the stand-alone Irish identity.

    No-one has the right to tell others who they are. I am comfortable and confident about my Irish identity though. It is neither Anglo-Irish ascendency class nor Ulster-Scots nor Gaelic, but it remains an integral part of the deep essence that is Irishness nevertheless. If you feel differently, then thats your prerogative – I have no vested interest in your identity.

  • Stephen Copeland

    Nathan,

    I am comfortable and confident about my Irish identity though. It is neither Anglo-Irish ascendency class nor Ulster-Scots nor Gaelic, but it remains an integral part of the deep essence that is Irishness nevertheless.

    Indeed. I fully agree with you.

    Which is why I also completely disagree with you concerning your desire for a hyphenated-Irish apartheid museum ‘about Protestants, by Protestants, and for Protestants’.

  • Nathan

    Stephen Copeland,

    I think you’ve taken my words out of context – Of course an Irish Protestant museum would be dedicated to those who share a Protestant background (hopefully it would be wide enough to include people like Garret Fitzgerald and Ken Whittiker, who are the product of mixed marriages). And it would largely be the brainchild of Protestants themselves, because no-one else knows better about the southern Protestant minority other than those who were born into it. But it would not necessarily be for Protestants. This is something I made quite clear in my postings. I’m sure theres other Irishmen out there (plus the motley collection of tourists) who are as fascinated about the broader southern Protestant minority as I am.

    Another point you never seem to appreciate is that while the Irish nation has contained a pot pourri mixture of Protestants who have contributed immensely, only a minority got the recognition throughout their lifetime.

    What about Republican patriots such as George Plant for instance, who was executed by the Irish State on dubious grounds. And what about the Dockrells also who had a pragmatic side to them despite their steadfast Unionist credentials.

    Dozens and dozens of distinguished Protestants have been airbrushed out of history, all because our teachers/lecturers adored the black and white niceties. Had these come from the majority population of what we will call the Irish nation, no doubt their lifes would have been better known. But for all purposes, they’re marginal members of the Irish nation. If they were central members then more recognition would have been given to their successes, achievements and misfortunes.

    Hence the need for an Irish Protestant Museum to recify the problem. If the Irish nation doesn’t wish to recognise the whole truth about the Protestant contribution, then we reserve the right to correct the imbalance by whatever way possible. Surely you of all people should realise this.

  • harpo

    ‘If we are to have an Irish Protestant Museum one day (which I discussed earlier on the Carson petition thread), then these are the Protestants we need to re-include in the national narrative – they are inspirational figures of the southern Protestant community.’

    Nathan:

    Why would anyone want a museum set up to remember people of one religion?

    And while we’re at it, it looks like any such museum if it was controlled by you would only include ‘the right sort of Protestants’.

    Are you serious?

    Do you really believe that there is a ‘national narrative’ into which only certain Irish Protestants (‘these’ ones) fit? Presumably that means there are Irish Protestants (‘those’ ones) who don’t fit into this narrative. So what do you do about them? Ignore them, or not recognize their existence in museums?

    ‘they are inspirational figures of the southern Protestant community’

    Are they? Or are they simply the ones that you approve of from your ‘national narrative’ perspective? Are they ‘the right sort of Protestants’, and thus worthy of your attention?

  • harpo

    ‘Which is why I also completely disagree with you concerning your desire for a hyphenated-Irish apartheid museum ‘about Protestants, by Protestants, and for Protestants’.’

    Stephen:

    I agree with you.

    Worse than that, he only seems interested in the right sort of Protestants – those who back up his definition of what the Irish national narrative is.

  • Droch_Bhuachaill

    Is dóigh liom gur í an Ghaeilge an nasc is láidre idir ár dtír agus Albain. Ba cheart go mbeadh Ultaigh-Albanacha in ann an nasc sin a chéiliúradh.

    As a language which is shared by Ireland and Scotland, i’d love it to be a means for both Irish and Ulster Scots to start discovering their shared history and culture, rather than being a medium of division between the two.

    Culbertson should be celebrated and congratulated for taking the language for what it is, rather than seeing it as apolitical tool as some (read SF) would do.

  • darth rumsfeld

    “Culbertson should be celebrated and congratulated for taking the language for what it is, rather than seeing it as apolitical tool as some (read SF) would do.”

    Agree completely. But he’ll always be a small minority until Irish speakers step up to the plate and shoot down nonsense like the op ed from the TG4 “political editor” blogged elsewhere.

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    What’s interesting about the interview above is that, as Darth hints, the language and culture Eric talks of is independent of his strong Unionist convictions. This is nothing new to Irish speakers, since the language movement has benefited enormously from the support of many unionists down through the years.

    GRMA Stephen,

    Ach nil an mead go hiomlaine go foill ann.

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    What’s interesting about the interview above is that, as Darth hints, the language and culture Eric talks of is independent of his strong Unionist convictions. This is nothing new to Irish speakers, since the language movement has benefited enormously from the support of many unionists down through the years.

    GRMA Stephen,

    Ach nil an mead go hiomlaine go foill ann.

  • Stephen Copeland

    Nathan,

    On the one hand you say of some southern Protestants that: “for all purposes, they’re marginal members of the Irish nation”, but then you say that “If they were central members then … “.

    Can you not see that making a separate apartheid museum is precisely the opposite of making southern Prods central? It would just exacerbate any marginality!

    If you have a problem with the place in the National Museum provided for certain episodes of Irish history, then take it up with the NM. They would be very interested to hear from you, and very supportive, if your case has any merit. I would simply repeat my earlier warning, that many people, regardless of their importance, did not leave much in the way of physical artifacts behind them, and it is precisely those artifacts that museums contain – not books, not really papers, not many photographs. Those usually go elsewhere.

  • Nathan

    Harpo,

    Your misrepresenting what I’m saying.

    Look back to the Carson thread – both Jews and the Protestant minority in France have a museum dedicated to their respective religions. In America, they have a Catholic Museum too.

    The rest of your post is trollish nonsense – any distinguished Protestant who becomes apparent and who has a life-story (e.g. whether it be Lord Kitchener who fought for the British Army in WW1, or Harry Nicholls who fought in the Easter Rising against British rule) should be lobbied for.

    I would appreciate if you would stop telling lies about me and start engaging with my commentary a bit more.

    Thank you

  • Stephen Copeland

    Slugger O’Toole Admin, [aka Mick? Saghas ‘glove puppet’, b’fhéidir?]

    Ach nil an mead go hiomlaine go foill ann.

    Tá an cheart agat. Feicim anois.

    Tá mé ag fanacht mo chóipsa freisin. Ansin scríobhaidh mé iomlán an alt.

  • Nathan

    Stephen Copeland,

    I do recognise that the National Museum could have a good stab at recognising the Protestant contribution (to some extent they already do), and its certainly something to think about.

    They have exhibitions all the time so perhaps they will dedicate some time to an Irish Protestant theme for the demand is there for it.

  • Stephen Copeland

    Nathan,

    … perhaps they will dedicate some time to an Irish Protestant theme

    If they did I would formally complain. Southern Protestants cannot be separated out from the mix – they have been, and continue to be, integral on all sides of every question – political, social, cultural, literary, sporting, etc. To try to unscramble that omelette would not only be impossible, it would be sectarian, divisive and exclusive. The NM should highlight important aspects of Irish history regardless of the religion of the protagonists.

    When you look at the 1798 section in the NM, there are Protestants, just as when you look at the ‘big house’ or the ‘gaelic revival’ sections. How would your crazy plan deal with that? By airbrushing out the Catholics? You would be presenting an appallingly selective view of the periods, and would not be promoting an integrated view of our history, but rather a meaningless divided view. It would fail, as it would deserve to.

    I repeat: talk to the NM if you think that their are things that they are not adequately covering.

  • Droch_Bhuachaill

    Darth,

    “Agree completely. But he’ll always be a small minority until Irish speakers step up to the plate and shoot down nonsense like the op ed from the TG4 “political editor” blogged elsewhere.”

    Agree that some Irish Speakers/Groups need to step up to make the language more open. The biggest obstacle to the growth of the language is not Unionist fears/apathy etc. but those within the language itself who see no other point of view as their own. For example, Connradh na Gaeilge really did the language an injustice in their stance on FG’s language policy- instead of taking arguments on board, they simply dismiss any criticism of the language. They, and others, seem to think that no ill word should be spoken about the language, which is a very narrow-minded view and detrimental to the future prospects of Irish.

    I don’t really know how many protestants speak it. I wouldn’t even think of asking someone i was speaking Irish to what religion they were.

  • Stephen Copeland

    Droch_Bhuachaill,

    I don’t really know how many protestants speak it.

    This can probably be found in the various census reports floating around. For the north I guess the answer, in any case, is ‘very few’ (but not none), whereas in the south Protestants learn it in school like anyone else, and there are even Protestant native-speakers in Kerry and Donegal.

    Trevor Sargent, for example, leader of our nebulous 32 county Green Party, is a Protestant Irish speaker.

    As am I.

  • Droch_Bhuachaill

    The point i was making (uncleary as this is not my language ;)) is that it should be of no revelance what religion a speaker is.

  • Stephen Copeland

    Droch_Bhuachaill,

    … it should be of no revelance what religion a speaker is.

    I agree entirely, and sorry for misunderstanding your point.

    My semi-point was that, in the south, there is no assumption made about a person’s religion if he or she speaks Irish. The language (thankfully) has become post-religious. Speakers can equally be Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, atheist, or ‘none of the above’. Even the recent immigrants are showing interest in learning and using the language. I would wish the same in the north.

  • Nathan

    Southern Protestants cannot be separated out from the mix

    People are quick to play the southern Protestant card when an argument needs to be won, or when petty political points need to be scored, so I disagree. People are well quick to separate Southern Protestants from the mix when it suits.

    …they have been, and continue to be, integral on all sides of every question – political, social, cultural, literary, sporting, etc.

    A non-issue – I agree with this wholeheartedly. But you can be integral and still be a marginal Protestant in the life of the Irish nation as a result of intentional/unintentional editing and filtering.

    When you look at the 1798 section in the NM, there are Protestants, just as when you look at the ‘big house’ or the ‘gaelic revival’ sections. How would your crazy plan deal with that?

    In the same way that the Jewish Museum deals with it – let the NM focus on the general theme at hand, and let the Irish Protestant Museum give a more specific chronological life-story which the NM cannot dedicate itself to.

    Indeed, there are various types of museums in Ireland, all of which achieve different aims. In the NM, they focus on strict themes such as Irish military history, whereas an Irish Protestant museum would be more personalised and more sentimental. Moreover, there is every need to give recognition to those heroes who helped the community through the inhospitable aspects of life in the IFS – can this be achieved through the NM, NL etc

    —-
    By the way, do you believe the Jewish Museum should be closed down? What do you think about the NM’s links with the Nazi party and Hitler Youth in the past?

  • AM

    There is a small but vibrant Jewish Museum in Portobello in Dublin. There is an interpretive centre based on the culture of the German (Protestant) Palatinate migrants in Rathkeale.

    Museums – witness the debated around the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin – are political by their nature. Tony Bennett writes of their themes, truth claims, absences and subject positions. He also describes how culture as conveyed by museums has functioned as a tool of social management. That notwithstanding, the planning of the Holocaust Memorial also encouraged vital public debate around the Nazi Past and its legacy, which has had a positive effect. (Nathan, spell out please the NM’s links with the Hitler Youth etc)

    A Protestant museum might be just what we all need.

    Le gach dea ghuí

  • Nathan

    Hi AM,

    Thank you for bringing your own unique dimension to this thread.

    I’ve covered the issue here:
    http://www.sluggerotoole.com/index.php/weblog/comments/carsons_birthplace/

  • páid

    I have come across many Irish speakers who resent the way SF seem to have picked up the language ball and claim it as their own.

    Similarly I have met a lot who admire them for their hard work in standing up for Irish, and passing the acid test of learning it.

    And I’m sure the likes of Nollaig Ó Gadhra could give us chapter and verse on the Dundalk conference of Conradh na Gaeilge in 193? when they all split over linking the language movement with the “National Question”

    There are, no doubt, links between language, identity and nationality.

    But I sometimes wonder how God views the Celts as He sits in heaven listening to his 24/7 praise in a Babel of languages as the Sun circles Earth.

    “The Celts? Oh yeah? Awkward bunch on the edge of Europe. Good singers. Mostly Prods.”