DUP councillors veto “sectarian” bilingual signs- for a nationalist housing estate

DUP councillors on Lisburn City Council vetoed a move supported by the Housing Executive to have bilingual signs erected in a new housing development in the nationalist Lagmore area, on the outskirts of west Belfast. The move signals a reversal of Council policy since 2001, which had seen bilingual signs erected in many parts of Lagmore, Poleglass and Twinbrook in the interim. Speaking against the bilingual signs, DUP cllr. Stephen Moore stated that such signs would make the area a “sectarian ghetto.” Mr. Moore is currently behind a DUP move to have a union flag flown permanently from the middle of the ‘mixed’ Dunmurry village…..

  • Michael

    The Irish language, and the sustanace of it through bilingual postings, is good in my opinion. The erosion of the language, and subsequent revival is due in no small part to people realising that we should be helping promote it at every opportunity. The DUP’s claims are laughable, and carry no weight of logic whatsoever. This is painfully obvious to anyone with half a brain and common sense.

  • whoever

    Just thought i’d point out that in some parts of the Twinbrook estate the street names in English have been painted over and replaced with Gaelic street signs which hardly anyone can read. Parity of esteem anyone?

  • wee jeffrey

    nice consistency from Cllr. Moore who ses no hypocrisy in the veto on the signs yet has no problem in flying the Butcher’s Apron all year round in a mixed vilage.

  • skinbop

    nice one chris – hope it stimulates a fruitful discussion though it seems the majority of the stories eventually gravitate to the usual exchanges.

    it amazes me that there is resistance to flying the union flag in this country.

    re: irish language, thats a valid point though I suspect there is a significant portion of the community without any literacy – whatever language…

  • Justin

    “I suspect there is a significant portion of the community without any literacy – whatever language…”

    The stupid Irish…they can’t read any language eh Skinbop?

  • GPJ

    Was it not the case that the unionist bloc reluctantly agreed to Irish signs being erected in exchange for support from SF for Lisburn to be designated a city.

    Is this another case of the DUP not being able to be trusted in keeping its word?

  • wee jeffrey

    poor skinbop is ‘amazed that there is resistance to flying the union flag in this country’.

    For feck’s sake, no one tell him that Santa’s not real as well otherwise it’ll be a double-whammy for him on the same night!

  • Ziznivy

    Good decision. Waste of money.

  • willowfield

    The erection of Gaelic street signs is just a slightly more sophisticated version of the painting of kerbstones or the flying of flags from lampposts.

    They’re territorial markers.

  • Fraggle

    So Willowfield, you seem to be accepting that the DUP cllr. is acting in a hypocritical manner by opposing something the other side wants while promoting a slightly less ‘sophisticated’ version of ‘territorial marker’.

  • willowfield

    Obviously.

  • Wonder if Cllr Moore would have problems with Ulster Scots sgins going up in unionist areas of Lisburn?

  • Keith M

    There’s only one question hat needs to be asked here. How many people are going to use the signs and don’t speak English?

    Road signs have one purpose and one purpose only. They are not some linguistic totem pole marking out territory.

  • willowfield

    I think the answer to your question, Keith, is “none”.

  • willowfield

    Good point, paul panther. I believe the DUP on Ards Borough Council has supported Ulster-Scots signage.

  • Garibaldy

    If the local community supports this, then it should happen

  • johnkingii

    If you want bilingual signs in yer housing states move to the ‘unoccupied 26 counties.’ you bunch of spongers.

  • willowfield

    Garibaldy

    Do you think kerbstones should be painted and flags erected if “the local community” supports it?

    You’re happy to tolerate sectarian apartheid in Northern Ireland?

  • Rory

    Perhaps we should at this stage reconsider the ‘Stages Theory of Socialism’, beloved of the British and Iriah Communiist Party (BICO) which more or less argued that the northern protestant working class would require to be educated into the acceptance of even those progressive ideas which were clearly in their own best interests before any other progress was possible in Ireland. Good enough, you might think – the problem was everyone else including the world and his wife had to wait until BICO had completed the educational process. The last I heard of them they were in Australia insisting that socialism on that island must wait for the Marxist revolutionary victory of the indigenous people of the island of Nauru.

    As for the north of Ireland, as for any land, I would be happy if the children could read and transcribe and understand the origins of the placenames of their communities in any bloody language, and then to grow to love where they are and how it is named, and what they truly are and yet what more they might become.

  • Chris Donnelly

    I should point out, in regard to GPJ’s point, that in 2001 the UUP were the dominant party on Lisburn Council, not thwe DUP.

    The UUP were the driving force initially behind efforts to get city status for Lisburn. It was when Sinn Fein threatened to publicly oppose the campaign that the UUP bloc decided to make the compromise on Irish language signs.

    They also decided, for the first time ever, to permit a Sinn Fein councillor to become a vice-chair of a committee (Michael Ferguson).

    Alas, fast forward to the successful city status announcement, which saw the Unionist bloc revert to form and exclude Sinn Fein- and even the SDLP-from position of Chair/ Vice-Chair of Committees (now that the City status PR campaign was over.)

    However, they did not alter the ‘agreement’ on the bilingual signs, which led to a number of estates being built in the interim time with bilingual signs not a problem.

    It was only when the DUP came into position of power on the Council in the past year that this issue has been revived.

    Keith
    If I’m not mistaken, you live in the 26 counties. Are you opposed to the state policy on bilingual signs there, or is your opposition simply in relation to the north?

  • Garibaldy

    No willowfield I’m not. But if in an anonymous survey the majority of the people in the streets concerned want it then why shouldn’t it happen?
    We’re talking about street signs, not about flags and lampost painting etc. A different kettle of fish I think. Particularly when this is happening in other ares in both Irish and Ulster-Scots.

  • rapunsel

    I had thought things might be improving in Lisburn Council area in terms of engagement of council and council staff with people from and issues affecting Lagmore/Twinbrook and Poleglass etc. Clearly the old sectarianism is still thre — although I accept that signage is a way of marking ou teritory( mind you it’s been marked out here for a long time signs or not) One of my concerns is the impact of the behaviour of councillors has on staff of the council. The people in these areas have got a poor deal in terms of facilities and services form Lisburn City Council for a long time and it looks like that will coninue

  • tra g

    Johnkingii has made a couple of highly witty references to gaelic speakers as being ‘spongers’and anti-war protestors as being sponsored by Derry DHSS.

    I wonder what he thinks of recently released SSA statistics which show that the highest number of social security benefit frauds perpetrated last year were by people from the Shankill Road.I’m all for the protestant work ethic just as long as the loyal sons of Ulster don’t forget to sign off -lest god forbid they’re callled spongers…..

  • willowfield

    Garibaldy

    But if in an anonymous survey the majority of the people in the streets concerned want it then why shouldn’t it happen?

    Well, rather obviously because it is divisive; it promotes sectarian apartheid and maintains sectarian ghettoes.

    We’re talking about street signs, not about flags and lampost painting etc. A different kettle of fish I think.

    As I said earlier, it’s only a slightly more sophisticated means of marking out territory.

  • Keith M

    Chris “If I’m not mistaken, you live in the 26 counties.” No I live in Ireland, The Republic of Ireland or Éire, whichever of these you choose is fine with me as it’s what the people of this country have democratically chosen as its name.

    As a matter of interest there haven’t been just “26 counties” in this country for several decades, it’s long since stopped being the Irish Free State and given that it contains Donegal, “the south” is also nonsensical.

    “Are you opposed to the state policy on bilingual signs there, or is your opposition simply in relation to the north?”. Yes I am opposed to bi-lingual signs ANYWHERE they are not needed, whether it be this country, Northern Ireland or elsewhere.

    As I’ve stated above roadsigns fulfill one function and one function only. Adding complexity in a uni-lingual environment defeats the purpose of having road signs.

  • Garibaldy

    Willowfield, it can be. But not necessarily. One way of ensuring that the temptation to use them as such is lessened is to insist that if two languages go up, the third one (be it Irish or Ulster-Scots) is added.

  • Garibaldy

    Keith,

    Ireland is not the name of the territory governed by the Dublin government.

  • Keith M

    Garibaldy can I suggest you read article four of the constitution. The name of the state in English is “Ireland”, “Éire” in Irish Gaelic. to avoid confusion “The Republic of Ireland” is also legally recognised as the name of the state and has been for over 50 years.

  • Garibaldy

    Yes, and the constitution refers to the entire island. Still.

  • Keith M

    Garibaldy : “The name of the ***State**** is Éire, or, in the English language, Ireland.

    Note, not the island, not the “nation”, the state.

  • Garibaldy

    But the state is understood to cover the whole island, just part of it temporarily outside the jurisdiction

  • Garibaldy

    Even after the changes to article 2 and 3, which I supported

  • Keith M

    Garibaldy “But the state is understood to cover the whole island, just part of it temporarily outside the jurisdiction”.

    No it’s not and there’s nothing in the constitution that says that having two jurustictions on the island is temporary.

    Article 3.1:

    It is the firm will of the Irish Nation, in harmony and friendship, to unite all the people who share the territory of the island of Ireland, in all the diversity of their identities and traditions, recognising that a united Ireland shall be brought about only by peaceful means with the consent of a majority of the people, democratically expressed, in both jurisdictions in the island. Until then, the laws enacted by the Parliament established by
    this Constitution shall have the like area and extent of application as the laws enacted by the Parliament that existed immediately before the coming into operation of this Constitution.

    (The last sentence defines the state).

  • Garibaldy

    I was paraphrasing

  • Keith M

    Garibaldy “I was paraphrasing. The constitution is very clear on this. The state is the area covered by the juristiction prior to the constitution being enacting. The interesting thing is that the new articles 2+3 have left a rather ambigous position regarding the treaty ports.

    The Irish Constitution was introduced in 1937, but the the Anglo-Irish Free Trade Agreement which transferred sovreignty of the treaty ports only came a year later. Therefore it could be argued that Barehaven, Queenstown/Cobh and Lough Swilly are not covered by the constitution.

    It would certainly be an interesting constitutional challenge. What are the Gimps upto these days?

  • Garibaldy

    Not a lot to be honest. Michael has gone very quiet since Tribmle fell. Haven’t seen much of Chris. But maybe others can say more

  • Rory

    Oh just stop it, Garibaldy. Pedantry becomes none. Wilfully wrong pedantry is positively embarrassing. Keith M has explained it all absolutely simply, absolutely clearly and absolutely correctly. Do please reread his posts numbers 3 and 5 above – they are simple and simply accurate.

  • I propose that all the twats who wish to post on this twattery should be obliged to do so in Irish, rather than in the Oppressor’s tongue. There, that should shut a good few of them the f*ck up.

  • Donnacha

    Cen fath, Karl?

  • PaddyReilly

    I deplore the way that Gaelic and Scots culture are being hijacked to express sectarian identity in Northern Ireland. In a more rational climate- in Scotland, for example- both these cultures are promoted for the benefit of persons of whatever political or religious persuasion. I read Aogán Ó Rathaille and Rabbie Burns with equal pleasure.

    It seems to me in any case that the Gaelic substratum in Ulster placenames is more Scots Gaelic than Irish. Strabane for example shows the intrusive -t- that you find in Scotland: if it were Irish you would expect Srabane.

  • thankfully moved out of tbrook

    As most people in Twinbrook can barely read or speak English, let alone Irish – who gives a ****?

  • John Maynard

    What is a “nationalist housing estate”, Chris?
    I thought the advantage of new developments is that they’re not subject to sectarian branding – or at least not yet, anyway.
    I also thought that Sinn Fein’s position on flags an emblems was “either neutrality or equality”. How is tribal street signage either?
    And don’t give me the line about Irish not being one tribe’s position. SF ruined that long ago.

  • McGrath

    Dear Unionists:

    I am very disappointed to see your generalized opposition to the Irish Language. The language is in fact the equivalent to a historical artifact, it to to be preserved for future generations, future generations who may see it for what it is, simply an ancient and nationally identifying language.

    I am even more disappointed to see how the Irish Language (and the GAA) have been hijacked by republicans to promote their own (corrupt) agenda.

    Further, please be patient, it is only a matter of time before Republicans run out of IRA/INLA terrorists to promote to political positions.

  • Dan

    Keith M:

    So, are you saying signs should be Irish only in Gaeltacht areas and English only everywhere else?

  • spice girl

    i think the only solution, is that signs eith stay as english or go up in english, irish and ulster scots.
    simple really.

  • Keith M

    Dan “So, are you saying signs should be Irish only in Gaeltacht areas and English only everywhere else?”

    This depends. In English speaking areas, yes signs should be in English as there are few if any that don’t understand the lanuage.

    In the Gaeltacht areas, if they get a lot of English speaking traffic then the signs should be bilingual.

    I was in Athens for this year’s Eurovision, and this is how they applied it. In the areas which got tourist traffic (downtown, major roads and historical sites) signs were bi-lingual. In suburban areas, the signs were all in Greek. Eminently sensible.

  • qubol

    Spice Girl “i think the only solution, is that signs eith stay as english or go up in english, irish and ulster scots.
    simple really.”

    Not that simple really – to do so, is to give credence to UlsterScots as a language which let’s face it; it isn’t. We all accept that Irish is a distinct language and moves to have street names in Irish should be welcomed. Irish Language is part of our heritage, Unionist and Nationalist. We shouldn’t shun it because of some narrow political game. If Unionists really wanted to do something positive then they should embrace the language and share in this rich vain of culture.
    In fact the more I think of it the better – Loyalist areas with bi-lingual Irish/English street signs.

    Keith M: your assertion that signs are purely functional and serve only to guide us is nonsense. The place names of towns, districts, streets help define them – you only have to look at the whole debate over post coding and the subsequent loss of townlands names.
    Names not only show the position on a map but they give an insight into the past which is why I’m so often against the naming of new areas with non-descript trendy english names.

  • Keith M

    qubol “The place names of towns, districts, streets help define them – you only have to look at the whole debate over post coding and the subsequent loss of townlands names.”

    Place names are one thing, road signs are another. I repeat road signs have one function, and that is to guide people (often travelling at speed) as to where they are and how to get to where they want to go.

    I have no problem with bi-lingual signs as you enter a city/town/village being bi-lingual, as long as the primary language can be easily read and the secondary language is in no way distracting.

    Street signs (which are oftern quite small and hard to read) within a city or town should always be in one language unless there is a genuine bi-lingual need.

  • dantheman

    WHat exactly would a Ulster-Scots street sign look like?

    Fair fay yee too der Shaunk hool roooooooooooooooooooooooooooood!!!!!

    Nonsense

  • Paul

    Look at the confusion that they cause in Dublin with Bono being given as being from Ballymun when he is in fact from Glasnevin.

  • Keith M

    Paul “Look at the confusion that they cause in Dublin with Bono being given as being from Ballymun when he is in fact from Glasnevin.”

    This has nothing to do with bi-lingual signs. The confusion is from the fact that Ballymun Road is actually in Glasnevin, while one side of Glasnevin Ave. is actually in Ballymun (although locals would dispute the latter as it’s the dividing line between the two).

  • indunnomeself

    i don’t like the idea of bi-lingual street naming before areas have been moved into.

    If residents wish to bi-lingually name streets they should do it (with a postal ballot, as the procedure is in Belfast)

    I don’t think politicians should be allowed to ‘claim’ an area before the population settles.

    my understanding is that Councils in NI have a legislative obligation to allow bi-lingual street naming (although the process to ‘allow’ it may differ). If Lisburn dismiss all requests out of hand they are breaking the law

  • lib2016

    Does anyone have any information on whether there is any widespread demand for signs in Ulster Scots, either locally or among the wider public?

    I was initially friendly to the whole Ulster-Scots thing but now have the impression that it has been woefully mismanaged, not least because of the religiously sectarian aspect which was dragged in by Lord Laird and his friends.

    The Irish language lobby certainly has a political face to it but has also always had a Protestant-friendly dimension.

    In an increasingly globalised world every other country is intent on emphasising its own unique identity. What a pity Lisburn council appears to feel that religious sectarianism is it’s only unique feature – one which it certainly takes every opportunity to emphasise.

  • Garibaldy

    Lib,

    There were some Ulster-Scots signs which were famously attacked by loyalists who mistook them for Irish

  • fair_deal

    Sorry to get in the way of a whinge but the present position of the law is that you can’t put up bi-lingiual signs until the houses are actually built.

    The law requires that a request be submitted from residents and then the views of the ‘actual’ residents sought not those “Locals hoping to move into newly constructed homes”.

    Get the houses built, let the people move in then apply and if a majority of the residents support it then the bi-lingual signs will have to go ahead whatever the misgivings of councillors. (Different councils follow different procedures of how to ascertain majority support – Belfast City Council’s is the most thorough so my suggestion to Lisburn City Council would be to adopt it.)

    Every language activist in the country knows this is how the law stands but to pretend ignorance of it shows a desperate attempt at mopery and to find some pathetic story to bash the DUP with.

  • Nathan

    Irish is been consciously used as a marker of difference in the north by Gaelic wannabes who self-assure themselves that they can speak the lingo, to the amusement of virtually everyone else on the island.

    If it was that easy to learn the language through iconographic means alone then we’d be all at it!

    No – this has nothing whatsover to do with the promotion of a much abused language. Its a ridiculous idea largely driven by ashamed monolinguals who subconsciously, don’t feel all that Irish.

  • Fanny

    In more advanced European countries street signs are repeated at intersections with even minor streets. Unilingual, I need hardly add. Dead handy for the visiting motorist.

    Ireland take note. It’s about helpful orientation, stoopid, not micturating tomcats marking territory.

  • Greenflag

    Nathan,

    ‘Its a ridiculous idea largely driven by ashamed monolinguals who subconsciously, don’t feel all that Irish. ‘

    Not as ridiculous as Mr Sam Gardiner MLA who flaunts his non -Irishness in a very conscious manner as we see from this report .

    ‘AN Ulster Unionist MLA is investigating a “complaint” that a flower-bed in Craigavon, Co Armagh, resembles the Tricolour.

    Sam Gardiner says constituents told him the floral display, a round flower bed with a white centre, yellow perimeter and green plant in the centre, was sending out the “wrong message” about the town.

    The offending plant in the centre also has a white bud, green stem and yellow leaves.

    “The complaint was very serious, and I am obliged to investigate on behalf of my constituents,” said Mr Gardiner.

    “I have already talked to the council, at director level, about it and they have assured me the matter is being looked into.”

    The display is sited at Tannaghmore Gardens, a middle-class area of Craigavon, a town which is almost evenly split between nationalists and unionists.

    Local councillor Davy Jones, a leading Orangeman said the display was “flaunting Irishness”.

    “Sinn Féin and the SDLP are wiping out Britishness,” he said.

    No one from the council could be contacted.

    A Sinn Féin spokesman described the complaint as “ludicrous and completely bizarre.”

    At this rate it’s only a matter of time before the Davy Jones and Sam Gardiners of NI begin a campaign condemning grass for displaying it’s ‘Irishness’ by being green. Trees will be cut down for having green leaves and any floral display mixing green white and orange will be seen as undermining the ‘Union’

    These semi epsilon morons make village idiots look like Einsteins 🙁

  • lib2016

    The Irish language, the Ulster-Scots language, English or whatever – let the local people decide.I’m not intending to contradict anybody here since they could have inside information on all this but it does seem that the Lisburn council could well have kicked to touch on this.

    1/ Was a decision now really necessary?

    2/ Why go through a process of putting up English only signs if the prospective residents are going to change them?

    3/ Why make a decision which on the face of it will have to be reversed later?

  • Occasional Commentator

    Was it sectarian when the unionist rallies against Home Rules in the 19th century had banners reading ‘Erin go Bragh’ (Ireland Forever) alongside ‘God Save The Queen’? They had no problem recognizing they were Irish and being comfortable with the language.

    Or maybe it’s only nationalists who aren’t allowed to speak Irish?

  • Paul

    Cedarwood Road was always in Ballygall district therefore part of Glasnevin. Do you really want to give politicians the power to cause more confusion? Won’t anyone think of the children?

  • Greenflag

    Occassional commentator,

    ‘They had no problem recognizing they were Irish and being comfortable with the language. ‘

    That was in 1880 . Things have changed somewhat in Ireland since then even if you are not aware of it in NI.

    Many Unionists some 60% plus IIRC from one survey have an aversion to being called Irish .
    Which is why Irish Nationalists and Republicans should refer to Unionists as British Unionists as a matter of basic respect for the nationality of the latter.

  • Occasional Commentator

    Greenflag,
    They are British and Irish (just as I am Irish, Ulsterish, Donegalish, and European). There is no contradiction between any of those, just as I’m still a European even though I hate the EU. I’m not going to call them British Irish unionists, so I’ll just call them unionists.

  • skinbop

    Justin – “The stupid Irish…they can’t read any language eh Skinbop?”

    Well we do have a high rate of illiteracy among certain demographics – do you agree?

    Wee Jeffrey – “For feck’s sake, no one tell him that Santa’s not real as well otherwise it’ll be a double-whammy for him on the same night!”

    I hope you are not insinuating what I think you maybe re: Father Christmas.

  • Ummmm… why the need for all 3 languages, surely parity of esteem, if that’s what we were really after would suggest that Irish (the language of Ireland) and English (the language of the UK) would be sufficient. Or why not just call the roads Irish names altogether, say this road is “Bothar an Trá” or whatever and that’s the name of the road, in English or Irish or Ulster-Scots or Japan-Scots or Enrish or Iglish or whatever you want.

    If they’re bilingual and if you want to read the English part, read the fucking English part, and don’t pretend you’re so fucktarded that you can’t distinguish between Irish and English hint: one of them is fucking English and the other one is fucking Irish.

  • Droch_Bhuachaill

    #

    Dan “So, are you saying signs should be Irish only in Gaeltacht areas and English only everywhere else?”

    This depends. In English speaking areas, yes signs should be in English as there are few if any that don’t understand the lanuage.

    In the Gaeltacht areas, if they get a lot of English speaking traffic then the signs should be bilingual.”

    By the way, they are in Irish only in the Gaeltacht.

  • Dan

    Yeah

    I was trying to figure out if Keith M was suggesting signs should be English-only EVERYWHERE or not.

  • Rebecca Black

    “Does anyone have any information on whether there is any widespread demand for signs in Ulster Scots, either locally or among the wider public?”

    There are Ulster Scots street signs in Greyabbey and the sign welcoming people to Newtownards is also in Ulster Scots. I’m sure there are more but they are the main ones I am aware of. It was Ards Borough Council who decided that those signs would be in Ulster Scots rather than the local residents.

  • Fanny

    … and I’m trying to figure out if anybody read my post (nr. 7 above).

    There should be more signs in English EVERYWHERE. When that simple and practical objective is achieved then let’s by all means consider bilingual signs, where needed.

  • Donegal-John

    The irish language is as stupid as it is amusing.

    The irish constitution states that a parent has the right to determine their Childs education and that the education be provided free.

    As a protestant growing up in Donegal I was forced to learn irish AGAINST my parents wishes and had i not learned irish then i would not have been provided with an education, this is a human rights violation.

    Now there are signs in Donegal that display a town name in Irish and have the distance to that town displayed using the Arabic number system, now surely a true Irish speaker would want the Gaelic number system used.

  • Droch_Bhuachaill

    “The irish language is as stupid as it is amusing.”

    Post of the Century. I’m going to print it off, frame it and hang it on my wall. Really well thought out. Fair Play.

  • lib2016

    Personally I liked the bilingual signs I saw on the Isle of Man. Surely anything which lends a bit of local character is welcome – so long, of course, as it’s not illegal, immoral or fattening. 😉

  • Bill

    Donegal John

    you do not have to take the Irish language. Your other results will be acknowledged and you can go to an uni in the UK.

  • Keith M

    Bill “you do not have to take the Irish language”.

    I’m afraid he does if he’s going through the Irish school system. THe only options open to him are to cross the border and study in N.I. or leave the Irish school system for more than two years. Compulsion is often overlooked in this scenario.

    The good news is the one of the two major Irish parties are now proposing to drop compulsion and with the immigrant population, it is unlikely to last for much longer.