Irish-medium education and casual nationalism

Unsurprisingly, Catriona Ruane has expressed her support for the expansion of the Irish-medium education sector in Northern Ireland. Her comments come ahead of her attendace at a fundraising event in Downpatrick for the local Irish nursery school. Among the items for sale are a Bobby Sands biography signed by the survivng hunger strikers, a copy of the Belfast Agreement signed by John Hume and a two bottles of whiskey – one to commemorate Mary McAleese’s election as RoI president and the other to commemorate John Hume’s receipt of the Nobel prize.

  • Eamonn

    Strange. I’d expected ther’d be a fair few anti-irish comments by now!

  • dáithi

    All descent and true Irish men and women should support Sinn Fein on this Irish language issue.

    Every word spoken in Irish is a step towards a united Ireland!

  • gaelgannaire

    As Dáithi (sic.) has spelt his(?) own name incorrectly, I believe this post is what is termed a troll?

  • Tkmaxx

    Why is this thread not in Irish?

  • Shore Road Resident

    What does the Catholic Church make of SF setting up its own school system?

  • Diluted Orange

    dáithi

    [i]All descent and true Irish men and women should support Sinn Fein on this Irish language issue.[/i]

    I gather you mean ‘decent’ not ‘descent’? I’m as ‘true’ an Irishman as you and I don’t think the auctioning of a Bobby Sands autobiography, signed by the other hunger strikers, for the purposes of an Irish language school is a ‘decent’ act.

    I have no problem with children being taught Irish but as per usual it’s wrapped up in Republican propaganda. The kids aren’t just getting an education in Irish, they’re getting spoon-fed sectarianism.

    All this scheme will add to is further segregation of Northern Ireland’s children – adding to more suspicion between Protestants and Catholics and continuing this ongoing saga of sectarianism until the year dot. Northern Ireland, whether it stays in the UK or joins with the Republic, will never be a normal place until the folly of the Catholic maintained sector is ended and integrated education is compulsory.

  • Reader

    Diluted Orange: The kids aren’t just getting an education in Irish, they’re getting spoon-fed sectarianism.
    I have had indirect contacts with Irish Medium schools, and I am sure they are desperate not to be associated with a political position. As the title suggested, there is a certain amount of ‘casual nationalism’ arising just from the makeup of the school communities, and there’s worse from the political supporters of the Irish Medium schools. But the schools themselves deserve credit for trying very hard not to bring along the baggage.

  • George

    The obvious solution to all this is proper state funding for Irish medium schools north of the border. Otherwise, next we’ll be having sale of works and raffles.

    gaelgannaire,
    just because dáithi doesn’t have an Irish name doesn’t mean he isn’t Irish although I do admit the evidence does point towards a troll.

  • Bishop Casey

    “What does the Catholic Church make of SF setting up its own school system?”

    They should seek absolution for their sins, on bended knees, as your dear mother, bless her heretic heart, did with me last night.

  • susan

    I almost got knocked down by Bishop Casey once visiting Galway, but never knocked up. But still, BC, you made me laugh. Are you related to Marie Antoinette?

    George, it does seem likely a genuine Dáithí would spell his own name correctly. You would hope.

  • confused

    AS a unionist I was opposed to the Irish Language Act and the expansion of Irish Medium schools but am in the process of changing my mind because it is another nail in the coffin of Ui.
    The more there is to separate us the stronger the Unionist opposition. The two communities will be driven further apart which is something I want.
    The shinners will be responsible for this apartheid in their attempts to impose Gaelic rule when their predecessors favoured Rome rule.
    We don’t want any of that nonsense!

  • Bishop Casey

    Alas dear Susan, I knew not that fair lady. Please accept my apologies for (a) almost knocking you down, and (b) failing to knock you up.

  • susan

    It’s alright Bishop, it was neither the time nor the place. The three nuns you were driving in the car with you were having a great time though.*

    * I am not having a go at Bishop Casey. This actually happened.

  • Bishop Casey

    “The more there is to separate us the stronger the Unionist opposition. The two communities will be driven further apart which is something I want.
    The shinners will be responsible for this apartheid in their attempts to impose Gaelic rule when their predecessors favoured Rome rule.
    We don’t want any of that nonsense!”

    It matters not, dear confused. You will be outbred. Blame not the Sinners alone, for I myself, have contributed no small amount to this state of affairs.

    There is less to separate us than you think, as I found with your own dear mother, the opposition was weak but the union was strong.

    Go in peace, my child.

  • Oh confused. What a terrible opinion. Looking for more division to strenghten the union (surely a parodox, nes pas?)? I think with the eu now we are barely different countries. Different coloured postboxes and speed signs. Other than that? How would we know where we were. A welcome development.

  • Prince’s Salmon

    Yep, since the republic adopted UK road signage standards and you started cutting your lawns you seems almost civilised.

  • uglytroll

    “Strange. I’d expected ther’d be a fair few anti-irish comments by now!”

    Attention seeking Eamonn?

    One might think some people go out of their way to be offended.

  • eranu

    the fact that no pro irish language person has registered their disgust at a signed terrorist book being sold for a nursery school speaks volumes. why not just call these schools ‘up the ra training colleges’ ???
    presumably it would be ok to flog off copies of johnny adairs ‘memoirs’ to raise money for a church of ireland primary school? (rough equivalent)

  • Ulster McNulty

    eranu

    What about the fact that no pro irish language person has registered their disgust at a signed constitutional nationalist copy of the good Friday agreement being sold for the school?

    And I would add that in such a scenario it would presumably be ok to flog off copies of david trimbles ‘memoirs’ to raise money for a church of ireland primary school? (rough equivalent)

    The point being that it’s never good to try and tar everyone with same brush, your opinions will invariably sound b1goted and half-witted, which they are.

  • “Strange. I’d expected ther’d be a fair few anti-irish comments by now!”

    Maybe it’s because this sort of thing comes as no surprise. As for the schools themselves trying to avoid political baggage, every Irish-medium school I’ve ever seen, either on TV or pupils in the street, has had green and orange uniforms. But like I said, it’s hardly surprising.

    These schools are just another way for republicans to ensure their children are properly indoctrinated and conveniently also ensures that they don’t mix with any of the bastard offspring of that other lot.

  • Bishop Casey

    “ensures that they don’t mix with any of the bastard offspring of that other lot.”

    Good chance they get to mix with some of my bastard offspring.

  • jaffa

    “every Irish-medium school I’ve ever seen, either on TV or pupils in the street, has had green and orange uniforms”.

    This one’s are red. Feckin’ commies.

    http://www.androichead.com/Pages/Primary%20School/Primary%20School%20page%201.htm

  • Ulster McNulty

    “..every Irish-medium school I’ve ever seen, either on TV or..”

    Yeah, I remember some of those – “Bunscoil Grange Hill”.

    Whatever happened to Tucker Jenkins? He never did any work at school, probably failed his Irish, Physics and Political Baggage A Levels, and ended up mixing with the bastard offspring of the other lot.

  • George

    Beano,
    These schools are just another way for republicans to ensure their children are properly indoctrinated and conveniently also ensures that they don’t mix with any of the bastard offspring of that other.

    Don’t know about north of the border but of the nine new primary schools recognised in the Irish Republic last year, five were gaelscoileanna.

    Of those five gaelscoileanna, five were inter- or multi-denominational.

  • SuperSoupy

    George,

    One Slugger regular, Beardy Boy?, recently wrote about how he and others wouldn’t support their local one in the north as it refused to adopt a catholic ethos.

  • George

    SuperSoupy,
    Is this the schools or just advocates of the schools?

    As I said I don’t know the situation in the North
    but I would find such a development as advocating a purely Catholic ethos as very negative and counterproductive to the long-term welfare of the language.

    Perhaps they are hoping to get funding under this umbrella but I still would be uncomfortable with it.

    This is the same Catholic Church that did next to nothing for the Irish language, not least because the only Irish language bible was a Protestant one from Elizabeth I.

    The same Catholic Church that discouraged the use of Irish in their schools right up the beginning of the 20th century.

    Why hitch the Irish language to the Catholic wagon?

  • Garibaldy

    Some northern schools have tried to get money as integrated as they aren’t religious, though they often do prepare children for first communion etc.

    As for the notion that these are Provo schools, simply not the case. Undoubtedly many of those involved do vote PSF, but they are Irish-language schools with the support ranging across the political spectrum.

  • SuperSoupy

    George,

    The main body promoting Irish medium education in the north is Comhairle na Gaelscolaiochta. It works with state, CCMS and independent schools. afaik it has no religious ethos.

  • “Don’t know about north of the border but of the nine new primary schools recognised in the Irish Republic”

    I doubt schools in the South bare any resemblance to the ones in Northern Ireland.

    “This one’s are red. “

    Excellent start (there’s a first time for everything then).

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    The pity about some commenters is that they’re not just ignorant, they’re wilfully so. When someone points out to them that they’re entirely wrong about the uniforms question or the mixed nature of Gaelscoileanna, they persist in their self delusion in order to defend their prejudiced position. I send my son to an Irish medium naíscoil. If I thought for one second he was likely to be indoctrinated on any issue, to the extent that he would end up as an ignorant prejudiced git, as demonstrated in this board by some posters, then I would withdraw him straight away

  • BonarLaw

    Oilibhear Chromaill

    I’d like to know more about the “mixed nature” of Irish medium education in NI. Any links?

    As for your commendable opposition to indoctrination “on any issue” do you think the naiscoil provides a balanced view on the use of Irish in NI?

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    I don’t know what point you’re trying to make Bonar Law. The Naiscoil is teaching my son through the medium of Irish. He has a good grasp of both Irish and English – he’s bilingual and he’s only three! – and I can see him gaining more languages as he grows older, and far easier than he would were he to attend an English only school, which, to my mind, is a far poorer reflection on the use of langauges in NI or, preferably, Ireland as a whole.

    I think I can guide you to nuacht.com where you’ll find a brochure on the Irish medium education and it gives a fairly comprehensive insight into the sector. It’s a fact that people from Protestant/Unionist backgrounds send their children to Irish medium schools because they too can be openminded about not alone culture and identity but, also, education.

  • Fraggle

    Beano, admit you’re wrong please. or at least provide some evidence of all these green and orange uniforms. Here’s another example.

    http://www.stjohnthebaptist.org.uk/bunscoil_eoin_baiste.htm

  • eranu

    Ulster McNulty, what on earth is “a signed constitutional nationalist copy of the good Friday agreement” ??
    and as far as i know david trimble is not a terrorist !!! so there wouldnt be any moral problem in selling any of his books would there??
    bobby sands and johnny adair are both terrorists. it would disgust me to find their products being sold for something to do with children. surely you understand this??
    the fact that still nobody has said anything about it just reinforces the view of most people that these schools are for hard line republican people who have at least a sympathetic view of ‘the ra’.

    also the fact that OC says he sends his kid to an irish school also fits into the ‘hardline republican’ view of the people that send their children there. (OC im not calling you sympathetic to the ira or anything but i think it would be fair to say you have quite an extreme republican view of things)

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    Dear god alive, this is such crap from Eranu. There are countless people who send their children to Gaelscoileanna and politics doesn’t enter into the equation. We don’t send our children to be indoctrinated to any school. I don’t have an ‘extreme’ republican point of view. In fact I would consider myself moderate and informed, as distinct from your contribution which seems to be founded on bad doctrine and poor information and, yes, extreme anti Irishness.

    Who the hell are the ‘Ra’? Is this the paramilitary group described in several IMC reports as ‘going out of business’ and dismantling itself. I’m no less sympathetic to this than say, for instance, Peter Robinson!

    Bobby Sands was not a terrorist any more than Nelson Mandela was a terrorist. He was a prisoner of his circumstances and he could never ever be compared to Johnny Adair who is nothing more than a drug dealer/murderer/extortionist/whatever you’re having yourself. For what it’s worth, Bobby Sands was never convicted (in a Diplock Court or in any court) of murder or any of the offences ascribed to Mr Adair. A copy of his biography, signed by his surviving comrades, would be of value to some, not just in the republican community, but throughout the world. The fact that people like the good people who’ve set up this school in Downpatrick have to go to such lengths to raise funds for their school says more about the poor level of funding from official sources for Irish Medium Education, despite its proven educational value than it does about your misinformed and biased perceptions about the sector.

  • BonarLaw

    Oilibhear Chromaill

    “Bobby Sands was not a terrorist any more than Nelson Mandela was a terrorist”

    “I don’t have an ‘extreme’ republican point of view. In fact I would consider myself moderate and informed”

    Yeah, right.

  • George

    BonarLaw,
    I believe Margaret Thatcher once called Nelson Mandela a terrorist. Are you saying he wasn’t?

  • confused

    To George

    If Margaret Thatcher calls Mandela a terrorist that is good enough for me as she can do no wrong!

  • Ulster McNulty

    eranu

    “Ulster McNulty, what on earth is “a signed constitutional nationalist copy of the good Friday agreement” ??”

    You don’t know?

    OK, I’ll tell you.

    It’s the copy of the good Friday agreement signed by John Hume, (let’s call it “A”), which was included in the auction alongside the copy of the Bobby Sands biography signed by the survivng hunger strikers, (which I shall refer to as “B”).

    Now, if you conclude that the sale of “B”, which you call “a signed terrorist book”, implies that these schools are ‘up the ra training colleges’. Then you would equally have to concede that the sale of A implies that the schools are also “up the SDLP training colleges”.

    There is also the matter of the bottle of whiskey to commemorate John Hume’s receipt of the Nobel prize (let’s call it “C”). It being the case that John Hume was a joint recipient, along with David Trimble, of the nobel prize, it would necessarily imply, following your logic, that these schools are also “up the Ulster Unionist Party training colleges”.

  • eranu

    OC, if you’re moderate then dear help us 🙂
    thats my opinion, ive nothing more to say really.

    UMcN, i see what you mean now by “a signed constitutional nationalist copy of the good Friday agreement” i thought you were talking about some sort of nationalist document.

    terrorist biographys have nothing to do with a copy of the GFA or a bottle of whiskey. if you dont think selling them at a fundraising event for kids is a bad thing, then nothing im going to say will change that.

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    According to Bonar Law and Eranu, I’m an ‘extreme republican’ because I send my child to a naíscoil and view, for instance, Bobby Sands and Nelson Mandela in much the same light. Neither were ‘terrorists’ in the current use of the word but both were imprisoned for their opposition to the unjust and discriminatory state structures of the time. Both were convicted in kangaroo courts of spurious crimes and sentenced to periods of imprisonment. They were held as political hostages. Their captivity and the manner in which they endured it sent a message around the world about the injustice of the hostage takers. And, oh yes, both won out in the end although it took Bobby Sands death to light the way for republicans back into the full democratic process. Where are republicans today, why they’re sharing power in the north on an equal basis with unionists. And their aspirations to bring about a United Ireland are not alone intact but well advanced.

    One of the most famous sayings ascribed to Bobby Sands is ”Our revenge will be the laughter of our children.” It seems it’s not alone the laughter but the language of our children is proving too much for Bonar Law and Eranu, the ‘moderates’ of this thread.

  • eranu

    “According to Bonar Law and Eranu, I’m an ‘extreme republican’ because I send my child to a naíscoil”
    nope, its from reading your posts over the last year or so.

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    It wouldn’t take a year reading your posts, Eranu, to figure out you were politically challenged, ie unable to deal with a viewpoint different to your own without resorting to labels in a vain attempt to marginalise those who don’t conform to your narrow and illinformed way of thinking.

  • Congal Claen

    Hi OC,

    I actually thought you made a few good points up until you tried to claim that “your” terrorists are better than “ours”. To compare NI with apartheid SA is absolute nonsense. Mandela had no democratic option. The Ra did. A better comparison would be NI to Spain and the Basque situation. Do Basque nationalists have democratic options? Yip, just like nationalists in NI. Are ETA terrorists? Yip, just like their counterparts in the RA/UDA. Are they remotely similar to Nelson Mandela? Nope, no matter how hard their children laugh. Because, La Mon, Loughinisland or the like, aren’t that funny.

    The sad thing is I think your kid probably does receive a “moderate” view at his school if this is the sort of nonsense you’re filling his head with, back in the homestead.

    On a more positive note, I think it’s near time that state schools started teaching Irish Gaelic to counter the political baggage that it has been tainted with…

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    From your nearly literate response, Congal, I can only discern that whatever you learnt at school it wasn’t the mastery of the English language, never mind the Irish language.
    And it definitely wasn’t the discipline to look at historic events and figures through some sort of objective prism. You seem to be under the mistaken impression that the end of Apartheid was a bloodless affair. Not at all, the ANC, under the leadership of Mandela, was involved in all sorts of acts of terror. It didn’t have a democratic alternative – but then again neither did republicans in Northern Ireland dominated by political parties of the unionist hue with their own links to terror groups such as the UVF and the UDA, which, amazingly managed to remain legal during some of the worst years of the carnage.

    Sure there are comparisons between the IRA and ETA but the problem is there was never a real democratic alternative in the north until the GFA came about. And that wouldn’t have happened but for Bobby Sands and his comrades. You can’t take that in but your children will or their children will. History will recognise that I’m right and you, you poor deluded idiot, are wrong. Wrong about history and wrong about the Irish language.

    You are right, however, to suggest that Irish be taught in State schools but not for the reasons stated but to give the same opportunity of a decent and broadbased education to the children attending those schools. Heaven forfend that they be confined to a system of education which turns out people as patently uneducated as yourself.

  • gaelgannaire

    Oilibhear,

    I hope you don’t mind me saying but I think you have been sucked into a side track here and maybe allowed yourself to be wound up somewhat.

    Its happened to myself and I understand but I think that when and if discussing issues concerning the Gaelic language it is important to stick to the issue.

    I think however that the exercise that we are engaged in is rather pointless, i.e. we are dicussing minority language educational provision with people who clearly have no knowledge of it.

    The reality is that the majority of people posting here, especially those who are most strident in their views and sure of their correctness, have never been in an IME school, never met a teacher or pupil, perhaps never even physically seen a school even and most important of all have never even heard a conversation in Irish.

    This point occurred to me last night when myself and a friend bought petrol in a unionist area, I go out of the car and continiued speaking until I noticed him glaring at me – Béarla! (‘English’), was the sole word uttered, instinctively we switched, keeping on safe side but ensuring the continuation of ignorance.

    What the point of the discussion therefore?

    On a point of information I would point out that IMEs follow the uk ‘national curiculam’ and that the school inspection reports are available on-line on the Dept. of Education website.

    One more thing, do you think that Gaelscoileanna are too focused on English speaking kids? I suspect that a slim majority of native speaking kids don’t actually attend a Gaelscoil, which is a pity in my view but I can understand it to a certain extent.

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    Indeed, Gael, that is the case. I’ve been dragged up a side alley by these louts in order to facilitate the venting of their own petty and illinformed prejudices regarding IME. I suppose I brought it on myself but once in a fight, I’m going to make damn sure that the other fellow(s) realise they’re in a fight too.

    I’ll have to get back to you on the other points you’ve raised as time is of the essence at present.

  • Congal Claen

    Hi OC,

    I never suggested that the end of apartheid was a bloodless affair. With your “mastery” of the language I’m sure ye can point out where I did. All I suggested was that the comparison of NI with apartheid era SA is ridiculous and does a disservice to those persecuted under the apartheid system.

    “History will recognise that I’m right and you, you poor deluded idiot, are wrong. Wrong about history and wrong about the Irish language.”

    Personal attacks usually signify that you’ve lost the argument. What next? I suppose I’m a nazi/racist as well…

  • fair_deal

    Please knock the personal jibes on the head. The rule is ball not man.

  • eranu

    OC, you say “these louts” right after coming off with a rant like this –
    “It wouldn’t take a year reading your posts, Eranu, to figure out you were politically challenged, ie unable to deal with a viewpoint different to your own without resorting to labels in a vain attempt to marginalise those who don’t conform to your narrow and illinformed way of thinking.”
    wind yer neck in!

    the subject of the thread is casual nationalism in the IME. not about teaching the language or anything else. you are taking yourself up a side alley.
    my opinion is that its more like the extreme end of republicans ‘in the IME’. the bobby sands book would seem to back that up.

  • gaelgannaire

    Eranu.

    Aside from the ‘bobby sands book’, which for the point of clarity was a biography and not work my Bobby, which would ‘seem to back [your opinion] up’.

    And I would point out that a biography isn’t necessarily completmentary (cf. The Triumph of Failure, by Ruth Dudley Edwards).

    And that our items were in the draw.

    You have expressed the opinion my opinion “that its more like the extreme end of republicans ‘in the IME “.

    On what experience do you base your assumption / opinion?

    How do you know? Can you understand Irish? Have you been in an IME school? Have you read an inspection report? Do you have any knowledge of the sector?

    You may well a knowledge which is not apparent in your posts, however, without documentary evidence to the contary, it would be difficult to assume that your view is based on a rational overview of the evidence and, perhaps, based more on missinformed pre-rational beliefs without knowledge or examination of the facts, perhaps as a result of an unwillingness to deal with difference?

  • gaelgannaire

    – I meant ‘other items were in the draw’.

  • Democratic

    A lot of squirming and muddying of water going on this thread worthy of any lawyer – the simple fact is that items such as those listed in the draw had no place there if the Irish Medium school in question had any desire to remain out of a community pigeon hole and be seen to be welcoming and open to those of all backgrounds in providing as politically neutral an environment as possible in which to learn Irish language and culture – (Perhaps this is impossible – I don’t know) You all however know this very well as it is plain as the nose on your face – it is a little disappointing to see it denied with such anger and posturing. C’mon for God sake!!

  • eranu

    my view is based on what ive seen and heard in the media, also any conversations ive had with people in belfast and dublin where its been mentioned. and also just knowing that its pretty much taken for granted in NI that IME caters for the extreme end of nationalism/republicanism.

    lets see –

    the schools are all in republican areas. or ive never heard of one anywhere else.

    none of them are in unionist areas as far as i know.

    nationalists are seen to own the language.

    unionists at present consider the language alien to them.

    i’d be fairly certain that the pupils are all catholic and parents and pupils are all from hardline areas like west belfast.

    SF are always going on about the irish language and trying to impose it on the rest if us.

    everytime you hear about irish language schools on the news there are some republicans banging on about how oppressed they are.

    in threads on slugger ive read of the extremist views of the staff, from people who have attended the schools.

    the people who defend IME schools on slugger are all republican type people (of the more extreme end, my opinion)

    and then we’ve got this thread. an SF person attending a funraiser that sells a book about IRA men signed by other IRA men.

    and then as if on queue, OC tells us he sends his kid to one !!

    and so on. its all those sort of things that build up to give an opinion. i have never ever seen or heard anything that would change my opinion.

    im assuming you have more detailed knowledge? please list your points to convince me that IME is not just for extreme republicans?

  • gaelgannaire

    Eranu,

    Thank you, for your reply / assumptions.

    I don’t think you will ever see anything that will change your mind as I think you are comfortable in your views.

    One could go through each point made. But clearly experience tells us both that this is pointless.

    Therefore let me attempt to draw an analogy.

    I have heard it said that the Free Presiterian Church is extreme and that the people who go there are all DUP people, they hate gays etc. etc.

    What do I think?

    The truth is I have no idea as I have never set foot in a Free Prespiterian Church. Nor, unfortuately do I have any close Free Prespiterian Friends. If I every do attend one I may begin to form an opinion, on THAT one but not on all them.

    Maybe they are all Nutcases, but I don’t know, therefore I will assume they are not.

  • eranu

    gaelgannaire, ive never been in a freeP church either but i know enough about them to agree that they are a bit extreme. more so for people who live by the standards of the world and not by the standards of the bible. to be anti gay is presently wrong in the eyes of the world. but homosexual practice is wrong according to the bible. so if you live by the bible you should be anti homosexuality, not hating the people, but opposing the acts / promotion of it.

    back to the thread. you really should come up with some points to show how IME is not an extreme republican thing since you asked me to say why i thought it was???

    either that or just agree that it is? 🙂

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    Poor eranu, he’s still under the mistaken impression that he’s making a coherent argument. He’s not. There are Irish medium schools all over Ireland and not one could be ascribed to have a strong ideological bent other than to provide the best possible education for our children. Maybe that’s extreme politics when it comes to Eranu’s point of view because after all education is what sets us free and therefore those who are uneducated are hostages and slaves.

    Perhaps you could for instance point us to a post on slugger where someone gives a credible, evidence backed account, of an instance where a member of staff in a Gaelsoil expressed an extreme view. And what was the view expressed so we can judge whether it was actually extreme, according to objective standards.

    You’d possibly be aware that the only reason that Irish Medium schools are only in nationalist/mixed areas is to avoid the risk of them being targeted like the little girls of Holy Cross were targeted by members of the unionist community. Pipe bombs and bags of urine and all that. But they are in mixed areas like Glengormley, Ormeau Road, North Belfast and so on. Perhaps your grasp of geography is as poor as your grasp of other subjects such as history, the English language and logic?

    I have no problem with being described as a republican but I’m no extremist. Then again I don’t have to defend my political point of view against those whose extremism is in ignorance and anti Irishness.

  • BP1078

    gaelgannaire

    Sorry to backtrack you here, this was one of your earlier comments:

    Its happened to myself and I understand but I think that when and if discussing issues concerning the Gaelic language it is important to stick to the issue.

    The point of Fair Deal’s original blog here was asking whether there was a link between irish medium schools and “casual nationalism”, so sticking to the issue and back to the original Telegraph article:

    Among the items under the hammer at tonight’s event are single malt whiskey – one a limited edition to commemorate John Hume’s receipt of the Nobel Prize, and another similar bottle to commemorate Mary McAleese’s election as President of Ireland. There will also be a football and a Down jersey, both signed by all the Down All-Ireland winning captains, which will be presented to the buyer by Down Gaelic football legend Paddy Doherty.
    Other lots are a Bobby Sands biography signed by the surviving hunger strikers, a copy of the Belfast Agreement with John Hume’s signature, a flight from Newtownards airport over Downpatrick and Lecale, two nights’ bed and breakfast and dinner for two in the Slieve Russell Hotel and a Manchester United shirt signed by Diego Forlan and Ruud van Nistlerooy.

    I’ll agree that the flight, the two nights b+b, and the Utd shirt are apolitical prizes. But the rest? This is what I think FD meant by “casual nationalism”; as a unionist none of those prizes (with poss exception of the whiskey:)) would appeal to me.

    Now,I would be very surprised if the school wouldn’t be interested in getting some of my cash, so why then are they subconsciously restricting their fundraising to only one side of the community?

    And before you ask, I have tried learning the language on several occasions, but more importantly I do have some knowledge of minority language educational provision (although admittedly not much of the IM schools in NI) and in my experience the “ghettoising”, whether intentional or not, of the teaching of such languages will not ensure their long term survival.

  • gaelgannaire

    BP1078,

    ‘in my experience the “ghettoising”, whether intentional or not, of the teaching of such languages will not ensure their long term survival.’

    This is an oft quoted sentence. But what does it mean? or what do you mean by it?

    I actually disgree with it, and I think that most sociolinguists would agree, language communities must create / maintain a space or an area where their language can remain dominant in all spheres of life and in all situations. Then they must protect this space – thats language survival.

    If you call this ghettoisation, so be it. People who live in ghettos call them ‘communities’.

    I understand that it is important to try get widespread support, but in reality thats not what happens with minoritised languages.

    Regarding Gaelscoils in the North – people can complain about them but in reality, unless they can get the 1988 Education Act repealed there is very little they can do about it.

    As to the original point of the thread. I have no idea what ‘casual nationalism’ is. I am sure if Ian Paisley wanted to give something to the draw it would have been accepted – but thats not going to happen.

    Eranu,

    As I mentioned to OC earlier, I don’t really think there is any point in engaging with your points. You have made up your mind.

  • BP1078

    I actually disgree with it, and I think that most sociolinguists would agree, language communities must create / maintain a space or an area where their language can remain dominant in all spheres of life and in all situations. Then they must protect this space – thats language survival.

    Ok, perhaps that will ensure the survival of the language, but will it flourish by being restricted within such a space? There is a potential untapped market of Irish speakers within Northern Ireland, would they feel comfortable at present within the linguistic “communities” you mention?

    I understand that it is important to try get widespread support, but in reality thats not what happens with minoritised languages.

    It is possible, given the will to move beyond traditional boundaries.There is an interesting experiment being promoted by several NGOS in eastern Europe at the minute, regarding the promotion of the various Roma languages amongst the wider population. Languages such as Lovardi are starting to be taught to non-Roma as well and it’s now accepted along with English for university entrance. Previously many of these languages would only be have spoken in Roma homes and within certain segregated schools. Widespread support of the language hasn’t automatically arisen, but it will contribute to the eventual breaking down of certain prejudices regarding both it and the people who speak it.

    As to the original point of the thread. I have no idea what ‘casual nationalism’ is. I am sure if Ian Paisley wanted to give something to the draw it would have been accepted – but thats not going to happen.

    I’m sure, if he had been asked, given the present climate, he’d have donated an old clerical collar or something. But was he, or any other unionists, or non-nationalist sporting stars for that matter, approached? If they were and refused, then you have a point. If they weren’t approached then why not?

  • gaelgannaire

    BP1078,

    Good post. Thank you. Its because of genuine posts like that that I bother with this.

    Just a couple of things but.

    ‘There is a potential untapped market of Irish speakers within Northern Ireland’

    Well, you have probably got me there, I don’t know if I can believe that. As an habitual Irish speaker all of my life I am sceptical of that – but maybe I’m completely wrong. Irish is a minority sport, but that doesnt bother me at all really. If people are interested, great!, if not o.k.

    ‘would they feel comfortable at present within the linguistic “communities” you mention?’

    Thats interesting and I have no answer, I don’t know but I will say this, I have always felt that people who may be interested in Irish have much more respect for the ‘hard core’ if you will simply due to the fact that it is seen as very genuine.

    For example, the population of the Shaw’s Road Community (Irish speaking Ghetto if you must) isnt completely Catholic for example, or Irish, or even white, but it is Irish speaking (with a bit of Porteguese, Welsh, English and Basque spoken, in that order). So yes, I think alot of people could feel comfortable in that community and I know that many in that small community are very involved in cross community work for example.

    Yet at the same time, others may seen such a community as extreme, I don’t but, I think they are an inspiration.