Dingle pupils protest against Irish language lessons…

PUPILS at a Kerry school are protesting against its all-Irish policy, as, according to the Indo, ‘they are finding it difficult to learn because it is not their first language and they are not fluent in the language’. One parent said: “”A lot of them in class feel that they don’t understand what’s being taught to them. They’re having difficulty with the strict all-Irish policy. They feel it’s very restrictive and don’t fully understand what’s happening within the class.”

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Beano

    Och, I think you’re exaggerating. Road signs down south lack nothing in terms of legibility. I can honestly say that in ten years of driving either side of the border, I have never missed a turn or been unable to make out information as a result of a bilingual roadsign. I’ve never heard of anyone saying they had either. I simply don’t accept that there’s a compelling case in terms of function against bilingual signs. They work perfectly effectively.

    But on a completely unrelated note:

    “Welcome to…” signs are much more appropriate places.”

    I’d really like to see “Welcome To…” signs re-erected on county borders. They were once standard but have fallen away, and there aren’t many left now in the north. (I know there’s a “Co Tyrone” sign in the Moy, but no corresponding “Co Armagh” one on the other side.)

    But then I’m a fan of the counties. They have infinitely more resonance than “Welcome to Newry and Mourne” or whatever.

    Of course I’d like them to say “Failte go Chontae Ard Mhacha / Welcome to Co Armagh” etc.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    DK

    “There already is one. It’s more or less the lower falls area and sort of ends at the bog meadows.”

    Of course, the Shaws Road Gaeltacht. I suppose I meant a more formally recognised Gaeltacht. Whatever that means! (He said, drowning….) Perhaps a specially-designated area where Irish was given special protections.

  • slug

    I am agreed on welcome signs, not just for counties but also for Northern Ireland itself.

  • Metacom

    Does anyone know whether the problem in Kerry is outlanders moving in with no history of Irish or alternatively are these native Gaeltacht kids who can’t keep up because Irish usage in the community has deteriorated? I understand that the fluency level of people with Irish in Gaeltacht schools varies considerably. In some cases the only Irish they hear now is in the classroom itself – at home and amongst themselves in the school yard its beagnach cead faoin cead Bearla.

  • sammaguire

    “Does anyone know whether the problem in Kerry is outlanders moving in with no history of Irish or alternatively are these native Gaeltacht kids…”

    Posted by Metacom on Oct 17, 2007 @ 10:05 PM

    One kid interviewed on RTE radio yesterday seemed to have a South Dublin accent. Definitely not a Kerry or even a Munster accent.

    “I am agreed on welcome signs, not just for counties but also for Northern Ireland itself.”

    Posted by slug on Oct 17, 2007 @ 07:37 PM

    As Irish predates the entity of NI by a few millennia a more appropriate welcome would be to the Province of Ulster, Cuige Uladh. Would look good at the Meath Cavan border etc.

  • RG Cuan

    BILLY PILGRIM

    Of course I’d like them to say “Failte go Contae Ard Mhacha / Welcome to Co Armagh” etc.

    Maith thú a Bhilly. Totally agree with the county sign issue, and agree with SAM MAGUIRE on the provincial boundaries.

    Fáilte go Cúige Uladh agus Contae Ard Mhacha
    Welcome to Ulster and Armagh

  • 0b101010

    “Do you believe that the will of the majority should overcome the will of the minority in this case?”

    Rarely in any case, however this isn’t nearly so cut and dry. It starts to get more farcical when you throw in arguments about the majority of the minority overruling the minority of the majority; not to mention that the minority are using the power and money of the majority, not their own, to do as they will.

    As others have already suggested, a transitional period would have been simple enough to implement. Streaming based on language would amount to state-sponsored segregation, but it’s the least worst solution. The compromise was staring them in the face.

    “ffs, it’s not a ‘minority’ cultural experiment, it’s a culture which stretches back thousands of years which most of the island has lost. Even if Irish was somehow revived in the rest of Ireland the links over the generations would be gone.”

    It’s a minority cultural experiment in that the government is trying to force feed a near-dead language back into circulation. I have my doubts that it’s anything but a money sink. I’d really expect to be seeing a much greater uptake if the populace actually cared.

    “If it’s not protected strongly now, it’s gone. Forever. There are some nasty small minded agendas in this thread which have little to do with people’s rights to live wherever they want and have a lot more to do with letting part of a culture die because they somehow deem it to be a threat”

    I personally wouldn’t want the language to die, but I also wouldn’t want my taxes going towards cultural life support. To me, Irish can be compared to knitting. It may be amusing as intellectual masturbation but it’s impractical, unnecessary and costly.

    “Cultural evolution – that means at the rate things are going that will mean English and possibly Mandarin and Cantonese will be the only languages in the world in a few centuries. It’s Irish on the frontline today, tomorrow – Dutch and Norwegian? French and Spanish next week? Bit boring but I suppose some people just don’t like a bit of diversity around the place.”

    Ah, the fear-mongering argument that opens common ground with loyalist paramilitaries (aka NF, C18) and their associated thugs who use it to rile each other up enough to burn anyone they don’t know out of their homes. Who gave the isolationist, nationalistic minority the right to force their protectionist agenda on the individual? If Mandarin ends up a more logical, natural choice of first language in future, so be it.

  • Dan

    0b101010,

    The school in question is in the Republic of Ireland. Not Northern Ireland. Irish isn’t some quirky hobby for many speakers there. To suggest it is is condescending. Not to mention innacurate.

    If you were referring to Irish in NI, then your message isn’t so outlandish.

  • gaelgannaire

    0b101010,

    “a transitional period would have been simple enough to implement. Streaming based on language would amount to state-sponsored segregation, but it’s the least worst solution. The compromise was staring them in the face.”

    You do realise that the all-Irish rule applies ony the the first and second years, is that not a transitional period?

    “It’s a minority cultural experiment in that the government is trying to force feed a near-dead language back into circulation.”

    You do realise that it was local people who voted for a Gaelscoil, nothing to do with the government.

    “intellectual masturbation ”

    Thanks for the wee touch of racism there, its always inspriring.

  • sammaguire

    “It may be amusing as intellectual masturbation but it’s impractical, unnecessary and costly.”

    Posted by 0b101010 on Oct 18, 2007 @ 02:30 AM

    The Irish language or being on Slugger at 230am?

  • Cadiz

    “As Irish predates the entity of NI by a few millennia a more appropriate welcome would be to the Province of Ulster, Cuige Uladh. Would look good at the Meath Cavan border etc.”

    If a few millennia is to be the working title it might be as well to advise the last outbreak of Boii valour resulted in a SFer being booted from his tribe.

  • Cadiz

    “Look, people don’t just give up their language more or less en masse for no reason.

    Next you’ll be telling me the average Catholic had it good in the 18th century.”

    If being an Armenian is fatal, some people will become Turks, that is the extreme end of it.

    The Ittihad ve Terakki Jemiyeti and the Nazis, understood that if a solution wasn’t final then it wasn’t really a solution.

    Egypt was a majority Christian country until relatively late in the historical calender.

    People will decide to speak Latin, or German, or to bandage their heads like Huns.

  • 0b101010

    “The school in question is in the Republic of Ireland. Not Northern Ireland. Irish isn’t some quirky hobby for many speakers there. To suggest it is is condescending. Not to mention innacurate.”

    Condescending, Dan? Recursion-tastic. Thanks for the unnecessary briefing on the location of Dingle. It’s also not in Poland, in case anyone was wondering.

    “You do realise that the all-Irish rule applies ony the the first and second years, is that not a transitional period?”

    Oh, I heard the chairman on RTE try to bluff past that there was something “nearly” a transitional phase in place but he was far from convincing, claiming “perhaps” there has been “no real change” for some classes in third year, sixth year and “practically also” fifth year. Phew, that sure sounds reassuring. As I understand it the board of management were resolute about all-Irish teaching, wouldn’t consider any streaming and, at best, perhaps conceded the idea of a few _days_ of language tuition.

    Did they honestly not anticipate any integration problems? Which is it, ineptitude or blind zealotry?

    “You do realise that it was local people who voted for a Gaelscoil, nothing to do with the government.”

    Ignoring for a moment that I was talking about the promotion of the Irish language in general, not the school, are you claiming this is a private school or that the Department of Education isn’t involved? Fact is, the government backs policies like this that support the promotion of language over the best education for the children.

    “Thanks for the wee touch of racism there, its always inspriring.”

    Which mythical separate race is this? The linguistic Ãœbermensch that are happy to further ghettoise themselves in state-sponsored anti-gulches? Good luck with their brave new world.

  • Dónall Chaoímhín Pheadair

    A Pheadair Uí Dhónaill a chara,

    Mholainn duit-se agus do gach aon Ghaeilgeoir eile atá páirteach sa diospóireacht seo éirí as láithreach bonn. Tá cuid mhór nímh sna daoine seo agus b’fhearr neamhiontas a dhéanamh orthu. Ní thuigeann siad muid agus is léir nach bhfuil siad ag iarraidh éisteacht linn ná foghlaim uainn, cé gur mó i bhfad ár n-eolas ar na cúrsaí seo.