Hostility towards Irish language in GAA…

VETERAN Irish language broadcaster, Sean Ban Breathnach, has decided not to quit his position as Cultural and Irish Officer of the Galway County Board in a last minute U-turn. Breathnach had been annoyed over what he perceived as a growing intolerance to the Irish language in Galway GAA circles, but changed his mind about resigning after support he got from various clubs came in. He had previously expressed his disillusionment after increasing hostility to the use of Irish by players, officials and supporters. “This is on playing pitches by managers and mentors and supporters and even to referees. I experienced it myself first hand during the summer,” he said. “Every time these people hear Irish being spoken on the pitch they just seem to lose it.”

  • An Seabhac

    Níl ann ach easpa féinmhuinín. An uair a bheimid in ann é sin a chaitheamh amach as aigne na ndaoine anseo sa tír seo beimid go léir i bhfad Éireann níos fearr.

  • Typical orange bigotry.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    What’s happening to the Galway GAA? surely they’re not putting sport above identity and politics? Oh NO!

  • gaelgannaire

    Irish Rules Football Association in my opinion.

    The fact that the GAA website is monolingual is outrageous and violates the constition of the association.

    Having said that, the association does often allow its premises to be used as Gaelscoileanna.

    Do the Gael Óga have the magairlí to take on the mighty GAA.

  • McGrath

    I have never understood what a second language had to do with playing football. The Irish language had effectively died out long before the formation of the GAA, whats the obsession with it?

  • Do the Gaeil Óga have the magairlí to take on the GAA? You’d better hope so as the appointment of GAA ard stiurthóír, Liam Ó Maolmhichíl, as Foras na Gaeilge chairman means that no other organisation, bar Lá Nua, will hold the association to account on its failures wrt An Ghaeilge. As far as I know Rule 4 of the GAA handbook commits the membership to promoting the Irish language.

  • gaelgannaire


    One of the reason the GAA was established was to promote the language.

    “The Irish language had effectively died out long before the formation of the GAA”


  • Tochais Síoraí

    ffs, does anyone reckon that it might have anything to do with the fact that some of the clubs come from the Gaeltacht i.e they speak Irish… every day.. to each other. Nothing to do with politics.

    Put them up against a team from East Galway and bring on the sledging. Speaking Irish would be join the ugly wife, the promiscuos mother and the mincey walk and numerous other topics of ‘conversation’. Sad but that’s the way it is.

    And if its the same SBB who used to be on the telly, then he’s going to get abuse anyway for being involved in some very bad TV.

  • I don’t claim to know much, if anything, about the GAA, but allow me to hypothesise for a moment (go on, indulge me).

    When the GAA was set up the government was a “foreign” one in London that was seen as hostile to the Gaelic tongue.

    Now that the Southern government is doing the job of keeping it on life-support, maybe the GAA (rank-and-file and/or fans anyway) don’t see it as their job?

  • The Penguin

    This is what happens when you allow something to be hijacked by extreme fascists like the provos.

    It soon becomes almost solely identified with them, so decent people then recoil from it.
    It isn’t hard to work out.

  • Dec

    surely they’re not putting sport above identity and politics?

    I must have missed the political aspect of that article because I’m convinced you’re making a valid point as opposed to an ignorant, cack-handed swipe at the Irish language.

    As regards identity, see gaelgannaire’s post.

  • gaelgannaire


    It is the GAA constitution, its what they exist for, in theory at least.

    But BTW, I think that SBB is a cute enough hoor and I have a feeling he’ll be getting whatever he was looking for in the first place.

  • George

    in my humble opinion, you are thinking like someone from the unionist tradition so are a bit off the mark on this one.

    Someone from Cork, Mayo, Dublin etc. simply wouldn’t have the same identifiers as you.

    And the last thing they’d be thinking of while playing GAA in a field in Galway is that the Provos had hijacked one of the Indo-European language stems.

    My own view is that it’s a cross between Tochais Síoraí’s thoughts on sledging and what I see as SBB’s relentless desire to be the centre of attention.

  • Máirseáil Uí Néill

    This is a worrying situation for CLG in galway, but respect, tolerance, acceptance and appreciation for our shared and ancient language should be appreciated right across the board regardless of the location or the organisation involved.

    the only time the language is political is when it is being put under threat or attempts are made to supress it, the only people who make it a political are those who engage in such activity.

    in place’s like galway and indeed here in belfast where strong established and indeed growing irish speaking communities are thriving we should look to all the beneifts this brings and not erect false barriers to our acceptance of the language, it is being forced on no one.

    i came over this piece and thought it interesting just on the wider issue of the language as opposed to this once specific issue

  • Fred

    There is a Methodist service Sunday mornings in Belfast and North Down in Irish, and you are all welcome. this has nothing to do with SF/IRA.

  • Máirseáil Uí Néill

    I didn’t know about that fred mo chara, there’s also the mass every sunday in st mary’s chapel.

    it also has nothing to do with Sinn Féin or indeed Óglaigh na hÉireann

  • gaelgannaire


    Every Sunday or once a month? There is of course An Tor ar Lasadh, for Prespiterians, I didnt know there was a Methodist service but. Very interesting.

    There is of course also the Catholic mass in St, Marys, 12.00.

  • cut the bull


    There is a Methodist service Sunday mornings in Belfast and North Down in Irish, and you are all welcome. this has nothing to do with SF/IRA.

    Fred just for a bit of clarity, although this has nothing to do with Sinn Féin or Óglaigh na hÉireann are they also included, in the “your all welcome” invitation.

  • cut the bull

    Sorry have to correct my grammar, the “you are all welcome” invitation

  • Turgon

    I know no Irish; have little interest in and absolutely no ability at sport. As such these thoughts are those of an idiot. Might one of the problems be that if one team is bilungal they can effectively tell each other what to do, where to go etc. but the other team cannot understand the instructions whereas in reverse the bilungal team can understand their opponenets. The monolingual team might find this a bit annoying but it is hardly an “unfair” advantage.

    On the languages in church. I care little what language is used provided the message of the bible is expounded and people’s need of salvation is preached. I remember during the brief time I worked in Kenya I attended a service every morning,. It was usually in Swahili. The singing was no problem as Swahili is spelt completely phonetically and so I could easily join in. Not that I could understand much.

  • RG Cuan

    I think this issue probably does stem from team rivalry. It is certain however that CLG should do a lot more to promote the language. It is after all a clear aim of the organisation.

    Déarfainn féin go mbeadh cúiseanna eile á dtroid ag Na Gaeil Óga ar dtús. I ndeireadh na dála, is mic léinn an chuid is mó acu nach ndéanann mórán spóirt na laethanta seo cibé ar bith!

  • McGrath


    One of the reason the GAA was established was to promote the language.

    “The Irish language had effectively died out long before the formation of the GAA”


    Posted by gaelgannaire on Dec 19, 2007 @ 04:03 PM

    Then it seems they picked a strange name for the organization.

  • Danny

    Stick to topics you know about, McGrath.

    And this is about Galway GAA. Nothing to do with NI.

  • Tochais Síoraí

    Turgon, I think that could be one of the reasons alright – A bright future in the GAA awaits. Happy Christmas.

  • Droch_Bhuachaill

    SBB is on RnaG just now saying that this hostility towards Irish on the playing pitch is a form of racism. He says that if two Brazilians from Gort, for example, were playing football and were abused for using their language to communicate, every civil rights group in the country would be up in arms.

    On my experiences playing both football and rugby, in general I found more hostility while speaking Irish playing football than rugby. Indeed, one ref told us bluntly that either we stop speaking Irish or we’d be sent off, one by one.

    I think that it is the old paranoid story of ‘well if they are speaking Irish they’re speaking about me……….

  • jonny

    or feeling guilty that they don’t speak it themselves

  • Stand Proud

    Its all down to an inferiority complex. A lot of people on the island try not to have anything to do with anything Irish. Dominated people across the planet are the same. A person dating a jewish girl in New York would never mention bringing her to a Jewish restaurant, she’d think it was too-jewish. Once we all get over the inferiority complex brought about by colonialism then we’ll be fine.

  • McGrath

    Stick to topics you know about, McGrath.

    And this is about Galway GAA. Nothing to do with NI.

    Posted by Danny on Dec 20, 2007 @ 02:43 AM

    Your are absolutely correct, it has nothing to do with NI, but it has everything to do with the indoctrination of the Irish Language by the GAA. It is my view we have a county official threatening to quit his post for reasons other than simple support of the Irish language.

    At the same time raising an objection to what language to use or not use on the field is about the same as asking the French to speak English at a home international. It would be met with hilarity.

    I think this issue highlights that fact that there are many who support the game of Gaelic football but who also have less support for the GAA and all the baggage that comes with it.

  • páid

    Ár ndóigh, tá an cheart ag TS agus George. Tá SB ar son na teanga…fad is atá seisean sé féin i lár an aonaigh.

    Ach go ginearáltá, ta daoine sa gCLG ag cur an cheist faoin teanga na páirce faoi dheireadh, i nGaillimh. Ní roimh am ach an oiread.

    Tá ceist na teangan ag fáil beagánín teasaí sa Ghaeltacht.: – sa bpáirc peile, sa scoil, sa ngeard, sa siopa, sa bpub, sa gcóras pleanála.

    Buíochas mór le mac Dé.

  • RG Cuan

    Cearta ar fad agat a Pháid.

    De réir mar a éiríonn an cheist níos teasaí, spreagfar níos mó Gael an fód a sheasamh ar son na Gaeilge.

    Dála an scéil, cad is ‘geard’ ann nuair atá sé sa bhaile?

  • Note to the dimwit Jaffas on this thread (not all the Jaffas, just the dimwit ones): Irish is the first language of most places west of Galway City.

    Although I wouldn’t put too much money on finding an Irish speaker in Barna these days, that means that people in places like Rossaveal, Clifden and the Aran Islands use the Irish language to buy a loaf, order a pint, chat up women, discuss the emerging industrial might of China, etc., etc.

    That’s what is surprising about the claim that this has become more common in recent years; the Irish language has been a constant in this part of the world, and yokel-bashing is a constant anywhere. So why the rise in hostility to Irish, if that is indeed the case.

    Nollaig shona.

  • páid

    RGC- geard? Focal atá in úsáid le haghaidh clós, nó yard.


    your intricate knowledge of the wee 6 demographic, falters a little on points west 🙂

    Clifden is very much an English-speaking town. They tend to vote FG, prefer rugby to GAA and confuse the PP with the prebendary. Both Clifden and North Conamara generally resemble Pembrokeshire linguistically.

    I blame the railway for the language shift, and too-nice landlords for the moderate outlook.

    Conamara is like a country in that the North is different from the South.

    Nollaig shona dhuitse.