Sinn Fein answers Poots’ prayers…

NO sooner did the DUP language minister answer Chris’ prayers and finally attend an Irish language event, than Sinn Fein announces the launch of its first Irish language branch in Dublin. Since Sinn Fein is keen to de-politicise the language, it, err, named the cumann after a murdered IRA member. Sweet serendipity for Poots, as the timing of the announcement gave him a good excuse to justify his lack of support for an Irish language act. Naturally, Pobal declined to comment.

  • PeaceandJustice

    Sinn Fein PIRA have done great damage over the years to the Irish Language by trying to associate it with their murder gangs. People with a genuine interest in the language deserve praise for putting time and effort into learning another language – not an easy thing.

  • DC

    Another clear sign of Sinn Fein perhaps misjudging and misrepresenting Irish speakers?

    Pobal submission on the Irish language bill was counter-productive because of overly strong demands that fixed Irish language to a commission role in order to ‘enforce’ any breach of Irish language provision.

    In doing so Pobal, supported by Sinn Fein, placed a strong focus on linking Irish to the State, as reflected by various State-led approaches to the language itself in Northern Ireland.

    Irishness is a lot more subtle, softer and more encompassing in its meaning to passionate speakers than any Sinn Fein Language-Fascista bodies.

    Here we have once again as per above another stunt that skews Irish through bent Republican politics by attributing an old language to a very modern Northern version of violent republicanism.

    And not wanting to go Unionist-heavy here, but for those that make claims about politicisation of the Irish language, what ever else can you think, whenever you want to bring a bill into an Act in such a course way through a political Assembly loaded with reactionaries.

  • gaelgannaire

    I think this is a very positive and welcome development. Sinn Fein are finally getting serious and are beginning to use Irish as a working living language and not as a cultural language.

    As a life long Irish speaker I welcome this and hope that it is the shape of things to come.

    As for naming the cumann after Caoimhin Mac Bradaigh, well almost all Sinn Fein cumainn are named after IRA men, it would be difficult to see why this one would be different, especially as the IRA man in question was a native speaker, it would have been difficult not to name it after him.

    Poots of course based him comments on an entirely inaccurate story in the Irish news, now the subject of a complaint to the Press Complaints Comminsion.

  • Shore Road Resident

    The Press Complaints Commission!

    *falls off chair laughing*

  • Prince Eoghan

    What a total no story!

    Just to be clear Gonzo are you suggesting that Poots and his ilk can somehow justify their overt anti-Irish bigotry due to Sinn Fein acting out their Irish Republicanism?

    Hello!

  • What SInn Féin calls its cumainn is entirely up to SF.

    If you want to check out the DUP’s stance on politicising the language, try this statement from Jimmy Spratt for size:

    Over the last 9 months devolution has delivered real benefits for you. We where told that there would be an Irish Language Act, yet DUP Minister Edwin Poots has rubbished that proposal. Do not underestimate the remit of such legislation ? it would have put Irish on a par with English. The people of Loughgall, Richhill, Hamiltonsbawn and Markethill would not have appreciated Irish signage in their local health centre.? Thanks to DUP policy they will not face this prospect.?

    We have also seen devolution deliver greater funding for our culture. For the first time, funding to Ulster-Scots will be greater than funding to the Irish sector. This money can be used for capacity building in order to increase community activity within the Unionist and Protestant family.??

    Belfast Gonzo and his anti Irish fellow travellers should take the DUP muck from their eyes and see what is really happening. The statement from Jimmy Spratt spells it out….

  • Turgon

    Whilst Belfast Gonzo can answer very well for himself; it is unfair to label him anti Irish from this piece.

    I have a certain sympathy for gaelgannaire on this. I can see why Irish speakers would welcome a political party taking Irish seriously and having an Irish speaking local party.

    However, again the problem is that it is SF which has been the cause much of the early politicisation of the language, though I agree the DUP are now following suit. This episode from SF will simply conjure up for unionists more images of “Every word is a bullet” etc. etc.

    It also, as Belfast Gonzo states, gives Poots further cover to not fund Irish; call that bigoted if you wish but it is merely stating an obvious fact that this action by SF will make it easier for Poots to defend his actions regarding Irish and will make his own actions more popular with his constituency.

    I still think there is a position for unionists to adopt of supporting the Irish language without necessarily supporting an ILA. This would have the advantages of helping depoliticise the language, would remove a SF MOPE and reduce SF’s ability to masquerade as the great defender of the Irish language. Such a strategy would, I fear, be too subtle for Poots or many others in the DUP to grasp.

  • Prince Eoghan

    >>It also, as Belfast Gonzo states, gives Poots further cover to not fund Irish;< >call that bigoted if you wish<

  • Prince Eoghan

    Actually I’ve recently heard that Gerry Adams enjoys a nice Warbuton’s piece, the blue kind too the cheeky bugger. What an affront to unionism, let’s boycott that brand of bread.

    Absurd, aye. No more than the BG/Turgon line, giving cover indeed!

  • Turgon

    Prince,
    That is unfair. Of course it is bigoted. However, it will give Poots cover. Personally I have nothing at all against Irish and since some other people want it; I have would be in favour of its support.

    Do not blame me for analysing what Poots has said.

  • DC

    “The statement from Jimmy Spratt spells it out”

    No the DUP misrepresent as much as Sinn Fein do to an electorate who are beginning to find out the truth about where we really are, which is well past the unqualified myths drawn up years ago.

    The DUP has clearly grabbed ‘the power’ on previous notions, they have to maintain it in some ways.

    Unfortunately, that’s the problem now, the extreme parties have risen to the top via alternative stances, rather than go for ‘a power’ to change things most dear to them, or perhaps far too costly in many ways, the extremist politicians have grabbed ‘the power’, which is more workable to other local parties that have some substance.

    Now that they have done it they will be doing all that they can to maintain it but this platform requires more give than its electorate ever expected as time will tell, and time is the greatest healer by which to forget or perhaps discount what was passed for party politics previously.

    Play for time, in a bid to keep power built up on debased politics. They haven’t conned me. DUP-SF must find a way to give or give-out together. Time will help.

    But I cant help but think the power grab has shown such politicians up for wanting just power only, rather than having a real need for it in an attempt to effect change via democratic politics.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Good on Poots for showing the Shinners up for what they actually are [text removed – mods]. They didn’t expect that one from the Culture minister, lol.

  • Quiz Master

    “No the DUP misrepresent as much as Sinn Fein do to an electorate who are beginning to find out the truth about where we really are, which is well past the unqualified myths drawn up years ago.”

    Me thinks the space is being made intentionally or unintentionally for the Fianna Fáil move north. It will make a pleasent change to see true pragmatic republicans on the scene

    I agree very much with turgons assertion as in it explains unionist point of view.
    “However, again the problem is that it is SF which has been the cause much of the early politicisation of the language, though I agree the DUP are now following suit. This episode from SF will simply conjure up for unionists more images of “Every word is a bullet” etc. etc.”

    But if it wasnt for Sinn Féin pushing for these changes we’d still have broadcasting of anything in Irish on tv or radio banned as was the case under the old stormount regime. Effective repression of expression . Freedom of expression being one of the core fundemental pillars of democracy.

    Ulsters my home land you seem to take an abnormal sense of pleasure in pointing out the fact that Sinn Féin members are murdering scum.. the exact same can be said about the DUP, does the body count of dead protestants somehow legitimise your hatred of a language you dont really know anything about. Does it legitimise preventing speakers of that language like myself from gaining rights . Speakers like myself who were never involved in murder nor ever supported it, who never voted for Sinn Féin and never will. Does it?

  • Twinbrook

    The Scots are proud of their language and nation…

    The Welsh are proud of their language and nation…

    We Nationalists are proud of our language and nation..

    Unionists are proud to be…..

    err british

    and ban any semblance of an Irish culture…..

    biggg oon yer poots

  • Ulsters my homeland

    why did the Mods remove my post where I said IRA/Sinn Fein are murderers?

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Concubhar O Liatháin/ Eoghan

    I don’t believe I stated any position on the language. I am certainly not ‘anti’ the language, and don’t have a particularly strong position on the proposed Act either.

    I am a mere observer of the half-wits and tribal politics involved on both sides, so please try and desist from trying to misrepresent what I think about the Irish language itself.

    If people don’t think a DUP minister won’t use the naming of a Dublin cumann after a west Belfast provo to back his own position, they’re living in cloud cuckoo land. You might think Poots wrong, but he’s hardly likely to pass up on the opportunity.

    Observing this pettiness and blogging it is hardly anti-Irish.

  • RG Cuan

    Pootsie, once again, is clutching at every and any half-excuse to cover his own prejudices.

    Sinn Féin, like every other party in the country, can establish an Irish Language branch. Whom they name their branch after reflects the stance of the party, not that of the Irish language community.

    Perhaps the DUP or UUP could make more provisions for Gaelic speakers, but then they couldn’t claim Irish to be a nationalist language anymore, so they won’t. Cumann Carson duine ar bith?

  • Prince Eoghan

    BG – >>it, err, named the cumann after a murdered IRA member. Sweet serendipity for Poots, as the timing of the announcement gave him a good excuse to justify his lack of support for an Irish language act.< >Just to be clear Gonzo are you suggesting that Poots and his ilk can somehow justify their overt anti-Irish bigotry due to Sinn Fein acting out their Irish Republicanism?< >please try and desist from trying to misrepresent what I think about the Irish language itself.< >That is unfair. Of course it is bigoted. However, it will give Poots cover.< >No it does not. Only in a warped parallel universe where petty bigotry counts perhaps.<

  • My understanding is, Belfast Gonzo, that it’s the West Belfast cumann which is to be named after Caoimhín Mac Brádaigh.

    I think that you’re being deliberately obtuse in your attempted linkage of this with Pobal’s conference. The two are coincidental. Certainly Pobal holds no brief for SF and relationships between Pobal and SF have been tense since that party established its own Irish language lobby group, ACHT, to lobby for the Irish Language Act.

    I think Sinn Féin is either behind the Irish language community on the learning curve regarding Irish language issues or it’s the pobal Ghaeilge which are way behind SF on the issue of political scheming and strategising.

    No-one would doubt for a second that Sinn Féin has a right to call a cumann whatever it wishes and if that’s in honour of a republican who was murdered by Michael Stone acting in collusion with the RUC and others then that’s fine by me. I’m not a member of SF and don’t propose to become one.

    Rather than engage in such gesture politics, SF would be better off challenging the DUP on its anti Irish policies in a meaningful way. Like for instance making it clear that they will not co-operate in presenting the pretty picture of NI for the forthcoming Economic Conference if there isn’t a quick u-turn on the axing of the Irish Language Broadcast Fund and a meaningful process to enact the Irish Language Act.

  • Mark McGregor

    To me it comes down to opportunism. SF announced the formation of two Irish language cumann, one was named after an IRA volunteer – nothing unusual there as many cuman are named in this way – then Poots accepts an invite to a Pobal event at 24hrs notice (a man that says his hectic diary previously prevented attending any Irish language event and pretty unusual for any Minister accepting an invitation) to mainly denounce SF/Republican involvement with the Irish language.

    I don’t know why they bothered inviting the man, he came to a Pobal event and ignored those there and indulged himself in a political diatribe.

    But this is the man SF allowed to become culture Minister.

  • Chris Donnelly

    ….gave him a good excuse to justify his lack of support for an Irish language act.

    Gonzo
    Actually, it did nothing of the sort. What Sinn Fein do within the realm of their own political party is entirely a choice for themselves.

    It’s hardly surprising that Sinn Fein would name a cumann after a republican activist- English speaking or Irish speaking- given that virtually all other cumainn are similarly named after deceased republican activists.

    Attempting to use this as an excuse to continue a narrow minded agenda against the Irish language community will ring hollow to any but the most jaundiced observer.

    The ‘party political’ unionist position on this has traditionally been that, because Sinn Fein were the most vocal in supporting the rights of Irish speakers, then they were obliged to oppose such rights.

    Taken to its natural conclusion, then, are nationalists to oppose funding of the Ulster-Scots tradition on the grounds that unionist politicians are the most active members of such groups and advocates?

    Do we extend that to other realms of life here: what about integrated schools? Given the strong advocacy role played by Alliance party members and representatives in establishing and supporting many such schools (to their credit, btw) should we label integrated schools as an ‘Alliance’ project and penalise them accordingly?

    The Minister was obviously instructed by more senior members of his party to deal with the embarassing situation of a Culture Minister dodging one of the largest cultural sectors following the public revelation of his avoidance strategy- not to mention the humourous justification provided.

    That he chose to attend the POBAL event only to further deride the Irish language community only indicates to Irish language activists that they will need to rely even more on political representatives from other political parties to achieve their objectives- and, given the status of Sinn Fein as the holders of the ‘nationalist’ veto within the Assembly/ Executive, then obviously the role of Sinn Fein will be important in delivering for the Irish language community.

    Mark
    But this is the man SF allowed to become culture Minister.

    …and had Sinn Fein not taken the Education post, you could’ve been saying the same about that Department- or another, or another….

  • Mark McGregor

    Chris,

    I could be saying that but as the DUP veto every SF initiative and SF refuse to bite back the Irish Language seems the most glaring example of subservience. Of course endorsing PPP and strike-breaking were issues that came about as an inevitable consequence of the Stormont regime just as water charges will be but I think the ILA is the clearest demonstration yet, many more to come, that Stormont is not a Republican project. Good luck to those trying to find meat on those bones.

  • DC

    Nice try Chris,

    The problem with naming a cumann or as is claimed Irish Language Group after a dead IRA man is that in order for Irish language to grow it must be at best unopposed, which can only happen if it is devoid of contentious connotations.

    Northern Ireland has a populace with a large part recognising that the IRA murdered and killed and they sure didn’t do it on behalf of the Irish language.

    How is the language to be shared, and how are nationalists / republicans ever to get Stormont to deliver for them whenever Sinn Fein debase language development by attributing dead IRA men to newly formed Irish groups. The IRA do have a shared history with the people of Northern Ireland but it is shared to a reductionist level of blatant, and widely televised, murder.

    Alliance may well have helped develop integrated schools but they did so with the help of integrationist movements, headed up by non-contentious figureheads of course in support with local parents.

    The least you could do is appreciate that a shared future is possible if the best parts of true culture can grow in an Assembly available to develop it, yet still Sinn Fein can’t see past themselves.

    Because of this ridiculous approach take it as a given that this will stack up points for those who wish to oppose even for the sake of it.

    Sooner Fianna Fail come up here the better at least they will stop all the pandering to the violent elements of a redundant sectarian history and instead deliver on cultural politics, which are anything but unreasonable.

  • Frustrated Democrat

    Concubhar O Liatháin

    ‘Like for instance making it clear that they will not co-operate in presenting the pretty picture of NI for the forthcoming Economic Conference if there isn’t a quick u-turn on the axing of the Irish Language Broadcast Fund and a meaningful process to enact the Irish Language Act.’

    So this is more important than jobs for everyone in NI, get a grip……….. this is why you are mired in petty politics rather than the big picture – health, education and jobs v the Irish Language – no contest.

  • Quiz Master

    Frustrated Democrat you sound more like a Frustrated Autocrat.

  • Gerry lvs Castro

    ‘health, education and jobs v the Irish Language – no contest.’

    You’d think so FD wouldn’t you?
    But not with the miserable shower of navel-gazing bigots (otherwise known as SF / DUP) in Stormont.

    Why bother with real issues people actually care about when you can arse around with the Irish language, marches, provo commemerations and emblems?

    Perhaps we could split Stormont into two chambers — one for the mopes to fight over ‘important’ stuff like language rights and inclusive spaces, and one to actually deal with reality.

  • RepublicanStones

    I suspect that for a few unionists the irish language is a battle still to be won. Their beloved motherland couldn’t quite manage to wipe it out complelety (not for the want of trying) and so it remains an open sore.
    Poots laughable excuse of his late acceptance to the event (trouble getting the invite translated) is sad, obviously nothing to do with the revelation of his zealous attendance at OOOlssster-scots events.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Eoghan

    I feel you and I are arguing over the semantics rather than the substance of the issue. To try to be clearer, this provided a ‘good’ excuse for Poots in that here is a clear example of the politicisation of Irish just as he turns up for his first meeting with Pobal.

    To answer your query, that does not “somehow justify their overt anti-Irish bigotry”, but in the eyes of Poots, justifies his position.

    My own thoughts would be something along these lines: Sinn Fein are fully entitled to call their cumainn whatever they like. But if SF truly believe that the Irish language should not be politicised, continuing to do the exact opposite is a peculiar way of going about things.

    Concubhar O Liatháin

    Of course it was a coincidence – I suggest you check out the definition of serendipity… doh!

    But at least you recognise that SF is involved in ‘gesture politics’ – and so is Poots. In fact, that’s similar to what my point is, and I thank you for helping clarify matters.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    SRR

    I don’t believe Concubhar works for Lá any more.

  • Shore Road Resident

    I’m stunned by Concubhar O Liatháin’s cry to sabotage economic conferences if his hobby news-sheet isn’t subsidised.
    If he can’t get a job then nobody else gets a job – is that his position?
    Quite a stance, given his present employer’s enthusiasm for taxpayer-promoted inward investment.

  • Prince Eoghan

    BG – >>Semantics< < Aye probably.>>but in the eyes of Poots, justifies his position.< >My own thoughts would be something along these lines: Sinn Fein are fully entitled to call their cumainn whatever they like. But if SF truly believe that the Irish language should not be politicised, continuing to do the exact opposite is a peculiar way of going about things.<

  • I think SRR resident should try to learn to read ENGLISH. In no place did I say that the Economic Conference should be sabotaged. I think it’s right, however, that a truthful picture of the ongoing campaign by the DUP and the UUP against the Irish language should be pointed out to the incoming investors to see what they’re actually investing in.

    As for my own position vis a vis Lá Nua, it’s not important. I am no longer the editor and merely provide copy to them on a freelance basis.

    I highlighted two issues – the axing of the Irish Language Broadcast Fund and the shelving of the Irish Language Act as the reasons for my proposal regarding peaceful protests etc around the time of the Economic Conference. There was no mention of Lá Nua though, given the DUP’s avowed support for the European Charter on Regional and Minority Languages, its stance in not giving the Irish language printed media additional support as sought by the Committee of Experts in its report last March is mystifying.

    I am aware that the issue regarding the Broadcast Fund and the Irish Language Act and the overall bile being directed at the Irish Language by the DUP is being raised with the US Congress at present.

    I also propose that the Irish Government should with-hold any payment of the £40m innovation fund until such time as the Irish Language Broadcast Fund has its future assured. The Irish Government is a signatory of the St Andrews Agreement, to allow the Department of Finance and Personnel to siphon funds away from the ILBF for their matching innovation fund would be a farce.

  • Briso

    “If people don’t think a DUP minister won’t use the naming of a Dublin cumann after a west Belfast provo to back his own position, they’re living in cloud cuckoo land.”

    I believe that a number of SF cumanns carry out their business in English and are named after IRA men. Clearly this supports the position of those of us who think English is part of their war on the Protestant community, culture and nationality and I therefore intend to speak Dutch (until some Shinner does).

  • victor1

    Poots doesn’t need an excuse to behave as a bigot, he was reared to be one.

  • Danny

    To my mind, Sinn Féin are doing more harm than good to the Irish language in Northern Ireland. And have been for some time now.

    From their tokenistic/condescending use of Irish in the Assembly, to the cumann issues.

    And nevermind Northern Ireland, to many unionists, it gives a bad impression of the language across the entire Island. I think the Irish Language Broadcast Fund is much more important then an Irish Language Act.

    What would an Irish Language Act actually achieve? How many Irish speakers would have to be employed by the State in order to provide services to speakers in that language? The lack of an act isn’t stopping people from speaking Irish or creating gaelscoileanna, is it?

    The most important thing people can do for the language is to learn it, speak it and most importantly, raise their kids with it in the home.

  • Democratic

    What I find worrying is that the vast majority of Irish Language fans here don’t see anything remotely questionable about the “Largest Nationalist Party” in NI linking Gaelic with violent Irish Republicanism in such an overt way -but then Sinn Fein have been doing that for a long time anyway….
    Yeah of course the Sinners can call an inter-party group whatever they want but seriously…..It’s as if they were looking for a reaction – but then again that would totally go against their recent form wouldn’t it?……..
    None of this justifies Poots’s position of course but it is quite telling in my eyes on other issues.