The Irish Language, a story of non-communication

The running sore of Irish language policy needs attention on its merits. Across the party divide, it seems to be arousing more bad feeling than any other single subject. Policing and Justice may be devolved sooner than the language policy is settled. Gerry Adams put it at the top of his recent speech in London.

The outstanding issues from St. Andrews including the Irish Language Act can be sorted out if there is the necessary political leadership and resolve. But let me be very clear.

The rights and entitlements of citizens cannot and will not be subject to the whims of the most right wing or reactionary elements within political unionism. We will simply not allow it.

Jeering like this from the DUP’s Nelson McCausland represents at best a Pyhrric victory and a shorter-lived one than he thought.

Adams’ success in outflanking the DUP by winning a major point and £6 million from the British government, naturally infuriated the DUP, as Sammy Wilson made all too clear yesterday.

On the language and all that it signifies, the new political system blatantly isn’t working. Yet as far as I can make out, nobody’s doing any fresh thinking. How can this be?

A basic problem is that the language isn’t the kind of issue that naturally compels cross community support. Everyone needs schools and hospitals. The language is a less quantifiable issue about cultural and political rights and values, the politics of identity, in this case desired mainly by one side.

It has long been over-politicised for the reasons of history we know. Yet it would be naive to think it can be settled other than through politics. Yet again, appeals to the equality agenda, however valid, are not enough.

Let’s suggest an appeal to self interest. It is in the interests of unionism to allow nationalists things unionists don’t particularly like, provided they present no realistic threat. Deny them all gains on the language, and they will opt more and more for Irish unity rather than stick with devolution. Deny them translations of some more official documentation, and they will rely more on the Republic’s, thus enhancing their all-Ireland sensibility at northern expense.

More broadly, the issue goes to the heart of what sort of society and politics we wish to create.

It is not hopelessly idealistic to feel that the voluntary apartheid of an “Ulster British” and “Irish Irish” society is bleak and unattractive.

A strategy of carve -up won’t work on the big issues, if the budget is merely divvied up and each side goes off and does its own thing. Sooner or later, there will be a serious clash.

Nor is a grudging deal involving the language and something else good enough.

We need to hear more again from the wise, who have contributed in the past towards articulating a cultural proposition we all can live with, like Maurice Hayes and Michael and Edna Longley in the Cultural Traditions venture. I don’t want to land anybody in it and I’m sure there are others too, who are qualified to lift the tone of this debate.

A new effort is overdue here, with a political rationale added. The last exercise I’m aware of ( and I admit my limitations in this field) was made before power sharing.
A descent from their high horses from the politicians would also be in order.

To begin with, from republicans and nationalists should come an admission that it is unaffordable and unnecessary to translate all official publications at public expense. Start making priorities.

And from unionists, that Ulster Scots has been over-promoted as a counter to Irish in a mutually insensitive political campaign.

If the politics of constructive ambiguity has run its course, so has the politics of tit-for-tat.

  • willowfield

    HORSEMAN

    So, you do think that violence can be justified?

    I’m afraid I can’t give you answer that is any different to the one I gave the last time you posed that question, or any of the previous times: of course it can be justified in certain circumstances. You would do well to read what I write and remember it.

    Last resort I can certainly understand, if you’re talking of self-defence. But do you have anything else in mind? Is ‘last resort’ violence limited to response to external violence?

    I’m afraid I don’t know what “external violence” means, so I can’t answer. I don’t see the difficulty in understanding what “last resort” means: it means only after all non-violent means of achieving one’s aim have been exhausted.

    What is ‘just cause’? And who has the right to define what is ‘just’?

    Unsurprisingly, “just cause” means that your cause (aim, purpose) is just (fair and right). So, for example, using violence to invade another country and annex its territory against the will of the people living there is not a just cause, whereas using violence to stymie such an invasion would be a just cause.

    As for who has a “right” to define what is just, it is not a “right”, but a duty. We are all duty-bound only to act in a way that is just – that is surely self-evident – and therefore we have a duty to consider the justness of our actions.

    Proper authority strikes me as a kind of ‘divine right of kings’ argument, that automatically excludes any insurrection against an existing authority. Do you agree?

    No.

    And who gets to decide who is an ‘authority’?

    Those intending to use violence must only do so on proper authority. If they purport to act on behalf of a group, for example, then they have a duty to seek the authority of that group.

    ‘Right intention’ is entirely subjective, and can be argued by almost anyone to justify whatever they wish.

    I don’t see how, for example, it could be argued that annexing a neighbouring country’s territory in order, say, to enslave its people could ever be considered by any reasonable person to be a “right intention”. It is difficult to distinguish between “just cause” and “right intention”, but I think the latter is to guard against hiding behind a “just cause” in order to achieve aims that are unjust.

    Are there limitation, in your view? Who gets to decide what is ‘right’, and on the basis if what criteria?

    “Limitation” to what? It is the duty of every person or group of persons to decide what is right. Where law exists and is enforceable, ultimately it is a court that decides.

    ‘Proportionality’ I understand, but it refers to the level of violence, not the right to use it.

    Indeed.

    I fear that your list of possible justifications for violence is simply unworkable – most of them are open to a multitude of interpretations. They rely too much on subjective criteria which can be argued in different ways.

    First, it is not “my list”, but the product of centuries of liberal philosophising and thinking.

    Second, because reflecting on the rightness or wrongness of our actions and their consequences might on occasion be difficult, it is your view that we should not bother to do so and, instead, revert to a “survival of the fittest” scenario where there is no obligation on anyone to act justly and aggression, greed, wrongdoing and violence are allowed to prosper? That is a thoroughly irresponsible attitude, but hardly one that is surprising from a PIRA apologist.

    Unless you can define them more precisely your list seems to be a carte blanche for anyone (including republicans) to justify their own violence.

    Er, it is quite the opposite! Employing criteria, all of which must be met in order to justify violence, is hardly providing “carte blanche”. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Your ignorance is dispiriting.

    CONCUBHAR

    According to you, then, State run unionist death squads were ok because they were engaged in a just cause – protecting society from crime.

    Yet another outrageous accusation. I have never said any such thing. Why is it that, instead of apologising and retracting your allegations, you are now adding to them? Retract it now.

    Tell me, how do you protect society from crime by murdering innocent civilians?

    I don’t see how you can.

    You’ve dug yourself a deep enough hole, Willow. You should stop digging. Let’s get back to discussing the topic of the thread…..

    I haven’t dug any hole, deep or otherwise.

    We can get back to discussing the topic when you display the honesty and integrity to withdraw the serious allegations that you have made against me. Your bigotry is breathtaking.

  • Be careful whom you call a ‘bigot’, breathtaking or otherwise. Everything I have said about you is based on a reasonable interpretation what you yourself said.

    For instance on the question of unionist death squads. In the context of a question I put in which their murderous activities were mentioned you responded that a just cause was to protect society from crime. If that’s not a tacit endorsement of the activities of death squads as long as they’re ‘protecting the state’ by murdering its citizens, I don’t know what it is….

    Get off your high horse.

  • willowfield,

    Your long response provided precisely no clarification. You still are stuck on the issues of ‘just’ and ‘right’, and your answers continue to provide any group with an argument to justify their actions.

    As for who has a “right” to define what is just, it is not a “right”, but a duty. We are all duty-bound only to act in a way that is just – that is surely self-evident – and therefore we have a duty to consider the justness of our actions.

    How does this explain what is ‘just’? Please explain.

    Those intending to use violence must only do so on proper authority. If they purport to act on behalf of a group, for example, then they have a duty to seek the authority of that group.

    Like the First Dáil, for example? Or the Second? The ‘group’ on behalf of which the IRA purports to act. Thin ice, willowfield, thin ice!

    It is the duty of every person or group of persons to decide what is right.

    So, according to you, the IRA and/or individual members thereof, can justifiable use violence if they consider it right? That thin ice is cracking fast!

    Your ignorance is dispiriting.

    Ad hominem, and silly. Until you can provide a water-tight definition of justice, then you are leaving the door open to any group to justify violence in almost any situation. Amazing!

  • willowfield

    Be careful whom you call a ‘bigot’, breathtaking or otherwise. Everything I have said about you is based on a reasonable interpretation what you yourself said.

    It’s absolutely not reasonable at all. There is no basis for your accusations – and this is demonstrated by your inability to explain how you have reached these “interpretations” and your failure to offer any kind of evidence. Despite this, you lack the integrity to withdraw them. Your “interpretations” come from your prejudices.

    For instance on the question of unionist death squads. In the context of a question I put in which their murderous activities were mentioned you responded that a just cause was to protect society from crime.

    You were talking about the security forces (“the state in NI”, as you put it). You said:

    “That would be all very well, Willowfield, except this ‘lawful activity’ by the state in NI includes running unionist death squads who targeted innocent British civilians living in NI for assassination. So as far as I’m concerned, the British State/Unionist death squads etc are as illegitimate as the IRA. They also fail, among other tests, the ‘just cause’ criteria set out by yourself.”

    Your reference to the “just cause” criteria was applied to the security forces as a whole, not to “unionist death squads”. Your use of the word “also” even distinguishes between your point about “running death squads” (as you put it) and having “just cause”. Further, in my response I clearly made a distinction between lawful and unlawful acts on the part of the security forces.

    So enough of your sophistry. You have no grounds for your allegations against me and must withdraw them.

    If that’s not a tacit endorsement of the activities of death squads as long as they’re ‘protecting the state’ by murdering its citizens, I don’t know what it is….

    Shame on you for employing sophistry in order to misrepresent my views.

    Get off your high horse.

    It is you who are on a high horse – you are making serious, unfounded allegations against me and won’t get off your high horse to retract them.

    Your conduct is despicable.

  • RG Cuan

    Can’t believe you are still talking about this.

    The thread was about Irish Gaelic.

  • willowfield

    Above was to CONCUBHAR.

    HORSEMAN

    If you don’t understand what “just” and “right” mean, and are incapable of reaching a judgement as to what is just and right, then, frankly, that might explain your apparent sympathy for such unjust organisations as the PIRA.

    Like the First Dáil, for example? Or the Second?

    Yes.

    The ‘group’ on behalf of which the IRA purports to act.

    Er, the First and Second Dáil no longer exist!

    Thin ice, willowfield, thin ice!

    ???

    So, according to you, the IRA and/or individual members thereof, can justifiable use violence if they consider it right? That thin ice is cracking fast!

    No. Everyone has a duty to do right. Murdering people is wrong. This is basic stuff. The PIRA and its members had a duty to do right, and failed.

    Ad hominem, and silly. Until you can provide a water-tight definition of justice, then you are leaving the door open to any group to justify violence in almost any situation. Amazing!

    I’m sorry, but you are revealing incredible ignorance. Any group can claim that its actions are justifiable, but that does not make them so. In the western, liberal world we have a shared moral understanding – it is universally accepted that murder is wrong, for example – just because murderers might proclaim that it is right doesn’t make it so.

  • willowfield,

    Just to keep things relatively simple, could you explain to me your concepts of ‘justice’ and ‘right’? You keep saying that people have a duty to do right, but without explaining what that means.

    [Go mo leithscéal, a RG Cuan … !]

  • willowfield

    … it is universally accepted that murder is wrong

    Yes, that is a commonly shared value. Yet over-ridden by states and people when it suits them. So clearly not universal.

    What ‘evil’ trumps the prohibition on murder, though? What possible justification, for example, did unionists have in 1918 to threaten murder? Were they being threatened with death? Or merely democracy …

  • OTT

    I thought the thread was on British Irish Gaelic?

  • Everything I said stands – but even if I were considering a retraction, which would be unfounded, there would be no need as you are posting from behind a pseudonym, like a coward. Either that or you’re a malfunctioning computer programme caught in an endless loop, squawking in CAPITAL letters from time to time.

  • ggn

    RG,

    Cé gur theip ar Ghort na Saileog leis na hargóintí, d’éirigh sé lena mhisean, is é sin an díospóireacht réasúnta ar an Ghaeilge a scrios, d’éirigh go breá leis agus d’éirigh go furast leis.

    Deanaimis neamhaird air agus ar a leitheád, sin point s’agam.

    Ná lig do na daoine seo ár dteanga uasal a tharraigt isteach sa salachar!

    Sea, is ar mo chapall ard atáim, agus capall breá atá ann. Capall nach raibh cead ag Tadhg a bheith aige tráth dá raibh.

    Éirimis as an các seo a chairde. Is sinne na Gaeil!

    Na Gaeil Abúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúúú!

  • willowfield

    Just to keep things relatively simple, could you explain to me your concepts of ‘justice’ and ‘right’? You keep saying that people have a duty to do right, but without explaining what that means.

    If you don’t understand what “justice” and “right” means, I’m not going to get into a philosophical discussion about it. Suffice to say, these are universal, shared concepts in the western world – if you don’t understand them, I pity you.

    But I will remember that your exist in a moral, anarchic vacuum – that perhaps explains any views you may have in favour of PIRA terrorism.

    Yes, that is a commonly shared value. Yet over-ridden by states and people when it suits them. So clearly not universal.

    Yes, it is universal. When states commit murder, we understand it to be wrong, just as we do when an individual commits murder.

    What ‘evil’ trumps the prohibition on murder, though? What possible justification, for example, did unionists have in 1918 to threaten murder? Were they being threatened with death? Or merely democracy …

    Zzzzzzzzz

    Are you being deliberately obtuse? It has already been explained to you that in certain limited circumstances, violence can be justified. It has been explained that, when a people’s right to self-determination is to be suppressed, that people has a right to defend that right. The right to self-determination is universal: it is not exclusive only to some peoples.

  • willowfield

    CONCUBHAR

    Everything I said stands

    No it doesn’t. And your failure and inability to back it up demonstrates that it doesn’t stand.

    You seem to be a snide, self-regarding person who doesn’t have any sense of justice about him, who is prepared to make serious, unfounded allegations about people and refuse to withdraw them when he can’t back them up.

    And droning on about a pseudonym doesn’t remove your moral obligation to withdraw accusations which you can’t back up. It doesn’t matter that I use a pseudonym – I post here regularly under the same name. Unfounded accusations against anyone – regardless of what name they use – are simply wrong.

    In any case, you claim to use your real name, but we can’t know whether that is true. What reason have we to believe you, based on your conduct here?

  • Are you being deliberately obtuse? It has already been explained to you
    that in certain limited circumstances, violence can be justified. It has
    been explained that, when a people’s right to self-determination is to be
    suppressed, that people has a right to defend that right. The right to
    self-determination is universal: it is not exclusive only to some peoples.

    Which brings you right back to the IRA. Now it’s you who’s legitimising the IRA. After all the people you’re talking about, presumably the people of Ulster in 1918, weren’t a homogenous group, all singing from the same hymn sheet. They included a significant nationalist pro United Ireland minority and your position amounts to allowing them to be coerced illegally into a partitioned six counties.

    Your equivocation about political violence and your hypocritical attacks on those who point out this equivocation are DESPICABLE and OUTRAGEOUS.

    And HILARIOUS.

  • willowfield,

    Your inability to even define concepts like ‘justice’ (for which there are many competing interpretations) or ‘right’ (ditto) is duly noted.

    If you cannot even define justice, then you cannot say what is, or is not, just. Repeating that it is a “universal, shared concept” doesn’t work.

    And incidentally, murder is not ‘universally’ considered wrong. Governments (including the British) use it when it suits them. You support its use – I quote; “when a people’s right to self-determination is to be suppressed, that people has a right to defend that right.” So you consider ‘self-determination’ a greater ‘right’ than the right to life? You sound like an IRA apologist – the people of west Belfast, south Armagh, or wherever, also have a right to ‘self-determination, and if they need to kill some British soldiers to get it, then according to you, they have that right.

    Amazing stuff from you, willowfield!

  • willowfield

    Which brings you right back to the IRA. Now it’s you who’s legitimising the IRA.

    Which IRA are you talking about?

    After all the people you’re talking about, presumably the people of Ulster in 1918, weren’t a homogenous group, all singing from the same hymn sheet.

    No-one said they were.

    They included a significant nationalist pro United Ireland minority and your position amounts to allowing them to be coerced illegally into a partitioned six counties.

    ????

    No population is homogenous. The Irish nationalist position – and, presumably yours – was to “allow” the entire unionist population to be “coerced illegally into” an all-Ireland state. Your hypocrisy is incredible.

    My position, on the other hand, is to recognise and facilitate the rights of both peoples. Not allow one to suppress the other.

    Your equivocation about political violence and your hypocritical attacks on those who point out this equivocation are DESPICABLE and OUTRAGEOUS.

    Equivocation about political violence?? What does this mean? My position is absolutely clear and spelled-out – political violence, like any violence, may only ever be justified in very particular circumstances. That is not “equivocation” – it is abundantly clear.

    As for “hypocrisy”, my position is entirely consistent and applied objectively to all situations. Unlike you, I do not say that one people has the right to suppress another – THAT is hypocrisy.

    Further, my position is open and honest. I do not hide behind unfounded accusations against those with whom I disagree. I do not form my opinions about people based on sectarian prejudice. I do not lie. I do not refuse to retract accusations when I am unable to back them up.

    Surely when you reflect on your conduct on this thread you will realise just how unreasonable a person you have been.

  • willowfield,

    … It doesn’t matter that I use a pseudonym – I post here regularly under the same name.

    Why are you afraid to use your real name here? You use it when you wrire letters to the papers (e.g. the ‘English’ Independent)

  • RG Cuan

    Tá daoine áirithe go fóill gafa ag an chacamas seo.

    Ní fiú labhairt leis an phrioll seo.

  • ggn

    RG,

    Sin capall ard deas agat a mhic, cá mhéad a bhá air? Níos mó na £5 tá mé ag déanamh?

  • willowfield,

    My position, on the other hand, is to recognise and facilitate the rights of both peoples. Not allow one to suppress the other.

    How? Joint sovereignty? If not, then what?

    My position is absolutely clear and spelled-out – political violence, like any violence, may only ever be justified in very particular circumstances.

    Which you have yet to explain. Please do so.

  • willowfield

    HORSEMAN

    Read this, if you do not know what justice is:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justice

    It might be a start.

    And incidentally, murder is not ‘universally’ considered wrong. Governments (including the British) use it when it suits them.

    Just because a government “uses murder when it suits it” doesn’t make it right.

    You support its use – I quote; ”when a people’s right to self-determination is to be suppressed, that people has a right to defend that right.”

    Defending the right to self-determination does not need to involve murder.

    So you consider ‘self-determination’ a greater ‘right’ than the right to life?

    The former is a collective right, the latter an individual right. Neither should be transgressed.

    Is it your view that the Polish had no right to defend themselves against the German invasion in 1939?

    You sound like an IRA apologist – the people of west Belfast, south Armagh, or wherever, also have a right to ‘self-determination, and if they need to kill some British soldiers to get it, then according to you, they have that right.

    Absolute tosh.

    I’ve already explained ad nauseum that violence may only be justified in certain, limited circumstances. Those circumstances do not exist and have not existed in respect of the people listed above.

    Second, the people of west Belfast or south Armagh do not even assert any right to self-determination.

    Amazing stuff from you, willowfield!

    No – it’s amazing misrepresentation by you. Either that or incredible ignorance and/or stupidity.

  • willowfield

    Why are you afraid to use your real name here?

    Probably the same reason as you are.

    You use it when you wrire letters to the papers (e.g. the ‘English’ Independent)

    I don’t.

  • willowfield

    HORSEMAN

    How? Joint sovereignty? If not, then what?

    Lord, give me patience.

    Partition.

    Which you have yet to explain.

    Stop lying.

  • willowfield

    I am very familiar with the wikipedia article on justice. Amongst other things, it demonstrates the incredible weakness of your argument. As it shows, there are many conflicting definitions. Which is your idea of the ‘correct’ one?

    Why are you afraid to use your real name here?
    Probably the same reason as you are.

    Who knows? Certainly not you!

    I don’t.

    I’m not going to ‘out’ you, but that is, as you know, a lie.

  • willowfield,

    Partition.

    Greenflag will be pleased. Finally he has a companion!

    Now … where would you draw the new border? And how will you ensure that no-one loses their ‘right’ to self-determination?

  • willowfield

    HORSEMAN

    I am very familiar with the wikipedia article on justice. Amongst other things, it demonstrates the incredible weakness of your argument. As it shows, there are many conflicting definitions. Which is your idea of the ‘correct’ one?

    Look: “just”, according to my dictionary, means “right” and “fair”. “Right” means “morally or legally acceptable” and “fair” means “reasonable and just”. If you have a difficulty in understanding the meaning of words, that, I’m afraid is your problem and not mine. Use it as an excuse to justify wrongdoing if you choose, but it won’t make it right.

    I’m not going to ‘out’ you, but that is, as you know, a lie.

    It’s not a lie: I’ve never written a letter using my real name to the Independent. I don’t even read it.

    Greenflag will be pleased. Finally he has a companion!

    There are many more people than Greenflag who support partition.

    Now … where would you draw the new border?

    The “new border”??

  • willowfield,

    Look: “just”, according to my dictionary, means “right” and “fair”. “Right” means “morally or legally acceptable” and “fair” means “reasonable and just”.

    Um, let’s play ‘spot the circularity’ … ‘just’ means ‘fair’ and … ‘fair’ means ‘just’. You’re going nowhere here, willowfield.

    If you have a difficulty in understanding the meaning of words, that, I’m afraid is your problem and not mine.

    I have my own understanding of all subjective terms. Problem is, they are subjective. They have no ‘universal’ meanings. I am merely asking you for your understanding, to try to see where you’re coming from. A refusal to answer is OK, I guess, but don’t try and hide it. Be honest and say that you’re not going to tell me.

    The “new border”??

    Yes. The one that you would like to see replace the current one. Even you must admit that it does not allow self-determination to every group or individual. So where would your preferred border be?

  • willowfield

    Um, let’s play ‘spot the circularity’ … ‘just’ means ‘fair’ and … ‘fair’ means ‘just’. You’re going nowhere here, willowfield.

    I’m not intending to go anywhere, I’m happy right here in the modern world where our shared values are understood. If you don’t understand the natural meaning of words, that is your problem, not mine. In that case it is you who needs to go somewhere – like school, perhaps.

    I have my own understanding of all subjective terms. Problem is, they are subjective. They have no ‘universal’ meanings.

    Well, happily for western society, the consensus among the vast majority of people is that there are universal concepts of fairness, freedom, justice, etc., that we all share. Sometimes these are even codified and turned into doctrines, laws, declarations, etc.

    Yes. The one that you would like to see replace the current one.

    I never said that I would like to see a new border, I’m afraid. Are you unable to engage in discussion without having to misrepresent people?

  • willowfield,

    I never said that I would like to see a new border, I’m afraid.

    You said: “The right to self-determination is universal: it is not exclusive only to some peoples.” (willowfield on Jul 08, 2008 @ 12:48 PM)

    Either you are disagreeing with yourself (!) or you would like to see a new border, thanks to which all peoples can enjoy self-determination.

    Which is it?

  • … the consensus among the vast majority of people is that there are universal concepts …

    Can you not spot the obvious flaw here? ‘Vast majority’ does not mean ‘universal’, unless you genuinely believe that those who disagree do not count at all.

  • Lenny

    Well Willowfield, it seems your pedantry is coming back to bite you on the arse. I actually feel a bit sorry for you now. Horseman is running rings around you and is enjoying himself doing it. You obviously can’t see that. Why not bow out now?

  • willowfield

    HORSEMAN

    You said: “The right to self-determination is universal: it is not exclusive only to some peoples.” (willowfield on Jul 08, 2008 @ 12:48 PM)

    Indeed. And your point is?

    Either you are disagreeing with yourself (!) or you would like to see a new border, thanks to which all peoples can enjoy self-determination.

    I’m afraid that doesn’t follow at all. I don’t disagree with myself, nor do I want to see a new border.

    Can you not spot the obvious flaw here? ‘Vast majority’ does not mean ‘universal’, unless you genuinely believe that those who disagree do not count at all.

    Well, to all intents and purposes, universal is an entirely adequate description. There may well be a few crackpots such as yourself who don’t share these values, but they are universal values nonetheless in the sense that they are not confined to one place or one country or one person – they are commonplace, accepted without question, etc. Does that help?

  • willowfield

    Well Willowfield, it seems your pedantry is coming back to bite you on the arse. I actually feel a bit sorry for you now. Horseman is running rings around you and is enjoying himself doing it. You obviously can’t see that. Why not bow out now?

    Well, Lenny, you are free to explain how you think he’s running rings round me. I note, however, that you elected not to.

    Asking dumb-ass questions and deliberately misrepresenting what I say is hardly “running rings”.

    Bye, Lenny.

  • On Friday it was announced by the NSMC that Foras na Gaeilge is to locate an office, housing five ‘workers’ in Donegal. However, today, in Dublin, it seems the Government is about to announce a review of the Decentralisation programme. Basically, goodbye decentralisation. It’s too expensive and isn’t going to happen. Looks like Foras will have to stay put….

    The entire economic crisis is also likely to cast a shadow on the plans to announce a 20 year strategy for Ireland to become bilingual by 2028 and the proposed plan to aid the Gaeltacht in its effort to halt the language decline therein…..

    Fresh thinking is needed now….fresh thinking of how to convince the powers that be that language revival can be a dynamic force in helping to bring about economic progress…

  • willowfield

    Concubhar

    Have you had time to reflect on your conduct in this thread?

    What have you got to lose by withdrawing your allegations? Why won’t you do so?

  • Insight

    Flip me.

    Having had a fruitless day in work, I decided to read something about the political ramifications of the use of the Irish language.

    I realise that there are deep-seated tensions here, which stretch beyond this thread and which don’t involve me, but please, Willowfield, if you would not like to discuss the Irish language on this thread will you please refrain from posting on it?

    Good God, must we have to trawl through this absolute dribble every time?

  • ggn

    Insight,

    Surely old boy there is a standing gentlemans agreement here that one does not admit that one is ‘in work’.

  • Concubhar

    Have you had time to reflect on your conduct in this thread?

    What have you got to lose by withdrawing your allegations? Why won’t you do so?

    Posted by willowfield on Jul 08, 2008 @ 02:49 PM

    I stand over everything I’ve written. So now go away and boil your head for all I care…

  • willowfield

    I stand over everything I’ve written

    How can you possibly stand over something if you can’t back it up?

    A completely ludicrous, and thoroughly dishonest, position.

    Apologies for the ad hominem remark, but you have shown nothing but contempt for me – based, I can only presume, on sectarian prejudice – you have shown yourself to be a pathetic, unpleasant character, with not a shred of integrity.

  • earnan
  • Insight

    Ah yes, I meant “at home” obviously.

    Annnnyway, trolls aside…

    What can be done to attempt to encourage greater unionist understanding and appreciation of the irish language?

    Is such a thing possible, do you think, or even desirable? Given the proclaimed britishness of the unionist section of our community, is the best that we can hope for a statutorily guaranteed facilitation of the irish language? (Of course, whether we achieve that or not is another story)

    I suppose what I’m asking is, given the history of “unionist” affiliation with the irish language, and disregarding the rights and wrongs of how the language has become a political issue (which it undoubtedly has, for a myriad of reasons) is there any point in attempting to achieve unionist acceptance and even ownership of the language in the 21st century?

    Because, were that possible, it would make protection of the language that much easier.

    Or must we always be fighting every step of the way?

    What do you all reckon?


  • Is such a thing possible, do you think, or even desirable? Given the proclaimed britishness of the unionist section of our community, is the best that we can hope for a statutorily guaranteed facilitation of the irish language? (Of course, whether we achieve that or not is another story)

    I suppose what I’m asking is, given the history of “unionist” affiliation with the irish language, and disregarding the rights and wrongs of how the language has become a political issue (which it undoubtedly has, for a myriad of reasons) is there any point in attempting to achieve unionist acceptance and even ownership of the language in the 21st century?

    Yes – there is no doubt a reasonable wing of unionism, though not on this site or in the leadership of the different parties. It’s important to counter ignorant attitudes wherever they arise….

  • Devil Éire

    OTT

    “I thought the thread was on British Irish Gaelic?”

    What on earth is “British Irish Gaelic” ?

  • Steve

    willow apparently thinks he who yells longest and loudest wins the arguement, he can’t even see that he is wrong when his own words are used

    As for the Irish language as a 2 time tourist of nIreland and hopefully time and money provided three time tourist I would love to see more Irishness around including signs and speakers, though I understand not a jot. It would add to the character after all if I wanted to go to british scotland I would just go to scotland in the first place. or england for that matter

    i love your wee country and the relative freedom that now abounds there, It allows me to visit europe with out having to put up with the crowds. I even liked the month I spent there in the winter of 2005 as your winters are wonderfully mild, I only regret I packed my heavy coat as it was completely unneccesary

  • ggn

    Insight,

    “What can be done to attempt to encourage greater unionist understanding and appreciation of the irish language?”

    I think that but just getting on with using the bloody thing normally that after a while most people wil just realise that it aint no big deal. It takes time but I see it everyday.

    But I also think that engagement with unionists should be selective and in control environments, otherwise as is witnessed here, in the assembly etc. the language just gets dragged down into sectarian politics where it detractors wish it to be.

    I say that we should ignore all bigots, mockers, ignoramouses etc. and engage in debate only with resonable people.

    Myself and Cnocubhar will just have to agree to disagree on that one.

    Thats what I think, here at home!!

  • willowfield

    STEVE

    willow apparently thinks he who yells longest and loudest wins the arguement, he can’t even see that he is wrong when his own words are used

    First, the word is “argument”.

    Second, none of my words indicate anything resembling the horrific accusations hurled against me by the dishonest Concubhar and Horseman.

    Their tactic – when they are unable to engage in argument – is to smear their opponent and run away. Shame on them – they cannot move beyond their sectarian prejudices.

  • Steve

    Willow

    You lost the plot, the ARGUEMENT and the run of yourself.

    the only one who can’t see that is you

  • willowfield

    You don’t win arguments through dishonesty, misrepresentation and attributing positions to others that they never expressed. Sorry to disappoint, although it’s not surprising that you give credence to such methods.

  • RepublicanStones

    Willows i think you need an ‘aul dollap of sudo cream on your ass, as it was well and truly spanked. I hear it cheap in Lidl, you’ll need plenty. Hasta luego lol.

  • RepublicanStones

    Willows i think you need an ‘aul dollap of sudo cream on your ass, as it was well and truly spanked. I hear it cheap in Lidl, you’ll need plenty. Hasta luego lol.

  • RepublicanStones

    Willows i think you need an ‘aul dollap of sudo cream on your ass, as it was well and truly spanked. I hear it cheap in Lidl, you’ll need plenty. Hasta luego lol.

    P.S
    ‘You don’t win arguments through dishonesty, misrepresentation and attributing positions to others that they never expressed. Sorry to disappoint, although it’s not surprising that you give credence to such methods.’

    repeat above whilst looking at a mirror.

  • willowfield

    Funny, RS, if my “ass was spanked”, presumably you’d be able to demonstrate how. I note you haven’t.

    Dishonesty and misrepresentation should be condemned, not championed. Says a lot about you that you endorse such tactics rather than concede an argument.