Calling all Gaeilgeoiri?

Here’s an interesting idea from Concubhar Ó Liatháin, former editor of Lá Nua. He writes on his excellent blog (as Gaeilge dar noigh) that he’s offering a €1,000 to Cáirde Lá Nua, a group Máirtín O Muilleoir founded after the last emergency to hit Lá Nua, as long (and this is the difficult part) as they can get 999,000 from other well wishers. Update: Two others have pitched in their pennies. Just the 997,000 to go!Here’s a rough translation for those of you who don’t have the lanaguage:

It may seem like an impossible task – but if Lá Nua is to survive a warchest of this magnitude is required. I think it’s past time that petitions and letters to board members of Foras na Gaeilge would suffice. If a million euro were to be collected, the newspaper could go ahead irrespective of the decision of the Foras.

I also want a board comprising shareholders to be elected to oversee Lá Nua and I intend to put myself forward for election as chairman of such a board if this comes to pass. I don’t necessarily see Lá Nua’s future in print – but I definitely think there’s a future if we can come together for the good of the newspaper and Irish speakers every where.

This is a test of Irish speakers – if we want a daily newspaper of substance, we will need to pay for it.

It’s worth mentioning that when Comhar was threatened with closure when Foras na Gaeilge withdrew its grant, Comhar’s supporters came up with an offer which led to an increased grant for Comhar. They offered to match Foras na Gaeilge Euro for Euro if they invested in the project. The result, Comhar [Nua] relaunches tomorrow in Dublin, Louis de Paor does the honours….

Unless such an action is taken in respect of Lá Nua, I don’t see any hope for the newspaper or online service. As I see it the Foras proposal to offer a €400,000 contract for a weekly newspaper and online service shortchanges Foinse, the likely winner of such a contest, as that newspaper was previously getting €320,000 annually [plus a €25,000 bonus if it achieved certain modest sales targets] and Lá Nua was receiving the equivalent of €250,000/£197 sterling. That’s a saving of €170,000 annually for Foras na Gaeilge – a saving of almost €700,000 over the life of the contract.

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  • DC

    Is this an attempt to move with the grain of change or against it?

    And can it be played on my Ipod and downloadable free somewhere?

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Where will you get 999,000 Irish language enthusiasts with a spare £1000? and it will have to be Irish language enthusiasts, as the ordinary Irish person isn’t going to throw £1000 of his hard earned cash into a dead and useless language, which is actually Scots Gaelic rebranded for the sake of Nationalism.

  • billie-Joe Remarkable
  • Ulsters my homeland

    there aren’t even 999,000 Irish people in the Republic willing to throw away £1000.

  • The count is already up to €3,000 pledged, €997,000 to go.

    This is not a gimick. Lá Nua came from the ground up – and it’s being effectively silenced from the top down.

    The reason a €1m is needed is to ensure that it goes ahead irrespective of support from Foras na Gaeilge. And the €1m will remain in the control of Cáirde Lá Nua until a satisfactory plan is put together to ensure the long term survival of the paper. If Foras na Gaeilge matches the funds, all well and good. Then there’s a partner on board and because it’s a €1m, they’ll be less inclined to pull the plug from their end as they’d have more to lose. And even if they did pull the plug from their end the newspaper could sustain that loss given that it would have a campaign chest to carry on…that’s the way it might work as far as I could see it. As it is Lá Nua is at the mercy of Foras na Gaeilge on the one hand and the Belfast Media Group on the other – neither look inclined to put their hands in their pockets again unless Irish speakers come up with a game changer…this could be that game changer.

    It’s not necessary that Lá Nua would survive as a printed newspaper in its current form – it could become an online news resource as Gaeilge for the hundreds of thousands in Ireland and worldwide who have an interest in the language.

    Petitions or letters to board members are useless now. Lá Nua’s survival is not what we’re after – it’s the creation of a newspaper/news service which is capable of standing on its own two feet and doing so with oomph.

  • Maths isn’t your strong point, is it UMH?

    €1m – not £1m – is what’s required. At €1,000 Euro each, that means we require 1,000 people. We already have three. Can we count on you to become number 4!

    That’s a way for you to show that you’re above sectarian politicking. Interesting point that you make about Irish being a form of Scots Gaelic (and not the other way around) – as that makes Irish a British language and worthy of your support I should think!

  • DC

    Well good luck with it all, in these times you will need that and much more.

  • Reader

    Does a contribution buy a shareholding? If FnaG matched contributions would they become a 50% shareholder? Any other perks for shareholders – lifetime subscriptions, for instance? Speaking of which – would an online version be subscription only? Funded from Capital? Funded from adverts?

  • These are all questions that the shareholders would have to decide. I would have no objection to Foras na Gaeilge owning a shareholding. The €1,000 contribution would equal a shareholding in Cáirde Lá Nua or whichever organisation would be set up to administer the fund. As there are already shareholders in Lá Nua, we would have to negotiate with them what the position would be but given that there’s no indication that the shareholders that currently exist or Foras are willing to fund Lá Nua further as it stands, an organisation with €1m would have enormous leverage to exert in such a negotiation. The option would always remain open to walk away and establish a different newspaper with a different name – but with the same fighting spirit- if there were any difficulties in the negotiations with Lá Nua’s current owners.

  • TAFKABO

    Leaving aside my own admittedly sectarian reasons for being cold to the Irish language I can appreciate the value in seeing it promoted in order to ensure its survival as a living language.
    With that in mind I wish you all the best of luck in your endeavour.

  • RG Cuan

    Thinking outside the box like this is the way forward.

    Online lifesyle magazine nós* – http://www.nosmag.com – have also said they are seeking 300 subscribers before they begin their print edition.

    With the right backing, Lá Nua can develop and increase its product and market, Concubhar’s proposal is certainly one way to do it.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Concubhar O Liatháin

    “Maths isn’t your strong point, is it UMH?

    €1m – not £1m – is what’s required. [u]At €1,000 Euro each, that means we require 1,000 people.[/u]”

    Ooops, I misread Micks post.

    [i]”Interesting point that you make about Irish being a form of Scots Gaelic (and not the other way around) – as that makes Irish a British language and worthy of your support I should think!”[/i]

    Considering the fact that there was no Irish identity before the 12th century, I find it rediculous that histoians or language scholars try to lecture people about the ancient Irish language, when there was no such thing until Nationalism started seperating out all the British folk on these islands.

  • TAFKABO

    Would ye ferfuxsake put that fucking apostrophe into your name?

  • USA

    UMH,
    [edited by moderator – play the ball]

  • Dewi

    I can’t afford a thousand Euros – but would give £100 – do u accept lesser donations?

  • DC

    Tafkabo – don’t worry about the sectarian views, they were hardly going to diminish whenever Pobal and SF linked the language act to justice structures, plus a commission to punish offenders of said language. This smelt of suing for grievance not reconciliation because wrapping the language into justice rather than into language growth always would be a unionist turn-off given where we are coming from here in the Northern part of Ireland.

    This was always going to be a handshake that drove a spike into unionism and those with a more moderate understanding of the development of Irish language coupled with a failed Gaelicisation even in the Republic itself could see that it was a political hard tackle, smelling of a professional foul. In a global world the priorities to survive means a need to re-prioritise in that context even with the Irish themselves.

    Perhaps there is no better reflection of the top down failure in approach to the Irish language by SF represented in the slow take-up of demand of a paper readership in that it might be horse before cart scenario. An argument which unionists always believed in, unionists I imagine do want to shake hands with the Irish language but don’t want that spike of misrepresentation driven into them, sharpened along those acrid SF political lines.

  • abc

    Concubhar O Liatháin posted on another thread today:

    “this ridiculous demand by unionist politicians for the dropping of the GAA practice to name their pitches in honour of members who served the cause of national liberation”

    So he believes that members of the Provisional movement served the cause of national liberation in what he describes as ‘bygone eras’. And then he wonders why the majority of people in Northern Ireland don’t support the Irish Language. The terrorist sympathisers such as Concubhar O Liatháin and Máirtín O Muilleoir provide the answer. Why don’t they just ask the Provos directly for some of the Northern Bank money instead of passing around the collection tin yet again?

    PS Good luck to those with a genuine interest in in the language

  • ggn

    I love UMH posts.

    I have met people in real life who didnt believe that the Irish language existed!

    Some people in Scotland have claimed that Gaelic originated in Scotland but really it is absolute nonsense.

    It is sad but interesting bizarre at the same time!

    Dont have 1000 Euro, but would be prepare to invest something.

  • Oilifear

    UMH –

    If it makes you feel more comfortable, you can call the language an Ghaeilge. “Irish” is what it is known as in the English language. By the time Elizabeth I visited Ireland, she took with her hand-written crib notes translating various pleasantries between “Englishe”, “Latinne” and “Irishe”. The language spoken in Scotland was known in the English language as Irish too until the 17th centurym, when it diverged from the language spoken here.

    Long before then, we on this island were known as “Scots” in the Latin brogue. In our own language, we on this island and those from modern-day “Scot”-land were known as Gaels. This was a name given to us by the Welsh, who of course where the only Britons back then. An Ghaeilge is drived from Gael and, in that way, “an Ghaeilge” is as much an exonym as “Irish”, both originating from the neighbouring island, which now harbours a people known as “Scots”, itself referring originally to the inhabitants island.

    And so, around-and-around we go, but I wouldn’t worry about it too much. I suppose that’s why they say that the people of these islands have an intertwined history. I would have thought that you, of all people commenting here, would have appreciated that.

  • RepublicanStones

    Im with Dewi and ggn, don’t have the mile to spare but maybe dha chead could be freed up.

    Just to address abc, the national liberation struggle goes back centuries, since before Tone (which some clubs are named after) and Emmett(likewise) to the non-violent likes of O’Connell and Parnell, through to the 1916 martyrs right up through the Saor Uladh lads up till your beloved bogeymen the Provisionals. So when Concubhar mentions that certain clubs ‘name their pitches in honour of members who served the cause of national liberation’, hes right. Tell me what the statute of limitations is regarding the usage of names of people who resisted british occupation? Or are we not allowed to use any? The conflict with Britain is a wee bit longer than 40yrs old you fool. And regarding the Northern bank money, considering some was found in an ex-RUC club, perhaps we should ask Ronnie Flanagan for a dig out?

  • An Anonymous Englishman

    > If it makes you feel more comfortable, you can call the language > an Ghaeilge

    As an interested but linguistically unenlightened Englishman, could I ask how that is pronounced?

  • Sneakers O’Toole

    I’d rather see the issue of the language being kept separate from politics myself. I don’t speak much of the language, I was never exposed to it as a youngster and haven’t as much time as I’d like to pick it up now.

    I’d like to show my support thopugh, and I’m in the same boat as some of the other posters. I don’t have a grand to spare but would like to throw a few bob into the pot. I don’t really expect anything in return.

    Perhaps a website where people could make pledges similar to Concubhar Ó Liatháin’s, until the million gets reached would be a good idea?

    How about approaching businesses such as pubs, shops etc for a stake? Id say it’ll be easier get the numbers up if businesses were approached as well as individuals.

    You could exchange advertising space for the money, perhaps even on a website, á la http://www.milliondollarhomepage.com/
    I think it’s doable, given a bit of effort and imagination.

  • ggn

    An Anonymous Englishman

    Try Gaelic-ah.

    We Ulster men of course stick to the classical, and up to the fifties standard form, Gaedhilg (pronunced Gaelic).

    I mean ‘Gaeilge’ whilst widespread, is ultimaety a grammer mistake.

    It is interesting that West Belfast Republicans, in my experience tend to call the language Gaelic rather than Irish.

  • frustrated democrat

    I wish we could get rid of Scots Irish and Irish Gaelic as political weapons.

    If people wish to learn or speak either that is up to them and if they get grants to help teach them as part of a cultural history fine.

    Should they be given a status equal to the language that everyone speaks in normal day to day life? The answer is no.

    A newspaper sells advertising and copies to raise funds, if it doesn’t raise enough money then it goes out of business unless it has generous benefactors.

    Good luck to those who invest, it is their money to chose what to do with and not mine or other taxpayers.

  • dewi

    Perhaps worth an appeal in US – friends of SF raised £250k last year.

  • abc

    I can see the US headline
    “Terrorist sympathisers seek funding for language”

  • I’m glad of the support this has attracted and no doubt there will be some who can’t stump up the €1,000 but who may help in other ways.

    I will take on board the comments made in a constructive spirit.

  • RepublicanStones

    I can see the books you enjoy abc, and i’d say your brillant at staying inside the lines !

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Oilifear

    “[i]If it makes you feel more comfortable, you can call the language an Ghaeilge. “Irish” is what it is known as in the English language. By the time Elizabeth I visited Ireland, she took with her hand-written crib notes translating various pleasantries between “Englishe”, “Latinne” and “Irishe”. The language spoken in Scotland was known in the English language as Irish too until the 17th centurym, when it diverged from the language spoken here.”[/i]

    So an English Queen calls the Gaelic language by an Irish name. It only supports what I’m saying, that the language has become Nationalised. Sure the English nation, as some sort of Anglo-Saxon land, is a fabrication, based upon the false notion that the Anglo-Saxons conquered the native Britons. Old English was used as a means to spread this propaganda by historians writing centuries after the native Britons changed their fashion and language as settlers moved in from Northern Europe. This type of English Nationalism was mainly spread about by Roman Priests and Monks.

    “[i]Long before then, we on this island were known as “Scots” in the Latin brogue. In our own language, we on this island and those from modern-day “Scot”-land were known as Gaels. This was a name given to us by the Welsh, who of course where the only Britons back then. An Ghaeilge is drived from Gael and, in that way, “an Ghaeilge” is as much an exonym as “Irish”, both originating from the neighbouring island, which now harbours a people known as “Scots”, itself referring originally to the inhabitants island.”[/i]

    You make it sound like the native Britons lived in the area now known as Wales. You’re adopting the classic Nationalist approach to understanding history. You divide areas up using language. Ancient Britons lives all throughout the British Isles, they did not reside in a wee corner somewhere. Ultimately there were periods of immigration where foreigners brought different languages like Gaelic and Old English. There may have been some squirmishes, but ultimately the Ancient Britons adopted these languages and the historians writing centuries later would weave in stories of Nationalist suppremecy over one people or another.

    “[i]And so, around-and-around we go, but I wouldn’t worry about it too much. I suppose that’s why they say that the people of these islands have an intertwined history. I would have thought that you, of all people commenting here, would have appreciated that. “[/i]

    and that’s why I’m against language being used to fight Nationalist battles. Our past should tell us to stay well clear of it, as it only brings about division and hatred.

  • Oilifear

    UMH –

    “You’re adopting the classic Nationalist approach to understanding history. You divide areas up using language.”

    What I wrote was that “around-and-around we go … I suppose that’s why they say that the people of these islands have an intertwined history.” Might, I suggest you make the classic nationalist (small ‘n’) mistake of too much second-guessing and not enough listening to your supposed nemesis?

    I’m sorry, but your reply makes no sense in terms of what I wrote or meant. Can you please re-read my comment and if your response is still the same as above, could you please explain a little more what you mean?

  • Dewi

    “There may have been some squirmishes”

    Yeah there might well have been !!! – read it up UMH. Bring back Arthur all is forgiven.

  • Niall Due

    If it is Scots Gaelic then you should be prepared to give some money to help,preserve your heritage?

  • Ulsters my homeland

    “There may have been some squirmishes”

    “[i]Yeah there might well have been !!! – read it up UMH. Bring back Arthur all is forgiven.”[/i]

    Read what Dewi? Romanticised history wrote centuries after the supposed event? Archeology and DNA of curial sites tells a different story.

  • Dewi

    “Archeology and DNA of curial sites tells a different story”

    What – like a peaceful co-mingling and joyful co-existance? Are you mad?

  • Ulsters my homeland

    “[i]What – like a peaceful co-mingling and joyful co-existance? Are you mad? “[/i]

    I wouldn’t use that fruity language, but there never has been any evidence of the Saxons conquering the ancient Britons -eg, solid evidence that would show up in DNA tests or excavation sites with distinct layers separating the Briton and Saxon time lines. Nothing like this has been discovered. In fact, there is considerable amount of evidence showing native Britons were buried in Saxon dress and using Saxon weapons. All Saxon influenced artifacts have been tested to show they were made in Britain, not from soil in Europe. Burial sites are found where native Britons were buried beside foreigners, most likely Saxons.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Oilifear

    [i]”I’m sorry, but your reply makes no sense in terms of what I wrote or meant. Can you please re-read my comment and if your response is still the same as above, could you please explain a little more what you mean?”[/i]

    when I said “You’re adopting the classic Nationalist approach to understanding history,” I meant that when you describe the landscape of ancient Britain, it’s like you already have it carved up into nationalist chunks using language as your basis. When you said “This was a name given to us by the Welsh, who of course where the only Britons back then”, your first mistake is to incorrectly section ancient Britons into a specific area, and your second mistake is to assume ancient Britons were identified by their language. This train of thought is simply one of error and is born from the romanticised creation of Nationalism on these islands.

  • Greagoir O’ Frainclin

    “Considering the fact that there was no Irish identity before the 12th century, I find it rediculous that histoians or language scholars try to lecture people about the ancient Irish language, when there was no such thing until Nationalism started seperating out all the British folk on these islands.”

    We have debated this before UMH and there ye go again, off on yer little trip of imposing todays politics on the past! I guess you will never really understand!

  • dewi

    Ancient Britons were identified by language. UMH – I’m away but will recommend some reading when I get home.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    [i]”Ancient Britons were identified by language.”[/i]

    True, and I could have rephrased my post better. I was meaning that because the ancient Britons adopted the fashions and language of foreigners, doesn’t mean they lost any sense of who they were or they lost their British identity. I was referring to the fact that language does not dictate identity.

  • Oilifear

    UMH –

    Indeed. That last post I can agree with (in spirit at least), but it is at odds with your earlier contention “that there was no such thing [as the Irish language] until Nationalism started seperating out all the British folk on these islands” “[c]onsidering the fact that there was no Irish identity before the 12th century”.

    The intention in my post was to demonstrate the deeply knotted histories of our languages and identities. By your comment, I feel you believe that the Irish language is some kind of invention designed to separate us. Something more closer to the truth would be that it is just one other way to demonstrate our shared and indistinguishable experiences. Something you would not want to pass over or neglect, surely?

  • Ulsters my homeland

    “[i]We have debated this before UMH and there ye go again, off on yer little trip of imposing todays politics on the past! I guess you will never really understand!”[/i]

    I’m not imposing todays politics on the past. In Fact I’m doing the opposite and trying to gain an understanding of how the ancient Britons lived on these islands before the foreign idea of Nationalism arose.

  • barnshee

    Bugger nicked my idea and did not even have the grace to acknowledge it

    http://sluggerotoole.com/index.php/weblog/comments/death-kn/P0/

  • Ulsters my homeland

    “[i]Indeed. That last post I can agree with (in spirit at least), but it is at odds with your earlier contention “that there was no such thing [as the Irish language] until Nationalism started seperating out all the British folk on these islands” “[c]onsidering the fact that there was no Irish identity before the 12th century”. “[/i]

    It’s not at odds with that post. The ancient Britons were identified because they spoke the Brythonic language. The Irish people were not identified because they spoke the Irish language, they spoke Gaelic. The Irish language and the Irish identity was created later. My post would have been at odds, if for example, I would have renamed the Anglo-Saxons as Britains. This would be similar to how the Irish created their identity and language.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    “[i]The intention in my post was to demonstrate the deeply knotted histories of our languages and identities. By your comment, I feel you believe that the Irish language is some kind of invention designed to separate us.”[/i]

    There’s the rub. It was never an Irish language, in the same sense Gaelic in Scotland was never a Scottish language. Gaelic in Scotland may have been called Scottis by the English in 15th + 16th centuries, but then the English are not a good example to use against languages being Nationalised.

    “[i]Something more closer to the truth would be that it is just one other way to demonstrate our shared and indistinguishable experiences. Something you would not want to pass over or neglect, surely?”[/i]

    The language has been bastardised, it has been ruined by Nationalism and politics. It’s true historic heritage in these isles will never be appreciated unless the language disassociates itself with Nationalism once and for all and reclaims it’s true identity Gaelic, no matter where it’s spoken.

  • Greagoir O’ Frainclin

    “I’m not imposing todays politics on the past. In Fact I’m doing the opposite and trying to gain an understanding of how the ancient Britons lived on these islands before the foreign idea of Nationalism arose.”

    Yes, but be very aware UMH of ‘British Nationalism’ that arose too! For that is just as much a contrivance to unite the peoples of these islands in an Anglocentric union!

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Good point Greagoir. British Nationalism is at fault as much as separatist Nationalism. If only the true nature of the ancient Britons were studied, it may well help in understanding how many of the tribes managed to get along even although they did know each others boundries. The ancient Britons didn’t have any National structure, yet they remained relatively peaceful while keeping their own sense of identity which was very important.

    Greagoir, do you know if monarchy had much to play in keeping the different tribes together during this period, before the Saxons and Gaels arrived?

  • Dewi

    “The ancient Britons didn’t have any National structure, yet they remained relatively peaceful while keeping their own sense of identity which was very important”

    Except when we were fighting Saxons – when we sort of got together…..interesting UMH – an interpretation I have never read before…

  • Oilifear

    Yes, UMH, the “every-word-is-a-bullet” people have a lot to answer for. Getting over that barrier was difficult even for me. I understand what you’re saying. That’s why my first words to you on this tread were that “if it makes you feel more comfortable, you can call the language an Ghaeilge” (or Gaelic, if you please).

    Disassociating the language from politicalised “Irish”-ness is essential, but it is not something that you can rely on those who are culpable for that relationship to start dismantling as your behest. Neither can you stand and accuse anyone with an interest in the language of being politicised in the same fashion (or even at all). If you do so, you are victim to the “every-word-is-a-bullet” people (and all of their cohorts of every nation and politic since the statutes of Kilkenny) who have created that association, and that you, for whatever reason, have accepted into your thoughts (whether willingly or consciously or neither).

    The association of “Irish” (whether that be language, identity or adjective) with one politics or nationalism or another has no root in physical reality – no more than even the word itself. It exists solely in our minds. If we wish it to be disassociated from a politics or nationalism, we simply need to will it to be so and then … pow! … the ties are broken – and for all the efforts of the “every-word-is-a-bullet” people, they will not be able to redo the link until, whether for weakness or indifference, we allow them.

    “If only the true nature of the ancient Britons were studied…” Now you’re just getting mystical.