Blogger and columnist Pól Ó Muirí or as the Belfast Telegraph describe him on their website Pol O Muiri has caused a stir in the world of Gaelic blogging with his latest attack on Sinn Féin.
Sinn Fein Irish is enough to make you sic. The article focuses on a leaflet produced by Sinn Féin recently in which the Irish language bits contained what were frankly, in my view, silly unneccessary errors, though they did not induce nausea.
Any Irish speaker will imediately notice the irony that both Sinn Féin and Pól Ó Muirí’s own name are spelt wrongly (a least they were when I wrote this!) at the top of the article, mistakes which do practically nullify the attack, a pity, for as I have said in my own now lifeless blog, it is a useful article.
Yes, there is enough bad spelling to make anyone sic! The party has declared war on feminine nouns, the genitive case and the síneadh fada (forward accents), all the things that make Irish the distinctive language it is.
… says Pól, quite says GGN. Glasshouses? Sauce, goose, gander. Sinn Féin supporters will also point out that Pól blogs on an pro-SDLP blog, ElBlogador.com- The Voice of Irish Nationalism.
Thereofore many will chose to check each and every point Pól makes themselves, I will if anyone can give a link.
Again, its useful. Parties have to understand that if they use Irish they have got to be accurate, lest they will alienate Irish speakers. However as the numbers of Irish speakers are low, notoriously apolitical going on anti-political (nationalists involved in politics may understand that point more easily than unionists). Then again, if the use of Irish is not to attract the votes of Irish speakers then clearly, the spelling are syntax are quite irrelevant.
Without this bad publicity, the problem (if it is a problem?), will continue. I must admitt, knowing several of the people who regularily check Sinn Féin’s Irish output I am quite perplexed by this incident.
What happened? under pressure? Gaelscoilis? Fifth columnist?
Concubhar as usual is on the ball with this one as one would expect given his low opinion of Sinn Féin, though surprisingly, I found igaeilge this time went quite easy on Sinn Féin.
Interestingly the article has also been taken up by the forum, daltai.com, a mainly international group of Irish learners.