Limavady uniforms

Limavady Council famed for its “audit” of unionist symbols is back in the news as some of its employee have refused to wear a new uniform due to its bilingual (English / Irish) logo. Ulster Unionist councillor Edwin Stevenson said the council should abandon its policy of putting its logo in Irish on all council property whilst Francie Brolly has the following statement on the Sinn Fein website:“The placing of the Irish language on the logo of Limavady Council was done so in the 2001 and 2005 term as an issue of equality. No objections were raised at that time and the logo is present on council property and vehicles.
Recently the logo on the council uniforms was updated to standardize the boroughs imagery. This is no threat to anyone or their identity. The two languages on the logos are representative of the people on this island and should be seen as such.
For a small group of workers, roughly 20 out of 170 employees, to register their protest is their prerogative however it must be stressed that the logo is inclusive and holds no political connotations. To believe this to be so is mistaken and I am happy to meet with those council workers who object to Irish being on their uniforms to hear their position.”

Sinn Féin councillor Cathal Ó’hOisín said it is a matter of equality.

“The draft policy is currently out for equality impact assessment, and consultation work is going on and that will continue through the month of March. We’ll look then at what the reaction is and the impact that it has had,”

It is unclear how enthusiastic the workers will be to meet either Mr. Ó’hOisín or Mr. Brolly.

  • The whole issue is bullshit.

  • Do like many other Irish/British/European councils and put it exclusively in Latin.

  • Mark McGregor

    Garibaldy,

    Bullshit, yes. Though, hard for SF to argue about when they opposed symbols on uniforms in the public sector that had no group of workers raising objections.

  • Yeah Mark, it is the pettiness of the whole thing. And I do kind of feel that if the workers object it is going to be very hard to make them wear the uniform without causing serious problems. Many more problems than the situation is worth.

  • 6cp

    SF: …it must be stressed that the logo is inclusive and holds no political connotations.

    Yoo hoo! It’s purely political.

    I would be amazed if there are more than half a dozen homes in Limavady where Irish is spoken as the main language.

    The Polish, Portuguese or Lithuanian languages, etc etc probably have more right to be on the Limavady logo than Irish.

    As usual, monolingual Northern Irish Republicans are exploiting the Irish language to provoke sectarian tension.

  • Mark McGregor

    I agree. The easiest thing is to allow those that object to wear a different uniform. Though, that instantly creates a divided workforce and a divided workforce identifiabe in a very visible way. Pity we don’t have a Unions that’d just tell people to get the feck over it, do their job and leave the fighting with the boss for when they are experiencing pension cuts, redundancies and worse terms. That’s the battle they need to be getting ready to fight, not signing up to some dopey petition over stitching on a jumper.

  • William

    Sinn Fein / IRA have a pile of bearded wonders as Councillors and / or MLAs – Grizzly, Francie the Folk singer and his Limavady collegue with the funny name…real name Hasson, who states that there is an ‘equality impactment assessment’ out for consultation. Did this bird brain not realise that you consult first and implement later, not the way he and his terrorists in suits have gone about it, by putting the logo on the clothing and then assessing the equality of their actions.
    All part of Sinn Fein / IRA’s attempts to railroad their ‘green’ agenda through Limavady Council before it is absorbed into the new Council, where that activity will not be possible, as the new enlarged Council will have a Unionist majority.

  • Mark McGregor

    My last was to Gari, not those that see this farce as important.

  • cynic

    SF playing to the gallery again …without thinking as usual.

    So will they now object if other councils suddenly feel a need to place unionist symbols on uniforms?

    When jobs are being lost every day, house prices collapsing and people worried about their futures this is the best they can come up with. Ah well…it beats working.

    How much does a Limavady council pull in expenses?

  • cynic

    “The draft policy is currently out for equality impact assessment, and consultation work is going on and that will continue through the month of March. We’ll look then at what the reaction is and the impact that it has had,”

    Oh yes ….and the idea of EIAs is they are done before you implement / agree a policy.

  • Agree with you Mark that this will create very visible divisions, with all the potential bad implications that come with it. As for the unions. Well it would be nice, but unfortunately they are only able to reflect the feelings of their membership in the main. And as you say, people are more concerned with symbols than what is going to their pockets.

    Cynic,

    I agree with you on the timing.

  • Any excuse

    Limavady Council famed for its “audit” of unionist symbols is back in the news as some of its employee have refused to wear a new uniform due to its bilingual (English / Irish) logo.

    Except it’s not new. In fact it’s six years old…

  • Mark McGregor

    Gari,

    Agreeing doesn’t do any good.

    What’s the resolution? The council goes back to English only?

    Personally, I think this is a demonstration of how weak the Union movement is here, A Union confident enough to say we aren’t supporting workers on either side of this guff would be a welcome development.

  • I suspect Mark that the union movement may well try and do exactly what you say, while offering to work with management to come to an arrangement acceptable to all etc. I actually think Catholic Observer’s answer of using Latin may well be a workable one.

    The issue here is what constitutes equality and a neutral environment. I once heard someone from the PUP describe anti-sectarianism as allowing people to fly whatever flag they wanted and not criticise them for it. And it seems to be that where nationalists have been in the minority, the traditional desire has been to see all symbols removed (cups gifted by British Army regiments etc). That seems more neutral to me than a free for all where everyone is entitled to put up symbols. The name of the council of course is a difficult issue to avoid however.

  • Mark McGregor

    ‘Equality or Neutrality’ – Chris is a big fan of the debate.

    Job or no job seems a little more important.

  • Greagoir O’ Frainclin

    “The Polish, Portuguese or Lithuanian languages, etc etc probably have more right to be on the Limavady logo than Irish.”

    Incredible to believe such a statement from someone living in the north of IRELAND aka Northern IRELAND…. FFS!

  • I agree with you entirely Mark, being a materialist myself. It wouldn’t be a debate I’d really want to have. In fact, the workings of the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation were delayed when someone asked exactly what parity of esteem meant in practical terms, and no-one could come up with an answer. However, it’s a debate we’re stuck with. If only we all wore Mao suits, we wouldn;t have this problem 😉

  • Greagoir O’ Frainclin

    Here folks, get on yer matchin’ uniforms and get on yer boots……..

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/musicevents/u2/

  • The Raven

    Anybody got an answer then? I am involved in something similar elsewhere, and I’d genuinely like to hear views. If I have got this right, then:

    No EQIA at the time of introduction so no complaints were lodged, if I have picked this up correctly, even though that was six years ago (apparently). Did they even do EQIAs then??

    There’s a logo on the uniform. If it’s the same as what’s on the Limavady website, the main lingo is English, with the Irish very much beneath it. Probably not very big on a uniform.

    Someone says “I don’t care how big it is. I don’t want to wear it.” Any legislation to support that? Personally, I don’t know. Others may.

    But the main political bloc on the Council, in their right and role in promoting the Irish Language, says it must be used. They rule the roost, but can’t fire anyone for objecting. Could they fire them for NOT wearing it?

    The Councillor says (by the way, William, that was just plain rude…) “The draft policy is currently out for equality impact assessment, and consultation work is going on and that will continue through the month of March.”

    Does that mean if enough people complain, it will go from the uniform? And what constitutes “enough”?

    Does this rank up there with being a female employee in a workshop which is wall-to-wall in Page 3 Stunnahs? Or is it like being only Catholic worker in the shipyard having to look at a portrait of the Queen and the Union Flag all day?

    I think it’s a storm in a tae cup too. But I’d be genuinely interested to read opinion.

  • 0b101010

    My response would be to fire the employees that refuse to wear the uniform required by their job and refuse them the dole too.

    I’m no crusader for the use of public funds to promote the Irish language, but this is bargain-basement petty sectarian twaddle: people that won’t have any Irish about them, people that would complain if their uniform was green.

    “Limavady” is Irish no matter what letters you use to spell it.

  • the future’s bright, the future’s orange

    hmmm, in that case the british government should make all civil servants swear an owth to the queen evry hour at work. anyone who doesn’t is instantly fired and refused the dole. Yes, what a good idea…
    As usual, the shinners want it all their own way.

  • 0b101010

    Sounds fair to me, orange. Did you expect me to say any different?

  • 0b101010

    If you don’t like the requirements of a job, you (a) don’t apply for the job and (b) don’t continue to do the job. In the world outside our pseudo-Soviet bloc state, employees that refuse to meet the requirements of a job are fired, and companies that can’t hire and keep employees collapse.

  • 6cp

    GO,
    I would be very interested in hearing from you how many of these Irish people in Limavady actually speak Irish in their homes as their first language. The Irish language is spoken in the ROI by about 3% of the population, and more power to them, but in NI it is used by republicans merely as a political football.

  • Lord Gnome

    “Do like many other Irish/British/European councils and put it exclusively in Latin.”

    Mispelt Latin like Bournemouth used to use.

  • Seymour Major

    The Council made a decision to have Irish in its logo. It should be respected by their employees. If is only a flippin logo. It is not as thought they are being asked to translate it.

    I see little distinction between this dispute and the one several years ago when Donna Traynor refused to wear a poppy, when working for the BBC.

    “That’s different” I hear some cry. It is not as though anybody is being asked to wear a Nazi Swastica. In the case of both the logo and the poppy, the symbols are benign. It is only the bigotry of the objector that calls them into question.

    Employers, wherever they face a complaint, whether in the public or private sector should approach the matter on the basis of neutrality and resist the objection through persuasion. If that does not work then only at that point, give way to the employee. It should never be made easy to allow bigotry to prevail.

  • Seymour,

    Are quakers who sell white poppies because they find the red poppy’s association with violence and imperialist war bigots too? For someone who claims to want to open NI to a new type of politics, perhaps being able to look being orange and green in this matters might help.

  • Seymour Major

    Garibaldy,

    There are many kinds of bigotry and there is no such thing as a bigot free world or a bigot free person. However, some forms of bigotry are very destructive. Sectarian bigotry fits into that category. I wont say all but most of the objections to the poppy are sectarian.

    For most people, the poppy, as a symbol, was never about justifying or glorifying war. It was about remembrance. Lets say that if somebody objected to wearing a poppy because they think it condones violence, that is one thing. If they object to it because they think it is a “Protestant tax disc” that is quite another. I would apply that principle equally to Protestants who wear a poppy only because they think it annoys Catholics.

  • Greagoir O’ Frainclin

    “I would be very interested in hearing from you how many of these Irish people in Limavady actually speak Irish in their homes as their first language. The Irish language is spoken in the ROI by about 3% of the population, and more power to them, but in NI it is used by republicans merely as a political football.”

    Oh indeed 6CP (Six County Protestant?), but the crux of the issue is the likes of yourself and those Limavady folk appear to be gravely offended with the use of the old Irish language that’s unique to the island…..and that’s rather incredible!

    In anyway why not embrace the Irish language? Why leave the Irish language for the Shinners to use as a political football? Would you feel that your very special sense of being “British” diminished in some way? Would you be surrendering?

    BTW, I don’t see any protestations from Unionist folk about the RIR using the corrupted Irish slogan “Faugh an Ballagh” as their motto.

    All kinda doesn’t add up really!

    BTW, who are you cheering for in the rugby match today… Ireland or England? Or will you ignore it as you might be gravely offended by the whole sporting occasion at Croke Park?

  • William

    FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE RAVEN:

    You state: The Councillor says (by the way, William, that was just plain rude…)

    If it was rude, then GOOD…..I have nothing but contempt for convicted and unconvicted terrorists masquerading as ‘decent councillors’ and telling us what to do, when a few years ago they wished to kill us.

    They still continue the ‘war’ but on a different level…9/11 in the USA ensured that ‘terrorism’ was no longer the method, so they now go the cultural route – Dimmer switch Britishness…get rid of all symbols of our Britishness, make Irish symbols equal…all that nonsense. Northern Ireland is British and will be, I believe, for ever British.

    If you think I’m rude….good….rude to a terrorist is a badge of honour for me…at least I never sought to kill anyone…I wonder could the person I was allegedly rude to say the same?

  • This is typical Sinn Féin behaviour, insisting on empty, symbolic and counterproductive gestures towards the Irish language while, on the other hand, for instance, suppressing the publication of the daily Irish language newspaper, Lá Nua.

    The emphasis from Sinn Féin seems to be about forcing the Irish language on those who don’t want it rather than giving everyone the option of using Irish, or not.

  • Pancho’s Horse

    The job’s gone, a Choncubhar. Get over it. Nobody was buying the paper. Why didn’t you stick with the weekly instead of overreaching yourselves. At least it was interesting. Come out of that ivory tower and as the DUP says ‘smell the coffee’.

  • Gee, Pancho, thanks for your concern about my job. I’m not worried about the job I had in Lá Nua. I left the job and the paper was still there – I am just pointing out that Sinn Féin are vandalising the language which I hold dear with their divisive and counterproductive actions. I noticed similarly that the party passed a motion to the effect that the tricolour should be respected – yet it’s Sinn Féin themselves who dishonour the flag the most, leaving it hanging on lamp posts 24/7 until well beyond it gets bedraggled.

    Sinn Féin – more like the Sound and Fury, signifying nothing, party. They want to repeat the mistakes made in the south and force people to wear badges with a few words in Irish on it, force Irish down peoples throats, as if that will increase the appreciation of unionists of the language. It won’t – it’ll just increase their alienation from the language.

    It seems to me that the Limavady badge is all that SF have achieved during their time in office with the DUP – the Acht na Gaeilge has gone, Lá Nua has gone, they very nearly lost the Irish Language Broadcast Fund, a fund which had been gained after years of campaigning by Irish language activists with very little if any support from SF. I don’t wonder that a SF apologist like yourself knows the lingo of the DUP.

    The laughable thing about this is that SF say they’re doing this in the name of equality…..It seems to me that the SF version of equality is to do to unionists what unionists did to nationalists for decades. That strategy by itself is going to further postpone the day when a United Ireland is achieved….thanks for all that is due to SF.

  • 6 County Prod

    G.O.,

    Your straw men illustrate that things don’t add up in your mind. Why would anyone on the island want the English, or any foreigner for that matter, beat the Irish at rugby? Come on!

    In Gaeltacht areas of the island, the primary language should be Irish for all sorts of things, and probably English to help those who have the misfortune of not being able to speak Irish.

    In English-speaking areas of the island the primary language should be English. And probably Irish for those who have the misfortune of not being able to speak English.

    Northern Irish republicans only pretend that they speak Irish (when they all, in fact, speak perfect English, well, you know what I mean!), and the fact that you do not even attempt to answer my question shows that it is all a ploy by republicans to be annoying and obnoxious. But it is so petty and patently pathetic!

    I was thrilled a few years ago to be sitting eating Sunday lunch in a hotel in Connemara surrounded by Gaelic speakers. Can you recommend a hotel in NI where I might experience the same thing. Of course not!

    Admit it, some of you guys are just playing it up. You don’t give 2d about the language, it’s just another way to irritate, right?

    Seriously though, I read an interesting statistic the other day. Donncha Ó hÉallaithe (I’ve no idea how that translates) of the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology said: ‘…at the foundation of the Irish State there were 250,000 fluent Irish speakers living in Irish-speaking or semi Irish-speaking areas, but the number now is between 20,000 and 30,000.’

    Doesn’t sound too good for the language? Is Irish a language that will survive another 100, or even 50 years? It definitely will in the Gaeltacht areas, because that’s the language they love and speak, but even the Irish cannot be forced to learn a language they neither want nor need.

    And, by the way, I would still be very interested in hearing from you how many ‘Irish’ folk in Limavady actually speak Irish in their homes as their first language.

    PS Concubhar, preach it brother!

  • The3rdpoliceman

    How do you say Limavady in English?

  • a cuppa feck all

    Concubhar, What about a little self-help from within the Irish Language ‘Movement’ (or should that be Stationary?)

    Face facts, Man!-it’s a Dodo language, for God’s sake! That’s why the newspaper went down the pan and why TG4 is now showing english language films most evenings. I’m quite happy for you to blame the Shinners as their handling of the Limavady issue is clearly triumphalist. However regardless of their cack-handed interference, you know that it is a myth and a lie that more than a few hundred zealots in NI can bluff their way in this moribund dialect-ever decreasing circles…..

  • Tee Dee Um

    Those who care about the Irish language must be really proud of those fools who seem to wish only to keep the language a divisive political issue.

    The actions of Limavady Council has nothing to do with either promoting Irish or equality, it is all about sticking it to themuns.

    It is a pity that unionists can’t seem to ignore the taunt and treat it with the contempt it deserves but perhaps they have calculated that if they walk away from this type of petty provocation something more significant would be produced next time to ensure a reaction.

  • ACFA – there are thousands who can speak irish fluently in NI – and there are thousands who do. I don’t think you can discount their efforts and negate their existence. Sinn Féin hasn’t served the Irish language community – it has mostly tried to ride on the back of the Irish language community.

    The Limavady case is an example of SF cack handedness – of course they learned everything they know about politics from unionist politicians who have abused culture for political ends for time immemorial.

    TG4 would show more Irish language programmes if the British government were to treat Irish – as a language spoken by a significant portion of UK residents and recognised by the UK under international charters – on the same par as Scots Gaelic and Welsh and fund Irish language programming on the same basis….

    As for Lá Nua – what the unionists failed to do on a number of occasions, SF succeeded in closing it down.

  • a cuppa feck all

    Same oul’ MOPEry, Concubhar-It’s the Shinners fault, it’s the British Government’s fault-and no doubt a few more besides. If I wanted to head for a Pint in Belfast tonight, in which Pub am I likely to be surrounded by speakers of the native tongue in our second city?

  • Greagoir O’ Frainclin

    “The Polish, Portuguese or Lithuanian languages, etc etc probably have more right to be on the Limavady logo than Irish.”

    “Faugh an Ballagh” then, 6 county Prod, there is a Language Act trying to get through.

    But make it a Polish, Portuguese or Lithuanian Language Act. As you have said, those languages have more relevance than bloody old Irish!

    Ah sure, your right too I supose, you speak English as your first language and so do all the folk in Limavady. Why impose a foreign or dead language on folk such as yourself or them. Let it be the English language all the way in Ireland and Northern Ireland, for it’s the main language most folk use to communicate with each other today. Keep Irish in those isolated little pockets of the island where it’s spoken, we would’nt want it to infringe on the rest of Ireland where English is only spoken and understood….ar eagla na teanga dhúchais.

  • 6 County Prod

    GO,
    You’re not paying attention. And you still haven’t answered my question!

  • Greagoir O’ Frainclin

    “And, by the way, I would still be very interested in hearing from you how many ‘Irish’ folk in Limavady actually speak Irish in their homes as their first language.”

    I reckon…NONE! …given the Uninionst protest.

    So as I’ve said already,
    “Why impose a foreign or dead language on folk such as yourself or them. Let it be the English language all the way in Ireland and Northern Ireland, for it’s the main language most folk use to communicate with each other today.”

    BTW, unless there are one or two, or even more closet Gaeilgeoir in Limavady who speak Irish amongst themselves. But what do I care what folk get up to in the privacy of their own homes in Limavady!

    There was a great Gaeilgeoir and Irish language enthusiast of bygone days, the Rev Dr. Richard Routledge Kane, patron of the Belfast Gaelic League and County Grand Master of the Belfast Orange Lodge, as far as I can
    remember.

    How Unionist attitudes have changed since then toward the Irish language.

    Erin go bragh!

  • Turgon

    Greagoir O’ Frainclin,
    In some ways I am fairly neutral on Irish. However, I must point out that one of the reasons that unionists changed their attitudes to Irish is that violent republicans to a large extent appropriated the language to themselves. When one hears the language mainly from a pack of sectarian murderers and their political mouth pieces it makes people less keen on the language.

    I actually feel very sorry for those who for completely honourable reasons wish to promote Irish and I have a significant level of sympathy for them. They do, however, have the enormous albatross of “support” from Sinn Fein. As has been discussed that “support” has had no practical benefit and plenty of negative effect.

  • Pancho’s Horse

    You jumped the gun, a Choncubhair. I am not a Sinn Féin member/supporter and my admiration is bottomless for those over the years who have endured the slings and stones to promote the Irish language. But be real. Over the years I have bought more rubbish just because it was printed in Irish but now I’m a realist. I just support what is worth supporting and IMO a daily newspaper is not viable -at this time. However, you tell me where and when the Irish language would be acceptable to the ‘british’ living here? Is it ‘acceptable ‘ in some smoky back street ghetto pub, fenian schools? Tell me when it is not being ‘political’ or ‘shoving it down someone’s throat’? The basic fact is that they beat us, are still in power and want to wipe the six counties free of any vestige of the indigenous culture. And, Turgon, you view it with the same neutrality as dogdirt. It’s there but you try to avoid it.

  • Sure there’s lots of rubbish in Irish – as there is in English – but Lá Nua wasn ‘t rubbish, in my opinion. It could have been better – but it was only getting paltry support and the marketing budget was non existent.

    I believe that Raidio Fáilte for instance isn’t ‘shoving Irish down peoples’ throats’. People can receive the station wherever they are in Belfast, enjoy and learn the language. That’s worth supporting – that’s worth fighting for.

    But this business of sticking a word in irish on a badge and making somebody wear it in the name of equality is not something i believe is to the benefit of Irish or indigenous cultures.

    If you want to see money being wasted, ask how much it costs the Ulster Scots Agency to produce and distribute their glossy magazine about Ulster Scots but in English? A hell of a lot more than the subvention Lá Nua was getting….

    Whether or not you support SF, I don’t care. I really think the party is leading people down a blind alley in relation to the language and that it’s doing this for its own political benefit in the full knowledge that it won’t achieve anything concrete for the language.

  • Barnshee

    This is on the par with the “delete Northern Ireland substitute th North” nonsense by other halfwits.
    When “the leap of the dog” is subsumed in the new causeway authority the badges will go– all the momentos and items that SF don`t like in “the leap of the dog” offices can be transferred to the new head office and made pride of place.

    Look on the bright side– it gives these morons somthing to do