A ordinary man who achieved extraordinary things…

I have often found it frustrating that the lives of ordinary men and women who achieved extraordinary things with their lives, never make it into the mainstream press. Kudos then to the Irish Times for marking the passing of a quiet, generous, principled and hard working west Belfast man who was one of several moving spirits behind the rejuvenation of the Irish language in Northern Ireland. Joe Mistéal never, in my hearing, preached or proselytised his commitment to the Irish language or his politics. He lived them. The story of the Shaws Road Gaeltacht, of which he was an integral part, tells its own story of the assertion of a quiet but confident self belief:

In 1970 the Gaeltacht community established Bunscoil Pobail Feirste as the North’s first Irish-language school, with Seosamh a member of the committee and his daughter Siubhán a pupil. There are now 79 Irish-language schools in the North.

Ar deis Dé go raibh a anam dhílis…

  • Seimi

    Joe bocht.

    I had the honour of knowing him all my life. A quiet, unassuming man, who worked hard his whole life to raise a family through the medium of Irish. He will be sorely missed.

  • Gael gan Náire

    A man of a great generation, a hard working generation and movement which the youth of West Belfast today would do well to aspire to.

    The battle cry, was ‘ná habair é, deán é’ – dont say it – do it.

    Not for Seosamh nor his contemporaies to complain without stop about what others were failing to do, nor to cry endlessly into their pints.

    No, had a vision, and they built it. Hence, the Shaw’s Road Gaeltacht is the rock on which the Irish revival in Belfast is built, and Bunscoil Phobail Feirste the acorn from which a mass movement sprung.

  • 6countyprod

    Sorry for being off base here, but this is funny. Obama thinks that the people of Austria speak Austrian