‘I’ll say something in English until she say’s something in English’ – BBC apologises

The BBC have apologised for the remarks of reporter Gareth Gordon following Bairbre de Brún’s election as an MEP. Bairbre spoke first in Irish, to howls of derision from the TUV and others after she topped the poll in the euro election. This prompted the BBC to lower the volume and for reporter Gareth Gordon to remark …

‘I’ll say something in English until she say’s something in English’

Following a flood of complaints from Irish speakers, Irish language organisations and Sinn Féin (The SDLP may also may complained?), the BBC have issued an apology.

’We accept that our reporter’s comments and interjection during the initialpart of Ms de Brún’s speech were inappropriate and apologise for any offence which may have been caused. This was not our intention……We understand the importance of linguistic diversity and have been workingto develop our minority language output. What occurred in this instancewas a mistake and does not reflect any wider editorial policy in relation to Irish. Your concerns have been shared with relevant colleagues and we will action the lessons learned.’

I think that that is a little progress frankly. You can read the whole scéal on An Druma Mór Nuacht – http://andrumamornuacht.blogspot.com/2009/06/labhair-bearla-bbc.html

  • Paul

    They should have made no apology. The time wasting political use of Irish Gaelic by Sinn Fein is a complete joke.

  • Gael gan Náire

    Paul,

    That is clearly a matter between yourself and the BBC.

  • And on the 12th I love to wear

    Paul,

    Do you feel threatened by the Irish language or does your rage and hostility stem from your own community’s lack of meaningful culture (short of triumphant marches through Catholic communities dressed in orange and suave bowler hats)

  • Gael gan Náire

    And on the 12th I love to wear,

    Or perhaps he is reacting to attitudes like yours??

    “own community’s lack of meaningful culture”

    This is nonsense, everyone, apart from perhaps really broken down societies has culture.

    Culture is simply what you do.

    Folks, I often post things concerning Irish, and often great efforts are made to drag them down in the gutter.

    But one does not have to take the bait.

  • Mairseail Ui Neill

    Fáilte curtha roimh leithscéal ón BBC

    June 18, 2009

    Cuir urlabhraí Gaeilge Shinn Féin Proinsias Ó Brallaigh CTR fáilte roimh an BBC a gabháil a cuid leithscéalaí le Gaeilgeoirí na Sé Chontae mar gheall ar iriseoir ón stáisiún ag caint le linn óráid Gaelach Bairbre de Brún i ndiaidh bua s’aicí i dtoghchán na hEorpa.

    Ag labhairt do inniu dúirt an tUasal Uí Bhrollaigh;

    “Táim iontach sásta go n-aithníonn an BBC go raibh an dí-mheas seo go hiomlan mí-glactha.

    Nuair a thosaigh Bairbre óráid s’aicí as Gaeilge lán iriseoir ón chlár spéisialta ar Ráidió Uladh BBC leis a labhairt tharr an rud. Léirigh seo dí-mheas millteanach don phobail Gaeilge anseo sna Sé Chontae.

    Tá cearta áirithe ag an Gaeilge faoin Cairt Eorpach agus mar sin de, mar údaráis poiblí tá dualgais ar an BBC cinntiú go bhfuil tuairisceoireacht cothrom agus meas léirithe don teanga.

    I ndiaidh a lán gearán ó lucht éisteachta Ráidió Uladh, d’aontaigh siad go raibh sé go hiomlán “neamhfhóirsteanach” agus gabhail siad a leithscéal. Cuirim fáilte roimh seo agus aithním gur dhúirt an BBC nach bhfuil seo mar chuid de polasaithe eagarthóireachta s’acu.

    Tá an Ghaeilge beo, bríomhar agus oscailte do chách le bries agus 65 Gaelscoileanna ar fur an Tuaisceart. Tá dualgais ar an BBC cearta na bpáistí seo, agus achan Gaelgóir, a chosaint.” CRÍOCH

    Sinn Féin welcome BBC apology on the Irish language

    June 18, 2009

    Sinn Fein MLA and Irish language spokesperson, Francie Brolly has welcomed the apology from the BBC with regards to coverage of Bairbre de Brún’s acceptance speech in Irish following her election to the European parliament

    Speaking today Mr Brolly said:

    “I welcome the BBC’s apology in relation to the interference in the broadcasting of the Irish language section of Bairbre de Brún’s acceptance speech after she was re-elected to the European parliament.

    “As Ms de Brún began her speech in Irish a BBC reporter commented that he would continue to talk over it, showing a complete disregard for the Irish language audience and the wider Irish speaking community as a whole.

    “The Irish language is protected under the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages and therefore the BBC, as a public authority, has a duty to ensure that there is adequate coverage and respect for the language. The continued commentary was completely unacceptable.

    “Following numerous complaints from listeners the BBC has apologised stating that the reporters remarks and interjections were “inappropriate” and that they “apologise for any offence caused. I welcome this move and also the fact that the BBC has stated that this instance was not in line with their editorial policy.

    “The Irish language is thriving and open to all, with over 65 Irish language schools in the six counties and with almost 4000 children attending. The rights of these children and all Irish speakers must be protected by the BBC.”

  • And on the 12th I love to wear

    GGN

    You really are gan náire uaireanta when trying to apologise for the naked bigotry associated with some in the unionist community.

    The woman has dedicated her whole life to the advancement of the language and she has the right to speak in when she bloody well wants – unionists can either act their age or walk away, but they have no right to start shouting someone down when exercising their right to free speech or to start throwing baseless, lazy slurs around

  • Gael gan Náire

    And on the 12th I love to wear,

    I apologised for nothing, but I beleive that it is best not to go down to the level of ‘the naked bigotry associated with some in the unionist community.’

    Do as you wish, but saying unionism has no ‘meaningful culture’ lets the racist bigots of the hook at little bit.

    I think by not going down to that level the hate is better exposed.

  • underwood

    I have no Irish, it’s not something I’m into – but keep up the good work Gael gan Nire. Your attitude is an excellent advert for the language, and is a measure of yourself – well done.

    Speaking of languages, I do have English, and this crap had my teeth on edge, “and we will action the lessons learned”. Good God almighty, some clown thought this was great. Plain English please.

  • shibboleth

    Did Barbara walk off at the reult because sing God save the Queen was not in Irish?

  • West of the Bann

    With all due respect to Bairbre De Brun, may I ask why does Ms. De Brun choose to speak Irish at the election results, and I fully appreciate why she is doing it, but on the other hand — and most importantly and critically — she has apparently deliberately chosen not to speak out against the campaign to destroy the gaelscoileanna by her own party.
    Bairbre was one of the first four teachers at Meanscoil Feirste, and we all certainly respect and salute her for her courage and great work at that time. But she and others in the so-called leadership need to understand that a huge fissure has been opened up against the working-class community.
    The statements by Messrs. Burke in Dublin and O’Dwyer in Wexford have been very troubling on why they left Sinn Fein.
    Those statements pale in comparison in what Sinn Fein has done to destroy the independent Irish language education system in the North — that is one of the very best in the world — while SF is carrying on what one must conclude is nothing more than a PR charade to get in the face of the DUP and to give the false impression to their own supporters that SF is still true to their principles — when those principles were binned long ago.
    A huge fissure has opened up.
    If this fissure is not addressed, then out of necessity the time has come for a velvet revolution against the Sinn Fein leadership.
    Northern Ireland has quickly but cunningly turned into another Iran.
    It is no longer acceptable for the children of Ulster to pay the price of a few who chose power over the people. This has made a mockery of democracy and the wishes of the working-class.
    Sinn Fein has stuck it to the Irish language colleges in Derry and Cookstown. This may be acceptable to the civil service who have always hated Irish and to Sinn Fein itself, but it is completely unacceptable to the people on the ground who pay the wages of everyone in government and power.
    Ms. De Brun, where do you stand?
    With the people, or against the people?

  • I know Gareth well and was surprised to hear him say that. It does not reflect my experience of him. I am glad the apology has been made. We have many miles to travel before we properly accept the Irish language, not as a political tool but as a legitimate form of expression which belongs to all the people of this island irrespective of their class, creed or political outlook.

  • Pancho’s Horse

    What language was that,shibboleth? And,GGN, please litrigh an focal ‘náire’ i gceart. Tá sé ag cur isteach ar mo dhidí.

  • GGN

    West of the Bann,

    Ms. de Brún will of course claim that she stands with those who elected her. The ‘people’ have a chance to have a ‘velvet revolution’ every time there is an election.

    Pancho’s house,

    Is ar an suíomh atá an locht, chan ormsa!

  • Swerve

    The woman has dedicated her whole life to the advancement of the language and she has the right to speak in when she bloody well wants – unionists can either act their age or walk away, but they have no right to start shouting someone down when exercising their right to free speech or to start throwing baseless, lazy slurs around

    Of course she has the right to speak it, just as Willie McCrea has the right to burst into a gospel song at an election count. It doesn’t mean that BBC election count coverage should be obliged to broadcast either in full. Or the singing of God Save The Queen for that matter. They’re there to report the news, to impart useful information.

  • Reader

    Swerve: Of course she has the right to speak it, just as Willie McCrea has the right to burst into a gospel song at an election count. It doesn’t mean that BBC election count coverage should be obliged to broadcast either in full.
    I do remember the old days when IP(senior) would burst into song. I don’t remember having to put up with very much of it at one go though.
    A reasonable balance would be for a broadcaster to give a certain time quota to each winner, and let them spend it as they wish. I have rarely heard anything from the podium as informative or appealing as the initial polite formalities anyway.

  • Gael Go On Mope

    I wonder should the BBC be required to say sorry given that the presenters talked over the singing of ‘God Save the Queen’ as opposed to standing to attention and either remaining silent or singing along?

    Then again given that ‘mutual respect’, and ‘one-way street’ are all English words perhaps they are unknown in Irish?

  • caoimhin

    An absolute disgrace. Gareth Gordan should be relieved of his position.

    He has clearly shown that he is not capable of impartial news coverage. This comment demonstrates a deep resentment and disrespect of the Irish language. If the BBC is truly dedicated to developing diversity, then statements such as these should not be tolerated.

  • Donall

    West of the Bann has brought up very serious issues. They need to be answered, not off the cuff dismissed.
    The “tyranny-of-the-majority” logic does not hold water as a response.
    If there are injustices, they must be addressed truthfully and honestly. They cannot be simply ignored. That demeans us all.

  • Anon

    Ceisteanna móra tromchúiseacha ó West of the Bann.
    An bhfuil duine ar bith chun iad a fhreagairt?

  • Gael gan Náire

    Anon, Donal, West of the Bann.

    You do realise that I can see the IP addresses?

    Or should I say the single IP address.

    Stop trolling and grow up.

  • WindsorRocker

    Puzzled that this was even an issue.
    What is wrong with a journalist providing live analysis at an event broadcast on primetime drivetime radio to fill in with his own analytical comments whilst something was going on at the event that would not have been understood by 90% of the listeners.

  • SM

    GGN you have a sensible attitude to these things its seems and are a good representative for your language community, unlike some of the ranting numpties on here. I’m sure it never crossed that reporter’s mind that some folk listening might actually understand what de Brun was saying, and I’m equally sure that next time he is in a similar situation he will be very mindful of it 🙂

  • puca

    Bairbre De Brun topped the poll. Jesus Christ!

  • EyeOnTheNorth

    Disgusting to hear the TUV mob heckling De Brun for speaking Irish. This thick, unashamed bigotry inspires the intolerance of the Village Idiots hounding Roma’s out of town.
    Are’nt unionists embarrassed by their reputation in the world as borderline fascists?

  • Gareth Gordan should be relieved of his position.

    Bollocks. He chose a slightly unfortunate turn of phrase.

  • StarHound

    ‘5.Gareth Gordan should be relieved of his position.

    Bollocks. He chose a slightly unfortunate turn of phrase. ‘

    It was a lot more than ‘unfortunate’. I think it gives us a glimpse into what still happens in some parts of the BBC where lipservice may be paid to ‘regional’ languages and culture but imperial attitudes still prevail.

    How can someone who displays such a level of insensitivity and such a lack of professionalism be trusted to deliver impartial journalism?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Chekov,

    Bollocks. He chose a slightly unfortunate turn of phrase.

    On the head. This interjection of a few words of Irish followed up by an English translation amounts to a silly stunt.

  • I’m among those who often crticises SF for using the Irish language as an electoral stunt – but people like Bairbre de Brún are genuine Irish speakers who love the language without equivocation. Whatever about Gareth Gordon being relieved of his position, I hope this incident engenders a more professional attitude among BBC reporters towards the Irish language. The day when they can get away with mispronouncing names because they’re in Irish or talking over someone because they happen to be speaking Irish at a public event.
    What Gareth Gordon should have been able to do, as Irish is a language spoken by a significant proportion of the public in the north, albeit a minority, he should have translated what Bairbre was saying for the non Irish speaking audience…. The very least he should have been doing is expecting this and having a word with Bairbre beforehand to get a summary of what she was going to say so he could have provided it as sonn as she finished speaking….

  • I’m among those who often crticises SF for using the Irish language as an electoral stunt – but people like Bairbre de Brún are genuine Irish speakers who love the language without equivocation. Whatever about Gareth Gordon being relieved of his position, I hope this incident engenders a more professional attitude among BBC reporters towards the Irish language. The day when they can get away with mispronouncing names because they’re in Irish or talking over someone because they happen to be speaking Irish at a public event.
    What Gareth Gordon should have been able to do, as Irish is a language spoken by a significant proportion of the public in the north, albeit a minority, he should have translated what Bairbre was saying for the non Irish speaking audience…. The very least he should have been doing is expecting this and having a word with Bairbre beforehand to get a summary of what she was going to say so he could have provided it as sonn as she finished speaking….

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Would Anna Lo have a right to start her speeches off in Chinese?

  • Apologies for the double posting – a slip of the finger…..

  • Would Anna Lo have a right to start her speeches off in Chinese?

    Why not? If Northern Ireland is as multi cultural as the UK generally, though recent events in Belfast give the lie somewhat to that assertion, should there be a problem if someone speaks a language other than English at a public event?
    However comparing Irish and Chinese is like comparing apples and oranges. Irish is an indigenous language protected by the European Charter of Regional and Minority Languages to which the British Government have signed up – Chinese isn’t, though it is spoken by a significant section of the population.

    It’s not a question of languages competing with one another – it is a question of sharing public space. The BBC has no right to constrain the use of public space by minorities because of the ignorance and unprofessionalism of one of its reporters…

  • Daphné Tremblez

    [i]Would Anna Lo have a right to start her speeches off in Chinese? [/i]

    Yes, of course she would you bigoted twat. And there would be no doubt about her right to do so if the Chinese language was officially recognised, as Irish is.

    Now, go back to wanking about those gents who “seen” to the Gypsies.

  • RG Cuan

    Tá sé ag cur isteach ar mo dhidí.

    Iontach… ach barraíocht eolais!

    HONEST BROKER

    It’s clear you lead a very, very sad existence. Since it appears you only travel to countries where English is spoken, maybe it hasn’t occurred to you that most people in the world are actually bilingual.

    And Irish is an official language in the south and of the EU.

    Get out more.

  • Gael gan Náire

    I would love to hear Anno Lo giving us a bit of Cantonese.

    I am pleased with the apololgy, I wouldnt call for anyone to lose their job.

    I am sure someone had a chat with Gareth. Good enough for me.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    “[i]However comparing Irish and Chinese is like comparing apples and oranges. Irish is an indigenous language protected by the European Charter of Regional and Minority Languages to which the British Government have signed up – Chinese isn’t, though it is spoken by a significant section of the population.”[/i]

    Is the indigenous part more important to the EU?

    What would stop the EU from giving the Chinese language the same rights as the Irish or Ulster-Scots language here in N.Ireland?

  • Ulsters my homeland

    “[i]I would love to hear Anno Lo giving us a bit of Cantonese.”[/i]

    So would I. I can speak to 10 in Mandarin, I usually show off in the Chinese restaurant, they’re well impressed LOL. Was taught it by an uncle who travelled quite a bit.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    …count to 10

  • Gael gan Náire

    Point of info.

    The European Charter of Regional and Minority Languages is nothing to do with the EU.

    And it only covers indigeonous languages.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Not a very fair charter then. Something for the UN to get their hands into.

  • The Conveyor Belt

    “What Gareth Gordon should have been able to do, as Irish is a language spoken by a significant proportion of the public in the north, albeit a minority, he should have translated what Bairbre was saying for the non Irish speaking audience….”

    So the next time she speaks in English, maybe he should translate to Irish with say mandarin subtitles ???

    “the non Irish speaking audience….” what the other 99.9933% of the worlds population you mean ?????

    would that please you ?

    here a hint for you dude

    preview your post next time,
    count to 10 and ask yourself “will this post make me look like an idiot” (hint : the answer will invariably be yes).
    Close Web Browser,
    Switch Computer Off,
    Administer a large dose of Prozac
    Have a nice lie down.

  • Gael gan Náire

    The above post makes my point.

    The individual does not want this issue debated. Therefore has decided to be as offensive and as ignorant as possible.

    Hoping that themuns will take the bait and that a sectarian bun fight will proceed.

    I hope that the bait is not taken, and the individual above will fail.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Should the Irish language be part and parcel of the public Internet? should we have an Irish UK section and an Irish Irish section?….

    …oops maybe we should call that a Gaelic UK section and a Gaelic Irish section….how silly of me. LOL

  • Comrade Stalin

    I would love to hear Anno Lo giving us a bit of Cantonese.

    I expect the reason why you haven’t is because she has the goddam common courtesy not to be ignorant and use it when speaking to an audience full of people who do not understand it.

    I would imagine she uses it when in the company of others who speak it.

  • Concubhar

    It seems all you have to do to bring out the anti freedom of expression fascists is mention the Irish language and out they come. After all what happened here was Bairbre spoke some Irish and for her troubles was silenced by The Man from The Bbc. imagine that being done to previous polltoppers! And this in a week when people were rightly celebrating the endorsement of the journalist’s right to protect a source, an indispensable element of the freedom of expression. Similarly the right to speak Irish, without being penalized by a supposedly impartial public service broadcaster. is an element of the same right. Hats off to Comrade Stalin&co; for being true to form and showing us the true value of British democracy.

  • Auntie

    Breaking News

    The beeb are to organise a public beheading of Greth Gordon to appease the rabid ranters on sluggerofools website.

  • gonna have

    Gonna have to do tis teh hard way

    less than 0.002% of the world speaks the irish “language” so why is this news ?????

  • The Irish for troll is ‘Cráiteachán’. Something new Admin Level, Auntie and Co. will learn from today as they comprehensively, and with a great display of illiteracy, illustrate the unBritish value of intolerance….the same way their Combat 18 brethren were driving the Roma/other ‘foreigners’ from the Village

  • Mark McGregor

    I get the feeling that Gordon may have been responding to a request by producers in his ear-piece to talk over the Irish and his reply to them went out. Still the same general problem to be dealt with but I’m not sure the reporter is the issue in all this.

  • Big Maggie

    Dear Troll,

    It matters not a whit whether the “IP ban” is working. Your posts do “your side” no favours. They serve only to reinforce the Nationalist perception that Unionists are intolerant of so many things it’s quite dizzying.

    Gael gan Náire,

    I’d have welcomed your take on the childish TUV response to Bairbre de Brún’s victory speech. I mean to say: booing!? Just don’t let anybody make jokes any more about primitive tribes in New Guinea or the Amazon basin; we have enough uncivilized behaviour here in the Wee North to fill an entire issue of National Geographic.

  • teh honest broker

    Gael gan Náire is raging |:(

  • Pete Baker

    Due to the incessant trolling on this post I’ve closed comments earlier than usual.

    My apologies to those who wished to discuss the actual topic.

    Pete.