State Primaries not taking up the Minister’s kind offer on Irish…

Simon Doyle writing in today’s Irish News notes that not one of the 76 schools using the Primary Languages Programme to fund language teaching of Irish come from that sector comes from the state sector. The initiative is described as intended (presumably amongst other things) ‘to promote the Irish language amongst Protestant children’. Perhaps it is a ‘problem’ that needs a little more than money thrown at it..?

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  • willis

    Surely integrated schools are part of the State sector?

  • Mick Fealty

    Yes, but strictly speaking so are Catholic schools. Happy for someone to hand me a better way of putting it. Protestant schools doesn’t cover it for me either.

  • Glencoppagagh

    I seem to remember that schools had the option of Irish or Spanish (Ruane’s other pet language)under this scheme. No contest really.
    It would be interesting to know how many Catholic schools have opted for Spanish over Irish.

  • GGN

    I would have been genuinely surprised if there have been any uptake.

    My concern is that in Schools were Irish has been traditionally taught at primary level in the North, to a very high standard indeed, is that that level could be watered down by the DE cirriculum version.

    But 76 schools taking up Irish in the first year, very positive indeed.

  • Barnshee

    Shows the womans limited grasp on reality
    No bord of governers at a prod scoll will touch it with the proverbial

  • Coll Ciotach

    This is indeed a pity that these children are being denied this string to there bows. Can they not see that the lack of gaelic will hamper access to jobs in the future.

  • This failure by the State sector to avail of the offer is a reflection on unionist politicians who have led their people down a sectarian cul de sac with anti Irish language rhetoric. I bet that if a fund was established to promote Ulster Scots culture in schools that many schools in nationalist areas, Gaelscoileanna included, would avail of the opportunity to learn about their Ulster Scot heritage.

    To some, however, ignorance is always bliss.

    Nelson McCausland wasn’t named after the one eyed British hero for nothing….

  • willis

    The Minister is an utterly divisive figure. It is no wonder that Prod/State schools showed no interest.

    BTW how many Integrated Primaries took up the offer?

  • Teechar

    The only folks who allowed Irish to be placed in a “sectarian cul de sac” were the language supporters who were happy to have Irish become the leitmotif of murderous Republicanism.

    Is it any surprise that the Protestant population has turned its back on Irish when they have for many years witnessed those responsible for the deaths of their kith and kin headline their activities in Irish, use an Irish strapline and when dressed in their pantomime military uniforms shout commands in Irish at each other?

  • Coll:

    Can they not see that the lack of gaelic will hamper access to jobs in the future.

    There are many good reasons for teaching and learning Irish, but jobs isn’t one of them. Not unless you’re planning to introduce a language requirement for civil servants like in the Republic…

  • Is it any surprise that the Protestant population has turned its back on Irish when they have for many years witnessed those responsible for the deaths of their kith and kin headline their activities in Irish, use an Irish strapline and when dressed in their pantomime military uniforms shout commands in Irish at each other?

    By that logic we should also turn our back on religious education in schools as there was a religious subtext to the violence here over the past 30 years.

    Sure SF have done damage to the language but ironically the IRA does most if not all of its business in English – I recall the ‘dump arms’ order and ceasefire declaration was solely delivered in English.

    The problem with Protestant schools is more to do with the failure of unionist political leadership than anything else. Unionist leadership is failing and has consistently failed to recognise that there is wrong on their side too and their ongoing Kulturkampf against Irish culture and the Irish language is part of this and is leading unionism on a road to nowhere…..

  • By that logic we should also turn our back on religious education in schools as there was a religious subtext to the violence here over the past 30 years.

    We should get rid of religious education (or at least, religious indoctrination) in schools, but not for those reasons.

    their ongoing Kulturkampf against Irish culture

    Unionist mistrust of Irish culture is a reaction against the Republican appropriation of Irish culture for political ends in the late 19C. In my grandfather’s day they had irish dancing classes in the local orange hall. It was only later that both Irish traditional culture and Catholicism became synonymous with Irish nationalism, and unfortunately this perception remains today.

  • Barnshee

    “Can they not see that the lack of gaelic will hamper access to jobs in the future”

    I can just see it– all those call centres in Gaelic -sure to employ thousands not to mention the cutting edge research in medicine, computing chemistry etc. The world can`t wait

  • There are none so blind as those who will not see, Barnshee.

    Apparently you abide by the 1984 doctrine – Ignorance is Strength…..good for you. Keep it up and keep walking down the cul de sac….

  • Barnshee

    Col

    Other than its use as

    1 an academic subject -study of to be applauded.
    2 a means of pissing off prods

    exactly what use is it?

  • Neil

    I’ve used this argument before to a little effect, so any Unionists reading, how about this: Do you think to the average militant Republican type would feel happy to see a large group of Prods talking Irish? If you as a Unionist feel that militant Republicans have hijacked Irish and in so doing have made Unionists feel that Irish language is one ‘their things’, do you feel that by not learning Irish, by walking away from that language you actually play into the hands of the people who you would describe as your enemy?

    If you really want to piss hardline Republicans off, learn Irish in your droves. De-politicise it, for if you believe that the aim of militant Republicanism is to ‘own’ Irish, and you were to walk away, it would seem to me to be about the only time Unionists walked away from a fight.

    Reminds me of Big Ian shocking the world stating he was an Irishman, a Northern Irishman first and foremost, and in that respect technically a Nationalist, albeit not in the sense that we usually see Nationalists round here. Also as I recall, the Shankill was one of the last places in Northern Ireland to speak Irish, this I read somewhere but not sure where.

  • Archie P

    Learning Irish in the North-West would only get you an answer amongst at the ProvoPalace in Great James Steet opened at the weekend.

  • Freddie

    I’m amused by the Irish language lobby’s notion that leaving Irish parked in its cultural cud de sac will somehow hobble the future of unionism.

    Yet again the strong cultural supremacist strain that declares that their one-dimensional view of what it is to be Irish is the only one that counts is very evident.

    ‘The fools the fools they have left us our gobbledegook”

    Happy to do so and take my chances.

  • Coll Ciotach

    Barnshee
    I have no wish to piss off anyone – their reaction is their business. I am pointing out the fact that the jobs are there for those with qualifications. If ignorance is your strength you will hardly worry about it, however do bear in mind that mackies and the shipyard are no longer there, so perhaps the realisation that education and knowledge are the vehicles to improvement will eventually permeate that section of the population which feels that the state will provide. It will not any more. No one owes you a living and if you do not have the skills needed in the modern workplace then you will not get employed.

    The newspapers have increasingly been advertising jobs for Irish speakers. If people do not want to educate their children to enable them to compete for those job opportunities they are doing them a disservice.

  • Neil

    Learning Irish in the North-West would only get you an answer amongst at the ProvoPalace in Great James Steet opened at the weekend.

    In your case Archie I’d have a crack at learning English before moving on to anything more taxing.

  • Barnshee

    “education and knowledge are the vehicles to improvement will eventually permeate that section of the population which feels that the state will provide. It will not any more. No one owes you a living and if you do not have the skills needed in the modern workplace then you will not get employed.”

    Could not have put it better but what the fuck use is Irish in this case

    it won`t catch on internationally

    It will be boycotted by the prods –so will organisations using it, apart from ministers fiefdoms, even here some people will demand english only.
    The commercial world will only use it if it turns a penny.

    “Fiefdoms” will transfer to “other side” and it will be dropped picked up dropped at at Joe Publics expense.

    Tranlation services if needed could be subcontacted to the country where Irish is on the lips daily and has total domination of media and communications —just as soon as its found.

    Energy would be better spent in working out how and why protestant attitude to all things Irish went from apathy or disinterest to total disdain and opposition-the unpick them.

  • Barnshee,

    I don’t accept your premise that people speak Irish ‘to piss off prods’. It’s so wrong headed an attitude that it’s its own best rebuttal.

    I don’t agree with your notion that Irish is useful as an academic subject – though some users of Irish feel that only those who have perfect Irish should speak it and those people make a nice living out of translating unread documents in English to unread documents in Irish, thank you very much.

    Irish is used everyday all over the country by thousands of people as a living language – they don’t need to justify their use of the language to you or anyone. It’s a fact.

    Your notion, however, that something has to have a ‘use’ is a dangerous one in an educational context. Studying Irish or many other subjects isn’t necessarily aimed at ensuring that a person can use the skill learned usefully to generate income later in life. Studying Irish or many other subjects increases our understanding of the world around us and IS NO BURDEN. In fact it’s been shown in studies conducted by the likes of the University of London that bilingualism staves off diseases such as Alzheimers or by the University in Galway that those who attend Irish medium primary schools and undergo immersion education have better literacy in Irish and English than those who attend English only schools.

    Your attitude is only useful in the context of a factory like system which produces production units to take part in the manufacturing process or the business of offering services. It totally ignores the notion of education as being as an essential element of personal development.

  • Glencoppagagh

    Concubhar
    “…bilingualism staves off diseases such as Alzheimers”

    So why not learn French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian…? And almost any European language you can think of would have superior cultural and economic value than Irish.
    Only little Irelanders see advantage in learning Irish ahead of other languages.

  • Glencoppagh – what makes you think that we ‘little Irelanders’ aren’t learning numerous other languages more easily than little Englanders or little northern Irelanders – as A level results in modern languages bear out – because we are bilingual to start with?
    Academic studies show that those who learn one additional language at an early age have an advantage when learning additional languages.
    But try tellling that to a blinkered language bigot….

  • Coll Ciotach

    “Is it any surprise that the Protestant population has turned its back on Irish when they have for many years witnessed those responsible for the deaths of their kith and kin headline their activities in Irish, use an Irish strapline and when dressed in their pantomime military uniforms shout commands in Irish at each other?”

    Whatis there reaction to the British Army using a Gaelic strapline?

  • Reader

    Conchubhar O Liathain: Academic studies show that those who learn one additional language at an early age have an advantage when learning additional languages.
    I see that the discussion has already become heated on various levels. Let’s avoid that. But Irish simply cannot be sold *solely* on the grounds of offering early bilingual ability. *Any* of the other languages mentioned above, if chosen, would offer exactly the same benefit, plus it would be immediately more economically marketable.
    You just don’t have a utilitarian selling point for Irish over, say, Spanish, in the same role.

  • fin

    I use to love a bit of Morris dancing but then the English hijacked it, the British government should pass a law immediately making Morris dancing appealing to me once again.

    I also use to like prawns but I don’t anymore, I’m sure thats somebody elses fault aswell.

    I use to love the colour blue but than I saw a picture of that Peter Andre wearing a blue jumper and I don’t like it anymore, Peter Andres agent should make him do something to make me like the colour blue again.

    My Irish is shit I wish it was better, but I’ve decided, I’m just going to blame British oppression for putting me of learning it, if it wasn’t for the Brits I’d probably be starring in Riverdance aswell, you bastards.

    There’s something patheic about people who blame others for things they’ve failed to do.

  • Reader

    Mick Fealty: Happy for someone to hand me a better way of putting it. Protestant schools doesn’t cover it for me either.
    I think the term you were looking for is ‘controlled schools’. There are also ‘voluntary schools’ – notably the voluntary grammar sector.
    Is there any chance of a link to the actual figures? If the controlled sector took up Spanish instead, then all of the utilitarian arguments that filled up the first page of discussion are moot; Spanish was bound to win on those grounds. But if the controlled sector didn’t take up Spanish either, *then* there are some sensible questions to be asked.

  • barnshee

    Time the equality commission got involved-
    Why has ulster scots not been promoted in the same way ?

    Bloody discrimination by the minister thats what I say

  • ersehole

    Barnshee,

    I will now mark your bilingual statement…

    “No bord of governers at a prod scoll will touch it with the proverbial”

    English: Marked down for misspelling of governors and missing word bargepole.

    Irish: Good attempt. bord is Irish for board – 100%. You got scoil (school) phonetically correct but slightly misspelled it.

    Well done!

  • barnshee

    ersehole

    tried hard for irony– got let down by my tiping

  • Glencoppagagh

    Concubhar
    In how many other languages are you proficient?
    You may respond in one of them if you wish.

  • kensei

    It was only later that both Irish traditional culture and Catholicism became synonymous with Irish nationalism, and unfortunately this perception remains today.

    Actually, it was probably O’Connell that did that. Emancipation and the mass political movement fused the idea of Cathoic Irish more than anything else. Which was early-mid C19. Some of the more cultural thingsbecame more entangled later, but that was definitely nationalist in charcater.

    It should be pointed out that the Constitutional tradition is far more responsible for it than the republican one.

  • kensei:

    Well, my grandfather was born in 1889 so I suppose he witnessed the tail end of this process pre-partition (I’m not sure if he himself was one of the children getting Irish dancing lessons in the Orange Hall – I’ll have to quiz my gran about it). What is evident is that pre-partition the political/cultural divisions, while present, were less absolute than today.