“tuv-blast-leprechaun-language-waste”

Its called racism folks.

Its nasty, it is hatred, inspired by ignorance. It seeks to promote ignorance and hatred beyond itself in order to make the world a worse place – to bring it down to its own level.

I have never, and clearly will never understand why a large section of ‘unionism’ seeks to maximise the vote for a united Ireland and seeks to alienate the maximum number of people possible from the ‘United Kingdom’. I am clearly not supposed to understand.

Whatever this unionism is about, it is not about a union with Britain.

It is not about being ‘British’ either, I know. I know British people from Britain. Most of whom do not talk like that.

What is it about then? Explain to the Tadhg.

UPDATE : ‘TUV sorry for “leprechaun” slur’ – BBC

Who says blogging can’t change anything? We have to graciously acknowledge this apology from Jim Allister in my view. This is progress, and I for one am grateful for it. It is possible to discuss things and to disagree without trying to be offensive.

Heads up to “Big Bopper”.

  • exile

    Not a very good week for Little Jim and Angry Keith: first stitched up good and proper in Craigavon and then forced to apologise to murderous leprechauns.

    Amateurs

  • Seimi

    Nice one 🙂

  • Dave

    GGN, in case that wasn’t clear enough: the British state exists to promote British culture. In regard to the Irish nation, it also has its own state which also exists as the sovereign territorial entity that allows that nation to “freely determine [its] political status and freely pursue [its] economic, social and cultural development.” Likewise, most of the other minority national groups within the UK come from nations that have achieved a right to national self-determination. Those national groups are not in any way deprived of their right to national self-determination by living in a British state since their right national self-determination exists in the state that they came to the UK from and is not in any way altered by their migration from that state. If they find it impossible to live under British national self-determination or outside of their own nation-state, then they have the option of living in their own nation-state. They are not entitled to declare that the host nation must void its right to national self-determination by censoring its culture or promoting their culture or equal or any other terms. The host nation may at its discretion upgrade the promotion of the non-national culture beyond the level required under various international treaties promoting non-indigenous culture or language. It cannot be argued, however, that the Irish language will in any way suffer by the failure of the British unitary state to support it, since the Irish language already enjoys the protection of the Irish state. The only reason it should be supported by the British state within NI is because a significant minority of its citizens want the state to support it. That, however, is a political decision, and is not rights-based. It might be tactical of the British nation in that region to support the language if they feel that will make the Irish nation in that region more likely to support the British state, but I doubt that will have any effect since even if they don’t support it, they are in no position to change it.

  • Seimi

    ‘…since the Irish language already enjoys the protection of the Irish state.’

    That’s in the South. In the North, part of ‘the British unitary state’, it enjoys no such protection. So, surely, the british state is failing in this – ‘the British state exists to promote British culture.’

  • Dave

    Seimi, you missed the point:

    “It cannot be argued, however, that the Irish language will in any way suffer by the failure of the British unitary state to support it, since the Irish language already enjoys the protection of the Irish state. The only reason it should be supported by the British state within NI is because a significant minority of its citizens want the state to support it. That, however, is a political decision, and is not rights-based.”

    The ECRML obliges the UK state to protect the Irish language as a minority language (just as it obliges every other country in Europe to do where Irish is spoken in significant numbers), but that doesn’t apply in Ireland because it is the official language of the Irish state. In reality the provision is redundant since Irish language would not be in any danger if the British state did not promote it. It might have fewer speakers in that region as a result, but even if it had zero speakers in that region, that would not endanger the language. The provision is mainly aimed at European languages that belong to European nations that do not enjoy the protection of a state (i.e. the stateless nations of Europe).

  • Skintown Lad

    Can someone explain how this can be described as “racist”?

    The above is a question, not a point.

  • Micheál Ó Seanáin

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leprechaun
    Above is the Wiki description of a Leprechaun if anyone is interested. I have no doubt that Leprechauns are aware of the culture of their island and are fluent in Gaelic. I have also no doubt that they are fluent in English too. They have room in their lives for two wonderful languages and by definion are bi-lingual. I don’t know of any who are against English because it is associated with England and the union Jack. I’m sure they don’t regard English as a Protestant/Impirical language either. Both languages are a means of communication and are different and rich and worthwhile. C’mon into the 21st Century TUV and take off your sectarian spectacles. Irish is for everyone in the world, man, woman child and of course Leprechaun.

  • RG Cuan

    DEMOCRATIC

    No Irish speaker is asking for linguistic equality in all areas, but we are asking for equality in ways that will actually have a positive impact on our lives.

    Complete access to Irish medium education; continued support for Irish language media; driving licence, passport, important forms made available in Irish; complete bilingual road signage in areas that are pro-Gaelic etc.

    Of course the Irish language population are the driving force behind our own lives and we’ll continue to speak Gaelic with our families, friends, work colleagues etc. but a general recognition from officialdom that 10% of the population of NI identify with the language would be a step forward.

    SKINTOWN LAD

    According to UN conventions, racism includes both racial and ethnic discrimination.

    Gaels, Irish speakers etc., are an ethnic grouping and so descriptions of them as ‘leprechauns’, or as a ‘dead people’, are highly racist.

    It’s a bit like equating black people with the character that used to be on the side of marmalade jars, back in the days when racial abuse was almost accepted. In 2009, anywhere in the world, it shouldn’t be.

  • DR

    RG, what does “10% of the population Identify with the language” mean? and what are “pro-Gaelic areas”

    can some one tell me how many people use Irish as their “first language” around the home I guess that means, I persume no-one in NI only speaks Irish and cant understand English, so why chase after stupid things like forms and signs and concentrate on education and resources in Irish, would that not do the language more good and not get English speakers backs up.

  • Danny Boy

    No, that’s not what ‘first language’ means, but it’s pretty irrelevant anyway. No-one who wants to be able to communicate with the state in Irish has said it’s because they don’t speak English. All of the fluent Irish speakers I know are far more interested in grass roots services (education and entertainment, basically) than bilingual driving licences, but there is no point pretending that the symbolism of Irish being used by the state is not important. And if there’s one way to make that symbolic gesture appear absolutely vital, it’s by warning speakers of a language which has been systematically suppressed over centuries not to ‘get English speakers’ backs up’.

  • Seimi

    This has appeared on the TUV website:-

    http://www.tuv.org.uk/press-releases/view/382/correction

    I’m assuming that it relates to the Leprechaun Language headline, however, as it doesn’t mention which press release it relates to, it’s hard to say.

    I await their apology for calling the Irish language a ‘dead language’ with baited breath…

  • Democratic

    RG Cuan – nothing in that list would bother me my friend – good luck to you in your endeavours.

  • Skintown Lad

    Thanks for your reply RG.

    I’m not sure it is helpful or appropriate to link language and ‘race’ in this way. As an Irishman I would be happy to learn more of the language, without feeling that it is not really ‘mine’ because of my British ethnicity, (whatever the hell THAT means).

    The ‘golly wog’ link is very tenuous.

  • sixteenninety

    Hah! So much for our Traditional Unionist Voice. Erse IS a leprachaun language to Traditional Unionists. Internet folk complain and our voice is muted straight away!!

    Shame on you Allister and your Lundy language!!

    WHO will lead the Traditional Unionists and Loyal folk now???

  • Seimi

    There there sixteenninety, calm down…

  • Seimi

    ‘The ECRML obliges the UK state to protect the Irish language as a minority language’

    So far Dave, it has not fulfilled its obligations to the Irish language, something which has been noted and commented on by COMEX, the committee of experts for the ECRML. So it isn’t protecting the language.

  • RG Cuan

    DR

    In the last census, around 10% of the population of NI said they have some ability in Irish. Of course the % speaking the language on a daily basis is smaller than this but this 10% can still be said to identify with Irish Gaelic.

    Pro-Gaelic areas would be areas where the majority of the population support the language, and where a significant percentage use it. For example, in some townlands Irish speakers make up over 30% of the local population. On my own road there are about 70 residents, and I can think of at least 27 fluent Irish speakers among them who use Irish on a daily basis.

    DEMOCRATIC – Thank you / Go raibh maith agat

    SKINTOWN LAD

    No problem for the reply.

    I would love for people in NI, who identify themselves as British, to find out more about Gaelic. At the end of the day it’s only a language and it is for everybody. There are loads of classes and info out there but you may also be interested in the Ultach Trust, who promote Irish on a cross-community basis – http://www.ultach.org

    And I never intended to link language and ‘race’, but there is a link, in this case, between language and ethnicity.

    Just as you mentioned your British ethnicity, many people here with Irish/Gaelic ethnicity speak Irish Gaelic.

  • Greenflag

    News flash just in from ‘intelligent ‘ TUV spokesperson

    ‘Shower of feckers these Irish language people . Surely if English was good enough for Jesus Christ then it’s good enough for everybody else and we don’t need any other languages except Ulster Scots ‘

    For those who want to grow beyond the gobshittery of the language wars recent neurological research into age related diseases such as Alzheimers , Senile Dementia and other ‘brain sourced ‘ tell us that those folks who speak two or more languages have a much lower incidence of the above complaints than the purist ‘monoglots’ or one language only people.

    It seems that even the effort to learn another language helps the ‘brain’ and keeps it’s neurons flexible and firing on all cylinders and for longer than for those who stick to one language . As one who speaks hibern -english as well as german and can read french and speaks some irish but understands more and can read more, and who used to speak japanese and zulu and get by in russian I naturally agree with the research findings;)

    By not learning another language whatever it is, people are doing themselves a personal disservice.
    At a very basic level knowing Irish should help many people in NI learn what their ‘names ‘ mean and what their town or townland’s name means in the original ulster -irish .

    Now where the f*** did I put down my car keys , specs and wallet ;(?

  • Brian MacAodh

    Greenflag

    How do you say “re-partition” in Zulu?

  • Binglee Boo

    Why so sensitive? If the Irish-speaking community is as confident and growing (and only interested in the language as a cultural expression) as is claimed what’s with the hysterical reaction to comments made by a party opposed to the language?

    The truth is that the Irish language in 2009 is carrying a lot of political, and indeed sectarian, baggage with it.

    Where is the growth in Irish located in NI? Who are the people involved? Set aside all the hype and spin, Irish is the preserve of one community and particularly the sharp end of that community.

    The bottom line is that the ‘average unionist’ has little interest in Irish and that extends to not caring about it being used by those who want to.

    What they do care about is public funds being used to fund what is a partisan interest and they are suspicious of people who want to “live their lives” in Irish because that in itself has no practical value given the universal knowledge of English and smacks of political point-scoring.

  • DR

    I must admit I do understand a smidgen of Irish, almost entirely from placenames, I am actively involved in a local cross community history group where we have had many dicussions on the meanings of local names, at least half the origins are debatable, which is why I am strongly against “re-translating” the names back into Irish on signs, let the spellings sit in their Anglicanised Gaelic compromise.
    It is maybe a little ironic to some that one of the strongest advocates of retaining townland and Gealic placenames has been the Orange Order, and certainly one way to reach out to protestants is through explaining where the names come from.
    Another possible route of breaking down the divide is to work with the Scots Gaelic community which is strong in the Wee Free Church there, and learn the language from a religious perspective.
    (was just wondering how different was Ulster Gaelic from say Munster Gaelic, have heard that Scots Gaelic could be clsoer to what was spoken here, maybe thats what we should be learning!!)

  • Seimi

    ‘Irish is the preserve of one community and particularly the sharp end of that community.’

    The sharp end? What does that mean? It must include me, but I dont know how…?

  • I just couldn’t resist.

    http://keltalingvoj.blogspot.com/2009/11/cen-fath.html

    Are you expecting a reply from Mr. Harbinson, Daithí?
    ….

    Not really, Seimi.

    …..

    The one good thing about be a pessimist is that one truly enjoys being proved wrong.

  • Brit

    The level of state funding should reflect the level of public interest and participation in Gaelic and take into account the social and political ‘benefits’ associated with it.

    None of this justifies the use of racist or discriminatory language nor any oppression of the speakers of the language.

  • Brit

    “An awful lot of British people see the TUV (and many DUP )Unionists as bigotted and intransigent” above

    Most (non NI) British people have never heard of the TUV or DUP – they’ve probably just about heard for Paisley and Adams and thats it. Its partly a lack of interest in NI and party a general political ignorance (most probably couldnt name the leader of the third biggest Party in the UK).

  • JohnRoss

    The plight of the Irish language within the six counties is really part of a much wider global issue. Of the approximately 6,800 languages in the world today well over 6000 are in danger of extinction within a generation. Irish is actually in the top 500 languages worldwide in terms of daily speakers(outside the education system), population living in predominantly Gaeilic speaking areas and literature being published. While many may be inclined to say so what. I take the view that loosing 6000+ languages in one generation is a huge loss to the diversity of human life on Earth.

    In terms of road signage. I personally find it interesting to learn a little about the village I drive through by the Irish name of a place.

    I would challenge anyone who claims Irish has political Baggage. The language never killed anyone. While I accept some people’s view of the language may be colored if the only experience they have of it is coming from the mouth of some shinner it is the opposition to the language (from both sides of the community here) that has created this.

  • skerriesred

    I would like to direct the TUV to look at the amount of money wasted on Irish language education in the South before complaining about the amount wasted north of the border.
    They get away lightly!
    Leprechaun language insults me try “Dead” or “Useless” or “ridiculous”.

  • RG Cuan

    BINGLEE BOO

    Any baggage that you claim the Irish language to have comes from the eye of the beholder, not the other way round.

    For years the Irish language community – not politicians but the actual Irish speaking population – has simply gone on with their daily lives; working in Irish, playing in Irish, broadcasting in Irish, writing in Irish, loving in Irish, teaching in Irish etc.

    They don’t do it to score points, but because it is their language. That’s it, sin é, no big deal.

    And your comment about ‘practical value’ illustrates you have little understanding of diversity or multiculturalism.

    DR

    Glad you like your placenames although a true compromise would be to have bilingual signs – the original Irish version that means something and then the newer Anglicised version.

    There are a number of Presbyterian and Church of Ireland services in Irish throughout the country if you’d like to check them out, some in Belfast.

    And for Gaelic speakers, we see ourselves as part of the same family from South Kerry to North Lewis. Like every language, dialects change along the way but all Irish Gaelic speakers can understand each other with little problem.

    Due to the historical break down in links between Gaelic Ireland and Gaelic Scotland, it is more difficult for Gaelic speakers from one country to understand someone from the other country though the connection is being revived and much more Gaeilge speakers can now communicate in Gàidhlig and visa versa.

    If you want to learn Irish, and you’re an Ulsterman, then there’s only one dialect for you! Gaeilge Uladh is one of the most vibrant dialects of an increasingly vibrant language…

  • Seimi

    I would like to direct the TUV to look at the amount of money wasted on Irish language education in the South before complaining about the amount wasted north of the border.
    They get away lightly!
    Leprechaun language insults me try “Dead” or “Useless” or “ridiculous”. – skerriesred

    You seem to have some issues. Would you like to talk about them?

  • “If any ambiguity exists in the process of translation the Irish version is accepted and has a position superior to the English version”

    You dont get it that Irish is the native language of the island. The people voted for this in 1936.

    “I am only asking that the roles of the languages are reversed”

    Ask all you want, but it wont be happening!

    “I am surprised this has never been challenged in the Courts.”

    Its not challenged because even though a lot of people cant speak Irish, they still value its position and would like it to continue.

    “How can I be held responsible for a law which is written in a language I do not understand notwithstanding the fact it is translated into English which I do comprehend but if there is doubt the unknown Irish version prevails.”

    So if you go to France, you can’t be held responsible because the law is in French???

    “The status of English being a joint official language does not provide an answer to the problem.”

    It isn’t a joint official langaue. Is í an Ghaeilge an chéad teanga oifigúil den stáit!! Ní bheidh sé at athrú!

  • N O’hare

    As of 6th Nov 2009 world pop is estimated at 6.795 Billion, while the number of global Irish speakers is estimated at 538,283

    thus a whopping 0.01% of the worlds population speaks this “language”

    to put this in perspective I would have better job prospects if I studied the Nigerian Njaw, whilst the Ethiopian Sidamo would put me at a distinct advantage. Now if i really wanted to “pull out all the stops” it would be Waray-Waray in the Philippines.

  • a victim

    Since a child I was force fed this horse shit along with christian brothers “values”, I have since moved to Birmingham and “rebuilt” my life but have never fully recovered from what i endured..

    I cried today when read this on the internet, a “leprechaun-language” no , no no no for me it is more a “child abuser” language and part and parcel of “irelands secret problems”. For me irish reminds me of the language of an abuser, for that is all i heard while I was sexually abused by priests. May they rot in the hell they so oft preached about.

  • Republic of Connaught

    Who cares what the TUV have to say about anything? Those people are a disease on this island and have little support among ordinary Unionists.

    The Irish language is a precious part of Ireland’s heritage. So of course the TUV types will hate it. They hate every aspect of native Irish culture. It’s a colonial mentality which after 400 years living in Ireland you would have hoped might have subsided. Clearly not.

  • “I cried today when read this on the internet, a “leprechaun-language” no , no no no for me it is more a “child abuser” language and part and parcel of “irelands secret problems”.

    With all due respects, wtf? The Irish language is “part and parcel of Ireland’s secret problems”????

    It’s too bad you were abused by those creeps but please don’t take it out on the language they were speaking.

    It’s really unbelievable. From victims of child abuse to nutters on the unionist fringe, the native tongue has become the bete noir for the abused and the unhinged.

    Ripley’s Believe it or Not time.

  • Gerta

    “these people are a disease on this island” with a “colonial mentality”.

    Well, well now we get down to it. Thinking about eradicating the disease are you? There must be a word in Irish that covers what you want to do with “these people”.

  • RG Cuan

    EXILE1

    Victim is a troll, don’t heed it. Abuse has nothing to do with any language.

    GERTA

    Racism and senseless discrimination is a disease. That’s what we want to eradicate.

  • Dave

    The language of the Scottish nation is most in need of state protection and promotion. It’s number of speakers has fallen below 60,000, whereas a language requires circa 100,000 speakers to be passed on from generation to generation. Clearly, the attempt of the British nation to use the British state wipe out Scottish culture has been largely successful. Hopefully, the the Scots will be able to use their devolved status to save their culture while they press on for independence and a nation-state.

  • Greenflag

    Brian Mac Aodh

    ‘How do you say “re-partition” in Zulu?

    No Matata 😉

  • Greenflag

    N’ O’hare ,

    ‘to put this in perspective I would have better job prospects if I studied the Nigerian Njaw, whilst the Ethiopian Sidamo would put me at a distinct advantage. Now if I really wanted to “pull out all the stops” it would be Waray-Waray in the Philippines. ‘

    And what would the pay be like assuming you did get a job in one of those places and did’nt have to be fed subsistence rations by UN agencies some of whom are no doubt staffed by people who can speak Irish or at least have learnt it in school ?

    Posted by N O’hare on Nov 06, 2009 @ 10:43 PM

  • Greenflag

    Republic of Connaught ,

    ‘Who cares what the TUV have to say about anything? Those people are a disease on this island’

    Perhaps a little harsh but very observant re the ‘disease ‘ motif . None other than the TUV leader himself has admitted as much in his conference speech referring to a new air borne pathogen called TUVITIS. Dr ‘Mengele’ Allister is not however at least for now, attempting to eradicate the Fenian Infestans Green Syndrome from NI, but instead the competing virus UBER DUPER MAXIMUS which has apparently not lived up to it’s former reputation for striking down ‘fenians infestans ‘ by a mere turning of the back or a blowing of the nose or spit across the Assembly floor 🙁