Are Sinn Féin supporting an Ghaeilge?

Thanks to the nameless reader who provided most of the following

With 24 out of the 27 SF MLAs unable to converse in Irish but Gerry Adams sticking to the language like his reasón d’étré, there is no mention of an Irish Language Act post Hillsborough (they are now gunning for an Irish language ‘strategy’ to be devised by Nelson Mc Causeland!).

Will this be detrimental to the future of the teanga?

SF seem to have gone back on their 2007 Irish language manifesto:

We demand an Irish Language Act which is based on the following principles;

• Keep to the time-frame and spirit of the St Andrews commitment
• Place Irish speakers Rights at the heart of the Act
• Make available adequate resources to implement the Act
• Appoint an Irish Language Commissioner for the North.”

But as it says when you click the link for the website launched at the time ( ‘Oops! This link appears to be broken’

Gerry Adams now says:

“There should be a draft strategy on the Irish language before long. The focus then will be to make this viable; with clear objectives and timeframes, and the inclusive involvement of Gaeilgeoirí to figger [SIC] all this out. “

£12 million was received in the negotiations with Brown on June 17, 2008 for the Irish language broadcast fund. Did that day sound the death-knell for any Act? Was this all SF could negotiate?

Update below the foldDid SF support the Irish language when:

-its members on the foras na gaeilge board voted to close Lá Nua down, meaning 10 people lost their jobs

-its members on the board (Seanna Walsh, Lucilita Breathnach, Gino Gallagher and Mark Rodgers) refused to support a community ininiative called an Breadan Feasa at Springvale in Belfast

-the education minister opted to close down meanscoil dhoire in derry and refused to support coláiste na spéiriní in cookstown

-the 5 ministers will not respond to letters in Irish from the public

-The leadership of said party believe the Irish language community are “quaint” and “eccentric” and not to be taken seriously

  • The Roinn an Chultúir link has been broken for a long time. The Irish language wasn’t mentioned, good, bad or indifferent, in the Hillsborough Agreement. Apparently Gerry Adams is seeking an early meeting with Irish speakers of the north to ‘explain the disappearance of Irish’ from the Agreement at Hillsborough and to plan a way ahead….

    Why is there an absence of detail? What do Sinn Féin want in an Irish language act?

  • Mark McGregor


    Is Seanna still SF’s head of ‘Roinn an Chultúir’ or has that position been decommissioned with the website and commitment to an Acht?

  • “reasón d’étré”


  • lamhdearg

    24 out of 27 unable to converse in gaelic,does this not say it all,if you ask me (and no one has) sf are getting there priorities right,what part will forcing non nationlists to speak a foreign (as they see it)language play in getting what they (sf) want.

  • Mark McGregor


    Can I blame the contributing reader for that without seeming to look for a get out clause?

  • Ulick

    Look out for the side deals.

  • Paddy

    Sinn Fein ghave no remaining principles.

  • Mark McGregor

    Lámh Dhearg,

    When Naomh Séamas kick your arses on 7th March, I will be the guy holding a massive sign with your entry plastered over it. Take it you lot have no intention of ever looking at Scór?

  • lamhdearg

    sorry mark, but my pseudonym has nothing to do with the GAA, tell me more about scor,would an simple English speaker like myself find it interesting?.

  • lamhdearg

    also mark, that will be one big sign

  • Mark McGregor


    Thats my red face added to your red hand then.

    Scór is just the promotion of cultural aspects through/within the GAA, something many overlook with a focus to turn out a decent senior team (and I am pointing a finger at myself too)

  • brendan

    Woah! Stop the thread – the premise is false.

    Gerry just told the Late Late Show that the Hillsborough ‘agreement’ sorted out policing, parades and the Irish language.

    Unfortunately the gormless Turbidy didn’t challenge him on the fact that the ‘agreement’ doesn’t mention the language.

  • Can I blame the contributing reader for that without seeming to look for a get out clause?


    You shouldn’t have let on. I seriously thought it was a subliminal dig at The Blog’s unwavering ability to mangle both the Queens and Irish.

  • JohnM

    I think you should give the French a miss Mark 😉

    Raision d’être is what I think you were after 🙂

  • JohnM

    Oops: Raison*

  • John Redwood was rightly castigated for refusing to sign letters in Welsh, a telling example of how Powellite Thatcherites are not, since the part-Welsh Powell could speak, read and write Welsh in both its modern and medieval forms, holding that, of all his many languages, only Welsh rivalled the fearsome complexity of Russian.

    Well, fast forward from the last days of John Major to the present day, when none of Sinn Fein’s five Ministers at Stormont will answer letters in Irish. Read that sentence over again. In this, they are true to Irish Nationalism’s long tradition of hostility to the language. By all accounts, Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness can barely speak it, for all their ostentation.

    Perhaps responsibility for such matters would be better in the hands of an Anglo-Irish aristocrat or a Protestant clergyman, heir to the traditions that kept Irish alive? Sitting at Westminster. Not least since there would be at Westminster none of the scorn that Irish clearly experiences at the hands of any Stormont Executive including Sinn Fein.

  • Alan N/Ards

    I personally believe that the republican movement have created the mess regarding the language. By claiming it as their own and using it on republican murals and funerals and at other times, very few unionists will give it the time of day. I for one regret this, but I can see where they are coming from. They (republicans) need to back away from this issue to take the tribal politics out of the equation.

    What also saddens me is hardline unionist politicians defending lack of progress on some kind of leglisation as a victory for me as a unionist. It’s not. I find their pettiness sickening. They need to mature as politicians and people. They should be reaching out and embracing the genuine irish speakers as fellow citizens instead of opposing anything S.F. want.