“It is hard not to feel a certain sense of pity for Sinn Fein over this issue..”

Sinn Féin President, Gerry Adams, MP, MLA, has reprised his role as spokesman for the UK government by announcing a further four year funding of the Irish Language Broadcast Fund ahead of any official statement. Just as he did in 2008. It’s still a reserved matter. ‘The Blog’ had the ‘scoop’ this time. The level of funding, £3million per year, is the same as the previous announcement in 2008 – which means it’s a decrease in real terms – and lower than the initially announced funding of £12million over three years. Apparently, there is also £8million for unspecified capital projects in west Belfast. Which is nice for the International Representative of that region. ANYhoo… This time the “fig-leave” to cover the absence of an Irish Language Act is accompanied by £5million [over the same 4 years? – Ed] for a new Ulster-Scots Language Broadcast Fund – with Northern Ireland Culture Minister, Nelson McCausland, promising “further announcements in the coming weeks about the fund”. Not that you’ll find those additional details in some of the media coverage…Note: It’s likely than any comments made here will be lost in the move to the new host.

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  • iluvni

    Well if the comments are being lost, may I just get this off my chest and offer my opinion that I hope these hateful bastards rot in fucking Hell with their sectarian tit for tat bollocks over their dead and made up languages….dementia care wards are closing at Holywell hospital (and at other hospitals) leaving the already vulnerable even more vulnerable while these finance sucking scumbags play their silly games.

  • granni trixie

    I was shocked at this announcement today – last week we had closing of libraries in working class localities proposed. Whilst wishing no disrespect to people interested in U Scots and the Irish language how on earth can the gov justify such large sums?

    Surely people will unite across the board to say it is wrong to use scarce resources in this way?

  • Marcionite

    you can ask a GB liberal to fund anything. I’m with the above comments. A disgusting waste of money. Irish (political language spoken by IRA supporters, let’s face it, when did you hear it spoken in NI other than by provo lover) and Ulster Scots(not a language but largely the phoenetic representation of poorly spoken English. The other bit is made up. I suppose the Loyalists want a language of their own, after all, English not being seen as British enough)

    we get the politicians we deserve. However, the indignant minority of significant number who snootily say “I’m above NI politics” could do well to come off their cloud and realise how above NI politics u r when you have to drive your elderly parents from Omagh to Derry when Barbara Brown stripped the Tyrone County down to the bone.

    Voting for shower is equally as bad as not voting against them

    But sheep go baa, prods vote DUP, taigs vote SF ad nauseum ad infinitum

    Failte go Shite
    Fair fa Ye Bollocks

  • David Crookes

    One reason why we need a lot of new unionist MLAs is that many of the present lot are prepared to let libraries close. At the same time they are happy to exalt, as a Living National Treasure, some bucolic jester who writes verse of the following species.

    Ye ca me Wullie John McNair,
    An if ye houl yer tongue,
    A’ll tell ye hoo an when an where
    A moved a load o dung.

    If the votaries of Ulster Scots want to be taken seriously they must provide us with a lexicon, a standard orthogaphy, and a literature. If the votaries of Irish want to be taken seriously they must begin to work at their own literature. What we’re getting at the minute is a mixture of kilted village idiots on the one hand and deedle-dee-dee linguistics on the other.

    It’s a funny world. Real scholars read and write books, wasters get big grants, and hospital wards close.

  • percy

    iluvni,
    I know what you mean, that’s how I feel about those whose central concern is orange parades.
    sucks don’t it!

  • iluvni

    I completely agree, percy.

  • Coll Ciotach

    The sooner that SF and the SDLP, step up the the mark, and pressurise the British to live up to their obligations on the language issue the better, SF are not fooling anyone. They dropped the ball on this and they have watched as the unionist kicked it out of the park. The record of the SDLP as far as the language is concerned is not even worth condemnation

  • granni trixie

    Coll Ciotach:in present dire economic circumstances, how can you defend so much money for U.Scots and Irish language? And what is the money going to be used for? And how many are going to benefit?

    How ironic that the British taxpayers are going to pay for this indulgence and not us in NI!

  • USA

    Having slogged my way through another awful Baker post I only have this to say:
    I would be inclined to allocate money for the Irish language. Ulster-Scots however is perhaps a bridge too far.

  • Coll Ciotach

    No problem justfying spending the money on the promotion and development of the Irish language- a sizable amount of people want it spent in this way. I am quite prepared to allow others to decide the nitty gritty on how it is best spent – but I personally would expect full recognition of, and therefore facilities etc provided for, the usage of gaelic in all aspect of public services and interfaces. The entire population would benefit

  • GEF

    I agree with most on this subject. If you vote a bunch of nutters into office whose only political interest in running the country is Irish, Ulster Scots and contentious Orange parades what do you expect?

    Does anyone know how many republican/nationalist MLA’s can speak Irish and how many Unionist MLA’s or Orangemen speak Ulster Scots?

    If the Northern Ireland Electorate continue to vote and put these incompetent MLA candidates into office they have only themselves to blame.

  • bohereen

    Coll C,
    How, exactly, would I benefit from “gaelic in all aspects of public services and interfaces”?

  • Ulick

    What’s this – a side deal? Who would have thought… I’d say there’s a few left to come yet. What else was left “unresolved” from the GFA and SA?

  • innutclem

    I find it revealing that so many contributors find it so hard to swallow money to promote the ancient language of the country where they live. I don’t disagree that at times Irish language is hijacked for political motives at times but so is everything else so don’t start gettin all hot under the collar. The language is not just for republicans, Catholics, nationalists, even Irish people. Ask the good loyal prods who go to their classes throughout the north- are they seeking to take the medicne from sick children? Allow the classrooms to fill to bursting? Wise up. Some of these comments show us up to be increibly narrow and parochial here. Money spent on anything can be criticized

  • Scaramoosh

    N.Ireland boasts the worst Parkinsons disease care in Europe; and we have to put up with these f*** wits posturing over what are effectively dead languages.

    Pete Baker

    Perhaps if you turned your posts towards some of the issues that mattered to people, rather than engaging in point scoring against Gerry Adams and his tribe, you might actually contribute to the betterment of society.

    Mick

    I hope that the new slugger is going to have more of an open door policy vis a vis headline bloggers; and that it is going to incorporate more media, arts and culture, whilst allowing those of us that belive inpositive change to be heard. Too many of those that currently blog here are laden down with baggage, that is both negative and reactionary. The C4 link up gives Slugger the chance to become a forum for change, rather than just being a pedestal for the voices of the past. It would be nice if somebody were to open a thread to discuss this.

    N.Ireland’s politicians are not dealing with the issues that matter to people on the ground. They get away with it because they hide under their various flags of convenience. They are incapable of governing for anybody; it is time that they were exposed for what they are … a bunch of useless …….

  • Nordie Northsider

    David Crookes wrote: ‘If the votaries of Irish want to be taken seriously they must begin to work at their own literature…’
    Your arguments for intellectual rigour would carry more weight if they were not made from a position of complete ignorance. Work on Irish literature began some time ago – circa the 5th century AD. You won’t get many takers for dismissing modern and contemporary writers such as Flann O’Brien, Liam Ó Flaithearta, Micheál Ó Conghaile, Louis de Paor et al as ‘kilted village idiots’. And maybe you can explain in what sense the prominent Continental scholars who have published works on Irish language and literature are guilty of ‘diddley-dee linguistics’.
    Such a pitiful level of commentary from an intellectual poseur.

  • Which of the many links did “It is hard not to feel a certain sense of pity for Sinn Fein over this issue..” come from?

  • BryanS

    One wonders how many of the supporters of the Irish language are taxpayers? Just a thought.

  • JR

    12 million over 3 years is not a major ammount of the government spent. less than £4 per taxpayer per year. and I as a taxpayer would rather see it go to languages than to the War in Iraq. Almost every penny of this money will be spent here. It will generate jobs and circulate some government funds.

    The health sector gets such a large budget that it is silly to try to paint this as taking peoples hospital beds from under them. The spending of the health of the education budgets are matters for those departments and are for a different thread.

    I hear and speak Irish every day with my wife and some friends none of us are shiners and all taxpayers (most higher end). Within a generation it is predicted that the world will loose 90% of it’s languages and despite what those here would have you believe Irish is not dead. In fact it is in a rude state of health in 2010.

    Attitudes to Scots Gallic are extremely negative in Scotland and it continues in Sharp decline. In Whales attitudes to Welsh are very positive and it has come back from the brink and is spoken widely. Here we are in between but the language has regained a bit of forward momentum in South Armagh, Mid Tyrone and Derry. I for one think this is important and think it deserves the money.

    As for Ulster Scots. After filling in some DARD forms and my GP patient survey in this “language” I can only conclude it is an expensive joke but this is the mandate that the Unionist people voted for and thus the price of peace.

    I mean can anyone here honestly tell me that they have herd anyone speak as written below, (complements of the DARD website)

    2 Giein wittins tae bodies lukkin tendin
    Wittins anent oor ontaks an tendin wull be aisie ingaed, siccar an richtent. It’ll be pit tae
    yer han in oor apen oaffises an on oor wabsteid. This wittins wull haud effeirin rinnins
    anent awnin wi’s, takkin in a phoane nummer, oaffis backin an l-poast backin.
    We’r fur seein tae mak siccar tha wittins we’r aisin is shire an strecht-forrit tha wye it’s
    aisie unnèrstuid. Forbye, we’r fur makkin siccar at yer ain ontaks is clear pit forrits in oor
    effeirin blauds, buiks, foarms an on oor wabsteid.
    Tha yin róad we’r fur yaisin wittins anent yersel is accoardin til tha laa an daein jonick,
    tha wye we’r gart dae wi tha Scowth o Wittins Ect, tha Yird-Hainin Wittins Wisins an tha
    Wittins Fennin Ect.

  • David Crookes

    Many thanks, Nordie Northsider (#16). When I talked about votaries of Irish I had in mind not scholars of the language but politicians who want parity of esteem for a language that they themselves are not prepared to work at. When I spoke of kilted idiots I was talking about charlatans on the Ulster Scots side. I thought my two-handed syntax made that fact clear, but I was wrong. By ‘diddle-dee-dee linguistics’ I meant the parity-of-esteem world in which clamant persons take the money and do no work. In short, I’ve been talking about clamant undiligent persons on both sides of the fence. I’m sorry that a fairly light-hearted posting from me has elicited such an earnest response from you. Let me repeat what I said in the message to which you object: real scholars read and write books. Maybe you missed that bit. Have a good day.

  • Fretjumper

    What the f*ck is wrong with people? I pay taxes, I haven’t shot or blown anything up, I get on with all religions and I speak Irish. Its a beautiful language, for everyone. Should we stop spending money on tradition and culture altogether? How much is spent on Iraq/Afghanistan/ID cards/govt advertising/expenses/The Olympics…and on and on. Irish deserves money spent on it, children attending Gaelschools are not second class citizens even though some people think that by learning through Irish they are. Most countries are proud of their indigenous language, and promote it gladly but no not here, the doom mongers are out in force today. An Gaeilge abú

  • Stewart

    ‘dementia care wards are closing at Holywell hospital (and at other hospitals) leaving the already vulnerable even more vulnerable while these finance sucking scumbags play their silly games’

    The figures talked about for the Irish language are dwarfed by the £110 milliom promised for improvements to 3 sports grounds here.

    At this time it would be crazy to waste such a huge ammount of money to massage the ego’s of a few unionist MLA’s and those within the IFA.

    For the foreseeable future, these types of projects should be put on hold.

  • David Crookes

    Fretjumper, I hope that I live to see Irish being taught in all our schools along with Latin and English. You do well to ask about the money that we waste on Great Bores like the Olympics.

    I don’t see the money thing as the main issue. We need MLAs who are committed to culture, who read books, who support the library service, and who speak languages other than English. The fact that a unionist politician once described Irish as ‘a leprechaun language’ displays a proud and wilful uncouthness as much as anything else. Thanks for you posting.

  • JR

    It may interest some of you to know why you never hear Irish except from shiners. Just a little anectode. My wife is a Native Irish speaker. Her mother is an Irish speaker from Kerry. Not long ago when we got engaged she moved up here from the South and it wasn’t long before we encountered problems with her surname, Ní Chinnéide. She works in a financial position and from the first week the tax office insisted in writing to her as miss Kennedy. A name she had never been revered to before. There have been many other incidents including very sharp treatment applying for a shop loyalty card. She contemplated changing her name to the english form in 2009. Sectarian prejudice are alive and well if you speak Irish here you are automatically labeled a show off and a shinner as illustrated above by Pete Baker, Illuvni, Marconite, David Crookes, GEF and BryanS.

    With attitudes like that when do you expect someont to say Dia Duit in front of you?

  • Springfield

    Or even;

    James Orr, David Herbison, Samuel Thomson, Sarah Leech, Hugh Porter, Meggie Whyte, Agnes Kerr etc etc…

    Unfortunately “Tha Boord O Ulster Scotch” has made a hames of the whole thing and decided to ignore its own “lexicon, standard orthogaphy, and literature” and made up an entirely new language complete with confused and mixed up cultural references involving kilts, highland dancing and a curious admiration for the Anglican ascendancy.

    I’d recommend John Hewitt’s collection Rhyming Weavers. Many of the works pre dated Burns and it once was a living form of the central Scots dialect in parts of the North. It only died out in North Down around the early nineteen hundreds but shadows of it live on in everyday speech-much like Irish.

    But none of this has any relevance or the right to be publicly funded when basic “non discretional” services are under such huge pressure. As usual prioritising seems to be a difficult concept to express in any language here.

  • It seems to me that the rabid dogs have been unleashed by Pete with his post and it amounts to the same level of abuse as directed at the Roma community, which prompted Facebook to remove that page.
    Describing as ‘f**kwits’, IRA supporters, hateful bastards etc those who speak Irish is completely witless, wrong and spiteful. That they have the temerity to seek a level of state support for speaking a minority indigeneous language in a country, GB, which is supposed to celebrate tolerance, multiculturalism and pluralism is to be praised – not lambasted.
    I share misgivings about the role of Gerry Adams and Sinn Féin in all of this – the £20m being spent on Irish is more than is spent on the PSNI paper clip budget.
    The £12m for the Broadcast Fund is necessary because the BBC refuses to provide an adequate public service for Irish speakers – half an hour a day on radio is not good enough. So the BBC gets to access this £12m to provide extra programming in Irish.
    As for BryanS’s ‘query’ re tax payers, he shouldn’t be concerned. Irish speakers pay taxes too and are dismayed to see some of the funds extorted from their monthly salary going on such wasteful things as the misadventures in Iraq and Afghanistan, Peter Robinson’s (and Gerry Adams’) expenses and a whole host of other sundry items which are more less worthy of expenditure than the hospital beds and libraries which are truly deserving of support.
    I think spending money on things such as the ILBF, which generate revenue and which act as further stimuli to the economy, are really worthwhile. An Irish language film supported by the ILBF was in contention to be on the shortlist for the Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars in 2007, at the same time as Edwin Poots, then Minister for Culture, was axing the ILBF. Not since Dance Lexie Dance, if I’m not mistaken, had a film with strong NI links got so close to the red carpet on Oscar day. Due to the sharp response of the Irish language newspaper Lá, which gave SF a good kick up the arse on their failure to stop that decision at the time, the decision was reversed and Gordon Brown intervened.

  • David Crookes

    Thanks to Springfield and Conchubar for their thoughtful messages. Let’s all calm down. The Hound of Ulster is not a ‘rabid dog’!

  • iluvni

    “Describing as ‘f**kwits’, IRA supporters, hateful bastards etc those who speak Irish is completely witless, wrong and spiteful.”

    …..and not what was said in the first place. That description was all for Sinn Fein and the DUP ‘negotiators’…but sure you knew that.

  • Fretjumper

    I would also say that Irish is under pressure from another side. Its fair to expect some of those from the Union/Protestant/Loyalist traditions to fanatically drool at the mouth in utter contempt of those f*ckin fenians daring to speak anything other than the Queen’s English but more surprisingly and disappointingly a significant amount of people from the Nationalist/Republican tradition don’t much care for it either. Why is this? There are many reasons of course and I’ll suggest a few.
    1 – The Sinn Féin factor – many nationalists do not agree with SF and their past actions. To see Marty or Gerry speaking Irish ignites a sense of ‘oooh we can’t be seen to be doing what they do’
    2 – Apathy – Sure why Irish? Learn German, French, Spanish and you’ll be more employable.
    3 – Snobbery – Its only Irish, we are now somehow better than that.
    4 – Shame – After many years of being told ‘If you speak Irish you’re stupid’ people now actually believe it.
    5 – Hear no Irish, see no Irish – Though slowly changing esp in Belfast, they do not hear spoken Irish in shops/bars restuarants enough.
    With these in mind our (everyone’s) language needs all the help it can get, its too special to lose.

  • Pete Baker

    “Sectarian prejudice are alive and well if you speak Irish here you are automatically labeled a show off and a shinner as illustrated above by Pete Baker…”

    I see comprehension remains sadly neglected in our education system…

  • Is that what you meant, iluvni? It’s hard to take any sense from your foul mouthed outburst which I highlighted in my previous post. But if you think I wronged you, I’m sorry for so doing. My own feeling is that you were completely out of order but I’m happy to see your clarification.
    Marcionite’s description of Irish speakers as IRA supporters still fails the reasonableness and accuracy test. I can assure him that I’m no IRA supporter – of any stripe – and there are thousands more like me who feel the same way and we speak Irish every day.
    It’s a pity that some unionists allow themselves to be led by dinosaurs such as Jim Allister and his completely backward and anti British notions.
    “So, despite all the DUP assurances of Hillsborough delivering nothing for the Irish language, it now emerges that a further £20m is to be wasted on promoting Irish and its anti-British agenda.”
    Of course he and Nelson McCausland, who believes wrongly that Ulster Scots is a more British language than Irish and it’s a language for unionists only, should realise that if they celebrate Irish as a British language, then every concession for Irish is actually an enhancement of Northern Ireland’s Britishness!

  • Springfield

    Absolutely feckin spot on Concubhar. But then fundies don’t usually do irony do they?

  • iluvni

    Concubhar,
    No clarification was needed but it was clear you were only too happy to jump to the wrong conclusion or perhaps more accurately, the bog standard conclusion.

  • JR

    Sorry Pete, your name should not have been on that list. I had iluvni’s post in mind when I wrote your name down. I should have read through my post more thoroughly before uploading it.

  • Rory Carr

    “One wonders how many of the supporters of the Irish language are taxpayers?” asks Bryan S.

    The answer would be, “All of them.”. Even schoolchildren spending their pockey money in the corner sweetie shop pay tax and this is a tax that is unavoidable unlike the ludicrously low income tax on higher earnings which even then the super-rich manage to avoid paying, along with corporation tax on their company profits, by skilful tax-dodging maneouvres so blatantly tolerated by a complacent Revenue.

    If you want a target for tax-dodgers then the super-rich are a much fatter target than the unemployed but of course that might mean that you run the risk of offending them.

    Those who cry that the money available for the promotion of the Irish language and Ulster-Scots would be better spent on care homes or libraries entirely miss the point that even if no money were so applied the libraries and care homes would be no better off, their budgets would not be increased. If you really care about these services then it would be best to get off your arses and organise some serious campaign action to save them.

    And if you want to point to areas where public spending might be cut without affecting public welfare, then you might consider the (badly misnamed) Defence sector where billions of pounds could be usefully saved not to mention the thousands of lives that are wasted in the expenditure of its revenues.

  • Springfield

    Rory-I’d like to get off my arse and lend my support for your campaign to stop the expenditure of billions of pounds and thousands of lives in the Defence sector-where do I sign up?

    With respect to the ongoing buffoonery surrounding the competing languages etc, are you arguing that spending millions of pounds funding, what at best could be described as expensive indulgences (in the current financial climate) versus allowing basic services to have their funding reduced? I don’t follow the logic. There is a (rapidly diminishing) finite pot of money available.

    Any language, or cultural activity can surely only be judged as valid and relevant if it stands on it’s own two feet and doesn’t need the injection of significant public funds in order to survive. Is the amount of public money needed not inversely proportional to the “activities” natural currency? It either has that indigenous vitality and by definition relevance or it doesn’t. Perhaps the way forward is for the “enthusiasts” to put their money literally where their mouths are and match every public pound with one of their own-I would suggest that a form of PPP would possibly “encourager les autres”…..or maybe not.

  • Marcionite

    my experience is personally empirical. I do not count those from REAL gaeltachts like Donegal, Kerry or the Arran Islands in my description.

    In my experience, the only northerners who spoke it were doing it for political reasons. The few who do speak/learn it out of pure interest are in a small minority. Coming on here saying “I speak Irish and I don’t support SF” doesn’t prove anything. If you are such a person, I applaud you but you are in a minority. It’s like saying not all people who have Mein Kampf have Nazi sympathies but let’s face it, most do and possessing raises suspicions

    To me, Irish in NI is what the IRA want. Since I hate what the IRA have done, I tend to wince against partaking in their extra curricular activities

    Irish was the language of the more brutish and conservative teachers in my school. I never heard it spoken by anyone I aspired to, in fact, it was spoken only by those who repulsed me in terms of their demeanour, attitude and political outlook, which was pro IRA

    besides, why would anyone want to split themselves off from the major body of the lingua Franca ie English? Surely when you learn a new language, it with the purpose to communicate with as many more people as possible?

    That’s why German and Spanish are popular in night classes and why Finnish isn’t

    Danny Morrison said they every word of Irish is a bullet against Britain

  • Now we have Marcionite comparing Irish speakers to Nazi sympathisers….I’ve heard it all. That statement from you, Marcionite, is a contender for the most ignorant posting on any thread ever.

    Who’s ‘splitting themselves off’ from English? I’ll tell you one thing, any teacher who taught you that ‘splitting yourself off’ was good English deserves a kicking.

    People who learn Irish are entitled to do so without having their motives impugned by those who are too ignorant or lazy to better themselves. Learning Irish doesn’t make it more difficult to learn French or Spanish, in fact it makes it easier, research has shown. It also protects against dementia…..

    Danny Morrison said a lot of stuff – but I know who used that phrase initially and Danny’s not guilty. In fact, I don’t think I’m doing him an injustice by saying that he doesn’t speak Irish at all and has made no effort to do so.

  • BryanS

    Concubine
    you may not agree with Marc but at least explain to those less worthy among us which part of his post you disagreed with

  • BryanS

    And he did not compare Irish speakers with Nazis. perhaps you have a problem with English?

  • BryanS

    And he did not compare Irish speakers with Nazis. perhaps you have a problem with English?

  • What’s not to disagree with? His assertion that Irish speakers are like Nazis? His notion that speaking Irish is ‘splitting’ oneself ‘off’ [sic] from the English language? His claim that speaking Irish means that you support the provos?

    A stalagtite contains more intelligence than Marcionite’s postings on this topic….

  • Coming on here saying “I speak Irish and I don’t support SF” doesn’t prove anything. If you are such a person, I applaud you but you are in a minority. It’s like saying not all people who have Mein Kampf have Nazi sympathies but let’s face it, most do and possessing raises suspicions

    It seems that you’re the person with a problem with English. That’s clearly a conparsion between Irish speakers and Nazi sympathisers. [Hint: the use of the word ‘like’ indicates a comparison is being made.]

  • BryanS

    I rest my case! Specsavers possibly?

  • I think you should pay a visit to a psychiatrist Bryan and maybe you can be cured of your delusions relating to the written word here and your prejudices relating to the Irish language and those who speak it, whether or not they’re taxpayers. [I assure you that we are!]

  • st etienne

    Fundamentally language is communication.

    The fact pro-Gaelic people want to see it spoken in public places more will only serve to fragment society further. As much as I have a passing interest in local history, any effort made to encroach on public space and I personally move from a position indignant at the high cost and profile of such cultural symbolism to one actively against it, as it infringes on Northern Irish society’s ability to mix and get on with eachother at a practical level.

    It is the language equivalent of educating Roman Catholics in a separate school environment and furthermore a hallmark of the failure of power sharing as a model of government.

  • BryanS

    I have no problem with people wanting to learn and speak the Irish language. I failed at age 5 to manage it and have never regretted it. However how should it be funded? Perhaps the GAA would be in a position to fund it.
    It is a shame that so much time should be wasted by our so called politicians on red herrings like parades and the Irish language,

  • BryanS

    As for psychatrists, I have yet to meet a sane one so no thanks Con.

  • St etienne – ah another poster posting as a liberal. Irish doesn’t encroach on the public space in Ireland – it is part of the public space, whether you like it or not. A sizable minority speak the Irish language on a daily basis – up to 20,000 according to one estimate – and considerably more – up to 160,000 – are favourably disposed to the language.
    The fact is that those who speak Irish can speak English and other languages – so being Irish doesn’t impinge the ability of people to communicate. Rather it’s an enhancement of that ability.

    I hold no brief for the Catholic Church – Roman or otherwise. The failure of powersharing has nothing to do with the Irish language or religion but the failure of people to see things from the other side…..

    I can see, for instance, that unionists in NI want to preserve their British sense of identity. The problem is that this identity is being limited to flag waving and adoration of the monarch – it doesn’t extend, it seems, to the upholding of the very British value of tolerance and respect for other cultures. In some instances, on this thread, when the likes of Marcionite and iluvni have engaged in nazi slurs and foulmouthed abuse, it’s gone beyond discourtesy and disrespect and into the realm of contempt.

  • St etienne – ah another poster posting as a liberal. Irish doesn’t encroach on the public space in Ireland – it is part of the public space, whether you like it or not. A sizable minority speak the Irish language on a daily basis – up to 20,000 according to one estimate – and considerably more – up to 160,000 – are favourably disposed to the language.
    The fact is that those who speak Irish can speak English and other languages – so being Irish doesn’t impinge the ability of people to communicate. Rather it’s an enhancement of that ability.

    I hold no brief for the Catholic Church – Roman or otherwise. The failure of powersharing has nothing to do with the Irish language or religion but the failure of people to see things from the other side…..

    I can see, for instance, that unionists in NI want to preserve their British sense of identity. The problem is that this identity is being limited to flag waving and adoration of the monarch – it doesn’t extend, it seems, to the upholding of the very British value of tolerance and respect for other cultures. In some instances, on this thread, when the likes of Marcionite and iluvni have engaged in nazi slurs and foulmouthed abuse, it’s gone beyond discourtesy and disrespect and into the realm of contempt.

  • BryanS

    ‘The problem is that this identity is being limited to flag waving and adoration of the monarch ‘

    I think you should get out more if this is high on the list of unionist peoples’ priorities. What a shallow place you inhabit.

  • Au contraire, it’s unionist politicians who need to get out more and find out what unionist people really want. I don’t believe in an ‘us and them’ dichotomy and find it unhelpful. However unionists are being painted into a very tight corner by their politicians as if the only things that matter are contentious parades and the likes.

    There’s more to ‘unionist culture’ to that, I believe. The Irish language is part of unionist culture, for instance.

  • Marcionite

    Conchubine, Did I say Irish speakers are like Nazis? I should have said that the situation is analgous to owners of Mein Kampf insofar as the partaking of an activity or possession of an artefact which is also enjoyed and possessed by those of a Nazi persuasion can by logical extension, brand most owners of said book in the same Nazi camp

    this is an ANALOGY. is this more palatable then, most owners of teddy bears are children therefore if u own a teddy bear, then you more likely to be a child than otherwise.

    There, Irish speakers are like Teddy bears owners.

    You know, you have the similar Stalinist force of words and verbal demeanour as those I describe in my previous posting. I wonder if speakers of Irish in NI secretly hate the world and want to separate from it.

    Irish speakers are like Myra Hindley…….

  • Marcionite

    Irish protects against dimentia? What a load of Cork mans b*lls that statement is. Pity it doesn’t protect against murdering people at The Abercorn, La Mon, Enniskillen, etc etc and lots more etceteras.

    Danny Morrison may not speak Irish but he did make that statement about words being bullets. It’s seems nowadays, every word of Irish spoken in NI is one less hospital ward, one less library, one less child being kept alive on a respirator.

  • Neil

    BryanS,

    I had a discussion here with you, where you stated that you believed the majority living south of the border would vote against re-unification. I provided you with evidence in the form of a poll carried out south of the border which stated that a vast, vast majority would vote for unification. You continued to state that my sourced opinion was bull, while your opinion backed up by the fact that it was, well your opinion, was correct and all without a shred of evidence.

    You consistently show yourself to be anti-Irish, which is amusing to me, you have no reason to be really. It’s like the free P approach to gay folk getting it on; mind your business when consenting adults are having legal fun, like having sex and speaking Irish.

    You’re obsessed with preventing other people pursue their interests, for no reason other than ‘I don’t like Irish’ while wailing about the waste of money.

    How about a bit of fairness of approach then Bryan, and let’s see you tackle the wasted money on Unionism’s side of the fence. You fleetingly reference parades there, but in truth you don’t appear to have an axe to grind with regards to parades. In fact it’s fine and dandy for millions upon millions of pounds to be payed by 65 million taxpayers for the enjoyment of, what, at most about 300,000 people?

    So in essence your point of view is Unionism gets what Unionism wants, you will battle at the keyboard long and hard to prevent any Nationalist making any suggestion as to what their taxes pay for while Nationalists will be duty bound to subsidise your community and their activities, especially if this means Nationalists funding the Orange Order to come into a Nationalist area, piss all over the place (cause of all the beer you christians drink) and assault and verbally harass the locals – for this Nationalists should pay.

    In fact, according to your earlier points regarding how the poll carried out regarding reunification has been overruled by your own opinion – in fact Nationalists don’t exist!

    Incidentally, that Nazi comparison was a nazi comparison. The word ‘like’ does indeed give that game away. Godwin’s Law invoked with regard to that.

  • I think you miss the point, Marcionite, simply packaging the Irish language in the same sentence as nazis and Mein Kampf means you lose the argument. An analogy is a form of comparison – but you know that. Or you should.
    On top of that the analogy/comparison is based on a false premise – there are thousands of Sinn Féin voters who don’t have a word of Irish and there are thousands of Irish speakers who would never vote SF. The notion that you propounded that Irish speakers are IRA supporters is wrong and in another era could have had fatal consequences. Is Peadar Heffron, the Irish speaking officer of the PSNI who lost his leg to RIRA thugs, an IRA sympathiser as he is an Irish speaker? Not likely.

    You merely reinforce your demented notions with your 301 post. Is there any evidence that those who bombed those venues were Irish speakers? If you have such evidence, you should put it forward. Otherwise I think you’re losing control of yourself.

    If I thought that speaking one word less of Irish a day would result in one more hospital bed or one more child being kept alive or one more library, I’d be happy to speak a great deal less Irish. But the reality is that the money being spent on Irish is a pittance in comparison to the wasted billions on the misadventures in Iraq and Afghanistan, the expenses of our politicians and the huge waste in our public services.

    I am very much a part of the world – and I have no intention of cutting myself off. I speak Irish and English and other languages and my knowledge of Irish complements rather than compromises my appreciation of the wide world in which I live.

  • I would like all children to learn Irish and Ulster Scots.

    I would like all hospitals to be fully funded.

    I would like the elderly to be properly cared for.

    I would like people with physical or other disabilities to have the best care and opportunity to live independent lives.

    Which of them should we cancel to pay for another do you think.

  • Neil

    I think you should get out more if this is high on the list of unionist peoples’ priorities. What a shallow place you inhabit.

    While you ignore sourced evidence in favour of your opinion on what them damn fenians should think, hell you don’t guess what Nationalist priorities are – you tell them what their priorities are.

    I wouldn’t criticise anyone’s understanding of the other community if I were you, at least when faced with evidence they’d back off their clearly total bollocks argument, but not Bryan, even when he’s wrong he’s right.

  • I would like the British government to stop spending billions of pounds annually on military misadventures in foreign fields while the elderly aren’t receiving proper care, hospitals aren’t fully funded or people with physical and other disabilities are unable to live independent lives.

    Just another option for your little survey….

  • JR

    For your information Marconite. Areas in South Armagh, Tyrone, and Derry were as real a Gaeltachtí in the early part of the century as those on the West Cost. Irish was the main community language here for much longer than most of the south. I have a Grandparent on both sides who learned Irish as a first language. One from Cullyhanna, the other from Omeath, both areas considered gaeltacht at the time of partition.

    “It’s like saying not all people who have Mein Kampf have Nazi sympathies but let’s face it, most do and possessing raises suspicions”

    Are you really serious with this sutff? I suspect you are taking the piss because if you went to a school where Irish was taught you must know people who speak the language and the reality of the irish speaking community in the North. Mein Kampf is a book about the aims of Nazism written by the founder of the Nazi moment. Irish is a language that you speak every time you say a place name here. It is older than Sinn Fein, the IRA, you or I. I suspect you know all that though.

    “To me, Irish in NI is what the IRA want. Since I hate what the IRA have done, I tend to wince against partaking in their extra curricular activities”

    By that logic the shear fact that those in the IRA also wanted to drive cars mean that you will not drive a car.

    “Irish was the language of the more brutish and conservative teachers in my school. I never heard it spoken by anyone I aspired to, in fact, it was spoken only by those who repulsed me in terms of their demeanour, attitude and political outlook, which was pro IRA”

    With your obvious prejudicial attitude did you honestly expect anyone of mild demeanor to address you in Irish?

    besides, why would anyone want to split themselves off from the major body of the lingua Franca ie English? Surely when you learn a new language, it with the purpose to communicate with as many more people as possible?

    It depends with whom you want to communicate. The only things that were written about my local area prior to 1700 were written in Irish “By a protestant” called Art Mc Cooey to communicate with him or anyone else of that era I must read Irish. A language is more than a functionary means of face to face communication. You watch films and read books in English to communicate with the Author or filmmaker. I know that my village was a marshy forest because I understand it’s name in Irish.

    “Danny Morrison said they every word of Irish is a bullet against Britain”

    I am sure those that have been on the receiving end of a bullet would not agree.

  • Neil

    this is an ANALOGY

    http://tiny.cc/BKFQ7

    Definition of analogy: drawing a comparison in order to show a similarity in some respect

    Yeah, that’s what he said. A comparison.

  • Marcionite

    Conchubar, do you not think for one minute you’re taking all this a little too seriously? And I fail to see your logic on u deeming my losing the argument by describing a situation where doing X where X is done by Group Y can infer that one is likely to be in Group Y. The fact that I labelled Group Y as Nazi is here nor there but you are verging on gestapo-like ranting agus raving.

    If you want to talk the language of the leathery bogmen that turn up now and again, fine but I’d rather speak the Tongue of the scientist, the film maker, the rock star, the fashion makers.

  • BryanS

    Well Neil. Thank you so much for telling me what I think. For your information….
    I am Irish, born in Dublin and have an Irish passport.
    As for parades my opinion is not fleeting. I detest and totally fail to understand why sane people should want to parade with inflamanatory banners and ignorant disrespectful songs in places where they are not wanted. I think the OO is a symbol of days long passed and should die out. I object to our pathetic politicians making it an issue as I also object to the Irish language being used as a bargaining chip by SF.
    As for my view that the majoity of people in the south would be horrified at the thought that a United Ireland might actually happen.
    I have no doubt that a majority would vote for a united ireland as long as they knew that it wont happen. Irish people are sentimental and on the whole this is a good thing. However their desire for a United Ireland is a sentimental dream. If the world was a place without history a united Ireland would be my dream too.
    I am not sure that if only catholic people were allowed to vote and if the vote was binding, that a majority would vote for a United ireland.
    Regarding the Irish language, I admire people who speak fluent Irish. there are enough of them to ensure that the language will not die. I just dont think the matter should be part of a negotiation on P & J or that cash for the language should be used as a bribe.
    And there was no comparison or Nazis and Irish speakers in marc’s post. It was a perfectly respectable analogy. Perhaps an unfortunate one but nevertheless harmless. Beer s a drink in the same way as apples are a fruit. This does not mean Beer is like an apple.
    If there is any further clarification you require just ask.

  • Concubhar

    Wouldnt we all. Regrettably aggressive Islam is something that must be dealt with. How would you like Sharia law? I tell you right now, I would not like it one little bit.

  • Neil

    I also object to the Irish language being used as a bargaining chip by SF

    A bargaining chip? You mean they expect to get something in return for supporting Irish? I think you have it back to front big son, they appear to have made their concessions in order to get Irish on the radar. Not much of a bargaining chip if you have to give stuff away to get it now is it?

    Thank you so much for telling me what I think.

    I have no doubt that a majority would vote for a united ireland as long as they knew that it wont happen. Irish people are sentimental and on the whole this is a good thing. However their desire for a United Ireland is a sentimental dream.

    And thank you for translating the incorrectly expressed wishes of the entire nation. Given they can’t be trusted to do it themselves. So it’s your opinion that Irish folk will lie right up to the polling booth, then switch sides at the last minute to fit in with your desires?

    I just dont think the matter should be part of a negotiation on P & J or that cash for the language should be used as a bribe.

    In what way is it a part of the P&J negotiation? Is it not conceivable to you that perhaps the British government might have been inclined to honouring previous deals on this? Perhaps they believe (mad and all as this suggestion is) that Nationalist taxpayers have a right to determine how a small part of their taxes might be spent?

    And a bribe for what? To get P&J devolved? It wasn’t SF fighting against that, it was the DUP. SF wanted P&J devolved so no bribe required.

    And there was no comparison or Nazis and Irish speakers

    http://tiny.cc/BKFQ7

    Definition of analogy: drawing a comparison in order to show a similarity in some respect.

    You are incorrect.

  • Macanna

    I wonder how many hospital beds could be saved if we stopped funding the arts. I mean do we really need millions of pounds spent on the ulster museum or the ulster hall,the waterfront, w5 or worst of all dead languages. For what? aload of old junk or a bunch of idiots prancing about on the stage? Who needs it. Spend it on education and health. Sure wouldnt the country be a better place for it?With all the savings we might even be able to buy one fighter jet to send of to one of the wars.

  • BryanS

    I see. Reasoned discussion is simply not possible. Be happy living in your prejeudiced mind. Bye.

  • Macanna

    I think we could easily stop funding the arts. Most of the funding seems to be directed at the so called ‘elite’ any way.
    Irish and Ulster Scots are not ‘dead’ languages. It is not true to say they will die unless governments spend millions.

    If you are thinking any Brit govt would be against either of them, I direct you to the East end of London, the last time I was there the street signs were in English and, possibly, Bangladesh or Hindi or Hindu, or Swahili, or something.

  • Ulidian

    JR

    In my experience most people say Belfast, not Beal Feirste – they’re no more speaking Irish than Americans are speaking Unami when they say Manhattan.

  • the future is bright the future is orange

    to be honest I don’t think it really that much money – I don’t know enough about how it’s being spent but it doesn’t seem totally crazy. Certainly, far less expensive than introducing some crazy-assed language act. By all means, build a few schools, run a few plays/TV channels etc. But all this crud about translating every document known to mankind to Irish and Ulster scots and to have millions of translators for every public service is a load of nonsense.

  • JR

    I take your point with belfast its phonetically different as with most major towns but many place names are phonetically identical. In the case of townland names nearly them all.

    As a matter of interest taking the example of Rathcool, when I say it am I speaking English or Irish? It is phonetically identical to the Irish Rath Cúl. If I say Rathmore am i saying a big fort or not? If there was a place in Spain called Newcastle would locals be speaking English when they say it?

    To me saying these place names is speaking Irish because I usually know what they mean.

    I was in Austria a few years ago camping and a young woman with almost no English was singing a song with very explicit lyrics she did not understand a word so maybe she was not speaking English but everyone certainly understood it.

  • st etienne

    “Irish doesn’t encroach on the public space in Ireland – it is part of the public space, whether you like it or not.”

    I like being able to communicate with people – whether listening or conversing. I can’t do that when they’re speaking a different language.

    Sure they can choose to speak in English, but if they’re constantly trying to assert a different medium of communication artificially (as that is what the intent amounts to – there would be no need for people to mount publicly funded ‘awareness’ campaigns if there actually were people already doing so) then it will only lead to division.

    It is in the same manner that Roman Catholic kids are free to go to state schools but are encouraged not to by the existence of a denominational schooling system.

    Another example – note the Gaelic posts on Slugger. Only those gifted enough in the language can enter in the debate. That is division right there.

  • Irish language posts on Slugger are few and far between. They are encouraged because, as far as I can see, the proprietor of Slugger is himself interested in Irish but, more importantly, wants to encourage the use of Irish in the public space. To some, however, this represents an ‘encroachment’, as if there rights were somehow being compromised by the publication of a few Irish posts.

    I can’t accept your notion either that speaking Irish, whether it’s ‘artificial’ or not, encourages division. By that logic there should only be one language on the planet and given there are more Chinese than any other nationality, then Chinese or some variation thereof would be that language.

    In the context of Irish, the notion that speaking Irish or writing Irish creates division or a ‘chill factor’ has been encouraged by the Equality Commission and, previousl, the Fair Employment Commission. The resultant controversy has resulted in Irish speakers being further margnialised. (I remember in particular the row over the erection of bilingual signage in Queens’ Students Union.) This attitude is entirely wrongheaded and set not alone the cause of Irish but the mission of pluralism and tolerance back several years in NI.

    The reality is that Irish is a minority indigenous language and, as such, it deserves protection. It’s not a language of ‘leathery bogmen’, as stated so snidely by Marcionite, but a modern langauge. As I said earlier, the last time an NI film was in consideration for Oscar honours, that film, Kings, was an Irish language film. There are scientists and rockstars and fashion makers who speak Irish too – An Ghaeilge brings out the best in some people…..

  • st etienne

    ” To some, however, this represents an ‘encroachment’, as if there rights were somehow being compromised by the publication of a few Irish posts.”
    Encroachment is your whitewashing of what I said. What it actually is is stifling the debate – if a post is written in Gaelic how on earth can anyone not well versed in the language add to the debate? It’s not encroachment it’s narrowing the audience – again contrary to Slugger’s principles. Apologies for pointing out uncomfortable truths.

    “By that logic there should only be one language on the planet and given there are more Chinese than any other nationality, then Chinese or some variation thereof would be that language.”
    Hardly by that logic actually. Instead it highlights the completely reasonable assertion that it is these artificial constructs that prevent interaction in violently antagonistic communities which lead to a self-perpetuating increase in that same division and lack of understanding.

    I am not against the study and general awareness of Irish Gaelic or Ulster Scots. I am against OTT public (political) funding that leads either unionist or nationalist to pitch it as ‘good for unionism’ or a ‘bullet for unification’ and the attempt to mangle ‘the public space’ here that was functioning perfectly fine in a language used by all before the language rights revisionists came our way.

    This is the point – on the one hand you say it as a minority language needs protection (that I can support to a degree) but on the other there are those who are taking the piss with demands to do everything in a language of their choice. They’ve no more right to ask for everything in Gaelic than the Polish people here need to have everything similarly vernacular.

    I’m sure Adams has regularly fantasies of speaking to the NIO in one tongue and translating for the benefit of his fiefdom in another however that isn’t a reason for begin clamouring for everything to be piped from the public services in separate streams.

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    There is a lot of politics played both for and against the Irish language.

    Fortunately the English paymasters are generous and inclusive to old indigenous languages throughout the UK.

    I suppose its their distance from this old indigenous quarrel that gives them this generosity of vision.

    All hail our English paymasters. They are cultural giants in comparison to our sad cultural pygmies.

  • st etienne

    do you ever inhibit the real world or is it too much to bear?

  • st etienne

    inhibit? I’m sure you understood what I meant to say 🙂

  • Brian MacAodh

    Do you know how much money is paid each day in interest on GB’s national debt? Each hour? This is money we are getting nothing in return for. (BTW, per HOUR, UK taxpayers are spending more than 3 Million pounds on interest payments)

    How much money is wasted via fraud on the health care system each day? How much is spent on re-education Islamists in England? On unemployment benefits for alcoholics?

    $3 million is nothing. I personally think the GB govt pays for too many things for too many people, and for some things that are better left for private charities/corporations to take on. However, a pittance like this for a language their predecessors were responsible for wiping out doesn’t seem unreasonable. Let’s not forget an Irish language act was promised.

    But feel free to punch the next person you hear speaking Irish for forcing your poor Grandma out on the street.