Nollaig Shona Duit

There are currently 6000 languages in the world. Of these 6000 according to UNESCO approximately 85% are in danger of ceasing to exist within a generation. As everyone with a second language knows a language is more than a way to say the same thing in a different way, language creates short cuts in our thought processes and allowing us to condense feelings senses and emotions into logical thought and in that way makes us who we are. One language may make certain things funny or certain ideas easier to express. When a language dies not only does it take it’s humour, it’s folklore, myths legends, and in the case of some languages literature; but also much of the learning held in place names, plant and animal names. This loss of this diversity is a global problem from the hundreds of aboriginal languages to the thousands of African, Asian and native American tribal languages right to Welsh Scots Gallic and Irish on our doorstep. It is in all our interests that these remain living languages, languages of everyday communication and not just for the first paragraph of a speech or a few road signs.

Within the counties currently in Northern Ireland the last native speakers of Irish died out in the 1960’s after three centuries of decline. That however was not the end of the story. Irish has not gone quietly into the night. Since the 1970s in particular Irish language enthusiasts have become increasingly organised. People who had learned Irish in School and musty parish halls had the chance from the 1980’s to send their children to be educated totally through Irish. Those first graduates of the Gaelscoils in Belfast, Newry and Derry are now sending their own children to Gaelscoils. Parents can speak Irish to their children with increasing confidence. TG4 the “White elephant” that was doomed to fail can now turn any living room in the country into a Gaeltacht as can the array of Irish language radio stations. The current growth in Irish speaking youth clubs cater for a growing number of confident bilingual youths especially in Belfast, South Armagh and around the Derry Tyrone border. The young people who have had Irish spoken to them as a first language in the home and at school are every bit as proficient in Irish and entitled to use Irish as the French in France.

It is a subject close to my heart, I am married to a fluent Irish speaker and we intend to raise our children through Irish. As the children who emerge from the 33 Bunscoileanna grow both communities have a decision to make. Will the language rights of these people be fought and opposed at every turn or as happened in Wales be facilitated by the state that is here to serve them?

  • Scáth Shéamais

    I want to take this opportunity to pay respect to Máirtín Ó Dochartaigh, who died last week after a short illness. Máirtín established the first Irish language youth club in Belfast a little over ten years ago, and his work with young people led the way for the creation of half a dozen other such clubs throughout the city. Suaimhneas síoraí dó.

  • JR, why not play the Scotland card? In the Scottish parliament there is collaboration between those who wish to promote Gaelic and those who wish to promote Lallans/Scots. Indeed, it goes much further than that by including other minority languages too.

    Why not use the same approach here? The chief advocates for each appear to be SF and the DUP and, basically, they decide what gets done at Stormont. A ‘we ourselves’ approach draws in the veto.

    QUB probably made a big mistake by having the Place-name Project in the Department of Celtic Studies. I’d have put in Geography and followed up all linguistic influences, much as they do in Scotland.

  • As the children who emerge from the 33 Bunscoileanna grow both communities have a decision to make. Will the language rights of these people be fought and opposed at every turn or as happened in Whales be facilitated by the state that is here to serve them?

    Can you be more specific about what rights you want JR?

    E.g.
    1. Street names?
    2. Translation of official documentation?

  • Local hack

    Learning a language is something that all should do from a very early age in school. Those children prolific in languages far exceed those who can only claim fluency in their native tongue.

    I think all primary schools should teach Irish, thereby helping to erradicate the language as the political football it has become. When that happens there will be no need for an act or rights as all will have been taught the language and those with a genuine interest in preserving culture and history will always protect the language.

  • JR

    O’Neill
    For a start I would like the largest party in NI to stop referring to Irish speakers as “Republican backwoodsmen”, or the Language referred to in a derogatory way eg “dead tongue” or “leprechaun Language” etc.

    But the Rights are outlined here,
    http://www.pobal.org/uploads/documents/act/Act.pdf

  • BluesJazz

    “or as happened in Whales be facilitated by the state that is here to serve them?”

    I knew Whales made noises to each other but not that they had a state language.

  • JR,

    For a start I would like the largest party in NI to stop referring to Irish speakers as “Republican backwoodsmen”, or the Language referred to in a derogatory way eg “dead tongue” or “leprechaun Language” etc

    That’s not going to happen for the simple reason that the clear majority of people who still vote, do so for parties for whom the concept of a shared cultural space is an anathema. Too much stress and energy is wasted in NI on trying to change attitudes of those that will never be changed. Work instead on the achievable .

    The two fundamental language rights mentioned at the start of the document, ie the right to be educated in your (or more accurately your parents’) chosen tongue and the right to have your public services provided in your language of choice.

    First one already exists, second costs money that at this present time isn’t available, in the public sector any way.

    I’m tempted to say that in a perfect world I would remove *all* financial funding for “culture” and “sport” full stop on the basis that if I, for example, want a new stadium, then it’s not your responsibility to pay for it through your taxes.

    But since that’s not going to happen in the present subsisidised sectarian carve-up, then you are left with a mighty difficult persuading job to do at a time of dwindling resources.

  • Rory Carr

    O’Neill, when you say that ‘in a perfect world [you] would remove *all* financial funding for “culture” and “sport” full stop…’ you surely do not intend that language education in public sector schools should be eradicated in such a draconian Tea Party wet dream.

    Or is it only one particular language that you would exclude?

  • Dewi

    “second costs money that at this present time isn’t available, in the public sector any way.”
    Except if your language of choice is English of course..in Gwynedd should we scrap that right?

  • Rory,

    “you surely do not intend that language education in public sector schools should be eradicated in such a draconian Tea Party wet dream.”

    Education isn’t the same as culture is it? Interesting one.
    If subjects such as music, art and English literature are on the syllabus, then I guess we can’t get away for paying for them. In the perfect world I however wouldn’t be subsidising your trips to the Opera or “Community” Poetry evenings.

    “Or is it only one particular language that you would exclude?”

    Answered above- if students want to learn it, it’s on the syllabus, then why would I want to exclude only Irish?

  • Dewi,

    Except if your language of choice is English of course..in Gwynedd should we scrap that right

    If 100% of the population in Gwynedd understands and speaks Welsh, then it would only be fair.
    Is that the case?

  • anne warren

    I would like to ask a few questions about what underpins the very negative attitude manifested by some people in NI towards an official EU language.

    What do these people gain by denigrating the Irish language/speakers?
    What need drives them to oppose a minority of people speaking the language they choose?
    What do they really desire?
    What principles underlie their opposition?
    What are their long-term interests?

    Your starter for ten!!!

  • Rory Carr

    Those are indeed the questions which require answering, Anne.

    Given some of the excuses we have had to date it would seem logical for hardline Unionists to oppose any advancement in the promotion of the English language given the practice of the IRA during the recent conflict of issuing their weekly statements, signed by P O’Neill (no relation?), in that language and its constant resort to that language in such propaganda organs as (despite its Irish title) An Phoblacht.

  • unicorn

    oneill

    That’s not going to happen for the simple reason that the clear majority of people who still vote, do so for parties for whom the concept of a shared cultural space is an anathema.

    Some of us actually simply think that it’s the government’s job to defend our borders, catch burglars, build roads, empty bins and so on and that “cultural space” is a matter for a free marketplace of ideas between private citizens that the government has no right or duty to involve itself in. That government support for Gaelic culture over and above Chinese culture in Northern Ireland is as stupid as government support for indie music over jazz. As stupid and wrong as a tax break for fish and chip shops that Chinese takeaways cannot get.

    The two fundamental language rights mentioned at the start of the document, ie the right to be educated in your (or more accurately your parents’) chosen tongue and the right to have your public services provided in your language of choice.

    Obviously not a right if it’s not extended to Chinese or Poles. If it isn’t then there is an inherent claim of racial territorial ownership involved. That is the answer to anne and Rory’s questions.

  • JR

    Unicorn,

    Does it make any diferance that globally Chineese and polish are in no danger of decline or that Irish was the language of this country for nearly 3000 years before it became impossible to recieve any education or public service in it?

    An analogy would be the Kea, an Alpine parrot found only in New Zeland. Although it shares ancestors with other parrots thousands of years of Isolation on an Island have left it unique. The Kea almost went extinct in the middle of the last centuary but with a little help it’s numbers have recovered a little.

    Now a number of Ring necked Parakeets which are very common in many other parts of the world have come to NewZeland as escaped pets. By your Logic these ring necked parakets should be offered the same level of Protection as the Kea.

    In numbers terms to compare the Irish language and Chineese is to compare the Kea with the Domestic Chicken.

  • anne warren

    I’d like to thank Unicorn for making an attempt to provide one answer to my set of my questions by saying there was an inherent claim of racial territorial ownership involved.

    When I attempted to insert his/her other comments into the framework, I could only fit them under one question.

    What do these people gain by denigrating the Irish language/speakers?
    What need drives them to oppose a minority of people speaking the language they choose?
    What do they really desire?

    What principles underlie their opposition?
    that “cultural space” is a matter for a free marketplace of ideas between private citizens that the government has no right or duty to involve itself in
    That government support for Gaelic culture is not a right if it’s not extended to Chinese or Poles.

    What are their long-term interests?
    How do they want to pursue them?

    I am looking forward to receiving other answers

  • USA

    there is an inherent claim of racial territorial ownership involved

    Same can be said for English then, if Irish is not afforded the same “rights” then the use of English contains an “inherent claim of racial territorial ownership” over Irish. Not cool to say the least.

    What is wrong with some people, is it just petty bigotry?

  • Rory Carr

    “What is wrong with some people, is it just petty bigotry ?”

    Lordy, Lordy, USA, now you gone and done it. You done mentioned the “B” word.

    Now you know how some folks round these parts just run like a vampire faced with a crucifix when a body mentions the “B” word. Too much like looking in the mirror and, just like the vampire, they are incapable of seeing themselves revealed.

  • anne warren

    Thanks to USA for his/her answer providing a counter-argument
    there was an inherent claim of racial territorial ownership involved.
    Same can be said for English then, if Irish is not afforded the same “rights” then the use of English contains an “inherent claim of racial territorial ownership” over Irish

    When I attempted to insert his/her other comment into the framework, I could only fit them under one question.

    What do these people gain by denigrating the Irish language/speakers?

    What need drives them to oppose a minority of people speaking the language they choose?
    Just petty bigotry

    What do they really desire?

    What principles underlie their opposition?
    that “cultural space” is a matter for a free marketplace of ideas between private citizens that the government has no right or duty to involve itself in
    That government support for Gaelic culture is not a right if it’s not extended to Chinese or Poles.

    What are their long-term interests?

    How do they want to pursue them?

    Hoping for more answers

  • HeinzGuderian

    You can learn whatever language you like.
    Good luck trying to speak it to the call centre chappie in Mumbai….;-)

  • anne warren

    Great to hear from Heinz Guderian who expresses a tolerant view with a caveat emptor .
    Answers
    there was an inherent claim of racial territorial ownership involved.
    Same can be said for English then, if Irish is not afforded the same “rights” then the use of English contains an “inherent claim of racial territorial ownership” over Irish
    You can learn whatever language you like

    When I attempted to insert his other comment into the framework, I could only fit it under one question.

    What do these people gain by denigrating the Irish language/speakers?

    What need drives them to oppose a minority of people speaking the language they choose?
    Just petty bigotry

    What do they really desire?

    What principles underlie their opposition?
    that “cultural space” is a matter for a free marketplace of ideas between private citizens that the government has no right or duty to involve itself in
    That government support for Gaelic culture is not a right if it’s not extended to Chinese or Poles.
    You won’t be understood by the call centre chappie in Mumbai

    What are their long-term interests?

    How do they want to pursue them?

    Still hoping to fill in the blanks

  • Reader

    anne warren: What are their long-term interests?How do they want to pursue them?
    Still hoping to fill in the blanks

    Anne, you’re trying too hard. If you stopped trying to read between the lines you could acftually see what these guys are saying. While I am happy to throw a bit of my tax money at the language, most objections here are utilitarian, or tribal at worst:
    There are Chinese and Polish people trying to participate in NI society. For some of them, translation services and access to documents are an issue. But all Irish speakers are bilingual, and *could* access services in English. If a translation service was set up for public services, would you let Anna Lo or Magdalena Wolska join the committee?
    Secondly, there was an campaign in previous years to translate boring official documentation in English (that hardly anyone ever reads), into boring official documentation in Irish (that no-one will ever read), with the cost being paid by all, but the salaries going almost exclusively to nationalists. I think this was successfully resisted, and the Irish Language movement has moved on to dealing with Irish as a living language instead. But do you wonder that this potential gravy train was viewed with cynicism at the time?
    And finally, non-Irish speakers are likely to view the Irish language as a culturally linked hobby, which may well be funded from DCAL, but only if it comes out of the nationalist share of the pot. Likewise, OK for it to come out of the education department for those schools who want to spend their budget this way.

    Now, the good news is, if you can build a substantial share of the population who genuinely have Irish as their first language, then most of these objections will evaporate or fade into administrative Business as Usual. Your mistake is to assume it is everyone’s job to help you to get there.

  • Au contraire, Reader.

    Anne, you’re taking too much at face value. The Irish language issue is actually very simple, because language is always an emotive issue, and never a logical one. Communication is so basic to society that the choice of language spoken is both a statement of identity and a self-imposed constraint on engagement.

    By the time of Norwegian independence, the Norwegian language had become effectively a dialect of Danish, in the same way as Scots has been considered a dialect of English. The national revival coincided with the revival of not just one Norwegian language, but two. These were developed separately by collecting examples of spoken dialect and using them to define new standards. The difference in the standards was a function of which dialects were given more weight and whether novel, non-Danish forms were preferred over common ones – a historical example of “maximal differentiation” that watchers of the Ulster-Scots scene would perhaps recognise.

    My point is that spoken language is such an instinctual part of identity formation that people will revive dead or dying languages for that purpose – even if large parts of them have to be reconstructed from scraps. Just as choosing to speak a common language is a sign of engagement, so choosing to speak a local language is a sign of disengagement. It is a powerful statement that those who speak the old language are no longer to be included – the cultural equivalent of taking the party into the kitchen and closing the door.

    Nationalists love the Irish language because it gives them a sense of pride, a connection with history, a focus for national identity.

    Unionists hate the Irish language because the kitchen door was shut in their faces. Every word spoken in a language they do not understand is a calculated insult designed to make them feel left out. And to learn the language now would be humiliation.

    It’s as simple as that. Everything else is post-hoc rationalisation.

  • JR
  • Reader

    Andrew Gallagher: Au contraire, Reader.
    I really did try to get into your ‘engagement’ explanation, but it was ruined by the party metaphor. Ordinary Irish speakers seem a nice enough bunch, if a bit earnest at times. But the language lobby is such a miserable crowd that if they disappeared into the kitchen, it’s the living room set that would shut the door.
    Oh, wait…

  • Little James

    Reader

    Andrew Gallagher: Au contraire, Reader.
    I really did try to get into your ‘engagement’ explanation, but it was ruined by the party metaphor. Ordinary Irish speakers seem a nice enough bunch, if a bit earnest at times. But the language lobby is such a miserable crowd that if they disappeared into the kitchen, it’s the living room set that would shut the door.
    Oh, wait…

    It is also quite the cottage industry in West Belfast, in the Culturlann especially, you could very easily get washed away in all the public money sloshing about that area.

  • Reader,

    I did think about adding “Unionists decided they never wanted to go to that stupid party anyway”, but thought it a step too far. Thanks for proving me wrong. 😉

  • anne warren

    Glad to see Reader, Andrew Gallagher and Little James add their differing views and perceptions (reading between the lines vs taking things at face value) of comments that were copied under the relevant questions.

    Reply to questions and comments
    would you let Anna Lo or Magdalena Wolska join a translation service committee? Not up to me to decide but why shouldn’t they?
    Your mistake is to assume it is everyone’s job to help you to get there. My mistake?

    Overall answers
    There was an inherent claim of racial territorial ownership involved.
    Same can be said for English then, if Irish is not afforded the same “rights” then the use of English contains an “inherent claim of racial territorial ownership” over Irish
    You can learn whatever language you like
    Most objections are utilitarian, or tribal at worst
    The Irish language issue is very simple. Language is always an emotive issue, and never a logical one

    What do these people gain by denigrating the Irish language/speakers?

    What need drives them to oppose a minority of people speaking the language they choose?
    Just petty bigotry
    all Irish speakers are bilingual, and *could* access services in English.
    the Irish language is a culturally linked hobby,
    Potential gravy train: Cost of translations being paid by all, but the salaries going almost exclusively to nationalists; large sums of public money being spent on the cottage industry in West Belfast, in the Culturlann especially; the Irish language should be funded by the nationalists
    Choice of language spoken is a statement of identity and a self-imposed constraint on engagement
    “Closing the kitchen door” Every word spoken in a language they do not understand is a calculated insult designed to make them feel left out.
    Conversely “closing the living room door”
    To learn the language now would be humiliation.
    the language lobby is such a miserable crowd

    What do they really desire?

    What principles underlie their opposition?
    that “cultural space” is a matter for a free marketplace of ideas between private citizens that the government has no right or duty to involve itself in
    That government support for Gaelic culture is not a right if it’s not extended to Chinese or Poles.
    You won’t be understood by the call centre chappie in Mumbai

    What are their long-term interests?

    How do they want to pursue them?

    Still hoping to fill in the blanks!

  • Reader

    Anne Warren: (“would you let Anna Lo or Magdalena Wolska join a translation service committee?”) Not up to me to decide but why shouldn’t they?
    Because they might compete for translation budget on the grounds that they are aware of groups with a genuine need for translated information leaflets.
    Anne Warren: (“Your mistake is to assume it is everyone’s job to help you to get there”). My mistake?
    Yes. None of the people above is trying to destroy the Irish language. At most they are trying to prevent money being spent on its promotion. Why does that position need any more justification than opposing the expensive promotion of line dancing; crochet; amateur comic opera; kite surfing; juggling? (Or any other cultural or recreational activity that has groups of supporters who might someday group together and demand a bit of public money)

  • Mainland Ulsterman

    Most of the objections to Irish language learning are just dumb. The UUP councillor I saw quoted on the BBC website, describing it as “gobbledegook”, should be made to do the same kind of apology the mayor recently made. It shows a farcical failure to grasp pluralism and respect for minority language rights.

    The reason for these kind of attitudes isn’t hard to see, it’s because the Irish language for a long time became associated with Irish Republicanism, which is deeply offensive to everyone else. But every language is incredibly precious and should be nurtured in the same way that we try to save endangered species. If a language dies, a whole form of thought dies with it.

    Unionists who think that, in being unfriendly to Irish, they are somehow helping the unionist cause, are mistaken. Live and let live; for me one of the best things about modern Britain is its cultural and ethnic diversity and our ability to conceive of our nation as something other than a one culture state. That means not trashing other cultures within our borders. We can hardly expect tolerance for some of the weird stuff Protestants get up to while trashing a bit of harmless language learning.

  • Now you’re just being silly, Reader.

  • anne warren

    Guess who agrees with Mainland Ulsterman?

    “I would suggest Gaelic, like any other language or culture, belong to all the people and communities of a nation whether they or not they actively involved with it.”
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-11541611

  • Zig70

    I don’t see it as anything complicated. One side are brought up with a mix of Irish and English spoken at home and school. The other are not and Irish is as relevant to them as it would be in Norfolk. They just don’t get why would you want to speak it any more than Latin as it doesn’t exist on their side of the big wall. The challenge for us is to promote it as something worthwhile. I often think the Ulster dailect with it’s Scotch influence is something that might unite, long shot though. It is and should be more precious to us than panda’s to the chinese and we need to express that.

  • I have a question for the other commenters.

    Quantas linguas fala o senhor?
    Combien de langues parlez-vous?
    Unasema …?
    Wie viel Sprache sprechen-sie?
    To kapav koz cumyan langs?

  • anne warren

    In reply to Davenewman
    I’m fluent in two languages besides English and can cope in a third.

  • Zig70

    I’m rubbish in several other languages as well as Irish, but I can get beer in all mentioned above except the last one.

  • sonofstrongbow

    davenewman,

    But it’s not really about speaking another language is it?

    As far as I’m concerned whoever wishes to speak Irish can go right ahead, but, asking the state to fund an entire unnecessary ‘Irish’ infrastructure is not on – especially so when there are people living locally who do not have English as a first language and actually need support.

    Should the Irish language not have existed and been taken up as a hobby by 19th Century Presbyterians I expect it would have been invented by some in the ‘north’ (seemingly Pobal’s target area for the language) as, yet another, axe to grind.

    The movement to pump more resources into life-supporting Irish has as much relevance to most people as attempting to replace cars with the donkey and cart. The proposed Irish Language Act would quickly become a malcontents charter costing taxpayers even more money, as befits a partisan politico-cultural campaign.

    Languages ‘die’ because folks vote with their feet, or rather their mouths, and go with what is to them the most effective communication tool (as evidenced by the usage of Irish south of the border). By all means enjoy Irish as a private interest, in clubs, as political speech-openers whatever, but just leave it at that.

  • sonofstrongbow,

    I think you’re not understanding the importance of maintaining a language. There was an article last week or the week before in New Scientist detailing the importance and the risk to a large number of the Earth’s 6000 or so languages. Maybe you should check it out; a lot of articles are included on their website.

  • antoinmaccomhain

    SoS@Languages ‘die’ because folks vote with their feet, or rather their mouths, and go with what is to them the most effective communication tool (as evidenced by the usage of Irish south of the border).

    Wrong.Gaelic almost died out in the ‘south’ because it was outlawed in 1831.Gaelic-speaking kids would be beaten with a stick if they said their name in English.For example,if a child was called Padraig,and the teacher asked him his name,and he replied-‘Padraig is ainm dom’,the teacher would beat him with a stick ’til he said his name was ‘Paddy’.

    The value of educating childern with both Gaelic/English has been shown to be greater than the value of educating childern with 1 language.For example,despite the fact that English speaking schools outnumber Gaelic speaking schools in the ‘south’ by more than 15-1,Gaelic speaking schools occupy 4 of the top 10 ‘best performing’ schools in the ‘south’.In other words 40% of the best schools are Gaelic speaking schools,even though less than 10% currently use Gaelic on a daily basis.

  • anne warren

    SOS is this “a partisan politico-cultural campaign?

    A campaign to encourage 1,000 people to sign up to becoming fluent in Irish has passed its target only months after being launched
    more than 100 police officers were among the first to sign-up to the project

    Read more: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/irish-language-project-beats-target-16092069.html#ixzz1gpbW3bbw

    the most surprising sign-up is Waterside Democratic Unionist Party councillor April Garfield-Kidd..
    She said
    “But it’s just another European language I want to get a bit more fluent in.”
    With Derry’s year as UK City of Culture on the horizon in 2013, Ms Garfield-Kidd said she hopes more people will follow suit in the cross-community scheme.
    She continued: “I’m absolutely starting from scratch but I just love when you get the chance to engage people in their own language.

    “I would encourage everybody to go out and learn, because language is all about connecting with people.”
    http://www.u.tv/News/DUP-member-among-Irish-learners/401c32de-3bf9-4e02-b011-10d705486f47

  • sonofstrongbow

    Where to begin?

    Joe,

    Thanks for once again attempting to put me on the right track and improve my reading list. As an ill-educated troll I need all the help I can get.

    Given your concerns about the survival of minority languages I’m sure you support the introduction of laws in Canada to ensure all government/commercial endeavours must be deliverable in First Nation languages. Why give the settler tongues of French and English preference? I mean the force of the law with penalties for non-compliance must be the only solution, right?

    antoinmaccomhain,

    It’s the Brits fault and Gaelic speakers are future Masters of the Universe. Got it.

    anne warren,

    That, belated, attempts are being made to take the rough green edge of the Irish language issue should be welcomed. However that does not advance the argument for an Irish Language Act and the wasted millions that would follow in its trail.

    Perhaps the “surprising” Ms Garfield-Kidd supports an Act and intends to demand to live her life through the “medium” of Irish? Or perhaps not.

    For me I intend, on this subject at least, to live my life through the medium of mime. Can anyone gesticulate towards the location where I can pick up my cheque?

  • Decimus

    For example,if a child was called Padraig,and the teacher asked him his name,and he replied-’Padraig is ainm dom’,the teacher would beat him with a stick ’til he said his name was ‘Paddy’.

    And the teacher came from where?

  • antoinmaccomhain

    @It’s the Brits fault and Gaelic speakers are future Masters of the Universe. Got it.

    It’s not as though they had no form for ‘Outlawing’ Gaelic culture.If we look back to the 17 century we find the same thing happening in Scotland-

    Act of the Scottish Parliament-1617
    ‘It was ordained that the name of MacGregor should be abolished and that the whole persons of that name should renounce their name and take some other name and that they nor none of their name and that they nor none of their posterity should call themselves Gregor or MacGregor under pain of death, that any person or persons of the said clan who has already renounced their names or hereafter shall renounce their names or if any of their children or posterity shall at any time hereafter assume or take to themselves the name of Gregor or MacGregor, that every such person or persons assuming or taking to themselves the said name shall incurr the pain of death which pain shall be executed upon them without favour.’

  • ensure all government/commercial endeavours must be deliverable in First Nation languages..

    sonofstrongbow,

    That’s plain silliness. I have never advocated having all government forms etc available in Irish. That would be silly.

  • antoinmaccomhain

    @For example,if a child was called Padraig,and the teacher asked him his name,and he replied-’Padraig is ainm dom’,the teacher would beat him with a stick ’til he said his name was ‘Paddy’.

    And the teacher came from where?

    The Irish Parliament,most likely,that was being directed from London.They certainly wouldn’t have been Hedgerow school teachers.Those teachers would have come from the Gaeltachts.

  • galloglaigh

    The Irish (or Gaelic if you like) belongs to both Planter and Gael. It should be preserved, cherished, and encouraged. It is part of our heritage.