You cannot say that word in Dail Eireann (and schmarten up, ye great Yahoo ye!)

Apparently the Northern Ireland Assembly is well thought of in Dublin for the good dress code and nice language of its MLAs. Dail Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett is fighting a gallant rearguard action against the ungallant denizens of the Leinster House parliament… And he wants more words banned alongside those already sent to parliamentary limbo, such as:

…brat, buffoon, chancer, communist, corner boy, coward, fascist, gurrier, guttersnipe, hypocrite, rat, scumbag, scurrilous and yahoo.

Whoops, there goes Jonathan Swift (one time Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral)’s great loan word to the English language, and with it all reference to a certain major internet company…

Surely, there’s got to be another way…

  • I wonder do those words translate into Irish and if the Ceann Comhairle has to be a fluent Irish speaker.

  • JR


    Yes, in order they are.

    Garlach, Raigín, Seanslálaí, Cumannaí, Gasúr coirnéil, Cabhóg, Faistí, Bathlach, Ciolcán, Dráodóir, francach, gamal, crosán agus Buchaill bó.

    I would imagine the Ceann Comhairle has to be a fluent Irish speaker but I don’t know. I would imagine you would want to have learned the first official language of the Country to hold that position.

  • Thanks, JR. I’ll have a go at memorizing some of them.

  • Greenflag

    So Francach is a rat and not a Frenchman or perhaps both ? And Buachaill Bo is a Cowboy which I would assume were not the kind of people Swift had in mind when he ‘invented’ the Yahoos 😉 You may be mistaking them for the Yee Haws ?

    Happy belated New Year to all sluggerites and readers and commenters .

  • tuatha

    Given the role of the Yahoo, as envisaged by Swift, – to flap their Masters’ (the horse like Houyhnhnm, if memory serves) if ears if they thought something was being said that the Master needed to hear – perhaps that job these days is performed by … ummm.. who exactly? Radio/TV hosts (Kenny/Browne?) who can raise subjects the pollies would rather were ignored?
    Reporters who dig up scandals, assuming the old style investigative journalism of yore still exists in the dead tree world of print. Or maybe a ward heeler – originally their function was to convey the electorates’ wishes to the pollie before it mutated into the reverse.

  • Rory Carr

    The NI Assembly may not be all that blameless as the Ceann Comhairle imagines; at least not in the eyes of many of its elected members who are equally as startled when they are sometimes addressed by fellow members as “Mo chara“.

    I wouldn’t mind betting that some would prefer to be called a “scurrilous, fascist yahoo” any day of the week.