So who’s Irish is good enough to become a Minister of State for the Gaeltacht?

Interesting to discover that both Gerry Adams and Peadar Toibin are availing themselves of a new scheme aimed at improving the proficiency of Oireachtas Deputies in Irish

Mr Adams and party colleague Peadar Toibin TD are using the subsidised tuition service which is also available to civil servants and political staff in Leinster House.

A Freedom of Information Act request by the Sunday Times revealed that the two Sinn Fein TDs are joined in classes by Fine Gael deputies Joe O’Reilly and Paul Coghlan and Independent TDs Thomas Pringle and Maureen O’Sullivan.

The classes are being provided in Leinster House by Conradh na Gaeilge, the group that promotes the everyday use of Irish. Language advocates have been critical of the lack of statements in Irish in the Dail.

Personally, I think it’s a good thing to close the gap between where you want to be with the language and where you are. Far too many people imagine proficiency is beyond them. No matter how well or how poorly you speak there is always room for improvement.

Shame some of the beneficiaries of this scheme where less than charitable when it came to Joe McHugh’s admission on his appointment as Minister of State for the Gaeltacht that he had poor Irish.

How good is good enough? And barring the odd FOI, how do we know who is, and who isn’t?

  • Blissett

    Three which spring immediately to mind from Government ranks are Aodhán Ó Riordáin (Labour and subsequently promoted anyway), and more likely Seán Kyne, and Brendan Griffin. (FG, both from Gaeltacht constituencies, both up and coming young TDs, and fluent.)
    The criticism of Kenny’s absurd appointment was perfectly justified by the fact that there quite clearly were capable and fluent options available to him.

  • mickfealty

    How are you measuring fluency?

  • PaulSmeenus

    “Who’s Irish”?

  • PaulSmeenus

    There’s irony in them thar hills…

  • Michael Henry

    Joe McHugh was appointed minister of state for the Gaeltacht – he then admitted that he was poor on the Irish Language so that will make him a poor minister for this post- I noticed the McHugh minister has not signed up for This Irish Language Scheme- perhaps he was only joking when he said he wanted to better himself in The Irish Language –

  • mickfealty

    I plead spellchecker error. I put it in whose and it over rode me, and I was all deferential like…

  • Blissett

    Erra I don’t know, but they all were capable of debating on RnaG and in the Dáil in Irish, (Griffin weakest of three but still reasonably strong) so that puts them ahead of 95% of the population, probably 95% of the Dáil, and certainly ahead of Joe McHugh

  • Thomas Girvan

    It would be good if they had a similar system to assist our Ministers in Stormont how to speak English properly.
    Our Education minister is a case in point.
    John O’Dowd could do with a bit of education regarding the use of “had went” and “I done that” etc.
    There are many more.
    (I am just pointing out John O’Dowd because he has poor English and ironically is Education Minister!)
    I know people might regard it as trivial, but if they are going to give an example, why not a good one?

  • Roy Walsh

    Not sure about Peadar but his gaffer could do with it, I cry every time he butcher’s my language, on the other hand, the failure of successive Free State administrations to promote the first language, in any of the thirty two counties, is the problem and, yes, they were asked but sat on their hands.