Irish Language Act debate

This morning on Nolan a debate between Conor Murphy and Edwin Poots continued over the Irish Language Act

The provision within the agreement states that

However, the DUP’s Edwin Poots says the party never agreed to this;

At no point during the St Andrews talks was the issue of an Irish Language Act ever discussed with the DUP and we never made any commitment to it. We became aware of an assurance by the then UK Government to Sinn Fein and sought clarification that in the event of devolution, this matter would be solely the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

We made no apology at the time for supporting the St Andrews Agreement as a basis for political progress, but wishing to scrutinise the detail of legislation to ensure it delivered on key issues such as the preservation of academic selection. The detail of what that legislation required in terms of language provision were clearly highlighted on the front page of the House of Commons Library Research Paper provided at that time.

Whether Sinn Fein was aware of what was contained within the legislation, chose to ignore it or chose to misrepresent it to their supporters is a matter for them to explain. Perhaps if they were to take up their seats at Westminster it would assist them in such matters.

The facts are absolutely clear. The DUP did not sign up to an Irish Language Act at St Andrews or at any time since. If Sinn Fein wish to continually highlight their failure in negotiations that is a matter for them.

In the context of Sinn Fein’s newfound concern for public finances it is also worth noting that the cost of implementing an Irish Language Act would far outstrip the costs of the Renewable Heating Incentive programme. Perhaps after they explain exactly whether they misunderstood or misrepresented what was agreed at St Andrews they could explain exactly how many hundreds of millions of pounds they would spend over the next number of years on a politically motivated Irish Language Act were they allowed to proceed with their wishlist.

In response Sinn Fein’s, Barry McElduff said;

“It is utterly ludicrous for Edwin Poots to suggest that the DUP did not sign up to an Irish Language Act and that it is not a matter for them.

“Respect is a matter for everyone.

“It was part of the terms of the St Andrew’s Agreement. They signed up to that agreement and they have failed to implement it.

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  • SeaanUiNeill

    “Standing order” voting…..

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Or their fellow countrymen who did not forswear their oath of loyalty and remained faithful to their King:

    http://thewildgeese.irish/profiles/blogs/france-s-irish-brigade-saves-the-king-s-army

  • T.E.Lawrence

    Yip – Can’t argue with that ! Them Kings have a lot to answer for ?

  • johnny lately

    “Not everyone hung around when the battle was done, Ireland was only one square on the European chess board of war at the time so I imagine many troops were sent elsewhere.”

    Im at a loss here wondering what the above has to do with what language the locals spoke at the Boyne as Im quite aware of the pot porri of languages spoken by Williams mercenary European army, but anyhow, does the above change the fact that if your forefather fought at the Boyne and he did not speak Irish then he was most likely not from Ireland.

  • Gingray

    Not at all Anto mo chara.

    Here, let me remind you of how you defended Arlene 🙂

    Anthony O’Shea anon 19 days ago
    But is she wounded within her own constituency? That’s the question. Why pull the house down only to see it built back up with the very same bricks?

    Anthony O’Shea 19 days ago
    Its discomforting to watch people gather in the hope of feasting on a carcass. It’s as if politicians and in this case Arlene, are somehow sub-human.

    Um, what party of mine are you mentioning btw? I don’t have one, I have voted for a lot in the past, usually with the aim of supporting someone who can unseat a Unionist.

    See, with all the lies and blind loyalty, you surely must realise that it is people like you that have made Sinn Fein less appealing in the community and forced the party, and you on slugger, to make an embarrassing u-turn, and a disgraceful attempt to make this about the Irish Language and take the focus of the DUP.

  • Gingray

    JL – not really, many of those who fought would have been descended from planters from England and lowland Scotland, where English was the main language. Those from Highland Scotland would have spoken Scottish Gaelic, a variant of the Gaelic language, not the native tongue of Ireland.

    Its not as if they lived side by side – in the east, they cleared out the locals to make way for the planters, and around Derry, it was the english guilds who had taken the lead.

    There is a fantastic book, Belfast: The Origins and Growth, by Raymond Gillespie, and the pograms against Catholics, and focus on English as the main language of commerce is of interest.

    As you say, Sinn Fein never invented the language, and we know that after over 10 years as co leaders of Northern Ireland they have done next to nothing to progress it, so perhaps its time they stop only raising it at elections and work to progress it in another way, because they have failed, and to my mind, as someone who loves the language, they only use it to whip up people, not to get anything for us.

  • johnny lately

    “JL – not really, many of those who fought would have been descended from planters from England and lowland Scotland, where English was the main language. Those from Highland Scotland would have spoken Scottish Gaelic, a variant of the Gaelic language, not the native tongue of Ireland.”

    Like I said Gingray if your forefather fought at the Boyne and he never spoke Irish then he was most likely not from Ireland.

    I dont take part in elections Gingray so I dont vote for Sinn Fein but I live in the heart of the Gaeltacht quarter in Belfast so I’ve seen the progress that has been made in recent years and most of that progress has been brought about by the actions of Sinn Fein.

  • Gingray

    Balls johnny, most of that work has been brought about by the actions of the Gaelic speaking community of Belfast, quite often against the wishes of Sinn Fein, hence the recent protests AGAINST the party at an cultúrlann.

    And nope, again, many of those who fought at the boyne from the north east of Ireland had family living here for 100 odd years and would not have spoken the language, seriously, read that book, it hammers home how policy even in 1650 was destroying the language by banning its use.

  • Enda

    Yes, it is purely to spite Sinn Fein. As for explaining what was in the agreement – the DUP are a lot of things, but I would hope they’re not so stupid as to not be able to read.

  • Anthony O’Shea

    I know its terrible but the problem is I was a bit slower than most. My SF batterries ran down a little there before christmas so when Gerry presses the opinion button which delivers our opinions, mine was a little slow. Thankfully thats rectified now so I can Baaaa at exactly the correct times going forward.

    Now don’t be shy and tell us the party who are delivering your robotic rants and fantasist notions, I see you are good at the ol sectarian headcount so I am wondering do you have the same personality coversion software as myself or did your lot not decommision yours back in 2006?

  • johnny lately

    I dont live far from an Cultúrlann Gingray and I’ve seen one protest in all that time outside it and that was organised by that opportunist Gerry Carroll the man who runs with the foxes and hunts with the hounds but I’ll accept your word that the bringing about of change regarding the Irish language was not all down to the actions of one party.

    “And nope, again, many of those who fought at the boyne from the north east of Ireland had family living here for 100 odd years and would not have spoken the language, seriously, read that book, it hammers home how policy even in 1650 was destroying the language by banning its use”

    100 odd years makes you a native ?

  • Enda

    Here are too points taken from the St Andrew’s Agreement

    • The Government will introduce an Irish Language Act reflecting on the experience of Wales and Ireland and work with the incoming Executive to enhance and protect the development of the Irish language.

    So the government will introduce the act, and the executive will work to enhance and protect the language with the help of said govenment. THIS IS WHAT THEY SIGNED UP TO DO!!!! Jeez.

    • The Government firmly believes in the need to enhance and develop the Ulster Scots language, heritage and culture and will support the incoming Executive in taking this forward.

    It’s funny how the latter point isn’t brought up by the DUPS as a matter of contention.

    And then there’s the list of recipients of the communities grants scheme, a clearly biased distribution of funds, with has a few token taig elements thrown in for good measure.

    These clowns have got to GO!!

  • Gingray

    So you admit, you supported Arlene pre Christmas, thank you 🙂

    Anto, it may come as a shock to you, but most people are not beholden to any one party or one narrow political view point. On Slugger for example, I have never seen a poster as singularly loyal to staying on message as you, its crazy.

    I have never been a member of a political party, and having voted in North Belfast (SF/SDLP), South Belfast (SF/Alliance) and now East Belfast (Green/Alliance/SF), I can safely say that none of the available parties in NI represents my views. But I know which parties do not represent my views or care about the things I do, so I will vote to keep them out.

  • Gingray

    JL
    I don’t think either you or I used the word native, but are you now telling me that someone born in Ireland to Polish or Lithuanian is not Irish?

    Dangerous game you are starting there!

  • Anthony O’Shea

    “Most People” do you have the exact numbers? And a link to your research there boy?

    “I have never been a member of a political party”

    LOL, You’re a geg !!

  • Enda

    What gets to me is that people over here in Britain tar me with this same brush because they don’t understand the demographics, and I’ve found myself more than once defending my position as a rationally minded person.

    I remember a while back this happened:

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/christian-extremists-steal-statue-of-celtic-sea-god-from-mountain-top-in-northern-ireland-30929777.html

    …and the response I got from some Brits was, ‘bloody catholics!’ I’m not a proponent for the catholic church, but it’s a go to thing for Brits to blame religious fundamentalism in NI on Irish Catholics, because a lot of people over here don’t seem to realise that once you cross the Irish sea, off the North Coast of the Isle of Mann, you might as well have crossed the Mason/Dixon line in terms of evangelical extremism.

    And it’s because we have d0ucheb@gs like this in government!

  • John Gorman

    Peter Hain former SoS on Nolan pretty much backs up Poots. There you have it, all previous agreements and all future agreements are not worth the paper they are written on. Where do we go from here?

  • ulidian

    So by your own admission, the DUP has absolutely no obligation to introduce or support a language act – the latter “responsibility” lies with HMG.

  • Gingray

    Exact numbers, no, but I do know that SF party membership in the North is under 10k, similar for all the other parties, so at best 100k people are party members out of 1.8m.

    So, as I say, most people are not beholden to any party. You seem to struggle with the idea that people can have political views, yet not be part of a political party, that just in not the case in the real world.

    Hmm, what political party do you think I am a member/have been a member of?

  • johnny lately

    The native language of Ireland is Irish not Polish or Lithuanian and just because you were born in a country doesn’t make you a national of that country Im pretty sure to be classed as a local you have to be born of parents born in Ireland and especially if you refuse to refer yourself as one and im sure you will find that not too many members of the Orange order would claim they are Irish or their forefathers.

  • Anthony O’Shea

    You seem to struggle with detail; most people, many people, some people. So you admit you have no idea what you are talking about, grand no worries.

    “what political party do you think I am a member/have been a member of?”

    Ah come on now don’t be silly. Everybody, nobody, some people, many people know the answer to that.

  • Gingray

    You mentioned the word native, not I, and my view is that anyone born on the island of island is Irish if they choose to be.

    You really like the forefathers thing eh!

    The Orange Order actually has the official title of Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, so it is there loss if they now do not want to classify themselves as Irish, but at the time of the Boyne, Williams soldiers from the north east of Ireland classed themselves as Irish, even if they had only roots in the island going back 100 years.

    Seriously, read that book I recommended, it contains letters from the time and you will see that the local planters saw themselves as Irish.

  • Gingray

    Not at all Anto – the only one who struggles with detail is the person who denied, in this conversation, that he supported Arlene Foster and then had to eat humble pie when his words got thrown back at him.

    So, like Sinn Fein when it comes to how they will actually deliver on the Irish language, you have no answer, just a lot of hot air and bluster. 🙁

  • Enda

    The government introduce, they (The DUP) have an obligation to support it. It’s clearly stated, and the DUP signed up to that..

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Once, when I was writing an article some time back, I rather provocatively described the Jacobites of 1688/9 as “Loyalists” and enjoyed virtually everyone. Of course I changed it for publication…………

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Gingray, as Raymond would tell you if you asked him, the planters of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries here had to be to some degree bi-lingual in order for the whole community to function. English only began to predominate in the nineteenth century with the growth of a public education rooted in the English language. The notion of discrete separate cultures here from the time of they sabre tooth tiger is very much a post partition thing, a myth of inherent difference useful to the post 1920 Unionist construct. The heritage of this bilingualism is evident in the grammatical usages peculiar to our own local version of English, which has strong traces of Irish grammar. The irony is that we are all still speaking Irish “a little”, but with an English oriented vocabulary

  • Croiteir

    You shouldn’t have

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Have you encountered Brendan Bradshaw’s excellent “And so began the Irish nation”?:

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Books/began-Irish-Nation-Nationality-Consciousness-Nationalism-Pre-modern/1472442563/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1484740127&sr=8-9&keywords=Brendan+Bradshaw

    The argument’s the thing, not simply winding them up……..

  • Croiteir

    I know the argument is and usually I stick to that however mischievousness sometimes makes me push the buttons just because it is so easy and so hard to resist.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    I did not get the aggression head on, as my dulcet Anglo-Irish accent suggests that I’m a safe, civilised person on whom to offload that kind of anti-Irishness (both campus!) which some of the English elite excel in nurturing. So I sometimes hear the unvarnished version in the most conspiratorial tones. As you say…..***** in government”……….

  • Steptoe

    “Every word spoken in Irish is another bullet fired in the struggle for Irish freedom”
    Who said this?

  • T.E.Lawrence

    Johnny Adair must have read that article, didn’t he name his dog “Rebel” ?

  • Gingray

    Seaan, I agree completely, I don’t buy this notion that there is one defined type of Irish – there are many types and they have evolved and come a long way.

  • Croiteir

    Correct – in such a degree that the Earl of Antrim had to send for a minister from the islands to minister to the Presbyterians in Glenarm in Irish

  • SeaanUiNeill

    I once had the pleasure of insulting a DUP grandee to his face at a conference, with such a light ironic touch that he was puzzled enough to have to work it out over about twenty minutes before reacting.

    But I found the concept of a genuine, sincere undulate Loyalty in 1688/9 simply too much of a truth to ignore that once………….

  • SeaanUiNeill

    “Not everyone hung around when the battle was done, Ireland was only one square on the European chess board of war at the time so I imagine many troops were sent elsewhere.”

    Most locals hung around until the end of the war, and then experienced a massive spate of disbandments. Many of the boys at Derry in 1689 found themselves disbanded even before the Boyne without any recompense, and William Hamill’s “A View of the Danger and Folly of Being Public-Spirited, and Sincerely Loving One’s Country” tells the story of their thirty year attempts to even attract the notice of the Prince of Orange, Anne, and Hanoverian Georgie. The title speaks for itself, not that they ere not warned by Richard hamilton, whose letter of July 1689 is reproduced “Eaten bread is soon forgotten…”

    The Enniskilleners survived to fight over on the continent, but under a late comer, the old Oliverian Tiffin. As T.E. shows below, the Royal Irish, one of the few regiments to survive from James’s Irish Army fought over there also, while others from the Old and New Irish Brigades in the service of James were fighting elsewhere, but under French pay.

  • Anthony O’Shea

    More inportantly, when was it said?

  • Anthony O’Shea

    You are getting quite confused again. Maybe sit down for a while? I worry.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Antrim also had the gift of his C of I parishes, and used this to settle Episcopalian Scots ministers of Jacobite sympathies to minister to some of his people. The Episcopal Church in Scotland was under just as stringent Penal laws as Catholicism in the early eighteenth century.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Thank you Gingray, as I’m forever saying Ireland has always been polycultural, and how could it have been anything else?

  • Gingray

    You have admitted that you supported Arlene before Christmas – are you now denying this again? I am confused as to why you keep changing your mind on this.

    But again, you blustered about my being part of a political party, yet have nothing more to show for it. Typical 🙂

  • Steptoe

    I had an argument with my wife many years ago and called her cooking rubbish. After 15 years, she still reminds me what I said in the heat of the moment. In her book, when I said it doesn’t matter, only that I did say it

  • Gingray

    Yup, waves of migration and colonisation. Tho it is a pity than more people on the island know the mythology of England and King Arthur than they do of the Tuatha Dé Danann and Irish mythology.

  • Steptoe

    In my mortgage agreement, my bank secretly inserted a clause that said I must make repayments on time, how dare they. What a grubby little trick they pulled on me, they should have known the way agreements work, pick out the bits favourable to you and insist that you didn’t agree to the other bits when the time is right and refuse to honour!

  • johnny lately

    The Irish problem is going on for almost a thousand years Gingray Irish history doesn’t start at 1690 and, no, planters never saw themselves as Irish, thats why they tried to ban the majority religion at the time which was catholic, the native language which was irish and the native population which was also Irish perhaps. Im only using the forefather thing because thats all we hear from Unionists when it comes to their rights but yet refuse the same rights to the Irish who were there before them who’s forefathers roamed Ireland for thousands of years.

  • Anthony O’Shea

    And maybe you were correct at the time, was her cooking rubbish? Is it still rubbish or has it changed? Thats the point, what was accurate and right years and years ago may not be so now.
    Is it still a Protestnat Parliament for a Protestnat people? No, clearly not.

  • Anthony O’Shea

    Are you related to Arlene? You remind me of her.

  • Gingray

    Still no follow up to your spurious allegations mo chara?

    But just to clarify – before Christmas you supported Arlene Foster, so you would know best if I sound like her, but I can assure you my views are very different from her own.

  • Gingray

    Johnny, you do realise that your “forefathers” may not have roamed Ireland for thousands of years, but could be one of the many many waves of immigration that came to Ireland before the Normans.

    The BNP try to define “British” in much the same way you are defining “Irish”, but it is incorrect. Things change, very little stays the same, people in particular.

  • Anthony O’Shea

    You seem to have the same sort of personality, maybe thats it.

  • Gingray

    It could well be, but it does not change the fact that you were her most ardent supporter on Slugger before Christmas.

    Nor does it change the rather strange claim you made about me being in a political party.

    Or that you now expect people to believe in fairy tales and that Sinn Fein will do something to promote the Irish language after 4 elections and 10 years in bed with the DUP and letting them treat it like they wanted.

    Surely at this point you realise you are making claims without any facts or evidence to support your view point – nothing you have suggested has any merit based on reality.

  • Anthony O’Shea

    I never did or said any of that Arlene, and I have no Idea why you think I am a SInn Fein supporter, more lies and invented nonsense. Oh dear.

  • Gingray

    Anthony O’Shea anon 19 days ago

    But is she wounded within her own constituency? That’s the question. Why pull the house down only to see it built back up with the very same bricks?

    Anthony O’Shea 19 days ago
    Its discomforting to watch people gather in the hope of feasting on a carcass. It’s as if politicians and in this case Arlene, are somehow sub-human.

    —————————————————-

    Anthony O’Shea 9 days ago
    Oh no, SF will absolutely definately and most certainly not be going back to the status quo of DUP arrogance and Stonewalling.

    Anthony O’Shea 11 days ago
    You are not alone in your views, rumblings within the SF grassroots have centred around the very points you raise. Lets see.

    ——————————————————–

    Its fairly obvious you are a SF supporter, but are you pretending now that you are not 🙂

    Just trotting out the party lines and doing a uturn on Arlene when they tell ya too!

  • Anthony O’Shea

    LOL, Ok Arlene chill a bit. Is it not time for your nap? do u have the heating on?

  • Granni Trixie

    Anthony I too would like you to say why you were so keen to stick up for AF pre Christmas?

  • Granni Trixie

    Am I correct in thinking that ol predictive text thingy has turned “annoyed” into “enjoyed”? (Would that it were so easy in real life)

  • Enda

    Went DUP for moral issues. LOL.

  • Anthony O’Shea

    Living in Dublin Granni one gets well used to allegations particularly where SF are concerned. They come fast and furious and sometimes there is little or no meat on them. I also detest the way people can sometimes be cannibalised by the media and opponents as if they are somehow sub human simply because they are elected reps.

    When the story first broke I agreed with Micks analysis that there didnt appear to be much evidence or meat to suggest anything was seriously amiss. Like many others, the Bell interview made me sit up and take notice. As a rule I dont condemn people off the bat. I tend to give them the benifit of the doubt but Arlenes letter to the bank abd the slow trickle of email info changed my mind. Its really that simple.

  • Enda

    I don’t often find much aggression as much as the odd off-the cuff remark, followed by a quick insincere apology, followed then by a ‘but you’re not religious anyway, are you?’, which I usually meet with a smile, a chuckle and a slight roll of the eyes with a quick change of subject.

    It’s actually quite funny when I think about it, although who am I to talk, it’s not like I’m well informed about places or people that I have no direct knowledge of. Worlds apart sometimes and yet only a 35min flight to Aldergrove.

  • Gingray

    Ouch – hard hitting!

    Still, doesn’t address all the lies you have been telling 🙂

  • Anthony O’Shea

    I dont wear a dress. Thats scurilous.

  • Katyusha

    Hain’s attitude on Nolan is appalling. Basically that it doesn’t matter what an agreement actually says as long as it gets SF’s signature on paper. In his words, to “bring the whole process forward”, you can promise anything you can think of and then welch on any deal afterwards. “There are thousands and thousands of words in an agreement any you might not agree to all of it, but it was important to sign it to move the whole process forward”. Disgustingly cynical, duplicitous, treacherous stuff.

  • Gingray

    Anthony, two weeks ago you claimed to live in Ulster. Hope the move went well

  • Gingray

    Um, thats nice to know.

    But you do tend to be profoundly wrong about a lot of things in the north, particularly after being Arlene Fosters number one cheerleader on Slugger.

    And are you still pretending you are not a Sinn Fein member/supporter?

  • Anthony O’Shea

    Hey again Arlene, never said i was.

  • Anthony O’Shea

    I never said i lived anywhere near Cork. You’re losing it mate.

  • Gingray

    You do realise Cork and Ulster are two different geographical places?

    But here:

    Anthony O’Shea 15 days ago
    The North is my home so i think i have a fair idea whats going on ‘Friend’.

    ——

    Story keeps on changing with you mo chara, no wonder defensing Arlene came so easily.

  • Gingray

    Are you saying you are not? Not sure why you would be afraid to admit it, but makes sense mo chara

  • Anthony O’Shea

    Is Cork not in Ireland? Is Ulster not in Ireland?

  • Anthony O’Shea

    Are you saying I am not what?

  • Gingray

    Oh Anthony, lies upon lies upon lies. Do you even know the truth any more? Its pathetically easy pointing out your “mistakes”

  • Gingray

    Heartening to know that you can post the Sinn Fein press release position exactly, and do 180 degree switches without a hint of embarrassment, but admitting to being a Sinn Fein supporter is a step too far, and you become a coward.

  • Anthony O’Shea

    I actually dont use the post anymore, its all email now.

  • Anthony O’Shea

    Now stop that, you are not pathetic. Just a bit misguided maybe.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Gingray
    If I recall correctly Shipboy-MacAdam said that some of the Scottish versions of Gaelic were almost identical to Antrim Gaelic.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    My uncle, who was a NI Labour supporter of the Union (unlike myself) indignantly used to say “the moment you step of the Liverpool boat on English soil, to these people, we are all ‘Paddy’ “. While this is not usually malicious in intent, it should be an eye opener for those who imagine that their fellow British passport holders fully accept them on their own terms.

  • Alan N/Ards

    Partition was definitely the start of Irish unionists seeing themselves as more British than Irish. But was it the only reason during the following decades? Was there anything that could have been done by the political elite in the Free State, to dissuade them from denying their heritage? Genuine question.

    Many of us are still members of the Church of Ireland, Presbyterian Church in Ireland, Irish Methodist Church. The names of these churches were never changed and they still operate on an all island basis. Many of us celebrate St. Patricks day, but we obviously don’t celebrate it by waving the Irish Tricolour at parades. I’ve been to a number of events (over the years) for St. Patrick’s day, and the participants (from trad musicians, singers and Irish dancers) have all been unionists. These events were flag free, but with people wearing green, Irish rugger and Northern Ireland shirts were to the fore.

    To paraphrase a certain mans words. We haven’t gone away, you know.

  • Gingray

    Indeed, it died out in the 1980s?

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Yes, although there is a rumour that there’s one last native speaker in Sydney.