The DUP and the ‘cost’ of the Irish Language Act: Fake News and alternative facts

A headline atop the latest column from former cultural minister and DUP figure Nelson McCausland made his point clear:

£2 billion over 20 years – the real cost of the Irish Language Act Gerry Adams doesn’t want to talk about

Nelson McCausland doesn’t want an Irish Language Act because, he claims, the cost could end up dwarfing the RHI debacle. Frankly, I have a suspicion that the DUP are seeking anything which might dwarf the RHI debacle!

In his article – which was based I presume on preparation he carried out for an appearance on BBC Talkback on Wednesday of last week where he was engaged in a debate with Caral Ní Chuilinn of Sinn Féin – Nelson refers to the costs incurred by Torfaen Council in the Welsh speaking communities of south Wales when it offered Welsh language services to its constituents.

We can start with local councils. Torfaen in south Wales is a small council with a population of just 91,000.

In order to meet its obligations, it  employs four Welsh language officers and estimates that the total cost per year is around £868,000.

According to Nelson, this figure, high as it is, could be rounded up to £1m per year in Northern Ireland because of the larger size of the council populations here.      And this goes some way towards making up his £100m per year running total for the Irish Language Act – 11 councils @ £1m per council = £11m per year.  £220m for 20 years.

All fine – except this is fake news, an ‘alternative fact’ or an example of ‘post truth politics’. The ‘hat-tip’ on this one should go to Maitiú Ó Coimín of the Irish language website, Tuairisc, who in this article brought the unsound nature of the DUP man’s claims to light.  in this case.  The £868,000 sum was the headline figure from a BBC Wales Week In Week Out report broadcast last year.    The £868,000 tally is inaccurate and, according to the BBC apology, their investigation was not ‘robust’.

A BBC Wales spokesman said: “We have received a number of complaints about the Week In Week Out investigation, broadcast on Tuesday, May 24, and will deal with those in line with the BBC’s complaints procedure.

“The team has a track record of delivering outstanding reports but we recognise that this particular investigation did not sufficiently explore the different viewpoints on the introduction of the new Welsh language standards.”

All of the above is easiliy accessible through Google.  Many other claims about the implications, cost and otherwise, made by Nelson in his Belfast Telegraph article and BBC Talkback appearance were also questionable, not least because the content of an Irish Language Act has not been agreed or finalised.

In his article, Nelson bounded from £11m per year to £100m without much explanation or justification.  There is a cost with relation to providing services to the public – in whatever language you speak.  However the addition of another language incurs a marginal cost.  Sometimes people like to count the marginal cost which specifically relates to the Irish language and the basic cost of providing the basic services as one sum and chalk it down to the Irish language.   That leads to cost inflation and catchy ‘fake news’ headlines like the one over Nelson’s article.

An example of this practice is the issue of bilingual signage.  If a roadsign comes to the end of its natural life, as per the stipulation of engineers, and is replaced by a bilingual sign, the cost of adding the correct Irish translations to the sign is minute.  What does incur massive costs and massive public disgrace is the practice in some quarter in the south of erecting bilingual signage with the Irish translation provided by Google Translate or the service employed by Ethiopian widows of public officials trying to scam/spam Irish speakers into parting with their bank account details to participate in some dodgy scheme.   This has resulted in hilarious/laughable translations and is a lesson for public authorities everywhere.

Other claims by Nelson include the notion that non-Irish speakers are barred from buying homes in the Gaeltacht – this is not true at all.  He refers to Údaras na Gaeltachta, the Gaeltacht Development Authority, as an ‘oversight’ body when it is in fact a job creation agency which is doing a marvellous job in creating employment in marginalised communities and would be an example for other local agencies to follow.   These are industrial jobs – not merely ‘jobs for Irish speakers’  – and they contribute to the Irish economy.

The 2015 figures indicate:

ABSEI research conducted in 2015 indicates that Údarás client companies achieved

  • €843 million total sales
  • €388 million in direct expenditure in the Irish Economy.
  • €525 million in export sales
  • €192 million payroll to Gaeltacht-based employees.
  • €85 million total tax paid to the exchequer

So the Gaeltacht is not a dependent in the southern economy – but a wealth generator and contributor. The recognition of Gaeltacht areas/communities in NI needn’t necessarily be presented as a bad thing or, indeed, a mirror image of their Republic of Ireland counterparts.   Irish language communities in the North are new relative to the traditional Gaeltacht communities  such as Waterford’s Rinn Gaeltacht, Múscraí in Cork, Uibh Rathach/Corca Dhuibhne in Kerry, Conamara in Galway, Erris in Mayo, Gaoth Dobhair and Gleann Cholmcille in Donegal and Rath Chairn in Meath.    Conferring a form of Gaeltacht status on west Belfast, Carn Tochar, Derry and other communities would not necessarily mean the creation of a totally new infrastructure.

All this talk is moot, however, as the content of any Irish Language Act is yet to be discussed properly in the cold light of day – I am on record as being against legislation which is heavy on bureaucracy and pays scant regard to practical supports for the Irish language in the community, legislative protection for existing Irish language provision and measures to enable the State to actively promote and encourage the use of Irish in public and private life, as per the Good Friday Agreement.

The £2bn tally bandied about by Nelson is one of his own imagining.   He has successfully sold this fake news nugget on BBC Radio Ulster’s flagship ‘Talkback’ show without it being fact checked by that programme’s production crew.  He has put it into print in the Belfast Telegraph.  He claims that Sinn Féin and the SDLP won’t talk about the costs, least of all the costs he has invented based on less than robust research.     It would be worth the while of the SDLP and Sinn Féin to present their proposed Irish Language Acts with estimated costs to counter this bluster.

It would also be worth the while of news programmes and newspapers such as Talkback and the Belfast Telegraph to beware of entrapment by the likes of Nelson who is keen, no doubt, to present as scary as possible a tale about the cost and danger of an Irish Language Act and his party colleagues would be delighted, no doubt, if this cost could ‘dwarf’ the scale of the RHI debacle, not to mention Red Sky, NAMA and SIF.    Don’t be conned by the fake news merchants!   Perhaps this instance can be among the first investigations of the BBC’s new unit to check Fake News, this new Permanent Reality Check Team (is this really its name).

These programmes and newspapers could also help to undo the ‘weaponising’ and ‘politicising’ of the Irish language, a claim made frequently by Nelson and his comrades, by ensuring that future discussions around the issue of the proposed Irish Language Act and the various commitments made up to now regarding the language involve Irish language activists and other experts in the sociolinguistic field who know the issues and the costs as well as political beasts with their own agendas/notions to promote.

EXTRA:

The mess gets messier as Bertie Ahern might say.  Now Meoin Eile, the Irish language off shoot of The Detail, has got a hold of documents linking Arlene Foster and her now ex SPAD, Andrew Crawford to the row over bilingual signage on St Patrick’s Trail and they’ve also uncovered that the DUP’s Paul Givan failed to do an ‘equality test’ on his decision to cut the Líofa funding in December.   More on these here and in English here.   There is something rotten in the state of the DUP.

 

 

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  • ted hagan

    If I were McCausland I would steer well clear of RHI comparisons. We achieve much with an Irish Language Ac, with RHI we get nothing but waste, caused by political ineptitude that has led us to this current parlous situation.
    It’s high time some DUP members climbed out of their bigoted trough.
    And it won’t happen while Arlene Foster is in charge… no misogyny intended.

  • Gopher

    Sorry you mentioned the SDLP and SF producing costs, I cant stop laughing at that one. Good tip dont ask Chrissie Hazard to cost it unless you want to have an Irish language space program.

  • Teddybear

    What would help ordinarily unionists is seeing the SDLP spearhead the Irish Language. They’re such a lazy party in many ways. They’ve let SF hoodwink the world into thinking that they are the inventors and custodians of all things republican and Irish

    Let’s have an Irish Language Act and all equality too. In short, smart unionists should steal all SF’s clothes except for the pathetic fig leaf of their policy and plans for Irish unity

    I’m not against UI in absolute terms. I’d rather negotiate with FF/FG/SDLP about a UI than SF. Nationalists should not confuse unionist hatred of SF with hatred of Irishness. We don’t hate Irishness. We just hate SF

  • On the fence!

    Well it’s just the usual tit for tat isn’t it. Sinn Fein pulling for it, DUP pulling against, nationalist/republicans want it more just because the DUP are plainly trying to block it, unionist/protestant detest it more just because the shinners are pushing so hard for it. Meanwhile those who genuinely value it as a cultural expression and those (probably the majority) who couldn’t REALLY care that much as long as there’s decent roads, jobs, shorter hospital waiting lists, a decent GP, a spare seat on the train in the morning, etc, etc, find themselves having to form an opinion and take a stance on something which shouldn’t be that big a deal one way or the other.

    Just another result of our dysfunctional form of governance. Sort it out, and the Irish language issue will eventually get somewhere, along with the Maze, the health service, corporation tax, education, etc, etc, ………………………..

  • anon

    I find it’s quicker to simply ignore most things that Nelson McCausland says, as they’re invariably baloney. Unless he’s saying he or another DUP member isn’t responsible for a debacle of some sort, in which case it’s simpler to assume the opposite to be true.

  • Concubhar O Liathain

    That may be fair enough except what he was saying was on BBC Talkback and in the Belfast Telegraph and they as responsible media organs and, in the case of the BBC, a public service broadcaster, shouldn’t allow unsound claims like Nelson’s in this case go unchecked.

  • Concubhar O Liathain

    With all respect to the SDLP, that ship has sailed. It’s a pity but the SDLP has yielded to SF in the same way the DUP has taken precedence over the UUP. While the SDLP had great Irish language advocates – Bríd Rodgers, Dominic Ó Brollcháin, Seán Farren and Patsy McGlone, to name a few, the party never engaged meaningfully with the Irish language issue post the GFA. SF has increasingly tried to do this. It’s been a case of more gong than dinner – the party was found badly wanting on the issue of free travel for students attending Coláíste Feirste from north Belfast and outside of the city. In the most recent programme for Government introduced by the DUP and SF, the Irish language isn’t mentioned. In the past, when negotiations have happened, there have been gains for the Irish language at the behest of SF, the Irish language investment fund, the restoration of the ILBF. Líofa has been a great SF initiated success.

  • On the fence!

    Or maybe they had the sense to know that if you bang the drum too loud it may attract lots of attention but can quickly become quite irritating.

    Maybe there’s a lesson from the world of arboriculture, the strongest tree is always the one given most time to establish.

  • Concubhar O Liathain

    That’s a valid point of view, of course. The alternative is that back in 1998, it was important to build on that initial wave of optimism generated by the Good Friday Agreement and its overwhelming support from referenda north and south. Then was the time to move positively to set a tone….that didn’t happen and here’s where we are now.

  • On the fence!

    When I voted for the GFA, my weans were 4 and 2, I voted positively out of optimism. Now here we are and it has failed to deliver on just about every single level I had hoped for or was promised.

    Supporters of the Irish language, irrespective of the validity of their grievance, are not the only ones who feel short-changed.

  • Something rotten in the state of the DUP? No. Really?

  • file

    On the fence – I encourage you to continue to resist having an opinion about an Irish language act, or even about the Irish language itself, if it is of no interest to you. Keep your head clear for the important issues that you list in your post.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    The DUP are so breathtakingly dismissive and hostile (and arrogant) regarding Gaelic that I wouldn’t be surprised if they start to have a mirror-opposite effect of SF on this topic as in whereas a number of people are put off Irish by seeing Gerry Adams’ mug attached to Irish slogans I imagine that conversely there’ll be those who have no strong opinion on the matter that are pushed towards feeling sympathetic (if not out right supportive) of an Irish language act.

    Anyhoo, this can be all turned on its head very easily.

    May I suggest a few amendments:

    1/ We don’t need court translations or someone to sit and translate Bovine TB testing appointments into Irish, all the farmers (bar maybe a foreigner or two) can speak English.

    May I suggest instead a dedicated team of volunteers to transcribe and subtitle every TV program that is digitally received in NI?

    Cheap, easy and effective (I sometimes put on foreign language subtitles just out of curiosity for languages that I neither speak nor learn)

    Millions upon millions saved (if we take Nelson’s maths) and the language filters to the entire population instead of those who have to make use of courts as well as cutting down on unnecessary paper waste (and this applies mainly to government correspondence)

    2/ In mixed areas merge the primary schools (but leaving enough Catholic schools so that those who wish for a Catholic Primary education can still get one) and implement gradually dual-language charts, dual language books and so on and so forth, basically kids can learn basic words and numbers by a sort of osmosis.
    Again, it doesn’t have to cost a packet (in fact the school mergers should balance it out financially speaking) and it reaches a much greater audience.

    3/ Gradually bi-lingialise (or tri-lingualise in the east) street signs as and when they need replaced naturally, don’t just spunk millions replacing them all at once.

    4/ Given the alarm and over reaction by the DUP and other British nationalists I believe a few sweeteners should be thrown in to appeal to people who are of a more rational mindset than them, for example, as long as Londonderry is indeed officially called Londonderry then could we not have the ‘London’ pre-fix translated and added too? (Same with Northern Ireland as opposed to ‘the North of Ireland’)
    And from a unionist sales pitch point of view we could perhaps have an academic approach to the subtitles program mentioned earlier e.g. my pet project of ‘Antrim Gaelic’.

    Why?

    1/ It can be sold to unionists as ‘Scottish Gaelic’
    2/ It’s not as if Donegal Gaelic speakers would have trouble understanding it.

    And before you all start with the “NO!!!! EVERYTHING IS ALL THE UNOINISTS’ FAULT!!!!” Please note that with the advent of the likes of Linda Ervine and Dr Ian Malcolm we are seeing the shoots of change within unionism.

    Yes, it’ll be difficult and people like McCausland will have a hairy fit at the mention of the above proposals.

    But, it pulls the rug out from underneath the main critics of an Irish language act in terms of their favourite arguments and secondly (if not more importantly) it makes it all the more accessible to the population at large but without the ‘threatening’ aspect that would accompany a SF endorsed approach.

    One last thing, the best way to ruin these proposals is to have SF publicly champion them.

  • Concubhar O Liathain

    I understand where you’re coming from and empathise with you completely.
    I think it’s important that the promises of the Good Friday Agreement be delivered upon, in spirit and in word/action, so that society can move on to tackle the urgent issues of shorter waiting lists, better schools, decent roads etc. Issues surrounding culture, language and mutual respect are crucial in that calculus, not afterthoughts.

  • On the fence!

    A lovely sentiment, but sadly it would seem impossible.

    The election will take place and then there will be three weeks for the two main parties (and I think we all know who they’ll be) to “negotiate” a way forward before we get an assembly back.

    There is much to do, in fact there is everything to do! GP services on the brink of collapse, hospitals, schools, roads, budgets, Brexit, you name it, we haven’t addressed it.

    Yet what do we continually hear at the top of the Sinn Fein “wish list”?,………….sorting out the Irish language!!!!!!!

    Like, seriously!!!!!!!!

  • On the fence!

    OK, thank you for the replies.

    Just one final thought. Don’t be too dismissive of the SDLP approach. I once heard that great supporter of all things Irish, Jim Allister, comment that he was very impressed by Patsy McGlone’s mastery of the Irish language and was very respectful of it’s addition to our culture when treated appropriately.

    Food for thought surely!

  • Concubhar O Liathain

    There’s no point in going into government under the pretext of sorting out the ‘urgent’ problems if you don’t deal with the issues surrounding mutual respect first. One of those issues happens to be the Irish Language Act and support for the Irish language in public life.

  • Concubhar O Liathain

    Edward Carson by all accounts had a great deal of respect for the Irish language – he probably spoke it. It’s time that today’s class of unionist politicians caught up with him.

  • Fear Éireannach

    Northern Ireland is a waste, set up to pander to a political minority in Ireland, but the DUP have no problem supporting it. Hypocrisy as usual.

  • john millar

    If anything -what you are going to create is a “Languages act ”
    Every detail of Irish language “Infrastructure/ industry ” will pound for pound be slavish copied in a Scots/ Ulster Scots variety

    To quote Gerard ” The point is to actually break these bastards – that’s the point. And what’s going to break them is equality”

    As examples of the kind of items which will arrive as the stone is rolled over

    http://www.scotslanguage.com/

    and http://www.dsl.ac.uk/about-scots/the-scots-language/

    http://www.lallans.co.uk/

    Then we have funding for visits from NI to Areas of Scotland for cultural exchange and comparisons of variation in dialect

    http://www.scotslanguage.com/Scots_Dialects_uid117/The_Main_Dialects_of_Scots

    Not to mention the queues forming for academic funding for the above. Triples and Trilingual all round all at the benighted taxpayers expense.

  • john millar

    The best answer is to give your costings

  • Iarla Mac Aodha Bhuí

    The sad fact is that there are many people in Ireland, north, south, east and west, who would begrudge the spending of a single symbolic cent or penny on support the Irish language or the communities who speak it.

  • Concubhar O Liathain

    The first step is to agree that there will be an Irish Language Act and then its contents ideally, after that comes costing. Nelson’s offering is fake news.

  • Concubhar O Liathain

    I think that you’re falling into the trap of allowing Gerry Adams dictate the agenda for you. It’s time to grab hold of the agenda by yourself. As far as I’m concerned, the issues surrounding Ullans need to be addressed by its supporters but I won’t stand in their way. The cost of things you mention to scare us off the idea of legislation to protect the Irish language – exchanges, academic studies – are miniscule in comparison to societal benefit.

  • Skibo

    Hi Sir, you negotiate with whoever you want but please negotiate. As for the SDLP being the spearhead for the Irish Language, the DUP could have spearheaded it, took the moral high ground and said, here we are, we accept that the Irish language does not impinge on our Britishness. Here is what we believe the Irish Language Act should be. They could have taken the issue off the table completely.

  • mjh

    You see, Concubhar, that’s what I can’t understand. That leaves the issue in the hands of one political party and makes it inevitable that it will always be treated as nothing more than a political football. Moreover it leaves your opponents free to define in the public mind what an Irish Language Act means, what the effects would be, and how much it will cost. Supporters of an Act are left doing nothing but vainly attempting to undo the damage. I’ll guarantee that Nelson’s £2bn figure will have made a much wider impact than your reasoned rebuttal.

    If you’re only discussing their representation of your objectives, you’re losing.

    On the contrary supporters of an Irish Language Act should take it into their own hands. Talk to the supporters of Ulster Scots. Establish your common difficulties and what measures you would both like to see. Talk to SF, SDLP, Alliance, UUP, Greens, PBPA and – if they will speak to you – the DUP. Find out what their issues are around the subject – positive and negative.

    Then draw up your own Act. Let everyone see what your want. Indicate what the costs will be. You might even find yourself drafting a Languages Bill encompassing both Irish and Ulster Scots.

    Then look for sponsors for the Bill from as many political parties represented in the Assembly as you can achieve. Have it introduced as a Private Members Bill. Communicate assiduously with any MLA who does not actively oppose the Bill. Start long before it reaches the floor of the House. Do all in your power to make the issue one of arts and culture, not of identity politics.

  • Concubhar O Liathain

    Good ideas all MJH. I would be open to such a discussion and I imagine that other activists would be too.

  • John Collins

    Ta an ceart agat.

  • Skibo

    OTF you will find Jim Allister’s support is more dependant on where the suggestion comes from than what the subject is about. He finds it difficult to praise anything that SF does. Sometimes it is quite tiring.

  • Skibo

    Then sit back and watch the DUP use a POC to bury it.

  • Katyusha

    Why not Scots Gaelic, or a common Gaelic tongue?

    This silly divvying up of cultural items so that we all have our own distinct tribal marks is one of the most damaging things we could do to keep our society divided for eternity.We do not need an Irish language act as a nationalist cultural marker; we need the reclamation of our culture across NI society.
    This idea of I-can’t-be-associated-with-such-and-such-because-it-reeks-of-themuns attitude fabricates barriers and division even where they didn’t exist before.

  • Skibo

    Gopher at least the SF and SDLP departments do have cost controls in anything they produce unlike the RHI scheme. I wonder why the GB press have not got their hands on this yet. NI Minister trying to rip off the Westminster treasury because in essence, that is the problem with RHI. While the Treasury was footing the bill, there was no problem.

  • murdockp

    as some one who supports the Irish language i think health care and housing rank too high as a national priority. I would feel I had failed my society if I knew people are homeless or hungry at the expense of an irish language act.

    Surely the answer is dup to agree to the act when certain economic conditions are met? that way every one is happy.

  • On the fence!

    Surely that’s the very point that many are trying to make. Sinn Fein are doing as much to further the cause of the Irish language and re-unification as the DUP are doing for biomass heating systems.

    I’m pretty sure that if our assembly had remained a coalition of OUP and SDLP then both these Irish nationalist aspirations would be much further advanced than they are at present.

    Doesn’t seem like lessons are being learned either!

  • Gopher

    The SDLP and SF have not produced one properly costed program in the life of any assembly, who can forget Chris Hazards presentation of economics and the SDLP’s “costed” manifesto last election. RHI has feck all to with the opening poster expecting the so called guardians of the Irish Language to bring forward a properly costed program. I’m still laughing at the initial premise.

  • Gingray

    Agreed – Sinn Fein see this as a bargaining chip, and they have never even developed an Irish Language Act, so it demonstrates how high up their priority list it is.

    The Act can be kept simple and costs kept low through simple common sense approaches, rather than force feeding it down peoples throats.

  • Gingray

    Teddybear – you should clarify the last line, as I doubt Unionists are as monolithic a group as to hold the same view. A large number do hate all things Irish. A large number do hate all things SF. A large number embrace various aspects of being Irish while still being British.

    Other than that, I agree completely, even better, have the Greens take it forward as they are an all Ireland party after all, neutral on constitutional issues but in favour of an act.

  • John Collins

    Irish and Scots Gallic were the same language until about 1200 and as a reasonably proficient Iris speaker I can understand Scots reasonably well, although it is now a quite different dialect and demands that I strain my ears quite hard to follow. However as a deep southener I find it hard to understand some Donegal people and most Scottish folk when they are speaking English.

  • Ian Rate

    That would include me.
    Can I add change a word in your statement. ” would begrudge the spending of another single symbolic cent”

    Far too much spent already. There is a future for the language but it needs to be from organic growth not state support.
    I’m told it’s working by Gaelic speakers but never hear them speaking it.
    I am sick of the language being used as a political football.
    It gets more coverage than usage.
    I resent SF using the language to antagonise their Unionist counterparts, it’s childish and insulting. We all feel slightly puzzled/uncomfortable when we don’t understand what is being said around us.
    As I do with posts on Slugger in Gaelic. ( as below mine)
    If you are on a forum and you are using a language that only people you generally agree with understand, then those who don’t disengage, so you end up only discussing things with people who share your own opinion.
    This kind of situation serves nobody and we end up in echo chambers.

  • file

    Maybe you could strain your ears quite hard when listening to us nordies speaking English? And do you think West Cork or north Kerry is easy for us?

  • file

    One of the worst strategic decisions that Irish language activists ever came up with was allowing the Irish language to be inextricably tethered to Ulster Scots in the misguided belief that a rising tide would lift all boats. This decision carried with it the implication that Irish was for Catholics and Ulster Scots was for Protestants, and led to the bureaucratic mess that is The Language Body. I am still waiting for someone with brains in the Irish language community to start syphoning off the money from the Ulster Scots fund by organising activities in the Irish language that explore the Ulster Scots culture. They are desperate for ways to spend their money, so give them a helping hand, and speak Irish while you are doing it.

  • Concubhar O Liathain

    I’m sure you agree that health care and homelessness rank higher than boilers heating empty sheds too. Nobody’s asking for resources that would otherwise go to urgent priorities for an Irish Language Act. In any civilised society the capacity exists to resource appropriately what’s needed. What the DUP are trying to do is deny the existence of the Irish language as part of some empty headed fight against Irishness, which they for some reason perceive as a threat to Britishness.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Concubhar, Carson’s cousin Máire de Buitléir was of course a language activist and an Irish Irelander:

    http://www.worldcat.org/title/maire-de-buitleir-bean-athbheochana/oclc/29467625

    There are endless examplse of such a balance in families in the north also, such as ÍtaMcNeill, and her cousin Lord Cushendun, and Helen McNaughton and her more Unionist family at Runkerry. Anecdotally, I was told in the 1950s (by those who remembered the time) that most of such northern gentry had a strong and vibrant interest in Irish culture, unlike the commercial classes in Belfast who would provide the backbone of the UUC from 1905. The shift seems to have come with an older generation dying in the years before the Great War and the younger generation having their heads turned by the belecose local version of Unionism, such as with the two generations of Larne Smileys, where the father Sir Hugh Smiley part funded the 1904 Feis na nGleann and was patron for the Irish Arts and Crafts movement, of which his house, Drumalis has many examples, while his son Peter Kerr Smiley was a very active UUC member with no such interests.

    For Carson’s generation, most of his mileau were Unionists and Irishmen both, and many were disgusted by what the saw as Carson’s hyperbolic recklesness in the northern campaign. Few ever imagined that what were first seen as tactical moves to delay Home Rule and elicit pspecial privilidges for Unionism in a future Home Rule Ireland would lead to the mendatious division of the country and the development of an agressively mono-cultural Unionism in the seperatist north.

  • John Collins

    I went to work in Dublin in the`1970s and met a workmate from Carndonough. We got on great but we seldom understood what we were saying to each other. The Tower of Babel was only trotting after it.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Concubhar (or any body else).

    On a side note, i seem to recall a McAllister’s whisky (Ballymena l) poster written entirey in Irish.

    Has anybody else seen this I and if so where could I buy one.

    It’s quite a piece to demonstrate the shift in mindsets through the years.

  • Kevin Breslin

    The biggest scandal around the Irish language Act is the DUP try to list blocking it as a major political achievement, yet Givan’s reverse ferret on Liofa pretty much exposes how little political capital there is for that even within the DUP core vote!

  • Kevin Breslin

    The SDLP did through Dominic Bradley and Patsy McGlone, heck Alliance, Green Party, People before Profit and NI21 have all tried too. Would it take Linda Ervine getting the PUP on board to do so?

  • Kevin Breslin

    Scot as opposed to Scots Gaelic is the Anglic language associated with Burns and Hogmany and Auld Langs Ayne … Pretty much Anglo-Saxon with Scottish Gaelic influences rather than Anglo-Norman.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Why not Ulster Gaelic … There is a distinct dialect to Irish in Ulster than other provinces.

  • Skibo

    Gopher would the first step in providing a cost for an Irish Language Act be to determine what an Irish Language Act would look like?
    The issue of cost controls is the fact that there were none for the RHI scheme. How did Sammy Wilson ever pass it when he was Finance Minister?
    The scheme for community halls that was written to exclude GAA halls had a budget of £500k. I believe the final cost will be closer to £1.9M.

  • Skibo

    Would you like to point out the UUP policy on the Irish Language Act? The only thing I remember coming from the SDLP and the UUP in coalition was David Trimble and Ian Paisley dancing up Drumcree Road!
    I also point out than the DUP and SF both held ministries in that coalition.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Antrim Gaelic is an Ulster Gaelic.