Do tell please DUP. What’s this about a “Culture Act”?

It would be good to hear more from the DUP about the “Culture  Act”  Gerry Adams told the Dail yesterday  was “meaningless” He’s not necessarily the best conduit for the proposal.  May we decide for ourselves please DUP?  .

Most of his speech was an uncanny repetition of Michelle O’Neill’s latest.

From Dail Eireann debates

Regrettably, the DUP’s approach throughout the talks was to engage in a minimalist way on all of these key issues. There was no substantive progress on any matter.
A DUP proposal to introduce a so-called Culture Act is a case in point. This was to encompass the Irish language; Ulster Scots and a British armed forces covenant. What on earth has the Irish language got to do with the British armed forces? What on earth has a British armed forces covenant got to do with any legislation about language rights? It was entirely inappropriate. While Sinn Féin has no difficulty with supporting Ulster Scots – it is a very essential part of our culture and has been for 400 years – what is required is a stand-alone Irish language Act. What was on offer was meaningless, had no legislative authority, no strategy, no power, no funding, no teeth. This is unacceptable. During the talks the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Deputy Flanagan, assured our team that he supported the need for a free-standing Acht na Gaeilge. He has also made the case privately and publicly at a lecture for Pat Finucane, the murdered human rights lawyer, that the British Government needs to fulfil its outstanding obligations on the funding of legacy inquests…

It is a mistake to think that the talks failed over an Irish Language Act. That was part of it, but the main fault lies within the DUP’s refusal to embrace an equality or a rights-based future.

“Totally opposed “ to Direct Rule

Sinn Féin has no objection to the British Secretary of State leaving some time for further discussions to take place and our team, led by Michelle O’Neill, is engaging with the other parties as we speak. However, we are totally opposed to, and we would look to the Irish Government to oppose, any new legislation to bring back direct rule. The new dispensation for the relationship between these islands is set out in the Good Friday Agreement. This governs the disputed territory and it has to be upheld.

 “Joint letter” approach to Brexit sought from the DUP

 We are also very mindful that the British Prime Minister Theresa May is today triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty. The social, economic and political implications of this for the island of Ireland and for the relationship between our two islands are enormous. While it would be better if the North was speaking through the Executive with one voice in opposition to Brexit, the reality is that the DUP and UUP support the pro-Brexit position of the British Tory Party and of UKIP. Nonetheless, Sinn Féin is working with all the other party leaders to agree as united a position as possible and we are seeking a joint platform with all of the parties on Brexit, including the DUP, based generally on the letter released by Arlene Foster and Martin McGuinness. This is especially important given that the British Prime Minister has been dismissive of any meaningful involvement by the devolved administrations in the Brexit issue.

 

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  • Mark Petticrew

    If there’s one thing to take from this so-called Culture Act, it’s that the DUP – albeit when conjoined with Ulster Scots and a military covenant – are now actually entertaining the concept of legislation for the Irish language, despite previously saying they “will never agree” to an Irish Language Act – even if it was “reasonably priced”. Progress of a sort.

  • Obelisk

    Yes but tied to something Sinn Fein something will have great difficulty agreeing to. Now that’s all well and dandy you might say, something for something.

    Except Sinn Fein got agreement on an Irish language Act in another negotation over a decade ago, so it’s really something for something already paid for.

    This is exactly what I feared. The DUP is trying to get more concessions for past agreements after Nationalists fulfilled their part of the bargain.

  • Jollyraj

    “Most of his speech was an uncanny repetition of Michelle O’Neill’s latest.”

    Hmmm…..well, either Gerry is writing Michelle’s scripts, or he is actually her mouthpiece. I wonder which it is…..

    Then Republicans get all tetchy when it’s pointed out that Michelle is basically Gerry’s pink poodle.

  • Jollyraj

    Seems like a compromise. Though I still think, at least on the languages funding needs to be strictly capped to prevent spending getting out of hand – Irish and Ulster Scots language being essentially twin vanity projects with little practical value.

  • Mark Petticrew

    I’m not endorsing the Culture Act itself, I’m just making note of how the DUP’s gallery-playing, not-an-inch rhetoric on the Irish language can be watered down by real politik at the negotiating table.

  • Jollyraj

    Makes perfect sense that if there is to be funding for Irish language that the same amount should be spent on Ulster Scots. My feeling is those twinned amounts should be small.

  • Ray Lawlor

    Could it not be that there is a particular party line and they’re all sticking to it?

  • Katyusha

    This highlights perfectly the sham fight the DUP were engaging in over the supposed prohibitive cost of an Irish Language Act.

    They won’t support an ILA because it would apparently be prohibitively expensive, but they will support it if you bundle in Ulster Scots and an Armed Forces Covenant (that one came out of the blue!) instantly making such an act even more expansive and expensive. You couldn’t make it up.

  • Obelisk

    I’ve no problem with an Ulster Scots act as long as one is not used to sabotage an Irish language act,

    My issue is with the DUP regarding the ILA, and maybe other things, that were already conceded but theychanged their minds on, as deserving of fresh concessions.

    If the DUP regarded the negotiations as another opportunity for horse trading after the supreme bad faith they have shown over the years then no wonder the negotiations broke down.

    They should fulfil their past commitments and then when we can talk about everything else.

  • Obelisk

    Twinning with an ulster-scots act could be an act of sabotage. They could insist that everything given to an Irish Language Act be given to an Ulster Scots Act, doubling the cost for both. The more expansive the ILA, it is twice as expensive. The end result will be pressure for a symbolic ILA without any real teeth or form that the DUP can go to their supporters, point at, and say ‘we got one over on the Sinners. Again’

    In other words, this could easily be a cynical ploy on their part.

  • Korhomme

    How many, I wonder, of the DUP leadership can speak another language? Translations are fine as far as they go, but to really understand another culture you need to have a working knowledge of the language. To refuse to learn, or have anything to do with, another language is a sign of a closed mind, is it not?

    My knowledge of Irish extends only to knowing if I see ‘fir’ or ‘mna’ on a door, to knowing which one to enter.

    There is a more subtle point, though; say that Irish and English were to be given equal status here in NI; then what of legislation, where laws must necessarily be translated between the two? Any translation will only be an approximation; so which is to be superior? Clearly, they both can’t be equal in that context; that’s a recipe for endless lawyer haggling.

    But I can’t see any real disadvantage beyond this in making the knowledge of a language more accessible; it’s not compulsion, it’s a voluntary arrangement, supported by government but not required by them as a prerequisite of any function.

    (And just what has a Military Covenant got to do with language?)

  • Katyusha

    Makes perfect sense that if there is to be funding for Irish language that the same amount should be spent on Ulster Scots

    Why? Ulster Scots is not a language. If you want to earmark money for protecting Ulster Scots culture in general, then go ahead, but as the requirements are different it makes sense that the required budget would also be different. Maybe the Ulster Scots component would end up costing more than the “prohibitively expensive” ILA.

    Any notion that the Irish language is merely the Catholic half in a sectarian carve up should be dismissed out of hand. It is nonsense like that which politicises the language and inhibits it.

  • Annie Breensson

    The UK Armed Forces Covenant already exists. If it doesn’t meet the DUP’s needs they should lobby their overlords for amendments. Another, similar, act would be superfluous.

  • grumpy oul man

    Any idea what a ” culture act” is and how do armed forces fit in,
    Or are you just going to ignore 90 % of the thread and troll about the shinners.

  • grumpy oul man

    I suppose since either the DUP MLAs rarely on the on the same page ( the UUP sometimes dont even manage to be on the same book) it must confuse some unionists when other parties stick to the one line.

  • grumpy oul man

    But Ulster Scots is not a language.
    And we already pay a lot for Ulstrr Scots culture from maintaining orange halls and non existent ulster scots groups, then we give money to flute bands and bonfires (and pay for the damage they cause) so we already pay for a ulture and you want us to pretend a dailect is a language.

  • Brian Walker

    I’d like to see the reasoning that links them together and their defintion of culture.

  • Mark Petticrew

    I don’t think there’s much reasoning to it other than it being a political manoeuvre on the part of the DUP. As an Irish Language Act is one of Sinn Féin’s big ticket items, the DUP – rather an outright rejection of it as was their pre-election mantra – now appear to be trying to exploit it instead.

    Through throwing in a few things for themselves – such as the military covenant – their angle is in being able to say to the likes of Jamie Bryson and Jim Allister when they inevitably call out “rollover unionism” and a DUP in “concession-mode” that ‘at least we got something out of it too’.

  • Tom Smith

    When someone talks of ‘culture’ I reach for my gin (and tonic).

  • john millar

    “Why? Ulster Scots is not a language.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scots_language

    “Scots is the Germanic language variety spoken in Lowland Scotland and parts of Ulster (where the local dialect is known as Ulster Scots). … Broad Scots is at one end of a bipolar linguistic continuum, with Scottish Standard English at the other”

    Deserves equal status with Irish in Ireland I look forward to the Faculties of Scots being included in QUB and UU and hooking up to the gravy train

    As Gerry Said

    “. Who could be afraid of equality? Who could be afraid of treating somebody the way you want to be treated?”

  • john millar

    “Twinning with an ulster-scots act could be an act of sabotage. They could insist that everything given to an Irish Language Act be given to an Ulster Scots Act”

    As Gerry Said

    “. Who could be afraid of equality? Who could be afraid of treating somebody the way you want to be treated?

  • Mark Petticrew

    I can’t see Sinn Féin agreeing to anything in the style of this Culture Act to fall for such a ploy anyway; Gerry Adams has as good as ruled that out.

  • john millar

    “And we already pay a lot for Ulstrr Scots culture from maintaining orange halls ”

    And we pay millions to the GAA

  • Katyusha

    John, you perfectly illustrate the point. Ulster Scots is a dialect of Scots, which may or may not be a variant of English depending on your point of view (it’s a little rich that the English claim hegemony over the Norman French/Germanic hybrid spoken in the British isles).

    The equivalent of Standard English is Standard Irish.
    The equivalent of Ulster Scots is Ulster Irish or or one of its variants ie a non-standard dialect of an existing language.

    I am all for initiatives to protect regional dialects and culture, but pretending Ulster Scots is a mirror image of the Irish language is folly. On that point, if the Ulster-Scots lobby want to introduce more actual lowland Scots into our cultural discourse, I am all for it. Scots is a great language, and I don’t mean the constructed version the Ulster-Scots agency tried to concoct and push.

  • Obelisk

    But if its a cynical attempt to drive up costs and make it politically impossible?

  • Mark Petticrew

    The practical value of the Irish language is ultimately interpretive to each person JR and what they prioritise; what’s of little practical value to some, will be of particular practical value to others. For instance, my granda considers it a useless language that won’t put much money in my pocket, whereas I consider the language an intrinsic part of my Irish identity, hence why I’m currently in the process of learning it.

  • grumpy oul man

    Yes one of the largest sporting organisations in europe, enjoyed by many taxpayers gets money.
    But how does that make ulster scots a language, it is a dialect part of a important culture true but that culture is as i have pointed out already in receipt of large amounts of public money both directally and indirectally.

  • Tom Smith

    Ah, the oft spotted culture vulture.

    So named because in the wild they are often to be seen ripping the sh@t out of the culture of others (deemed of course to be of less worth).

    In common with other societal signifiers that do nothing more than divide ‘culture’ degenerates into a competition between ‘them’ and ‘us’; where, invariably usuns culture needs to be regarded as more culturally valuable that what themuns have.

  • Katyusha

    Tom, “themuns” culture” and “usuns” culture and thos’uns across the water’s culture, whether they live north, south or in Bonnie Scotland is practically identical, especially compared to continental Europe or the rest of the world. We have very few cultural differences between us.

    What we need to do with our culture is recognise what it is worth, what makes it valuable and bring its celebration into the 21st century. One of the things preventing this is that we use slightly different mannerisms and traditions, much like religion, not as cultural heritage or celebration but as signifiers in the tribal sham fight.

    The DUP are very quick to make the (completely accurate) point that it was a group of Presbyterians that kept the Irish language alive. It’s a shame they reject the legacy of their forefathers.

  • john millar

    Equality old chap if the DUP ERS have a brain they will simply croak “Equality” “is not our culture equal” ?
    Job creation gone mad

  • john millar

    I suggest you revisit the GAA handbook its a “cultural organisation”

  • Ray Lawlor

    I have to wonder if there’d be such cynicism (as seen not only in the post above, but in many places in these comments sections), if say, John O’Dowd or Conor Murphy had become Stormont Leader?

  • john millar

    “But Ulster Scots is not a language.”

    This lot disagree

    http://www.scotslanguage.com/

  • Thomas Girvan

    I suppose the DUP might think that Unionists would go for the notion that the equating Ulster Scots to the Irish Language would be an acceptable quid pro quo, in a new Culture Act.
    I reckon most unionists would not buy that, let’s face it most unionist people think it is something of an embarrassment.
    In reality the Irish language act isn’t about equality, despite what Sinn Fein are trying to portray it, After all, what is it equal to?
    English is the spoken language of everyone in N.I. and doesn’t belong to unionists any more than anyone else.
    If an Irish Language Act was introduced it would then be given a status over any other language.
    Maybe it could be justified on the basis of heritage or whatever, but don’t put it down to equality
    As George Orwell said “everyone is equal but some are more equal than others!”

  • Kevin Breslin

    What about the military covenant for full state disclosure on legacy? No more National Security BS.

    Let all sides throw up together in order to get a deal!

    How else do you expect victims of state action to give any good faith to a covenant that asserts …

    “special consideration is appropriate in some cases, especially for those who have given most such as the injured and the bereaved”

    Why not throw in those who serve in the Irish defence forces from Northern Ireland as well?

  • Kevin Breslin

    It evolved seperately to English in the same way Irish Gaelic and Scottish Gaelic did. There’s an arguement both are dialects of Gaelic.

    I’m happy to consider it at the very least a dialect of Scots, if not a seperate languague but I’m no linguistical archivist me.

  • Jollyraj

    For O’Dowd, probably not (speaking personally) – he actually comes across as reasonably decent, not really your standard SF sectarian type.

    My own perception of Murphy is that his prejudices are on a par with Michelle’s.

  • grumpy oul man

    Yep but they are wrong.
    Find a respected linguist to back up your claim and we can talk.

  • grumpy oul man

    I suggest you go to a hurling match, you will see its a sport.
    Certainly Gealic sport but still a sport.

  • the keep

    Yet SF can have political meetings in GAA halls is that sport?

  • Simian Droog

    Geordie is harder to understand than Ulster-Scots.

  • Simian Droog

    The DUP don’t reason. The DUP have the negotiating mentality of a spoilt 5 year old. “Will you please be quiet for mummy” “Maybe, but I want 12 cakes and a helicopter”

  • DOUG

    I don’t think their supporters would view it as getting one over on the Sinners, even under those circumstances. They’d juts see it as a retreat from “No ILA” to “a different kind of ILA.”

  • DOUG

    Those actual words would seem to suggest that Ulster Scots is a dialect as opposed to a language?

  • DOUG

    They actually agree.
    From the website
    “Ulster Scots is mainly derived from and is still very close to West Central Scots, making it a relatively mainstream variety. ”
    ie a variety of a language as opposed to a language in it’s own right.
    Like Donegal Irish for example.

  • john millar

    “They” consider that they are right it is for others to disprove it

    “Find a respected linguist to back up your claim and we can talk.”

    I think the EC recognises Ullans as a minority language

    http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/fass/projects/biml/bimls3lang.htm

  • john millar

    I suggest you go to a hurling match, you will see its a sport.
    Certainly Gealic sport but still a sport.

    Repeats
    I suggest you revisit the GAA handbook -its a “cultural organisation”

  • john millar

    “Let all sides throw up together in order to get a deal!”

    Could not agree more

  • Fear Éireannach

    That’s the point. All through the period of Stormont government it was possible to study Irish at GCSE or at QUB, but there was nary a mention of Ulster-Scots. It is a largely hype to provide some sort of spurious equivalence and should be treated as such.

  • john millar

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/voices/multilingual/ulster-scots.shtml

    “Although the exact linguistic status of Ulster-Scots has been the subject of some debate, it became an officially recognised regional language of Europe in 1992 by the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages.”

  • john millar

    “. As an Irish Language Act is one of Sinn Féin’s big ticket items, the DUP – rather an outright rejection of it as was their pre-election mantra – now appear to be trying to exploit it instead.”

    Correct- SF “weaponised” Irish the DUPER now “weaponise” Ullans all at somebody else`s cost

  • john millar

    “Ulster Scots is mainly derived from and is still very close to West Central Scots, making it a relatively mainstream variety. ”
    ie a variety of a language as opposed to a language in it’s own right.

    So its a variety of a language with recognised status by the EU?

  • Katyusha

    an Irish Language Act was introduced it would then be given a status over any other language.

    Apart from, of course, English, which is the official language of the state.
    And Welsh and to a lesser extent Scots Gaelic, which have their own respective language acts in their respective nations.The government in Northern Ireland is simply defunct on its duties in this respect. The other devolved administrations didn’t seem to have much of a problem

    Lets have a look at what those acts say.
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1993/38/introduction

    An Act to establish a Board having the function of promoting and facilitating the use of the Welsh language, to provide for the preparation by public bodies of schemes giving effect to the principle that in the conduct of public business and the administration of justice in Wales the English and Welsh languages should be treated on a basis of equality, to make further provision relating to the Welsh language, to repeal certain spent enactments relating to Wales, and for connected purposes.

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2005/7

    An Act of the Scottish Parliament to establish a body having functions exercisable with a view to securing the status of the Gaelic language as an official language of Scotland commanding equal respect to the English language,

    It is the language itself that is of equal value, not its significance as a tribal marker in the sectarian sham-fight. Okay, the Scottish act is watered down slightly on the concept of equality with English but I think most nationalists would be content with something similar in NI.

    Similar to English, the Irish language doesn’t belong to nationalists any more to anyone else. It is its linguistic and cultural value that is important, which, once lost, would be lost forever (as several of the Ulster variations of the Irish language have been).

    If you want to see a case where Irish was made “more equal” than other languages, cast your eyes south of the border where it is the first official language of the state and the only officially mandatory subject on the Leaving Certificate. I don’t think anyone is proposing anything similar in NI.

  • DOUG

    Yes, that’s correct. Ulster Scots is a variety of Scots as opposed to an actual language in it’s own right.

  • Katyusha

    Indeed, which can be done even if it is a regional variation of Scots, as neither were designated the official language of the state (ie the UK), affording it political protection. Clever move on the part of people working with a political, not linguistic, body.

    The very link you cite states the linguisti status is questionable (even, presumably, to its advocates who wrote the piece), that what they are describing is the everyday spake of people who would no doubt say they are speaking English (and aren’t bilingual). Must be a very easy language to learn, I’m quite jealous. Of course, being of rural Owenslann extraction myself, I might already be a fluent speaker, not that I’ve ever heard anyone describe Co. Tyrone as Owenslann in the flesh in my entire life. It’s things like that which cause people to deride the way Ulster-Scots is promoted.

    You also neglect to mention that neither lowland Scots nor Ulster-Scots is afforded the same protection in the UK under the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages as Welsh, Irish or Scots-Gaelic, in particular relating to its promotion in public life. The lack of an ILA seems like a default of the duties to promote use of minority languages in public life (which don’t apply to Ulster-Scots). But we’re leaving the EU anyway, so I doubt they care.

  • grumpy oul man

    Yes a sporting cultural organistion thus any funding come seperate from a ILA. of course you could lump everything together as one cultire for funding but would that suit the OO and flute bands.
    And what does the GAA have to do with Ulster Scots being a dialect and not a language.

  • grumpy oul man

    Yea well that will change when Brexit happens.
    Could i have the name of the lingest i asked you to produce.

  • grumpy oul man

    Halls are rented out to whoever hires them its one of the ways they make money my local one is often hired out by farming groups to discuss grants etc that doesnt mean it grows potatoes.
    The DUP launched it election manifesto from a OO building , is that religion.

  • Thomas Girvan

    Unfortunately we live in Northern Ireland where the Irish language does not have the same broad support that Welsh and Scots Gaelic do.
    That is a reality.
    There is an association in many unionists minds with those who engaged n a thirty year campaign of violence which inevietably had as a consequence, the effect of creating more divisions in our community.
    The pressure from Sinn Fein in relation to the proposed ILA is seen as an extension of the coercion that was tried and was disastrous by violent means.
    Gerry Adams talks about offering the hand of friendship to Unionists.
    He must think they have collective amnesia.

  • Katyusha

    The pressure from Sinn Fein in relation to the proposed ILA is seen as an extension of the coercion that was tried and was disastrous by violent means.

    Well, far be it from me to pull those who think that from their delusions.
    “Pressure from Sinn Féin is an extension of the armed conflict!”
    “We oppose the Irish language because of Gerry Adams and the ‘RA!”
    Think about that for a second, and how utterly nonsensical it is. We won’t get anywhere if everything and anything Sinn Féin says or tries to do is associated with the troubles.

    Especially when both the Royal Irish Regiment and loyalist paramilitaries used the Irish language in their slogans. To be fair, those from traditionally loyalist communities are more nuanced when it comes to the language that the political representatives that unionist elect.

    That type of thinking does not need to be engaged with. In the meantime we must push and promote and diffuse the Irish language through all aspects of our culture, without prejudice or segregation. This ridiculous use of the language as a proxy tribal marker needs to end, and an ILA won’t do that, but if it passed as a standalone act it will be one small step.

  • Thomas Girvan

    I don’t know whether you actually know what a delusion is.
    I do.
    It is clearly absurd to allege a large section of the population to be experiencing delusions.
    In a democracy people will have different opinions and are entitled to express them. It is called “freedom of speech”.
    You have used quotation marks to highlight what I had posted..
    On both occasions you misquoted me and in doing so you have misrepresented what I said.
    The main points I made were regarding the perception by many unionists that the Irish language is being used as part of a campaign to promote a nationalist/ Irish agenda, and to undermine and oppose Unionist/Loylist culture.
    The use of or threat of violence being a means that has been used to further that objective.
    I have heard Nelson McCausland expres this many times as spokesperson for the DUP. Only last week he cited the objection to a parade of a few hundred yards by the Orange Order as an example.
    I was attempting to explain why we have an impasse on the ILA . maybe your apparent belief that unionists are delusional and your use of the word “must” in the following extract,

    “In the meantime we must push and promote and diffuse the Irish language through all aspects of our culture, without prejudice or segregation”

    vindicates the points I was making,

  • Mark Petticrew

    If we’re stipulating the debate by how broad its support is, it’s worth mentioning that public opinion on the Irish language is not overly dissimilar to the opinion of Scottish Gaelic and the Welsh language in Scotland and Wales respectively.

    Whereas 45% of northerners in a 2015 ESRI study were reported as having a positive attitude towards the Irish language, a 2016 YouGov opinion poll found that 55% of those sampled favoured the preservation of the Welsh language, whilst 51% of respondents in a 2011 Scottish Opinion Survey held a positive opinion on the use of the Gaelic language in Scotland.

  • Katyusha

    I wasn’t quoting you, I was parodying a general attitude that is present in our general political discourse. Apologies if you took personal offence at this, for it wasn’t my intention. If I quote you in a separate paragraph like that I’ll put it in blocks and quote you verbatim.

    Now. It is clearly absurd to associate a language which predates written history and is the official language of another, much larger state immediately to our south with a fringe group of armed insurgents, or with a political party that until recent years (very, very recent years, in terms of the history of the Irish language) was the PR wing of said armed group.

    It is also absurd to imply that the armed campaign of said group had anything to do with the promotion of the Irish language. They were fighting for an independent republic. I’m not aware of the armed wing of the Gaelic League, although there is no doubt that many Irish nationalists were indeed members, much in the same vein as many were members of the GAA but it is unlikely the IRA’s objectives had anything to do with senior hurling.

    I am not denying that many unionists may have this perception. I am simply pointing out that their perception bears no resemblance to reality.

    Also, when I said “In the meantime we must push and promote and diffuse the Irish language through all aspects of our culture, without prejudice or segregation” I was referring solely to those who want to see the Irish language thrive, in particular activists for the language. In this objective it really doesn’t matter whether an ILA passes or not, or whether everyone wishes to accept the language or not. It is merely a call to promote use of the Irish language in everyday life. The way to detoxify any perceptions there are about the language is exposure, especially in mundane and trivial things. That has no impact whatsoever on loyalist culture, nor any relation to loyalist culture, nor need it be associated, positively or negatively, with the growth and celebration of loyalist culture in any way, shape, or form, regardless of what your perceptions are.

    In any case, if unionist leaders really wanted to take the Irish language out of the hands of Sinn Féin, the best thing they could do is promote and use it themselves. But as they associate the language with SF rather than the two much more prominent political parties who use it south of the border, or the regions of the country which actually speak it as a first language, I daresay such an association is politically convenient for them.

    I mean, when I think of the Irish language, I think of Donegal and TnaG and Irish music and old GCSE listening tapes. Unionists associate it with a man who speaks the language at a sufficiently basic level that he pulled out of a debate with his two chief political rivals over his lack of fluency. Not that I am any good at it either, but I certainly didn’t associate the language with politics or any armed campaign when I was studying it.

    I have heard Nelson McCausland expres this many times as spokesperson for the DUP. Only last week he cited the objection to a parade of a few hundred yards by the Orange Order as an example.

    I have absolutely no idea what an objection to an Orange Order march has to do with the Irish language. But I have heard more guff from Nelson McCausland about the supposed cost and implications of an ILA, so I’ll give him a bye-ball in this case as well.

  • john millar

    Professor was Heinrich H. Wagner (1923-1988)

  • john millar

    GAA rules forbid use of property for political purpose

  • john millar

    “And what does the GAA have to do with Ulster Scots being a dialect and not a language.”

    You raised the issue of payments for Orange culture
    Your Quote

    “And we already pay a lot for Ulstrr Scots culture from maintaining orange halls ”

    You then hid the GAA behind a “sport” smoke screen when- by -its own constitution it exists to promote Irish CULtURE and sport

  • grumpy oul man

    It does indeed.
    However both rigby and cricket could be described as british culture (i am aware that some nationlists play these sports but are you aware that some unionists play GAA sports) are you suggesting that all funding for these be linked to ulster scots funding.
    Also unlike the OO and flute Bands the GAA is open to everybody.

  • grumpy oul man

    Your quite a expert on the GAA. However i dont think that rule extends to renting out halls to people for meetings but rather members involving the organisation or its assets in poltical activity.

  • grumpy oul man

    Your link please! A namewont cur it.
    And pleasr read the link before you post it.

  • johnny lately

    And the military covenant would that be about treating everybody equal ?

    It’s a deliberate insult to the Irish people by the DUP attempting to push an act that ex British soldiers and serving British soldiers be given preferential treatment over Irish citizens in health, housing and whatever else those bible in one hand sword in the other types believe is appropriate.

  • john millar

    “Also unlike the OO and flute Bands the GAA is open to everybody.”

    BOTH sets of organisations are only open to individuals who subscribes to their principles ( or lack of) Unionists need not apply to the GAA

    “are you aware that some unionists play GAA sports”

    Falls about laughing Have you found him?

    I will share an experience of the GAA welcome
    In distant days GAA players were tempted by the foreign gmaes and I “snared” a few– playing under assumed names- to play with the oval ball. As a quid quo pro I was required to participate in Gaelic football. It was not a resound success -my prod status ensured a “warm welcome. Oval ball players tend to respond with what might be regarded as summary justice .My GAA career was short.

    (I also tried Hurling`s partner -Shinty when I lived in Scotland Great game but it has to be started very young to develop the high skill levels needed)

  • john millar

    “Your quite a expert on the GAA.”

    See above

  • grumpy oul man

    Really unionists can not apply to the GAA.
    im sorry thats wrong, you are not asked your politics when you join the GAA ( did you not mention the organisations rule on politics) and while i grant you that most members are nationlists there is no bar to a unionist,tory or labour supporter joining) tha GAA is as you pointed out a sporting organistion (the clues in the name) which promotes Irish Sports and heres a shocking idea, it possible to be Irish and unionist Carson was a prime example.
    I also remember when you could not play soccer or rugby and be a member of a GAA club that rule has gone.