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The Irish Language and the Irish Government

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 796 ✭✭✭Sycamore Tree


    Anecdotally speaking.

    Anyway, it's neither here nor there. Peoples individual reasons are their own. The same could be said for choosing a school of any language in a different area.
    Besides, as many have been at great pains to say, English is the more common tongue why would immigrants care about Gael schools, more classroom seats for them.
    So we're now suggesting there's not many speaking Irish and any resurgence is racially motivated?
    Aside from allocation of government funding I don't see what the problem is. I've relatives with kids in gael school and they prefer it because, having come up through christian brothers and the like themselves, believe the quality of education to be at a much higher level.

    I don't think they do data surveys on how racially motivated parents are outside school gates but I can assure you it happens. Some of them are indeed better schools because they are seen as elite and they get lots of funding. There were 2 large new Irish-only schools built in Galway city very recently, a primary and a secondary. Obviously the demand to seperate God fearing Irish kids from immigrant kids is still strong.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,015 ✭✭✭✭James Brown


    I don't think they do data surveys on how racially motivated parents are outside school gates but I can assure you it happens. Some of them are indeed better schools because they are seen as elite and they get lots of funding. There were 2 large new Irish-only schools built in Galway city very recently, a primary and a secondary. Obviously the demand to seperate God fearing Irish kids from immigrant kids is still strong.

    I'm sure some do feel threatened by change, as some may do about the Irish language getting funding, in Ireland of all places.
    People try put their kids were they have the best chance. Nothing knew or particularly Gael school about that. We've had Opus dei, Christian brothers, technical schools and the like for generations. People send their kids to ones they favour.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,933 ✭✭✭PeadarCo


    I don't think they do data surveys on how racially motivated parents are outside school gates but I can assure you it happens. Some of them are indeed better schools because they are seen as elite and they get lots of funding. There were 2 large new Irish-only schools built in Galway city very recently, a primary and a secondary. Obviously the demand to seperate God fearing Irish kids from immigrant kids is still strong.

    To be fair even if what you say is true I don't think Gaelscoils were set up with the aim to exclude minorities or children with disabilities. Do some parents send their children to Gaelscoils to avoid certain types of children, I would say probably yes. But what can the people who are actually running a school(of any type) do about parents motivations? You can't judge a school by it parents, you judge it by the quality of its teachers and management.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,933 ✭✭✭PeadarCo


    Duplicate post


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,933 ✭✭✭PeadarCo


    Duplicate post


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  • Registered Users Posts: 27,584 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    jm08 wrote: »
    Non-nationals more than likely speak their own native language in the home and if they want their children to have fluent English, they will need to go to an English speaking school.


    I'd imagine children with special needs would have enough on their plate attending school, without introducing another language to them at that stage.


    This is where the logic of the Irish language movement collapses on itself.

    If there is a genuine public desire for Irish to be a widely spoken language, then you should find equal numbers of parents of special needs kids and parents of non-national kids sharing that desire and sending their kids to gaeilscoileanna. The statistics show the opposite.

    If it is a matter of lip-service to the language, extra Leaving Cert marks, avoiding the non-national children, some other reason or a combination of those reasons, well then you get the pattern that the statistics show.
    Anecdotally speaking.

    Anyway, it's neither here nor there. Peoples individual reasons are their own. The same could be said for choosing a school of any language in a different area.
    Besides, as many have been at great pains to say, English is the more common tongue why would immigrants care about Gael schools, more classroom seats for them.
    So we're now suggesting there's not many speaking Irish and any resurgence is racially motivated?
    Aside from allocation of government funding I don't see what the problem is. I've relatives with kids in gael school and they prefer it because, having come up through christian brothers and the like themselves, believe the quality of education to be at a much higher level.

    Anecdotally speaking? I have linked to the statistics and they show what they show very clearly.

    The implication of your post is that there isn't a widespread perception that Irish will ever become a working language of this country.
    I'm sure some do feel threatened by change, as some may do about the Irish language getting funding, in Ireland of all places.
    People try put their kids were they have the best chance. Nothing knew or particularly Gael school about that. We've had Opus dei, Christian brothers, technical schools and the like for generations. People send their kids to ones they favour.


    Now we are getting close to the reason. People do try to put their kids where they believe they will have the best chance. Somewhere where the teacher isn't wasting time on special needs kids or remedial English language teaching or which offers extra marks for the Leaving Cert, maybe?
    PeadarCo wrote: »
    To be fair even if what you say is true I don't think Gaelscoils were set up with the aim to exclude minorities or children with disabilities. Do some parents send their children to Gaelscoils to avoid certain types of children, I would say probably yes. But what can the people who are actually running a school(of any type) do about parents motivations? You can't judge a school by it parents, you judge it by the quality of its teachers and management.

    Nobody ever said that Gaelscoils were set up with the aim to exclude minorities or children with special needs.

    The question though is, that with these statistics now being well-known for several years, what steps are Gaelscoileanna taking to ensure that they are not indirectly discriminating against these groups?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,933 ✭✭✭PeadarCo


    blanch152 wrote:
    The question though is, that with these statistics now being well-known for several years, what steps are Gaelscoileanna taking to ensure that they are not indirectly discriminating against these groups?

    Gaelscoils will always have a lower number of immigrants and special needs because Irish is not the first language of Ireland. Their low levels are a natural consequence of the weakness of the Irish language.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,015 ✭✭✭✭James Brown


    PeadarCo wrote: »
    Gaelscoils will always have a lower number of immigrants and special needs because Irish is not the first language of Ireland. Their low levels are a natural consequence of the weakness of the Irish language.

    Maybe they need more money from the state to make a concerted drive for immigrants to sign up?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,933 ✭✭✭PeadarCo


    Maybe they need more money from the state to make a concerted drive for immigrants to sign up?

    Why would an immigrant who might be struggling with English attend a Gaelscoil? If they want to live in Ireland they must know English otherwise life will be very difficult. Its far easier to improve English by attending a normal school that teaches through English. Irish speakers as mentioned in the thread have a tough time dealing with government services never mind the private sector.

    My biggest concern about Gaelscoils they may not help the Irish language survive. My biggest question and something I do not know the answer to is does attending a Gaelscoil result in a significant increase of the chances a person will speak Irish in later life?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,015 ✭✭✭✭James Brown


    PeadarCo wrote: »
    Why would an immigrant who might be struggling with English attend a Gaelscoil? If they want to live in Ireland they must know English otherwise life will be very difficult. Its far easier to improve English by attending a normal school that teaches through English. Irish speakers as mentioned in the thread have a tough time dealing with government services never mind the private sector.

    My biggest concern about Gaelscoils they may not help the Irish language survive. My biggest question and something I do not know the answer to is does attending a Gaelscoil result in a significant increase of the chances a person will speak Irish in later life?

    I agree.
    Pointing out on the one hand we shouldn't encourage Irish speaking or fund it? I'm not sure what angle some where at TBH, now it's they, (Irish schools) aren't inclusive enough. Depends on the argument makes them look worse at the time I suppose.

    Hard to tell. I know of a couple of Irish social groups were speakers hang out. Also if many of their school friends live locally it might help.
    When I was a chizzler it was rare to attend.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,933 ✭✭✭PeadarCo


    Hard to tell. I know of a couple of Irish social groups were speakers hang out. Also if many of their school friends live locally it might help. When I was a chizzler it was rare to attend.

    At the moment the challenge is to stay alive. The Gaelscoil movement you would thing has a chance of helping that. The biggest problem with the language strategy from my point of view is that it is has focused on quantity over quality. A large amount of money is spent on Irish via the education system on people who will never seriously engage or speak the language once the leaving cert is done. Its a complete waste of money and does nothing for the language as the decline of Irish over the last 100 years attests. Yet an entire industry has built up around this waste, that complain the minute any attempt to change this is made.

    The fact that there are social groups speaking the language is great these are things that need to be encouraged. Gaelscoils being an example. It be far better supporting groups that actually want to and have a serious interest in speaking the language. Money should be spend on Irish language speakers and directly supporting them. It is the people who speak the language regularly that keep the language alive.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,772 ✭✭✭Mark Hamill


    Agreed. But where does that come into my point of saying we should maintain it's existence because it's part if Irish culture and heritage?

    The part where you said "Be nice if countries held onto their own [language]". For the vast majority of Irish people, (the Irish dialect of) English is entirely their own and only language (and their parents and grandparents too).

    For the vast majority of the population, the Irish language was never their language and not forcing it on them wouldn't equate to them loosing something that was theirs. The people who do speak Irish can continue to speak it regardless, so they wouldn't loose out either.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,584 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    The part where you said "Be nice if countries held onto their own [language]". For the vast majority of Irish people, (the Irish dialect of) English is entirely their own and only language (and their parents and grandparents too).

    For the vast majority of the population, the Irish language was never their language and not forcing it on them wouldn't equate to them loosing something that was theirs. The people who do speak Irish can continue to speak it regardless, so they wouldn't loose out either.



    Because of the nationalist narrative of 800 years of oppression, our Anglo heritage, not just in language terms, has been unfairly marginalised and not celebrated as it should.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 498 ✭✭zapitastas


    blanch152 wrote: »
    Because of the nationalist narrative of 800 years of oppression, our Anglo heritage, not just in language terms, has been unfairly marginalised and not celebrated as it should.

    Why do you think that might be?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 796 ✭✭✭Sycamore Tree


    PeadarCo wrote: »
    To be fair even if what you say is true I don't think Gaelscoils were set up with the aim to exclude minorities or children with disabilities. Do some parents send their children to Gaelscoils to avoid certain types of children, I would say probably yes. But what can the people who are actually running a school(of any type) do about parents motivations? You can't judge a school by it parents, you judge it by the quality of its teachers and management.

    It is true. I believe all the new gaelscoils created since the early-2000s were set up "with the aim to exclude minorities". I am also convinced that the teachers/management when reviewing applications will prioritise names like McGillycuddy over Chuwumbawumba and Kowalski.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,015 ✭✭✭✭James Brown


    The part where you said "Be nice if countries held onto their own [language]". For the vast majority of Irish people, (the Irish dialect of) English is entirely their own and only language (and their parents and grandparents too).

    For the vast majority of the population, the Irish language was never their language and not forcing it on them wouldn't equate to them loosing something that was theirs. The people who do speak Irish can continue to speak it regardless, so they wouldn't loose out either.

    You're coming at my comment all wrong. How has it being nice to have as part of our heritage/culture forcing people to speak it or denying that english is the more common tongue?
    For all Irish people Irish is their language. That's just a fact. Now how close they feel to it or how much they use it is a different matter. Even if nobody spoke it the Irish language would be of the Irish people. In 100 years time if all of us are speaking Mandarin, would English have no place in England or French in France? I don't think so. There seems to be a move to discard things based on popularity and that's natural but Irish will always be the language of the Irish. And English a language we took on from the English. It's in the name. We're not English.

    It should be covered in school. Compulsory up to the junior cert IMO.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,435 ✭✭✭Imreoir2


    It is true. I believe all the new gaelscoils created since the early-2000s were set up "with the aim to exclude minorities". I am also convinced that the teachers/management when reviewing applications will prioritise names like McGillycuddy over Chuwumbawumba and Kowalski.

    These are extreme and serious claims, I really hope you have some evidence of descrimination to substantiate them.

    Of course, I already know that you have no evidence to support your opinions, they are compleate nonsense. But go ahead, prove me wrong, lets see it.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,015 ✭✭✭✭James Brown


    It is true. I believe all the new gaelscoils created since the early-2000s were set up "with the aim to exclude minorities". I am also convinced that the teachers/management when reviewing applications will prioritise names like McGillycuddy over Chuwumbawumba and Kowalski.

    Can you prove that? You're claiming they are racist by design.
    I find anyone interested in heritage and culture very open to the culture of others. It generally is of interest. As for Gael Schools they give preference to Irish speaking families. The idea being that it won't be wasted on kids who won't speak it after they go home, which I believe is a point that's been raised as to why teaching Irish is a waste of time. Make up your minds.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,435 ✭✭✭Imreoir2


    Can you prove that? I find anyone interested in heritage and culture very open to the culture of others. It generally is of interest. As for Gael Schools they give preference to Irish speaking families. The idea being that it won't be wasted on kids who won't speak it after they go home, which I believe is a point that's been raised as to why it's a waste of time.

    Actually, only in cases where demand is greater than the number of places available do some schools have a policy of allocating places to kids from Irish speaking backgrounds. This is done on the basis that those schools feel that families raising their children through Irish in the home have a right to educate their children through Irish also. Even in schools where this policy is applied, it usually effects at most only 5-10% of places, once children from Irish speaking families are catered for, the remainig 90% to 95% of places are allocated to those on the list and the reality is that children from a non-Irish background have the same chance of getting into the school as Irish kids from non-Irish speaking families.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,015 ✭✭✭✭James Brown


    Imreoir2 wrote: »
    Actually, only in cases where demand is greater than the number of places available do some schools have a policy of allocating places to kids from Irish speaking backgrounds. This is done on the basis that those schools feel that families raising their children through Irish in the home have a right to educate their children through Irish also. Even in schools where this policy is applied, it usually effects at most only 5-10% of places, once children from Irish speaking families are catered for, the remainig 90% to 95% of places are allocated to those on the list and the reality is that children from a non-Irish background have the same chance of getting into the school as Irish kids from non-Irish speaking families.

    My local Gael school is very tough to get into due to the numbers applying. I know they'd like a discussion in Irish with the parents of applicants. I was going by that. Academically it's got a great track record and parents I know with kids attending are very proud and funnily enough, not the slightest bit racist.

    Where I went to school the occasional drunk teacher would be there and of course the bully teachers. The gael schools are seen as a better education and Irish would often be a bonus. They seem to be more of a co-op style administratively.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 207 ✭✭madbeanman


    blanch152 wrote: »
    Because of the nationalist narrative of 800 years of oppression, our Anglo heritage, not just in language terms, has been unfairly marginalised and not celebrated as it should.

    I am dying to hear you elaborate on this. Not saying you have no point. I’m genuinely fascinated


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,584 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    For all Irish people Irish is their language. That's just a fact.


    That just isn't true. There are hundreds of thousands of Irish people for whom the Irish language means nothing.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,772 ✭✭✭Mark Hamill


    For all Irish people Irish is their language. That's just a fact.

    That is not a fact. It is the opposite of a fact. It is just plain wrong. Do we need to go back over the census numbers for how many people speak Irish out of school or how many census forms were completed in Irish vs English? For the vast majority of Irish people, English is their only language.
    There seems to be a move to discard things based on popularity and that's natural but Irish will always be the language of the Irish. And English a language we took on from the English. It's in the name. We're not English.

    And we took Irish from the Celts who originated form Europe. Languages change and evolve by usage, which can be driven by migration, popularity and conquest. But why should we reverse that, especially so long after the fact? Is there anyone who thinks English should go back to the "Ye Olde Englishe" of Shakespearean times, of Italian back to ancient latin? Who does that actually benefit and more importantly how?

    Of course, I think your last sentence betrays the real notion behind your, and most peoples, support for the Irish language. Having Irish means that "We're not English" and we can't ever stop reminding ourselves of that, can we?
    It should be covered in school. Compulsory up to the junior cert IMO.

    We have enough wasted time in schools as it is.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,584 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    madbeanman wrote: »
    I am dying to hear you elaborate on this. Not saying you have no point. I’m genuinely fascinated

    I will elaborate in full detail when I get the change, but one thought as an example of what I am thinking about.

    Consider the difference between Sean O'Riada and Phil Lynnott or Van Morrison in terms of what it means to be Irish.


  • Registered Users Posts: 207 ✭✭madbeanman


    blanch152 wrote: »
    I will elaborate in full detail when I get the change, but one thought as an example of what I am thinking about.

    Consider the difference between Sean O'Riada and Phil Lynnott or Van Morrison in terms of what it means to be Irish.

    Consider Yates, Kavanagh and aaaaaaaaall of the literature taught on the English curriculum in schools. They are all massive household names.

    Do you know who wrote Cré na Cille, a novel regarded as a masterpiece of Irish literature in modern times? If you do you are in a massive minority.

    Van Morrisson was born in Northern Ireland right? He picks his own identity and we don't get to define it for him.

    Phil Lynnott has a statue in Dublin.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,015 ✭✭✭✭James Brown


    madbeanman wrote: »
    I am dying to hear you elaborate on this. Not saying you have no point. I’m genuinely fascinated

    Like the Palestinians Israeli heritage?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,015 ✭✭✭✭James Brown


    That is not a fact. It is the opposite of a fact. It is just plain wrong. Do we need to go back over the census numbers for how many people speak Irish out of school or how many census forms were completed in Irish vs English? For the vast majority of Irish people, English is their only language.


    And we took Irish from the Celts who originated form Europe. Languages change and evolve by usage, which can be driven by migration, popularity and conquest. But why should we reverse that, especially so long after the fact? Is there anyone who thinks English should go back to the "Ye Olde Englishe" of Shakespearean times, of Italian back to ancient latin? Who does that actually benefit and more importantly how?

    Of course, I think your last sentence betrays the real notion behind your, and most peoples, support for the Irish language. Having Irish means that "We're not English" and we can't ever stop reminding ourselves of that, can we?


    We have enough wasted time in schools as it is.

    You are wrong. You keep going off in the wrong direction to justify you wrong idea. English is the most spoken, but it is a borrowed language. We are Irish, Ireland has a language all of it's own. These are facts. I am not disputing English is far more common.
    My real notion? I'm being as clear as I can. And no, while we have confused Irish people believing the language of the English is somehow the language of the Irish, when we have our own language, Irish, yes, it seems we need to remind folk. And what's wrong with that? The same goes for anyone claiming Polish is the language of the Irish because more speak it, or French etc.
    Now you're trying to diminish the language itself. Languages change, English is a mish mash of all the races conquered or breed into them, a reason why we use it too. You're off on one now. Addio.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,584 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    You are wrong. You keep going off in the wrong direction to justify you wrong idea. English is the most spoken, but it is a borrowed language. We are Irish, Ireland has a language all of it's own. These are facts. I am not disputing English is far more common.
    My real notion? I'm being as clear as I can. And no, while we have confused Irish people believing the language of the English is somehow the language of the Irish, when we have our own language, Irish, yes, it seems we need to remind folk. And what's wrong with that? The same goes for anyone claiming Polish is the language of the Irish because more speak it, or French etc.
    Now you're trying to diminish the language itself. Languages change, English is a mish mash of all the races conquered or breed into them, a reason why we use it too. You're off on one now. Addio.

    I am sorry, but Hiberno-English is more our language than Irish.

    English, as spoken in Dublin, with the words unique to that city, is a richer living language than Irish.

    The type of moral and cultural superiority of the Irish language that you speak of comes from the same culture that allowed the Roman Catholic Church to dominate this country for decades, that resulted in the suppression of homosexuality, the degradation of women and the abuse of children. The attempt to be not-English and morally superior to the English was a large part of the motivating force behind our laws that talked about the place of women in the home, that banned abortion, divorce and homosexual acts. The Catholic Church rode that moral wave, along with the Irish language and music movement.

    Ironically, other than the echoes still present in the Irish language movement, the only other place that we see the expressing of that kind of moral and cultural superiority over others is among the right-wing lunatic fringe of the DUP.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,772 ✭✭✭Mark Hamill


    You are wrong. You keep going off in the wrong direction to justify you wrong idea. English is the most spoken, but it is a borrowed language. We are Irish, Ireland has a language all of it's own. These are facts. I am not disputing English is far more common.

    Irelands language is English. Again, the numbers of daily Irish speakers and Irish language census fillers incontrovertibly prove that. Anything else is wishful thinking.
    My real notion? I'm being as clear as I can. And no, while we have confused Irish people believing the language of the English is somehow the language of the Irish, when we have our own language, Irish, yes, it seems we need to remind folk. And what's wrong with that? The same goes for anyone claiming Polish is the language of the Irish because more speak it, or French etc.

    Our language is English. It is the language the country operates in and the language the native population speaks from birth. Anything else is wishful thinking.
    Your last sentence is just a dumb strawman.
    Now you're trying to diminish the language itself. Languages change, English is a mish mash of all the races conquered or breed into them, a reason why we use it too. You're off on one now. Addio.

    :confused: I'm off on one?
    I'm not trying to diminish Irish, it's diminished all by itself. All languages incorporate things from other languages, that's natural for languages in close proximity. Look at this family tree for Indo-European languages to see how they evolved from each other. Irish, English and other Indo-European languages even as far apart as Russian and Iranian all share common sources for many of their words, check out this list on Wikipedia for a load of examples.

    If you want to continue claiming that Irish is our language, then you need to supply some actual evidence or logical reasoning that accounts for all the evidence I've given. Wishful thinking is just not going to cut it.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,015 ✭✭✭✭James Brown


    Irelands language is English. Again, the numbers of daily Irish speakers and Irish language census fillers incontrovertibly prove that. Anything else is wishful thinking.

    I agree it's the most used. You can keep saying it is and I'll keep agreeing.
    Our language is English. It is the language the country operates in and the language the native population speaks from birth. Anything else is wishful thinking.
    Your last sentence is just a dumb strawman.

    Irish and English are our official languages. Irish was developed and used here. Named after the country were it originated and is associated with. English is the language most commonly used, brought over by the English.

    :confused: I'm off on one?
    I'm not trying to diminish Irish, it's diminished all by itself. All languages incorporate things from other languages, that's natural for languages in close proximity. Look at this family tree for Indo-European languages to see how they evolved from each other. Irish, English and other Indo-European languages even as far apart as Russian and Iranian all share common sources for many of their words, check out this list on Wikipedia for a load of examples.

    You are getting into what constitutes a language. I've no interest in going down that route. I appreciate it as a genuine discussion point, but one could argue the only thing English about English is they retained the name. Same could be said of many others. In Ireland's case, the Irish language is our own.
    If you want to continue claiming that Irish is our language, then you need to supply some actual evidence or logical reasoning that accounts for all the evidence I've given. Wishful thinking is just not going to cut it.

    It's called Irish.


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