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The Irish Language and the Irish Government

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  • Registered Users Posts: 15 SmoothMalts


    How does it do that? Like I said, compelling kids with no interest (and their parents have no interest either.)

    Like I said, it's not hard to see how teaching people the language will strengthen its roots everywhere, including the Gaeltacht. It's the same language after all, the amount of people speaking it has an effect on its usefullness.


  • Registered Users Posts: 207 ✭✭madbeanman


    Give me a minute to type out an answer :pac:.

    Although now that I am finished, you actually seem to agree with my first point.
    You argued that removing the primacy of the Irish language would have a negative effect on Irish speakers ability to speak Irish (make it harder) therefore those minority of Irish speakers should get to keep their all their privileges including that of primacy in the constitution, thus dictating the obligations of the majority to pander to the primacy.

    In which case you really have to ask yourself "Is it entirely fair for a bilingual Irish speaking hegemonic minority to decide the rights of the non-Irish-speaking majority?"

    But that argument makes no sense.

    What rights of yours are infringed upon by the Government offering supports to Irish language speakers? The only thing I can think of is the compulsion to learn Irish in schools, which isnt really to do with rights unless you argue that 5 year olds should have the right to decide what they are taught in schools, which I would disagree with.

    You would also equally have to make the point that historians have a hegemonic status in society because their subject is placed on the primary school curriculum along with Irish and so by being compelled to learn it you would also have those not interested in history being subject to a human rights abuse.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,771 ✭✭✭Mark Hamill


    madbeanman wrote: »
    But that argument makes no sense.

    What rights of yours are infringed upon by the Government offering supports to Irish language speakers? The only thing I can think of is the compulsion to learn Irish in schools, which isnt really to do with rights unless you argue that 5 year olds should have the right to decide what they are taught in schools, which I would disagree with.

    Firstly, it would be the parents of the 5 year old deciding, not the 5 year old :rolleyes:.
    Secondly, 5 year olds don't do the Junior and Leaving certs, teenagers do :rolleyes: (really, "5 year olds" is one of the dumbest strawmen I have ever seen).
    Thirdly, by putting obligations on the non-Irish-speaking majority, the bilingual Irish speaking hegemonic minority has taken away their rights not to follow those obligations by choice.


    Exactly what rights are infringed upon if we don't force kids to do Irish in schools or we don't spend money on ineffectual schemes to support the language? Are we infringing on the rights of Polish or Chinese or other non-English speakers by not giving them the same supports as the Irish language has?
    madbeanman wrote: »
    You would also equally have to make the point that historians have a hegemonic status in society because their subject is placed on the primary school curriculum along with Irish and so by being compelled to learn it you would also have those not interested in history being subject to a human rights abuse.

    This is not just about having to do it in school. History does not have some sort of primacy in the Constitution over any other subject and funding for historical initiatives (museums, preservations etc) is generally effective at what it tries to do. Nothing to compare with the privilege that the Irish language gets at all.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,771 ✭✭✭Mark Hamill


    Like I said, it's not hard to see how teaching people the language will strengthen its roots everywhere, including the Gaeltacht.

    Well, it is because at the very least (and putting aside all arguments about whether we should even bother trying to strengthen it's roots) Irish is not taught at all well and the vast majority do not come out of school able to speak it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15 SmoothMalts


    Well, it is because at the very least (and putting aside all arguments about whether we should even bother trying to strengthen it's roots) Irish is not taught at all well and the vast majority do not come out of school able to speak it.

    I'm with you there. I'm from the north so I've never experienced the teaching of it schools but I've heard that the quality of education for Irish is pretty dire.

    However, I was talking about the idea of teaching Irish, not the current ****e implementation of it. In the scenario of well-run Gaelscoileanna around the country pumping out well-educated students, the language would surely thrive - and even with the current form of Gaelige teaching, people do know more of it than they would with none at all.


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


    That's exactly what you are doing! You are telling non-Irish-speaking Irish people that their ethnic make up must inherently include the Irish language.

    And weren't you trying to claim that this isn't about the self-importance of Irish speakers or "what makes us different to the Brits"? And yet here you are defining Irish speaking as an identifier of Irish ethnicity. And that non-Irish-speaking Irish people are a separate ethnic group attacking the ethnic minority of Irish speakers. You know that I was joking when I suggested that you were going to start accusing us of ethnic cleansing, I didn't think you were actually going to do that!

    It's good, though, that you have stopped pretending this isn't all about self importance, maybe the discussion can actually move on.

    I disagree. It does, you seem to be arguing that it shouldn't anymore because it's old and not used as much as another language brought over, (English).

    We are separate. We're Irish, they are French, German, English etc. You are making it about some Wolfe Tone's sing-a-long not me. You can have your own culture and heritage without protesting someone elses.

    Nope, never said English speakers were separate, thats a point I've been repeating, If you are Irish, the Irish language is part of your culture and heritage, if you speak it or not. That's pretty much my whole point actually.

    Now you're being silly. You've taken what I said out of context and are getting excitable.
    You've obviously got a problem with the Irish language part of your culture. That's for you to resolve.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,267 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    Culture and heritage should be celebrated, but not to the extent of lording it over or diminishing another group.


    The above is a statement you made in another thread. I actually agree with you - celebrating culture and heritage should not be to the extent of lording it over or diminishing another group.
    If you are Irish, the Irish language is part of your culture and heritage, if you speak it or not. That's pretty much my whole point actually.


    And here you do exactly what you say you are against. Taking one small aspect of Irish culture and heritage - the Irish language - and using it to lord over and diminish those to whom the Irish language is nothing in terms of their Irish culture and heritage and telling them it is part of their heritage whether they speak it or not. There are thousands of Irish people who never bothered with the Irish language at school, never spoke it outside of school, couldn't care less about it, but still have a very rich Irish culture and heritage, based exclusively around the English language.

    Amazing contradiction in posts from you.


  • Registered Users Posts: 34,170 ✭✭✭✭Hotblack Desiato


    Like I said, it's not hard to see how teaching people the language will strengthen its roots everywhere, including the Gaeltacht. It's the same language after all, the amount of people speaking it has an effect on its usefullness.

    So some kid in Dublin or Cork completes the LC, chances are they will never speak Irish again in their life. But somehow the language elsewhere in the country (in the parts where people actually speak it) benefits. That doesn't make any sense.

    Fingal County Council are certainly not competent to be making decisions about the most important piece of infrastructure on the island. They need to stick to badly designed cycle lanes and deciding on whether Mrs Murphy can have her kitchen extension.



  • Registered Users Posts: 15 SmoothMalts


    So some kid in Dublin or Cork completes the LC, chances are they will never speak Irish again in their life. But somehow the language elsewhere in the country (in the parts where people actually speak it) benefits. That doesn't make any sense.


    I guess your strategy here is to keep ignoring my point until I give up on you?



    Derailing comments about 'never speaking Irish again' aside, education of other people in a language increases the languages usefullness. Usefullness increases interest. Interest increases speaker.



    That is the answer to the original question. Stop trying to twist words to get what you want to hear.


  • Registered Users Posts: 34,170 ✭✭✭✭Hotblack Desiato


    madbeanman wrote: »
    But that argument makes no sense.

    What rights of yours are infringed upon by the Government offering supports to Irish language speakers? The only thing I can think of is the compulsion to learn Irish in schools, which isnt really to do with rights unless you argue that 5 year olds should have the right to decide what they are taught in schools

    Their parents should have an input into it. And IMHO at LC level all subjects should be voluntary (there's no obligation to be in school at all at that point, anyway.)

    There's a rather large chunk of taxes being wasted - and I don't mean that's because supporting Irish per se is a waste, but pretending that mass adoption of the language is just around the corner provided we compel every school child to pretend to learn it, is frankly idiotic - a vast waste of time, effort and money which could be far far better spent. You'd think after 95 years we'd have figured it out by now?

    blanch152 wrote: »
    There are thousands of Irish people who never bothered with the Irish language at school, never spoke it outside of school, couldn't care less about it, but still have a very rich Irish culture and heritage, based exclusively around the English language.

    It's just as valid to say that traditional Irish music is an important part of Irish culture and what makes it distinctive. But most people can't play traditional music and many don't want to even listen to it. They're allowed take part or not if they like, to attend concerts or buy records if they like, but not compelled. The state doesn't force them to learn the fiddle in school for 14 years even if they hate it and are no good at it. We don't spend a billion-plus euro a year on failed traditional music promotion campaigns. We don't think that traditional music players should have advantages in public employment. Etc.

    Fingal County Council are certainly not competent to be making decisions about the most important piece of infrastructure on the island. They need to stick to badly designed cycle lanes and deciding on whether Mrs Murphy can have her kitchen extension.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 34,170 ✭✭✭✭Hotblack Desiato


    I guess your strategy here is to keep ignoring my point until I give up on you?

    You haven't made a point. It makes no difference to a Gaeltacht resident whether some kid in Dublin or Cork, who has no intention of ever speaking Irish outside of school, is forced to learn it at Leaving Cert or not.

    Fingal County Council are certainly not competent to be making decisions about the most important piece of infrastructure on the island. They need to stick to badly designed cycle lanes and deciding on whether Mrs Murphy can have her kitchen extension.



  • Registered Users Posts: 15 SmoothMalts


    You haven't made a point. It makes no difference to a Gaeltacht resident whether some kid in Dublin or Cork, who has no intention of ever speaking Irish outside of school, is forced to learn it at Leaving Cert or not.


    Go read my first comment to you, where I explain the difference. Or even the last one I made, which explains it again.


  • Registered Users Posts: 34,170 ✭✭✭✭Hotblack Desiato


    If you'd been through compulsory Irish in the school system here yourself you might get where people like me are coming from on this issue. There's also the massive financial cost, and opportunity cost of timetable hours that can't be used for other subject options. We have one of the shortest school years at second level in the developed world.

    Fingal County Council are certainly not competent to be making decisions about the most important piece of infrastructure on the island. They need to stick to badly designed cycle lanes and deciding on whether Mrs Murphy can have her kitchen extension.



  • Registered Users Posts: 15 SmoothMalts


    Maybe I would. But that wasn't the subject. It was the question of how people learning Irish outside the Gaeltacht help the language within it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 34,170 ✭✭✭✭Hotblack Desiato


    Yes, you've been asked to tell us how, will you?

    Fingal County Council are certainly not competent to be making decisions about the most important piece of infrastructure on the island. They need to stick to badly designed cycle lanes and deciding on whether Mrs Murphy can have her kitchen extension.



  • Registered Users Posts: 7,771 ✭✭✭Mark Hamill


    I'm with you there. I'm from the north so I've never experienced the teaching of it schools but I've heard that the quality of education for Irish is pretty dire.

    However, I was talking about the idea of teaching Irish, not the current ****e implementation of it. In the scenario of well-run Gaelscoileanna around the country pumping out well-educated students, the language would surely thrive - and even with the current form of Gaelige teaching, people do know more of it than they would with none at all.

    Would it though? Sure, it would do a bit better if people actually came out of school speaking it, but would the average Irish person suddenly change any at all significant amount of what they already engage in in English to Irish? Everyone already speaks English, all business is based in English, all foreign media that is commonly consumed here is in English. Translating all that to Irish, even if the average Irish person could speak it, would add a delay to everything. Why would people wait when they can engage in English already? Maybe 100 years ago, if Irish was taught and supported properly back then, but I don't see it now.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,771 ✭✭✭Mark Hamill


    I disagree. It does, you seem to be arguing that it shouldn't anymore because it's old and not used as much as another language brought over, (English).

    So you admit that you are an "element trying to tell an ethnic group what constitutes their particular ethnic make up", even though you earlier tried to claim that that wouldn't be tolerated. Every time you post you show how insincere your previous points are.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,267 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    So you admit that you are an "element trying to tell an ethnic group what constitutes their particular ethnic make up", even though you earlier tried to claim that that wouldn't be tolerated. Every time you post you show how insincere your previous points are.


    I am not sure whether the posts are insincere or whether the inconsistency in argument is apparent to the poster.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15 SmoothMalts


    Would it though? Sure, it would do a bit better if people actually came out of school speaking it, but would the average Irish person suddenly change any at all significant amount of what they already engage in in English to Irish? Everyone already speaks English, all business is based in English, all foreign media that is commonly consumed here is in English. Translating all that to Irish, even if the average Irish person could speak it, would add a delay to everything. Why would people wait when they can engage in English already? Maybe 100 years ago, if Irish was taught and supported properly back then, but I don't see it now.


    I see where you're coming from, but it's not like I think you could snap your fingers and half the populace would be speaking Irish. The people I mean, having come out of the Irish-immersion schools, would have been speaking Irish all their lives by the time they left, so there wouldn't be a question of 'changing' to Irish.


    Plus, I don't think Irish can or will completely surplant English. But I would consider it healthier for the language if it was spoken as a second medium, a bit like Welsh - which persists even with the over-abundance of English-lanuguage entertainment etc. In short, I think a bilingual population would be the most realistic and healthy expectation.


  • Registered Users Posts: 34,170 ✭✭✭✭Hotblack Desiato


    Wales doesn't have independence, so the language is a surrogate for nationalist sentiment.

    Fingal County Council are certainly not competent to be making decisions about the most important piece of infrastructure on the island. They need to stick to badly designed cycle lanes and deciding on whether Mrs Murphy can have her kitchen extension.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,771 ✭✭✭Mark Hamill


    I see where you're coming from, but it's not like I think you could snap your fingers and half the populace would be speaking Irish. The people I mean, having come out of the Irish-immersion schools, would have been speaking Irish all their lives by the time they left, so there wouldn't be a question of 'changing' to Irish.

    Some people already spend all their school lives in Irish-immersion schools and come out of it not speaking Irish daily simply because the rest of society isn't geared around Irish. And I'm not just talking about government interactions or private conversations, so much of our media and our consumer products are imported in English. Translation would be an extra cost and delay that is largely unnecessary in a country which already speaks English.
    In short, I think a bilingual population would be the most realistic and healthy expectation.

    Sure, but it would still heavily favour one of the languages. No one is going to say "I'm not watching Eastenders tonight because it's not dubbed in Irish" or "I'm not buying Doritos because they don't have Irish on the packet". People would do what Irish-speakers already do - use it when it's convenient.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,267 ✭✭✭✭blanch152



    In short, I think a bilingual population would be the most realistic and healthy expectation.

    On what basis, do you see this as a realistic expectation?

    Every measure in the census shows that the speaking of Irish is declining either in relative or absolute terms.

    Stopping the decline and preserving the language in the Gaeltacht areas is going to extremely difficult so suggesting a bilingual population as a realistic expectation is bizarre.

    A hope or a dream maybe, but not a realistic expectation.


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


    So you admit that you are an "element trying to tell an ethnic group what constitutes their particular ethnic make up", even though you earlier tried to claim that that wouldn't be tolerated. Every time you post you show how insincere your previous points are.

    Every time I post you draw the wrong conclusion and go on to comment off of that. See above.

    No. I'm telling you facts. Facts you don't like, but facts nonetheless. The Irish language is part and parcel of the Irish culture and Heritage. Fact. you don't need to like it, but there we are. You are trying to tell Irish people that their language isn't relevant to their culture, that's simply not true.

    Now, would I go tell the Polish that if they are living in Ireland now they no longer should claim the Polish language? No.
    You seem to be twisting for your own amusement at this point.

    Nice to see this:


  • Registered Users Posts: 34,170 ✭✭✭✭Hotblack Desiato


    The Irish language is part and parcel of the Irish culture and Heritage. Fact.

    It is part and parce of an Irish culture and heritage, yes. One which most Irish people stopped subscribing to generations ago.
    you don't need to like it, but there we are. You are trying to tell Irish people that their language isn't relevant to their culture, that's simply not true.

    It's relevant to the culture of the few who choose to speak it when not compelled.

    Fingal County Council are certainly not competent to be making decisions about the most important piece of infrastructure on the island. They need to stick to badly designed cycle lanes and deciding on whether Mrs Murphy can have her kitchen extension.



  • Registered Users Posts: 27,267 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    Every time I post you draw the wrong conclusion and go on to comment off of that. See above.

    No. I'm telling you facts. Facts you don't like, but facts nonetheless. The Irish language is part and parcel of the Irish culture and Heritage. Fact. you don't need to like it, but there we are. You are trying to tell Irish people that their language isn't relevant to their culture, that's simply not true.

    Now, would I go tell the Polish that if they are living in Ireland now they no longer should claim the Polish language? No.
    You seem to be twisting for your own amusement at this point.

    Nice to see this:

    Nobody has disagreed with the notion that the Irish language is part and parcel of the Irish culture and heritage.

    Unfortunately, the Irish language is really only a very small part of our culture, admittedly it is a bit bigger part of our heritage, but you don't seem to get that fact. It's as if you don't like the facts and are trying your best to ignore the truth.


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


    It is part and parce of an Irish culture and heritage, yes. One which most Irish people stopped subscribing to generations ago.



    It's relevant to the culture of the few who choose to speak it when not compelled.

    Not so. I'm not compelled and don't, yet I recognise the Irish language as part of the Irish culture. I don't play Hurling either or have Yeats memorised, but they are still part of our Irish culture and heritage.


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