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The Irish Language and the Irish Government

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  • Registered Users Posts: 27,302 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    madbeanman wrote: »
    Ok all of that makes sense to me and I would imagine that language rights would be a minority voting issue at the best of times (of course there are countless historical political injustices perpetuated against minorities by majorities at the ballot box and that is important to realise and factor into this debate if one was to feel that Irish speakers are such a minority) but I presume you would also agree with the assessments I made in the rest of my previous post, that the actions of the Government are not consistent with a party that supports the Irish languages status as the first official language of the country (again, whatever that means)?

    Also consider that our last two ministers for art culture, heritage and the Gaeltacht have not been Irish speakers. I also know Heather Humphreys refused to meet with Irish language lobbyists throughout her time in the office. Doesn't seem like the actions of someone who would support the language, right?

    Anyways, what I am getting at is that if the Government was to campaign on a platform of cutting funding for TG4 completely for example you wouldnt care. Im pretty sure that is a reasonable inference to make. So obviously in a free democracy that is a perfectly legitimate position, so all Im saying is would there not be a market out there for that type of vote? You prove that there is, therefore why not campaign on it?


    I wouldn't care whether a Government were to campaign one way or the other on a platform of TG4 funding, as it wouldn't be sufficiently material of an issue to sway my vote unless it would affect other areas.

    So abolishing TG4 would be welcome, but anything up to say increasing their grant by 10-20% would be acceptable to me for a party I would vote for.

    I don't see issues as black and white. There is a continuum of issues. Some are very black (couldn't vote for Sinn Fein because of past etc.) but most issues and parties are somewhere in the middle, with varying shades of grey. I have never voted for an issue or a party where the issue was completely white, except perhaps same-sex marriage.

    On the particular issue of Irish, it is going to die out anyway, so why would I be looking for parties that were campaigning to get rid of it quicker, there are more important issues out there.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,566 ✭✭✭RandomName2


    madbeanman wrote: »
    Ok all of that makes sense to me and I would imagine that language rights would be a minority voting issue at the best of times (of course there are countless historical political injustices perpetuated against minorities by majorities at the ballot box and that is important to realise and factor into this debate if one was to feel that Irish speakers are such a minority) but I presume you would also agree with the assessments I made in the rest of my previous post, that the actions of the Government are not consistent with a party that supports the Irish languages status as the first official language of the country (again, whatever that means)?

    Having bilingual labels on alcohol is a nonsense idea, but the very idea of having warning labels on alcohol is nonsense (maybe someone should tell the Italians that wine causes cancer.. or wait they have the highest life expectancy in the EU). So nonsense can cancel out nonsense? Sounds like a good plan.

    I think we should petition the government, saying that they are betraying the IRISH nation if they do not have IRISH labels in IRISH spelling out the grave dangers posed by alcohol. If the government are going to be clowns, they should be held accountable to their clowny promises.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,803 ✭✭✭An Ciarraioch


    blanch152 wrote: »
    madbeanman wrote: »
    Ok all of that makes sense to me and I would imagine that language rights would be a minority voting issue at the best of times (of course there are countless historical political injustices perpetuated against minorities by majorities at the ballot box and that is important to realise and factor into this debate if one was to feel that Irish speakers are such a minority) but I presume you would also agree with the assessments I made in the rest of my previous post, that the actions of the Government are not consistent with a party that supports the Irish languages status as the first official language of the country (again, whatever that means)?

    Also consider that our last two ministers for art culture, heritage and the Gaeltacht have not been Irish speakers. I also know Heather Humphreys refused to meet with Irish language lobbyists throughout her time in the office. Doesn't seem like the actions of someone who would support the language, right?

    Anyways, what I am getting at is that if the Government was to campaign on a platform of cutting funding for TG4 completely for example you wouldnt care. Im pretty sure that is a reasonable inference to make. So obviously in a free democracy that is a perfectly legitimate position, so all Im saying is would there not be a market out there for that type of vote? You prove that there is, therefore why not campaign on it?


    I wouldn't care whether a Government were to campaign one way or the other on a platform of TG4 funding, as it wouldn't be sufficiently material of an issue to sway my vote unless it would affect other areas.

    So abolishing TG4 would be welcome, but anything up to say increasing their grant by 10-20% would be acceptable to me for a party I would vote for.

    I don't see issues as black and white. There is a continuum of issues. Some are very black (couldn't vote for Sinn Fein because of past etc.) but most issues and parties are somewhere in the middle, with varying shades of grey. I have never voted for an issue or a party where the issue was completely white, except perhaps same-sex marriage.

    On the particular issue of Irish, it is going to die out anyway, so why would I be looking for parties that were campaigning to get rid of it quicker, there are more important issues out there.

    Even most non-Irish speakers would disagree with the idea of abolishing TG4 - it's generally respected for its PSB remit, especially in relation to sports coverage, documentaries and traditional music. In any case, without the channel, you'd be back to the mid-Nineties situation where RTE One would have to show an alloted number of Irish programmes per week.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,302 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    Even most non-Irish speakers would disagree with the idea of abolishing TG4 - it's generally respected for its PSB remit, especially in relation to sports coverage, documentaries and traditional music. In any case, without the channel, you'd be back to the mid-Nineties situation where RTE One would have to show an alloted number of Irish programmes per week.



    I suppose it has its uses in keeping Irish off RTE1, but apart from the GAA, most of which I attend, I hardly watch RTE at all.


  • Registered Users Posts: 207 ✭✭madbeanman


    blanch152 wrote: »
    I suppose it has its uses in keeping Irish off RTE1, but apart from the GAA, most of which I attend, I hardly watch RTE at all.

    Do you support the use of Irish in Hawkeye, announcements during the games at Croke Park, the scoreboards, jerseys, a couple of pages of the programme and the recent announcement that they will be hiring a full-time Irish language officer for the first time?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,887 ✭✭✭✭Riskymove


    madbeanman wrote: »
    The disrespect here is that the TD was told that his contribution was not allowed in the first language of the state (I understand its not the primary lingua franca in the state. I understand its a minority language. I understand everyone in the room spoke English but I would love someone to tell a French speaker in the Canadian house to speak English so everyone could understand them).

    it is not that he was not allowed to speak Irish but that if he did some people, including those he wanted to ask questions of, wouldn't understand. This was because of a technical problem.

    so he could have spoken in Irish but knew it would be self-defeating.

    BTW I don't know about Canada, but I have been at meetings in Brussels where there is no interpretation available and English is agreed to be used as the working language. There is no scandal in this for the French, Germans or Estonians or whoever.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 498 ✭✭zapitastas


    blanch152 wrote: »
    I wouldn't care whether a Government were to campaign one way or the other on a platform of TG4 funding, as it wouldn't be sufficiently material of an issue to sway my vote unless it would affect other areas.

    So abolishing TG4 would be welcome, but anything up to say increasing their grant by 10-20% would be acceptable to me for a party I would vote for.

    I don't see issues as black and white. There is a continuum of issues. Some are very black (couldn't vote for Sinn Fein because of past etc.) but most issues and parties are somewhere in the middle, with varying shades of grey. I have never voted for an issue or a party where the issue was completely white, except perhaps same-sex marriage.

    On the particular issue of Irish, it is going to die out anyway, so why would I be looking for parties that were campaigning to get rid of it quicker, there are more important issues out there.

    There are a number of people who are fanatical about speaking irish and can be overbearing. On the other end of the spectrum are those that wish to see the language die out. The vast majority of people are interested in Irish to some degree and probably wish they had a better ability to communicate through the medium. There are a growing number who are becoming more proficient and through immersive education it is in better shape now than twenty years ago. The standard might not satisfy the former group but the huge array of online methods of communicating and learning through Irish is strengthening the language. It is not dying. The curry my yoghurt types are a little sad in their wishes to see the demise of the language


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,229 ✭✭✭LeinsterDub


    blanch152 wrote: »
    You are better off not having the Harry Potter series translated.

    At a time when people are lying on trolleys in hospitals and sleeping on the streets, are you proposing that the government should spend money on translating Minecraft into Irish?

    Facebook and Twitter have been translated by the Irish speaking community as has Harry Potter


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,229 ✭✭✭LeinsterDub


    blanch152 wrote: »

    So abolishing TG4 would be welcome, but anything up to say increasing their grant by 10-20% would be acceptable to me for a party I would vote for.

    Would you also welcome abolishing funding to the arts, sports and RTÉ?


  • Registered Users Posts: 22,252 ✭✭✭✭endacl


    blanch152 wrote: »
    Are all road signs in the US in Spanish and English?

    Signs for El Paso are in Spanish only.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 27,302 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    madbeanman wrote: »
    Do you support the use of Irish in Hawkeye, announcements during the games at Croke Park, the scoreboards, jerseys, a couple of pages of the programme and the recent announcement that they will be hiring a full-time Irish language officer for the first time?


    Doesn't bother me at all, it is tokenism, which as I said, I don't have a problem with. After all, while the Irish language may no longer be part of our living culture, it is very much part of our cultural heritage and history.


    zapitastas wrote: »
    There are a number of people who are fanatical about speaking irish and can be overbearing. On the other end of the spectrum are those that wish to see the language die out. The vast majority of people are interested in Irish to some degree and probably wish they had a better ability to communicate through the medium. There are a growing number who are becoming more proficient and through immersive education it is in better shape now than twenty years ago. The standard might not satisfy the former group but the huge array of online methods of communicating and learning through Irish is strengthening the language. It is not dying. The curry my yoghurt types are a little sad in their wishes to see the demise of the language


    The statistics show that Irish is weakening rather than strengthening. A smaller proportion speak it regularly with every census.

    It is not that I wish Irish to die out. That is just the natural cultural evolution. Minority languages are being swamped all over the world. Just as there is an inexorable move to living in cities, as a worldwide trend, the demise of minority languages is a similar trend, as the fast-moving, fast-changing world is too much for them. King Canute commanded the waves to go back, reviving the Irish language is a similar task.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,302 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    Would you also welcome abolishing funding to the arts, sports and RTÉ?


    Why would I?

    Living culture should be funded.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,229 ✭✭✭LeinsterDub


    blanch152 wrote: »
    Why would I?

    Living culture should be funded.

    Irish is living culture. TG4 is living culture and produces some of the best content on Irish TV.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,302 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    Irish is living culture. TG4 is living culture and produces some of the best content on Irish TV.


    That is a matter of opinion, and I certainly differ in mine, especially when it comes to the quality of TG4. For the money we are paying for it, it isn't value.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,229 ✭✭✭LeinsterDub


    blanch152 wrote: »
    That is a matter of opinion, and I certainly differ in mine, especially when it comes to the quality of TG4. For the money we are paying for it, it isn't value.

    Their sport coverage is better than RTÉ nearly non existent sports coverage. Fíorsceal is a great documentary series as is Laochra Gael . RTÉ content seems to mainly repeats at this stage, give me original Irish content in any language rather than repeats of the big bang theory any day.

    When is the last time you watch any of their content?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,108 ✭✭✭Jellybaby1


    I can assure you that a lot of people who said that they could speak Irish, were not fluent enough to complete the Irish language version of the Census form and had to complete it in English.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,229 ✭✭✭LeinsterDub


    Jellybaby1 wrote: »
    I can assure you that a lot of people who said that they could speak Irish, were not fluent enough to complete the Irish language version of the Census form and had to complete it in English.

    And by assure you mean you can't because you just made up that statistic now? Roughly 20,000 forms were completed as Gaeilge at the last census. If you assume an average household of 4 people you easily get the circa 80,000 daily speakers


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,108 ✭✭✭Jellybaby1


    I have witnessed it myself.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,229 ✭✭✭LeinsterDub


    Jellybaby1 wrote: »
    I have witnessed it myself.

    So you've an anecdote. Great.


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,397 ✭✭✭✭FreudianSlippers


    Jellybaby1 wrote: »
    I can assure you that a lot of people who said that they could speak Irish, were not fluent enough to complete the Irish language version of the Census form and had to complete it in English.
    I'm not understanding the logic of lying about this?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,578 ✭✭✭cfuserkildare


    If the Gaelic language arrived here around 2700 bc then why do so many people insist on speaking what is essentially an Immigrant language?
    What were the True Irish prior to that point in history speaking?
    Should people not be trying to unearth the Original language spoken here?
    Just a thought.


  • Registered Users Posts: 207 ✭✭madbeanman


    Riskymove wrote: »
    it is not that he was not allowed to speak Irish but that if he did some people, including those he wanted to ask questions of, wouldn't understand. This was because of a technical problem.

    so he could have spoken in Irish but knew it would be self-defeating.

    BTW I don't know about Canada, but I have been at meetings in Brussels where there is no interpretation available and English is agreed to be used as the working language. There is no scandal in this for the French, Germans or Estonians or whoever.


    This is a reading of that meeting that buried the lead. The person speaking before the committee was welcomed in Irish by the chair. He then proceeded to speak in Irish. He was stopped in Irish by the chair and was told that there were problems with the translation service. The chair said in Irish that he could continue in English and that would rectify the problem.

    The speaker said he would speak in English but IN PROTEST and then proceeded to complain to the chair that this was a common problem and even occurred when the language commisssioner came to testify before committee.

    Another committee member then spoke up in English saying that the speaker had the right to give his speech in Irish and the translation service should be fixed.

    The chair called a break to investigate the issue

    The EU argument to me is a non-sequitir because it’s the first official language of the state (whatever that means) and it’s the Parliament buildings. If you can’t speak it in Parliament buildings because of consistently failing translation services than that probably doesn’t show it to be very well respected.

    In a multilingual organisation like the EU where the only real minority language recognised as an official language of the EU is Irish it doesn’t really matter what is used as a lingua franca.

    But I think your over arching argument is that, sure everyone speaks English why don’t they just speak English?

    And that’s a legitimate argument but I would argue the constitutional position of Irish is in contridiction with the policies of the current Government so they should call a referendum on removing the status of Irish from the constitution or at least campaign on a platform of not supporting the language so that the voters know what they are about.

    If they get elected on that mandate (obviously their main mandates would be on issues like housing, the economy, health, education etc etc) then they should continue with their current policies


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,229 ✭✭✭LeinsterDub


    If the Gaelic language arrived here around 2700 bc then why do so many people insist on speaking what is essentially an Immigrant language?
    What were the True Irish prior to that point in history speaking?
    Should people not be trying to unearth the Original language spoken here?
    Just a thought.
    And what a thoughtful insight it is. Completely not a disingenuous straw man


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭recedite


    If the Gaelic language arrived here around 2700 bc then why do so many people insist on speaking what is essentially an Immigrant language?
    What were the True Irish prior to that point in history speaking?
    Should people not be trying to unearth the Original language spoken here?
    Just a thought.
    Don't rock the boat dude. Here is the back story;
    The True Gael lived here in a state of bliss, until The English arrived with their foreign language and their 800 years of oppression. Now we are attempting to redress the balance.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,302 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    And by assure you mean you can't because you just made up that statistic now? Roughly 20,000 forms were completed as Gaeilge at the last census. If you assume an average household of 4 people you easily get the circa 80,000 daily speakers


    Well, if you assumed an average household of 4 people, then you would be wrong.

    https://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/ep/p-cp4hf/cp4hf/hhlds/


    The average household size in Ireland is 2.75. If you exclude babies from that, you get something like 2.5.

    That means the forms completed as Gaeilge imply only 50,000 daily speakers. When you also include the fact that Irish is more widely spoken among older people who are more likely to be the head of household filling out the forms, the 50,000 is probably an over-estimate.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,108 ✭✭✭Jellybaby1


    I'm not understanding the logic of lying about this?


    I am not lying. I have witnessed this. You can believe it or not, it doesn't matter to me, but it should be said as it happened, and for a thread like this people should know the truth.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 789 ✭✭✭Turnipman


    madbeanman wrote: »

    This all originated from a very minor incident in the Dáil in which Minister Harris was being question by Deputy Ó Cuív regarding the labelling of health warnings to be placed on alcohol labels.

    The labels will be placed on the bottles in English rather than in both English and Irish. Its been all over RnaG and tuairisc.ie

    The Minister said that this would "confuse" people.
    Of course this is nonsense. Bilingualism is public policy in Canada and a bilingual labelling system has been in use there for years without mass public confusion.


    If you reckon that it's discriminatory against current or future Irish-speaking alcoholics, then why not contact the Equality Authority?

    That said, it's nice to see the underemployed whingers in RnaG and Tuairisc having something topical to get their gnickerini into a twist about!

    No doubt Leah Nee Riadagh will be mounting her portable pulpit shortly to condemn this vile action by a West Brit Blueshirt male chauvinist piglet.

    Of course, her being an opportunistic lady, she'll probably condemn him as Bearla!


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,229 ✭✭✭LeinsterDub


    recedite wrote: »
    Don't rock the boat dude. Here is the back story;
    The True Gael lived here in a state of bliss, until The English arrived with their foreign language and their 800 years of oppression. Now we are attempting to redress the balance.

    You know I've never heard an Irish speaker put forward this argument its certainly not been presented in this thread. Yet another strawman.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,578 ✭✭✭cfuserkildare


    recedite wrote: »
    Don't rock the boat dude. Here is the back story;
    The True Gael lived here in a state of bliss, until The English arrived with their foreign language and their 800 years of oppression. Now we are attempting to redress the balance.




    Well, No Actually not,


    The Normans came here and began a process of oppression that becams an English thing due to England being run by Normans.


    Research a little deeper into Why the Normans oppressed the locals and stole their land.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 27,302 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    Well, No Actually not,


    The Normans came here and began a process of oppression that becams an English thing due to England being run by Normans.


    Research a little deeper into Why the Normans oppressed the locals and stole their land.


    I still want to know who oppressed the speakers of Ogham.


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