Thursday, 20 August 2009

If the Irish language is to be 'snipped' then nothing should be sacred

The recent Bord Snip Nua report calls for an end to virtually all support for Irish in the parts of the country where it is a community language. Their rationale is that in these current economic times financial support for the Gaeltacht is not justified.

The Commission on Taxation has gotten in on the act and wants to save a pitance by stopping tax relief for people who provide accomodation for students in the Gaeltacht.

There are some who would agree, but probably not the 93% of people in the Republic who want the language to survive.,9801,ie.pdf

If however Colm McCarthy's council is to prevail, if the economic difficulties we face are so dire that we have to totally turn our backs on the Irish language, then nothing is sacred, and all options must be looked at the rectify the public finances.

One thing we could do is to look for a corporate sponsor for our flag, eg McDonalds, as the image above shows. This would net us billions and enable us to dig ourselves out of the financial hole the banks have gotten us into.

Another suggestion is to look for a corporate sponsor for our national anthem, something along the lines of "Sinne Fianna Fyffes atá faoi gheall ag torthaí blasta" or "Sinne Fianna Federal Express atá faoi gheall ag seachadadh poist in am" etc.

Again this could raise millions or billions for the exchequer.

Now you're probably thinking, "he can't be serious with these suggestions can he?"

If so I would ask you this, why wouldn't we get corporate sponsorship for our flag or anthem? Can you think of a logical or practical reason we shouldn't. We supposedly gave up Irish for purely practical and rational reasons, so why not? It would be good for the economy, and think of all the schools and hospitals we could build with the cash we would receive.

You've probably never heard of such a suggestion before so haven't had to think of a reason why we wouldn't. You might then think that the idea is ridiculous, preposterous, ludicrous and that we'd be the laughing stock of the world if we did get corporate sponsors for our flag and anthem.

So what's the connection with the Irish language? You see the only reason we are not a laughing stock in the eyes of the world over our attitude to Irish is that virtually no one knows the language exists.

If people around the globe knew that many Irish people think their language is inferior (or 'uncool' as it is put) to most (or possibly all) other languages, if they knew that our papers are full of biased and bigoted attacks on the language, that some say they 'hate' the language, that some Irish people mock the language and dearly hope it will die, then we would be the laughing stock of the world.

Personally speaking I would have as much loyalty to an Ireland without the Irish language as I would to a tricolour with the McDonalds arch on it.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Cothrom na féinne don Ghaeilge...ó Sainsburys

D'oscail Sainsburys garáiste nua ar Bhóthar Bhaile Andarsan i mBéal Feirste le déanaí agus bail ó Dhia orthu tá cothrom na féinne tugtha don Ghaeilge acu ar an gcomharthaíocht. Ní amháin go bhfuil an comhartha dátheangach ach tá an Ghaeilge ar chomhchéim leis an mBéarla, ní i gcló beag iodálach.
Eiseamláir atá ann don chuid eile den earnáil ghnó ó thuaidh agus ó dheas.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

The worst proposals for the Irish language since the Statutes of Kilkenny

If 'An Bord Snip Nua,' or the New Snip Board as it should be known, deliberately set out to undermine the Irish language then I doubt they would have come up with worse proposals regarding it than the ones in their report today.

Those proposals are:

1. Abolishing the Department of Community Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.
2. Effectively abolishing Údarás na Gaeltachta.
3. Abolishing Comhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta (COGG), the body which produces text books for Irish language schools.
4. Transferring the Irish language responsibilities of the Gaeltacht Department to the Department of Education, a proposal that will send a shiver down the spine of anyone who values the language and has experience of the department's attitude to it.
5. Cutting TG4's budget by €10 million.
6. Scrapping most (all?) Gaeltacht grants.
7. Reducing the number of state documents in Irish.

I'm not all that bothered about scrapping grants for infrastructure and houses in the Gaeltacht, or the amount of government documents produced in Irish, but the cut in support for households who host Gaeltacht College students in the summer could have a serious effect on the language and the economy in areas of the official Gaeltacht where Irish is actually spoken.

1-5 are an absolute disgrace however and are a serious attack on Irish.

The Gaeltacht Department, the Údarás, COGG and TG4 were all set up because English speaking Ireland can't be trusted to look after Irish speakers.

The industrial development duties of Údarás na Gaeltachta will be transferred to Enterprise Ireland and with it any attempt to attract industry that won't undermine the Irish language.

For some reason the report says €10 million should be cut from TG4's budget, but no proposals are made to cut state English language broadcasting.

Some may argue that the spend on TG4 and many other cultural initiatives are not justifiable at present, but no such argument can be made regarding the worst proposal of all, the decision to scrap Comhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta (COGG) in order to save the grand total of €1.2 million of the €5.3 billion in cutbacks proposed.

This body was set up due to the utter failure of successive Irish governments to ensure that Irish people have the basic right, in Ireland, of getting an Irish language education for their children.

COGG was charged with producing Irish language text books and study aids for Gaelscoileanna because the Department of Education has refused to do so.

Now the New Snip Board wants to scrap COGG and let the Department of Education look after Gaelscoileanna, the same department that has recently banned immersion education in Ireland under the false belief that it damages the English skills of pupils (when all the research shows that it actually improves them), and a department that won't recognise new Gaelscoileanna.

The message from the report couldn't be more clear: Let them read English textbooks in Irish language schools.

What kind of a country are we that doesn't allow all parents to send their children to Irish language schools and then forces* the ones who do make it in to use English language textbooks while learning through Irish?

It was bad enough that Irish language education was suppressed in Ireland for centuries, without us, still one of the richest counties on Earth, now doing it ourselves, on a spurious economic basis.

The government has to cut spending, so I suggest merging the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht affairs with the Department of Arts, Sports and Tourism to form a new slimmed down Department of Culture and the Irish Language, I never agreed with having a Gaeltacht department, the language belongs to the entire country.

(*In case anyone was wondering I think Irish should be optional in English medium schools).

Sunday, 31 May 2009

Logainmneacha Chill Mhantáin

Tháinig mé ar na logainmneacha suimiúla seo i Sraith Eolais na Suirbhéireachta Ordanáís do Chill Mhantáin le déanaí. Níl leagan Gaeilge oifigiúil ar fáil do roinnt dóibh ach sin ráite tá go leor suntas ag baint leo ó thaobh na foghraíochta de.

Tá buile faoi thuairim tugtha agam le roinnt acu ach tá na tréithe seo a leanas le brath iontu;

Dubh=Doo seachas Duv

Cnoc=Cruc seachas Cnoc

Mh='V' seachas 'W'


Bendoo=Beann Dubh?

Pollaghdoo=Pollach Dubh?

Carrigdoo=Carraig Dhubh?

Cordoo=Corr Dubh?

Crocknalugh=Cnoc na Log?


Crockan Pond=Cnocán?

Glenavadda=Gleann a'Mhada?

Carrigvore=Carraig Mhór?

Inchavore River=Inse Mhór?

Seans go bhfuil an fhuaim chéana le fáil sna logainmneacha seo ach gan an leagan Gaeilge ní fios;





Spéisiúil go leor ach tá dhá leagan Gaeilge de 'dog' sa chontae, Mada (Glenavadda/Gleann a'Mhada) agus Madra (Coolamaddra/Cúl a'Mhadra).

Ó thuaidh i mBaile Átha Cliath tá samplaí de dubh=doo agus cnoc=croc;

Glendoo=Gleann Dubh

Skidoo=Sceach Dubh

Crooksling=Cnoc Sline

Crockshane=Cnoc Sheáin

Crockaundreenagh=Cnocán Draigheanach

Mar aon le sin bhí dhá fhocal Gaeilge i gcaint na ndaoine sa chontae sa 20ú hAois; Cnag (A light blow with the knuckles) agus Cniog (To beat), ach is 'Cregg' agus 'Crig' a dúradh.

Bhí 'drimmindhoo' ag daoine i mBaile Áth Cliath ar 'Droim Fhionn Dubh' ach is ainm amhráin atá anseo mar sin ní fios an fhuaimniú dhúchais atá sa sampla seo de 'dubh=doo'

Ó thaobh 'mh' de tá A Mhic (Avick), A Mhuirnín (Avourneen) agus dhá leagan de 'Lán a mhála' sa chontae, 'Lawnawalla' agus 'Laun a valla.' Is ó Sheanchill a tháinig an dara leagan.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Coddle and Dublin Lawyer

I got myself two cookbooks before Christmas, one with 1000 basic dishes for beginners, (I've 995 to go), the other a small Irish cookbook which included the quintessential Dublin dish, coddle.
It's a fairly basic meal, the book tried to complicate things a bit but basically its potatoes, sausages and rashers boiled together.
I did it the other day and it was tasty too, but I threw a bit of parsley in with it to add some flavour as spuds, sausages and rashers can only do so much.
I also did a meal from the book called Dublin Lawyer. I got a frozen lobster for £6.50 in Tescos in Belfast, cooked it in butter for a few minutes, poured some whiskey on it, lit the whiskey and poured cream over it all when the uisce beatha had burned itself out. And that's Dublin Lawyer.
I don't know where it got the name but presumably it was from a time when only lawyers in Dublin could afford it, or maybe it's because of the physical resemblance between lobsters and your average lawyers in the Four Courts, or even because many people in Ireland wouldn't mind seeing some lawyers thrown alive into boiling water : )?
As far as Dublin cuisine in the book goes there's also Dublin Bay Prawns and 'Dublin-Style' ham with apples, that's it and I don't know of any other dishes myself. Not that us Dubs should feel so bad, Ireland as a whole doesn't really have a cuisine of its own.
We do have a few unique dishes but a cuisine they do not make, there are probably villages in Spain and Italy that have more culinary variety in them than all of Ireland put together.
If you are what you eat that would make us mainly Anglo-American, I have to laugh everytime I see a sign in a chipper for 'Traditional Fish and Chips,' fish and chips being about as traditionally Irish as the Big Mac is.
Anyway I say if we don't have a cuisine there's no point complaining about it, we should create one.
Maybe cuisines should grow organically from the people, but we could always give it a boost, we could have a competition of some sort for our chefs and cooks and come up with dishes that for the most part use ingredients found in Ireland.
It wouldn't be ideal but sure there's no law against it.