Monthly Archives: July 2018

A reply to Joe Daly

I have had a comment from someone called Joe Daly about my post on Did The English Ban Irish:

you dont take in to account the fact that kids where beat in school for specking Irish. while they might not have passed a law banning it their attitude towards the Irish did the same thing . even goin so far as to ban Catholic children from goin to school. Under the penal codes imposed by the British, the Irish Catholics were not allowed to have schools. and so started the rise of Hedge schools.

I am well aware of the history of education in Ireland. I know about the bata scóir and the scoileanna scairte. I have said repeatedly that the English were no friends to the Irish language. In the early 17th century, almost nobody spoke English in Ireland. People like myself who speak Irish on a daily basis are now a tiny minority, and that is a direct result of policies designed to elevate the status of English at the expense of Irish. As I said in the article: The fact is, of course, that the English administration in Ireland was no friend to the Irish language. Irish was progressively squeezed out of any realm of life which would have given it power or influence. I am not defending the English here.

What I am saying here (and I can’t think of any way to make it clearer) is that the Irish language was not illegal in Ireland. It wasn’t encouraged or promoted or helped to survive in any way, but it was not made illegal, probably because the inhabitants of Langerland didn’t care a damn what shepherds and woodmen and fishermen spoke amongst themselves, as long as they paid rent and taxes and tithes to a foreign ascendancy.

With regard to Irish history, the English are as guilty as hell. Why does anyone need to invent extra crimes to make them look worse?

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Freagra ar Joe Daly

Chuir duine éigin darbh ainm Joe Daly barúil suas ar an alt a scríobh mé traidhfil de bhlianta ó shin dar teideal Did The English Ban Irish:

you dont take in to account the fact that kids where beat in school for specking Irish. while they might not have passed a law banning it their attitude towards the Irish did the same thing . even goin so far as to ban Catholic children from goin to school. Under the penal codes imposed by the British, the Irish Catholics were not allowed to have schools. and so started the rise of Hedge schools.

Tá go leor eolais agam ar stair an oideachais in Éirinn. Tá a fhios agam faoin bhata scóir agus faoi na scoileanna scairte. Tá sé ráite agam arís agus arís eile nár chuidigh Sasana pioc leis an Ghaeilge. I dtús an tseachtú haois déag, is beag duine in Éirinn a raibh Béarla aige. Ach anois, tá mo leithéidí féin, daoine a labhraíonn Gaeilge ar bhonn laethúil, tá muid chomh gann is a bhí lucht an Bhéarla anseo ceithre chéad bliain ó shin, agus is toradh díreach é sin ar bheartais a rinneadh d’aonghnó le stádas an Bhéarla a ardú agus le stádas na Gaeilge a ísliú. Mar a luaigh mé san alt sin: The fact is, of course, that the English administration in Ireland was no friend to the Irish language. Irish was progressively squeezed out of any realm of life which would have given it power or influence. I am not defending the English here.

An rud atá á rá agam (agus ní thig liom smaoineamh ar dhóigh ar bith lena rá níos soiléire), ná nach raibh an Ghaeilge in éadan an dlí in Éirinn. Níor spreagadh í, níor cothaíodh í, níor cuidíodh léi teacht slán ar dhóigh ar bith, ach níor cuireadh cosc uirthi le hacht ná reacht ná dli.  Is dócha gur chuma sa tsioc leis na Sasanaigh cad é a labhraíodh aoirí nó iascairí nó coillteoirí Gaelacha eatarthu féin, a fhad is a d’íoc siad cíos agus cáin agus deachúna le huasaicme Ghallda.

Maidir le stair na hÉireann, tá Sasana chomh ciontach leis an diabhal. Cad chuige a mbeadh ar dhuine ar bith coireanna breise a chumadh le cosúlacht níos measa a chur orthu?

Amadán na Míosa, Mí Iúil 2018 – Matthew Walther

Is é Amadán na Míosa an mhí seo ná diúlach darb ainm Matthew Walther. Is iriseoir é, dar leis féin. De réir cosúlachta, is comhfhreagraí náisiúnta é le The Week (cibé rud é sin) agus tá cónaí air in Michigan. Níl a fhios agam an Gael nó Meiriceánach nó Gearmánach é. An t-aon eolas atá agam air ná gur Caitliceach den eite dheis agus conspóidí gairmiúil é. I ndiaidh an Reifrinn ar an ghinchealú i mí Bhealtaine, chuir sé an méid seo suas ar Twitter:

Ireland is such a joke. “Look at us, we’re nice modern anticlerical progressives. Our prime minister has a quaint title in a made-up language invented by Yeats and Lady Gregory out of boredom. We kill babies and allow corporations to hoard their ill-gotten gains here.”

Tá seantaithí againn ar chonspóidithe gairmiúla den chineál seo in Éirinn: ní gá ach Conor Cruise O’Brien agus Kevin Myers a lua. Agus mar a bhí amhlaidh i gcás an Cruiser agus My-arse, bíonn daoine mar seo ag déanamh dhá rud: déanann siad simpliú ar cheisteanna atá casta íogair (we kill babies) agus an méid atá le rá acu, níl ann ach raiméis sheanchaite neamhbhunúil. Níl Gaeilgeoir ar bith beo nár chuala miotais gan chiall den chineál seo na céadta uair roimhe.

Agus creid uaim é, is miotais iad. Ní raibh Gaeilge ar bith ag WB Yeats agus cibé Gaeilge a bhí ag an Bhantiarna Gregory, ní raibh baint ná páirt aici le hathghléasadh na teanga san Athbheochan, cibé ról a bhí ag an leadrán sa scéal. De ghnáth, deirtear gur de Valera a chum an Ghaeilge, ach nach cuma – níl ceachtar den dá leagan ceart!

Agus ar ndóigh, cé go ndearnadh a lán athruithe ar an teanga le cúpla céad bliain anuas, tá bunús na bhfocal agus na struchtúr sa teanga a bheag nó a mhór mar a bhí dhá chéad bliain ó shin. Rinneadh aistriúchán Bedell den Bhíobla sa tseachtú haois déag ach is beag rud sa leabhar sin nach bhfuil intuigthe ag duine ar bith a bhfuil Gaeilge mhaith aige nó aici sa lá atá inniu ann.

Mar sin de, níl sa raiméis seo ach bleadaireacht dhrochmhúinte aineolach.

An t-aon teachtaireacht atá ag féinspéisithe gan tallann mar Walther ná: Is mise an duine is tábhachtaí ar chlár an domhain. Éistfear le mo ghlór! Caithfear éisteacht! Mar sin de, cuimhnigh ar ainm Walther. Agus má fheiceann tú an t-ainm sin ar alt, ná léigh é. Níl rud ar bith fiúntach le rá ag leithéidí Walther, agus is beag is fiú do chuid ama a chur amú lena gcuid amaidí.

July’s Twit of the Month – Matthew Walther

This month’s Twit of the Month is a guy called Matthew Walther. He thinks he is a journalist. He describes himself as National Correspondent at The Week (whatever that is) and he is based in Michigan. I don’t know if he is Irish or American or German. All I know is that he is a right-wing Catholic and a professional controversialist. After the referendum on abortion recently, he tweeted the following:

Ireland is such a joke. “Look at us, we’re nice modern anticlerical progressives. Our prime minister has a quaint title in a made-up language invented by Yeats and Lady Gregory out of boredom. We kill babies and allow corporations to hoard their ill-gotten gains here.”

We have plenty of experience of professional controversialists like this in Ireland: you only have to mention the likes of Conor Cruise O’Brien and Kevin Myers. And as was the case with the Cruiser and My-Arse, people like this do two things: they simplify issues that are complicated and sensitive (we kill babies) and what they have to say is just clichéd nonsense. There is not an Irish speaker alive who hasn’t heard this kind of dim-witted pontification hundreds of times before.

And believe me, these opinions are nonsense. Yeats had no Irish and whatever Irish Lady Gregory spoke, she had nothing whatever to do with the refit of the Irish language at the time of the Revival, whatever role boredom had in the matter. Usually, the modern Irish language is ascribed to De Valera, but as neither version is correct, what does it matter?

And of course, though a lot of changes have been made to the language in the last couple of hundred years, most of the words and structures in the language are exactly as they were two hundred years ago. The Bedell Bible was translated in the 17th century but there is little in that book that would be hard for a good Irish speaker of today to understand.

So, this nonsense is nothing but ill-mannered, ignorant blether.

The only message that talentless egoists like Walther have is: I am the most important person on earth. Listen to me! You have to listen to me! So, remember Walther’s name. And if you see that name on an article, don’t read it. People like Walther have nothing worthwhile to say, and there is not much point in wasting your time with their nonsense.