Tag Archives: St Patrick’s Day

An fód a sheasamh ar son an chomhionannais – Standing up for equality

Bhí rud éigin ar IrishCentral ar na mallaibh faoi Mhórshiúl clúiteach na Féile Pádraig i Nua-Eabhrac. Faoi dheireadh thiar thall, ligfear do dhream LADT (Leispiach, Aerach, Déghnéasach agus Trasinscneach, nó LGBT i mBéarla) bheith páirteach sa mhórshiúl. Ba mhaith liom comhghairdeas a dhéanamh leo anseo. Tá súil agam, ní hamháin go ligfear dóibh bheith páirteach, ach go gcuirfear fáilte fhial fhairsing Ghaelach rompu. Is Gaeil iad, agus tá an ceart acu bheith ansin.

Luaitear Peter Quinn, cara mór le Cassidy, san alt chéanna. De réir cosúlachta, bhí seisean páirteach san fheachtas le stop a chur leis an éagóir a bhí á déanamh ar Ghaeil LADT na cathrach. Tréaslaím a shaothar leis, agus tréaslaím a saothar leis na daoine eile atá luaite san alt, Loretta Brennan-Glucksman agus Malachy McCourt ina measc. Sa chás seo, tá an rud ceart déanta ag Peter Quinn agus ag na daoine eile.

An gciallaíonn sin go bhfuil mé sásta maithiúnas a thabhairt do Quinn as tacú leis an ghealt uafásach sin Cassidy? Is dócha go bhfuil freagra na ceiste sin ar eolas agaibh cheana féin. Tá mé sásta a fheiceáil go bhfuil Quinn ar thaobh na n-aingeal sa chás seo. Ach an ndéanann dea-ghníomh cúiteamh as drochghníomh? Níl mé róchinnte.  Is é rud é, gur thug Quinn tacaíocht do Cassidy. Dhiúltaigh sé an fhírinne a insint agus dhiúltaigh sé a admháil nach raibh sé ceart ná cóir an tacaíocht sin a thabhairt don chaimiléir agus don bhréagadóir is mó i stair na nGael i Meiriceá.

Tá Peter Quinn agus a chairde le moladh as tacaíocht a thabhairt don chomhionannas agus do chearta daonna maidir leis an mhórshiúl. Ach tá a fhios againn gur ghlac Cassidy leis an phost mar Ollamh in New College, in ainneoin nach raibh céim ar bith aige, in ainneoin nach raibh sé cáilithe, in ainneoin nach raibh foilseacháin acadúla ar bith foilsithe aige agus in ainneoin nach raibh Gaeilge ar bith aige. Bímis ionraic faoi. Ghoid Cassidy an post sin. An amhlaidh nach raibh duine aerach ar bith ann a raibh céim nó céimeanna aige nó aici i litríocht na hÉireann san am sin? An amhlaidh nach raibh duine de bhunús Afracach nó Easpáinneach a raibh céim aici nó aige sa Léann Éireannach sna Stáit in 1995?  Níl a fhios againn cén sórt daoine a bhí ann, réidh leis an phost sin a dhéanamh agus a dhéanamh go maith, cionn is nach bhfuair siad an deis. Ghoid Cassidy an post agus an t-airgead a bhí ag gabháil leis. Agus daoine cumasacha a raibh cáilíochtaí acu, fágadh amuigh san fhuacht iad ionas go dtiocfadh leis an liúdramán seo ligean air gur ollamh léannta a bhí ann os comhair an tsaoil.

Maith sibh as balla gloine amháin a bhriseadh agus ligean do dhaoine a gcearta a bheith acu. Ach ná déan dearmad ar an chara s’agatsa, a Peter, a dhruid an doras ar dhuine éigin anaithnid d’fhonn tuarastal agus stádas nach raibh tuillte aige a choinneáil chuige féin.

Nach bhfuil sé in am duit cuimhneamh ar an éagóir a rinneadh ar an duine anaithnid sin, agus an rud ceart a dhéanamh sa deireadh thiar thall?



There was something on IrishCentral recently about the famous St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York. At long last, an LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) group will be allowed to take part in the parade. I would like to congratulate them here. I hope that not only will they be allowed to take part, but they will receive a generous Irish welcome. They are Irish people, and they have a right to be there.

In the same article, Peter Quinn, a big friend of Cassidy’s, is mentioned. Apparently, he was involved in the campaign to put a stop to the injustice to which the LGBT Irish people of the city were being subjected. I applaud his efforts, and I applaud the efforts of the other people who were mentioned in the article, Loretta Brennan-Glucksman and Malachy McCourt. In this case, Peter Quinn and those other people have done the right thing.

Does that mean I’m happy to forgive Quinn for supporting that horrible nut-job Cassidy? You probably know the answer to that question already. I am glad to see that Quinn is on the side of the angels in this case. But does a good deed make up for a bad deed? I’m not so sure. The thing is, Quinn supported Cassidy. He refused to tell the truth and he refused to admit that it was neither right nor proper to support one of the biggest fraudsters and liars in the history of Irish America.

Peter Quinn and his friends are to be praised for supporting equality and human rights in relation to the parade. But we know that Cassidy accepted the job as Professor in New College, in spite of the fact that he had no degree, in spite of the fact that he wasn’t qualified, in spite of the fact that he had no academic publications to his name, in spite of the fact that he had no Irish. Let’s be honest here. Cassidy stole that job. Were there no gay people who had a degree or degrees in Irish literature at that time? Were there no people of African or Hispanic origin with a degree in Irish Studies in the States in 1995? We don’t know what sort of people there were, ready to do the job and do it well, because they didn’t get the chance. Cassidy stole the job and the money that went with it. And talented people who had qualifications were left out in the cold so that this moron could pretend to the world that he was a learned professor.

Well done for breaking one glass wall and allowing people to have their rights. But don’t forget, Peter, that your friend closed the door on some unknown person in order to keep a salary and a status which he hadn’t deserved for himself.

Isn’t it time you remembered the injustice that was done to that unknown person and finally did the right thing?


Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig

St Patrick’s Day will soon be here, so it seems like a good opportunity once again to attack Cassidy’s rubbish book of fake Irish, to encourage people to learn a little of the real thing, and to say a couple of words about the philosophy of language learning.

At this time of year, many people in the Irish diaspora take an interest in their culture and history. Because of the irresponsible behaviour of a number of prominent members of the Irish-American establishment like Peter Quinn, Joe Lee, Michael Patrick MacDonald, Tom Deignan and countless others, who recommended and continue to recommend this nonsense to gullible people, this book is still in print and still being sold. This is a disgrace. Cassidy’s ‘research’ is a cruel and disgusting hoax and IMHO no decent person would support it. However, thanks in part to this blog, people are now much more aware of how dishonest and foolish this book is, so the newspaper articles about Cassidy’s linguistic ‘revelations’ which used to appear at this time of year have been considerably fewer over the last couple of years. The only major organ (yes, I’m aware of the innuendo) of the diaspora which still supports this raiméis is the egregious IrishCentral. They continue to republish a semi-literate ‘review’ of Cassidy’s book by some 9/11 Truther called Brendan Patrick Keane.

Anyway, it seems appropriate to celebrate St Patrick’s Day with some handy (and GENUINE) phrases in our beautiful Ulster dialect of the Irish language.


Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig duit!

Ban-akh-tee na fayla pahrig ditch!

Blessings of St Patrick’s day to you!


Go raibh míle maith agat.

Go roh meela moy oggut!

A thousand thanks!


Tá sé iontach deas inniu.

Tah shay intah jass inyoo.

It’s very nice today.


Sláinte mhór agus saol fada agat!

Slahn-chya wore ogus seel fadda oggut!

Good health and long life to you!


If you want some more information on these things, there are hundreds of resources on line. Focloir.ie is particularly good and has audio files for common words. Just don’t trust anything you read on IrishCentral, in any language, and don’t use Cassidy’s book as a source for learning Irish!

As for the philosophy of language learning, here’s a few points for people thinking of learning Irish:


  • learn a little every day – start NOW!
  • label things you use every day – fridge, cooker, car, door
  • write common words or phrases on cards and carry them round with you
  • learn a few proverbs or songs by heart
  • use apps and words of the day and the Kindle and other new technology
  • get output by TG4 and Raidió na Gaeltachta and listen to the language as much as possible (without bothering about understanding it) just to get used to the sounds and intonation



  • go to a class once a week and forget about it the rest of the time
  • try to learn everything at once and get disheartened when you can’t
  • use Google Translate to translate INTO Irish (it’s useful to get an idea of what a text means in a language you don’t speak well or at all but, for example, if you put I cycled a lot into Google Translate, you get Rothar mé go leor, which is garbage!)
  • make up sentences which are too complicated for you – stick to the structures you know to be correct. Walk, then run! There’s no point in practising elaborate structures which are wrong. Stick to simple sentences which are right! 

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig daoibh!!

Did The English Ban Irish?

In my last blog post, I commented on a terrible St Paddy’s Day article by Mark Bergin called May The Road Rise To Meet You. This article, in addition to supporting Cassidy’s nonsense, is full of mistakes. It should be obvious what you are in for as soon as you read this: The Celtic thought process is not like that of the left-brain-dominant world. Irish thought resembles the Celtic knot, twisting and turning with a glorious lilt. And nowhere is that lilt more obvious than in the language. Personally, I despise this kind of patronising mysticism. The Irish are every bit as capable of rational, linear, cause-and-effect thinking as any other people on earth. The idea that the Irish are somehow childlike and mystical and different from the rest of the human race is a discourse derived from British Imperialism, however much of a positive and pro-Irish spin you try to put on it.

However, there is one important mistake in Bergin’s article which I would like to correct, because although (to the best of my knowledge) Cassidy never claimed this, it has been repeated by several of Cassidy’s supporters, the claim that the English banned the Irish language under the Penal Laws. Here’s what Bergin has to say:

But starting in the 17th century, our language was made illegal, banned. Speaking Irish could get you jail time and a good beating.

Bergin is not alone in making this claim. For example, on Amazon, we find this moron holding forth in support of Cassidy’s mindless drivel:

They were also severely penalized for speaking Irish (it was legally banned in Ireland by the British). Not conditions conducive for generating literary traces that professional linguists can track from the comfort of their stuffed chairs.

I am always interested in the way that false ideas are spread and turned into certainties. 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. But the Penal Laws were about disadvantaging Roman Catholics (and to a lesser extent, non-Anglican Protestants), not about attacking Irish speakers or Irish culture. The fact is that there was never any law against speaking Irish. This is a complete myth.

The Church of Ireland (the Anglican church of the British Ascendancy in Ireland) continued to produce material like the Bible (1686) and The Book of Common Prayer in Irish-language editions throughout the Penal Era. In the early 19th century, The War Office even published demobilisation instructions in Irish for Irish-speaking soldiers who didn’t speak English!

So, if this is a complete myth, where does it come from? It seems to me that there are two possible reasons (apart from the sloppiness and incompetence of lazy internet users and crap journalists, that is!) One is that the Irish language was banned inside the English enclave around Dublin called the Pale by the Statutes of Kilkenny in 1367. This was probably not enforced and being long before the Reformation it had nothing whatever to do with the Penal Laws. The other is that in the 18th century, the Irish language was banned in the legal system (possibly misinterpreted by idiots as ‘legally banned’). This meant that whatever the language of a community, the English language was the working language of the courts. However, witnesses continued to give evidence in Irish if they didn’t speak English, and lawyers or clergymen interpreted for them. There was no blanket ban on speaking Irish in courts and there is a stack of well-documented evidence to prove it.

The Famine was a crime against humanity. What the English actually did in Ireland was bad enough. We don’t need to make up false and ridiculous claims that people were randomly beaten up and thrown into jail for speaking the only language they were able to speak.