Díospóireacht faoi Gaeilge/Debate about Gaeilge Feabhra 2014
Letter 27 Feabhra 2014 (unsent)
U2's latest song Invisible finishes with the sentence "There is no them there is only us". I
wish the Irish language marchers and supporters would think about that and also what John F.
Kennedy famously said "Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for
Irish is very rarely existent as a spoken language in most of the country and outside of State
support Irish is not often used on signage. Irish is to too many people only an official
language in Ireland and not a real living one outside of State support and official and formal
I don't think this is a good thing and I wish it was otherwise, and indeed work and have
worked over the last ten years to increase the visibility of it in my community through putting
up signs in Irish in thirty shops and other business premises in my part of Dublin and working
with the late Pádraig Ó Cuanacháin and Gael-Taca to assist to get new residential
developments named in Irish during the 00's many of which which can be seen throughout
most of Ireland, but to blame Irish speaking politicians like our Taoiseach Enda Kenny,
Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore and Minister of State of the Dept. of the Gaeltacht Dinny McGinley
for the small number of Irish speakers in most of the public sector is ridiculous.
I would have gone on the march in Dublin recently ar son na cúise (for the cause) but I
believe what Conradh na Gaeilge, today's Gael-Taca and Comhluadar and supporters want is
unrealistic. We cannot artificially socially engineer our public service just so a tiny number of
Irish speakers are catered for.
Language for me is primarily for communicating. Do the dearg le fearg protesters have
anything positive to say about and through the Irish language outside of during formal
occasions and talking to themselves?
I agree with these Irish speakers aspirations in terms of all State services being available
through Irish to the same level as they are in English- bar of course the ridiculous translation
of most annual reports and most County and City Development Plans- but unlike Conradh na
Gaeilge and their friends who were on the march last week I think that will only happen
naturally as, hopefully, the number of Irish speakers in the State grows naturally. Politicians
can help, and Dinny McGinley is helping in that a target of 6% of new workers in the public
sector will be Irish speakers, but to make wild requests or demands past that is ludicrous.
Darren J. Prior