Does Sinn Féin have a credibility problem regarding the Irish language?

diy01

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I would argue that Sinn Féin's position on the Irish language is rather closer to the general Irish population's position than it cares to admit. That is, a position primarily of lip service and symbolism rather than true dedication to revitalising, expanding and embedding the language within Irish society north and south. It fervently portrays Irish as being a very important cultural treasure open to all, but does so almost exclusively through English. Its message about Irish and the demand for an Irish Language Act emphasises the importance of the language, but evidently not one that most party representatives can be bothered to learn well.

(I will be highlighting some contrasts with Plaid Cymru, which takes Welsh seriously.)

Consider the following:

- Mary Lou McDonald and Michelle O'Neill cannot carry on a conversation in Irish

- The majority of its TDs, MLAs and MPs cannot converse in Irish

- Only one SF cumann operates through Irish (the Caoimhín Mac Brádaigh cumann in Belfast)

- Gerry Adams could not handle a live debate in Irish on TG4 despite 'speaking' Irish for more than forty years and so he withdrew.

He also owned a home in the Donegal gaeltacht in Gort a' Choirce, one of the strongest Irish-speaking communities anywhere in the country.

- The Gaeilge version of Sinn Fein's website is mostly in English. Irish content is mainly contained within headers and certain policy documents.

- The insistence on the part of numerous northern Shinners to speak the 'Jailtacht Irish' pseudo-dialect rather than the living language of Rann na Feirste or Gaoth Dobhair. Jailtacht Irish is often distressing to the ears of native speakers of Conamara and Corca Dhuibhne in part because it relies on knowledge of English in order to be understood, and is heavily influenced by English syntax and phonetics.

Is it any wonder many unionists are sceptical about the need for an Irish Language Act!? You have the obvious hypocrisy of most of Sinn Féin's leadership group on both sides of the border, you have the indifference of the bulk of the nationalist community (0.24% or 4,100 first language speakers in the North and less than 70,000 in total who claim to possess all three essential language skills of speaking, reading and writing Irish), as well as the reasonable questions regarding the one-sidedness of recruitment if Irish was ever used as a working language within the Assembly's civil service or within councils. It would result in a sectarian carve up even if that's not what Conradh na Gaeilge desires. Perception is very important.

I am aware of only one unionist who is fluent in Irish and who would therefore be able to work effectively through the medium of the Irish language: Ian Malcolm. Perhaps there are a handful more who are not public figures. Linda Ervine is not fluent (yet), nor is Cllr Chris McGimpsey of the UUP, although he has shown more interest in Irish than almost all other unionist politicians.

The need for an Irish Language Act is being presented by its proponents as the desire for basic human rights, yet the political party most associated with Irish operates almost entirely through English, and most of its elected representatives have not shown the desire or the commitment necessary to achieve fluency.


Sinn Féin can’t even talk the talk in Irish
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/ireland/sinn-fein-cant-even-talk-the-talk-in-irish-8pl9xwqzh

Northern Ireland should reject the Irish Language Act : Trinity News | Ireland's Oldest Student Paper

http://www.sinnfein.ie/ga/

http://www.sinnfein.ie/ga/equal-rights-for-irish-speakers
 
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diy01

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Comparisons with Plaid Cymru in Wales

By comparison, Plaid Cymru has had just one non-fluent Welsh-speaking leader in its 92 year history. That is the current leader, Leanne Wood, and she has made strides since becoming head of the party.

Its default homepage is in Welsh, although it offers a full English language version as well.

http://www2.plaid.cymru/

Gwynedd is a Welsh-speaking heartland and Plaid Cymru's strongest area of support. Gwynedd Council is the only council anywhere in the UK where all internal communication is in a language other than English. Welsh is also widely used in meetings and with the public. Fluent bilingualism is taken seriously. I realise that Welsh is more widely spoken than Irish, north or south, but Plaid Cymru is a party which takes cultural and linguistic matters seriously indeed.

It would be punished politically by its core voters if it didn't. SF, on the other hand, knows that most of its voters are content with the cúpla focal and would be incapable of accessing services through Irish even if they were offered!
 

John Scotus

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I would argue that Sinn Féin's position on the Irish language is rather closer to the general Irish population's position than it cares to admit. ]
Why should having a position close to that of the general population's be a problem?

Surely that's how representative democracy is supposed to work
 

hollandia

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I would argue that Sinn Féin's position on the Irish language is rather closer to the general Irish population's position than it cares to admit. That is, a position primarily of lip service and symbolism rather than true dedication to revitalising, expanding and embedding the language within Irish society north and south. It fervently portrays Irish as being a very important cultural treasure open to all, but does so almost exclusively through English. Its message about Irish and the demand for an Irish Language Act emphasises the importance of the language, but evidently not one that most party representatives can be bothered to learn well.

(I will be highlighting some contrasts with Plaid Cymru, which takes Welsh seriously.)

Consider the following:

- Mary Lou McDonald and Michelle O'Neill cannot carry on a conversation in Irish

- The majority of its TDs, MLAs and MPs cannot converse in Irish

- Only one SF cumann operates through Irish (the Caoimhín Mac Brádaigh cumann in Belfast)

- Gerry Adams could not handle a live debate in Irish on TG4 despite 'speaking' Irish for more than forty years and so withdrew.
He also owned a home in the Donegal gaeltacht in Gort a' Choirce, one of the most strong Irish-speaking communities anywhere in the country.

- The Gaeilge version of Sinn Fein's website is mostly in English. Irish content is mainly contained within headers and certain policy documents.

- The insistence on the part of numerous northern Shinners to speak the 'Jailtacht Irish' pseudo-dialect rather than the living language of Rann na Feirste or Gaoth Dobhair. Jailtacht Irish is often distressing to the ears of native speakers of Conamara and Corca Dhuibhne in part because it relies on knowledge of English in order to be understood, and is heavily influenced by English syntax and phonetics.

Is it any wonder many unionists are sceptical about the need for an Irish Language Act!? You have the obvious hypocrisy of most of Sinn Féin's leadership group on both sides of the border, you have the indifference of the bulk of the nationalist community (0.24% or 4,100 first language speakers in the North and less than 70,000 in total who claim to possess all three essential language skills of speaking, reading and writing Irish), as well as the reasonable questions regarding the one-sidedness of recruitment if Irish was ever used as a working language within the Assembly's civil service or within councils. It would result in a sectarian carve up even if that's not what Conradh na Gaeilge desires. Perception is very important.

I am aware of only one unionist who is fluent in Irish and who would therefore be able to work effectively through the medium of the Irish language: Ian Malcolm. Perhaps there are a handful more who are not public figures. Linda Ervine is not fluent (yet), nor is Cllr Chris McGimpsey of the UUP, although he has shown more interest in Irish than almost all other unionist politicians.

The need for an Irish Language Act is being presented by its proponents as the desire for basic human rights, yet the political party most associated with Irish operates almost entirely through English, and most of its elected representatives have not shown the desire or the commitment necessary to achieve fluency.


Sinn Féin can’t even talk the talk in Irish
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/ireland/sinn-fein-cant-even-talk-the-talk-in-irish-8pl9xwqzh

Northern Ireland should reject the Irish Language Act : Trinity News | Ireland's Oldest Student Paper

http://www.sinnfein.ie/ga/

http://www.sinnfein.ie/ga/equal-rights-for-irish-speakers
Why should the fact that two people not having a language be a problem in supporting the rights of others who do? Quite a number of prominent SFers are fluent (Pearse Doherty and Mairtín Ó Múilleóir spring to mind). As are quite a number of SDLP members (Bríd Rodgers famously telling the press she dreamed in Irish).

But sure, something, something the 'ra. Meanwhile all strands of northern political opinion aside from outright unionism are pro ILA.



Paula Bradshaw MLA (Alliance), Steven Agnew MLA (Green Party), Gerry Carroll MLA (PBP), Nicola Mallon MLA (SDLP), Gerry Adams TD (Sinn Féin) join President of Conradh na Gaeilge Dr Niall Comer for a joint photoshoot in support of a stand-alone Irish-language Act today at 11am in The MAC, Belfast.
(Also worth noting that Paula Bradshaw is ex UUP)

https://cnag.ie/en/news/1016-standing-together-for-a-stand-alone-irish-language-act.html
 

diy01

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Why should having a position close to that of the general population's be a problem?

Surely that's how representative democracy is supposed to work
It's not a problem as such, I think Sinn Féin portrays itself as a party which cares about Irish much more than it really does. Disingenuous.
 

hollandia

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It's not a problem as such, I think Sinn Féin portrays itself as a party which cares about Irish much more than it really does. Disingenuous.
That's where you went wrong. Try facts.
 

PBP voter

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Most shinners are culturally British.

That's why hurling is so weak up the North. T

Their interest in Irish culture and the language only started during the troubles.

They arent real Gaels.

Most slum nationalists have Scottish Protestant ancestry.
 

Spirit Of Newgrange

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EVERYBODY who claims to be a gaelgeor is just a b.....llsh..tter looking for free handouts, to rub Unionists up the wrong way , and to cruise into cushy jobs in public service places like RTE.

The last L1 irish speaker died out decades ago. Its now just an elaborate scam. SF are no bigger b....llsh..tters than any FF/FG fella who opens his speech with 'a chairde...''

in its current format ( mad spelling, grammar etc ) it only serves a purpose for Romanian nationals to wriggle out of their drink driving punishments.
 
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diy01

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Why should the fact that two people not having a language be a problem in supporting the rights of others who do? Quite a number of prominent SFers are fluent (Pearse Doherty and Mairtín Ó Múilleóir spring to mind). As are quite a number of SDLP members (Bríd Rodgers famously telling the press she dreamed in Irish).

But sure, something, something the 'ra. Meanwhile all strands of northern political opinion aside from outright unionism are pro ILA.





(Also worth noting that Paula Bradshaw is ex UUP)

https://cnag.ie/en/news/1016-standing-together-for-a-stand-alone-irish-language-act.html
I made no mention of the IRA. It's not relevant to the discussion.

I believe SF as a party are being disingenuous about Irish, but certainly a relatively small number of their elected reps speak Irish very well and genuinely care about it. Pearse Doherty and Ó Múilleóir, as you mentioned. Dublin Lord Mayor Mícheál Mac Donncha is always banging on about Irish and is very committed. Peadar Tóibín is improving.

Liadh Ní Riada is another one who comes to mind, but she has the advantage of coming from an Irish-speaking home. (Bríd Rodgers is a native speaker originally from Gaoth Dobhair, so I would expect her to dream in Irish very often indeed.)

Look, it's very easy for someone from the SDLP or PBP or Alliance to support the idea of an ILA in some form but I believe most do so in the knowledge they'll probably never bother speaking Irish themselves. It looks good though. It's 'progressive', it's cross-community...do a photo shoot and move on. It's barely on the radar for the voters of the smaller parties.
 
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diy01

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That's where you went wrong. Try facts.
I lay out many facts in the OP, including census figures. What sets SF apart from other parties regarding Irish, in your opinion?

Do you listen to Raidió na Gaeltachta? Serious question.
 

Cork

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Adams pulled out of the debate os gaelige prior to the last election with Enda Kenny and Michael Martin.

SF's attitude to the language is hypocritical.

They are using it as a political football.
 

TheField

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Yep, the Irish language is one of the standard political cows and political footballs in this country. SF are just using and abusing it to further their various other agendas.
 

diy01

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The last L1 irish speaker died out decades ago.
Total nonsense. I spoke with an L1 speaker just this week. There are tens of thousands of them in the Gaeltacht alone.

I think you're either trolling or you're confusing L1/native speaker with Irish monoglot (someone who can only converse in the Irish language). The last verifiable adult monoglot that I'm aware of died in 1998 in Donegal although I've occasionally heard anecdotes about ones still alive in the remotest corners of south Conamara and Inis Meáin. Bachelor farmers...
 

agamemnon

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Most shinners are culturally British.

That's why hurling is so weak up the North. T

Their interest in Irish culture and the language only started during the troubles.

They arent real Gaels.

Most slum nationalists have Scottish Protestant ancestry.
I wonder if that is the case. Most of them down here are defended from the by blows of the garrison soldiery.
 

RasherHash

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Comparisons with Plaid Cymru in Wales

By comparison, Plaid Cymru has had just one non-fluent Welsh-speaking leader in its 92 year history. That is the current leader, Leanne Wood, and she has made strides since becoming head of the party.

Its default homepage is in Welsh, although it offers a full English language version as well.

Plaid Cymru

Gwynedd is a Welsh-speaking heartland and Plaid Cymru's strongest area of support. Gwynedd Council is the only council anywhere in the UK where all internal communication is in a language other than English. Welsh is also widely used in meetings and with the public. Fluent bilingualism is taken seriously. I realise that Welsh is more widely spoken than Irish, north or south, but Plaid Cymru is a party which takes cultural and linguistic matters seriously indeed.

It would be punished politically by its core voters if it didn't. SF, on the other hand, knows that most of its voters are content with the cúpla focal and would be incapable of accessing services through Irish even if they were offered!
Plaid Cymru reson detre is the language, sfs has always been the unification Of The country where Irish is a recognised and valued part of our culture.

It's still disappointing though.
 

Spirit Of Newgrange

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I lay out many facts in the OP, including census figures. What sets SF apart from other parties regarding Irish, in your opinion?

Do you listen to Raidió na Gaeltachta? Serious question.
i dont listen to the incomprehensible gibberish. But my license fee is paying for it. Its like driving past a pub i never use and flinging twenty quid in the front door every week.
 

RasherHash

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Most shinners are culturally British.

That's why hurling is so weak up the North. T

Their interest in Irish culture and the language only started during the troubles.

They arent real Gaels.

Most slum nationalists have Scottish Protestant ancestry.
That sounds racist, are you racist?
 

RasherHash

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i dont listen to the incomprehensible gibberish. But my license fee is paying for it. Its like driving past a pub i never use and flinging twenty quid in the front door every week.
Don't worry, it's far from the worse thing your money is 'wasted' on :)
 

hollandia

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I made no mention of the IRA. It's not relevant to the discussion.

I believe SF as a party are being disingenuous about Irish, but certainly a relatively small number of their elected reps speak Irish very well and genuinely care about it. Pearse Doherty and Ó Múilleóir, as you mentioned. Dublin Lord Mayor Mícheál Mac Donncha is always banging on about Irish and is very committed. Peadar Tóibín is improving.

Liadh Ní Riada is another one who comes to mind, but she has the advantage of coming from an Irish-speaking home. (Bríd Rodgers is a native speaker originally from Gaoth Dobhair, so I would expect her to dream in Irish very often indeed.)

Look, it's very easy for someone from the SDLP or PBP or Alliance to support the idea of an ILA in some form but I believe most do so in the knowledge they'll probably never bother speaking Irish themselves. It looks good though. It's 'progressive', it's cross-community...do a photo shoot and move on. It's barely on the radar for the voters of the smaller parties.
Sure it isn't. You have form in this area.
 

Spirit Of Newgrange

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Total nonsense. I spoke with an L1 speaker just this week. There are tens of thousands of them in the Gaeltacht alone.

I think you're either trolling or you're confusing L1/native speaker with Irish monoglot (someone who can only converse in the Irish language). The last verifiable adult monoglot that I'm aware of died in 1998 in Donegal although I've occasionally heard anecdotes about ones still alive in the remotest corners of south Conamara and Inis Meáin. Bachelor farmers...
in 2018, EVERYBODY has better English than Irish. That's because the former is the premier language of the planet, and the latter has already failed to evolve and to keep apace with the world. How would you translate the 2 texts pasted in below....

The two DNA strands are called polynucleotides since they are composed of simpler monomer units called nucleotides.[2][3] Each nucleotide is composed of one of four nitrogen-containing nucleobases (cytosine [C], guanine [G], adenine [A] or thymine [T]), a sugar called deoxyribose, and a phosphate group. The nucleotides are joined to one another in a chain by covalent bonds between the sugar of one nucleotide and the phosphate of the next, resulting in an alternating sugar-phosphate backbone. The nitrogenous bases of the two separate polynucleotide strands are bound together, according to base pairing rules (A with T and C with G), with hydrogen bonds to make double-stranded DNA''

''The relational model of data permits the database designer to create a consistent, logical representation of information. Consistency is achieved by including declared constraints in the database design, which is usually referred to as the logical schema. The theory includes a process of database normalization whereby a design with certain desirable properties can be selected from a set of logically equivalent alternatives. The access plans and other implementation and operation details are handled by the DBMS engine, and are not reflected in the logical model. This contrasts with common practice for SQL DBMSs in which performance tuning often requires changes to the logical model''


Impossible. Ridiculous. Unworkable.

the only way you could translate this is to use makey-uppey gibberish that the next fella would then need help to understand. SF have put down the guns and picked up hypocrisy.
 
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