Irish Language Act- a better stance

DJP

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An Irish Language Act for Northern Ireland is a big issue that the Nationalist and Unionist parties in Northern Ireland disagree on.

Unionists fear that by agreeing to an Irish Language Act the result will be an increase in Irish being spoken in the public sector and in the courts and that that will therby dilute British culture.

I have a suggestion. Why don't the Irish language umbrealla group Pobal and the Nationalist parties and the Alliance Party drop the requirement that Irish should be allowed in the courts and instead give local councils the power to name new residential developments in Irish?

In practice new developments would be named in Irish in nationalist areas and perhaps sometimes in mixed areas. Unionists would not lose anything as they would be able to veto the use of Irish names in their areas and I expect that nationalist politicans would be sensible enough not to try to compel them to use Irish names.

A large number of residential developments are named in Irish today in most of the Republic. They aren't very popular in Dublin but they are in most of the Republic.

Agreeing to this idea would result in the growth of a distinctly Irish physcial environment within nationalist areas in the North but would ensure that one symbolic issue would be off the table.

Views?
 


Nem

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What would be the point of that? It only confirms the status quo. That way you just keep the division that exists in society. Everybody should be able to engage with the Irish language without any political implications. The legislation should reflect that and I hope a compromise will be reached to that effect. It is the only way it will work. Uniquely, here NI we can learn from the mistakes made in the Republic.
 

green

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Darren Mac an Phríora said:
I have a suggestion. Why don't the Irish language umbrealla group Pobal and the Nationalist parties and the Alliance Party drop the requirement that Irish should be allowed in the courts and instead give local councils the power to name new residential developments in Irish?
Because that would dilute the Act to the extent that it would stand for nothing more than meaningless tokenism. One bilingual development in ten does not equate to parity of esteem. Further, if the supporters of Irish-language rights up North were to settle for this for the time being and continue the push for substantive rights in a year or two, they would be fobbed off with "Sure, we gave you the housing estates". It would be a cop-out and nothing short of a disgrace if they sacrificed a genuine hope for language progress in place of pointless aestheticism. There's more to Irish than housing estates, Darren.
 

Cloigeann

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I asked a unionist friend of mine why they were opposed to a Irish language act and his response was "because it will lead to a united Ireland" and I asked him how the hell could a language do that his response was "its happened before in other countries".. completely uninformed ignorant pish and childish attitude they have.
 

Young Ned

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While I obviously disagree, I can understand why Unionists would fear what we would view as a good language act leading to a UI. It would emphasize the Irish roots (as opposed to British) of Northern Ireland.

In fact, I would hope that it would help lead to a UI as NI became less hesitant about embracing Gaelic heritage.
 

DJP

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green said:
Because that would dilute the Act to the extent that it would stand for nothing more than meaningless tokenism. One bilingual development in ten does not equate to parity of esteem.
I am talking about developments being named in Irish amháin not bilingually.

I'd say that most if not virtally all Nationalist property developers and local Nationalist controlled councils would favour naming developments in Irish.
 

stevey2005

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"An Irish Language Act for Northern Ireland is a big issue that the Nationalist and Unionist parties in Northern Ireland disagree on."

As far as I am aware the current Sports, Culture and Leisure Minister Edwin Poots has stated that there will not be a Irish Language Act
 

joel

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Darren Mac an Phríora said:
green said:
Because that would dilute the Act to the extent that it would stand for nothing more than meaningless tokenism. One bilingual development in ten does not equate to parity of esteem.
I am talking about developments being named in Irish amháin not bilingually.

I'd say that most if not virtally all Nationalist property developers and local Nationalist controlled councils would favour naming developments in Irish.

Why, is Irish banned at present? - and if so how so?
 

DJP

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Developments can't be named in Irish-only there as they can in the Republic.

In most of the Republic naming new residential developments in Irish is popular.

I find it scandalous that developments can't be named in Irish-only in the North even if local councils and developers want to do so.
 

ulsterfan

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An Irish Language Act is not popular among Unionists because SF and other Republicans will use it to build a State within a State thus undermining the British ethos.
For example they will insist on social housing only being available to Irish speakers and using tax payers money to create a gaeltacht within our cities thus reinforcing apartheid.
They will also insist on a public transport system where the language is used.
Society is already divided by sport, religion, culture, education and now language.
Huge amounts will be spent to provide translation services for information already understood.
Thousands of Irish speakers ,almost entirely from the Catholic community will find employment in the public service drawing financial resources from other areas.
This will give them an economic advantage which has always been at the heart of SF policy. The language is used as another weapon of war against the Brits.
I am perfectly happy to support the language being encouraged in schools as it is widely used .
An Act of some sort will be passed and this will then present problems for those who wish to use Ulster/Scots.
Another useless layer of bureaucracy.
One hundred years ago it was fear of Rome rule now it is Gaelic rule
 

DJP

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Sensible Unionists don't have a problem with the Irish language per.se. They just fear that they will not be able to express their Britishness widely if Irish was more popular.

Unionists need to learn that they cannot have a veto on the spread of Irish culture.

Anyway, British culture in stronger in the Republic than our distinctly Irish culture. Most people don't complain. If most of us in the Republic are as British as the British than they can be as Irish as the Irish.
 

Nem

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The naming issue is not the way to go (ref. the problems in Dingle). Neither do I think it is a question of a veto. The Assembly just works differently on these issues (see the the stadium in the Maze). I actually trust the Executive to make the right choice here.

I'd say most Northern Irish people feel quite strong about all the cultural aspects of this part of the world. And they do see it differently as to either the Republic or GB. Look for instance at the Life and Times surveys for that.

The Irish language will fit in there. But not in the same way as it does in the Republic. It is not tied into the National Identity as it is in the Republic. It is a feature of one of the many aspects of the Northern Irish society. And in that sense we can learn from the mistakes that have been made in the Republic concerning the implementation of the Irish Language
 

Jemee Hope

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Nem said:
The naming issue is not the way to go (ref. the problems in Dingle). Neither do I think it is a question of a veto. The Assembly just works differently on these issues (see the the stadium in the Maze). I actually trust the Executive to make the right choice here.

I'd say most Northern Irish people feel quite strong about all the cultural aspects of this part of the world. And they do see it differently as to either the Republic or GB. Look for instance at the Life and Times surveys for that.

The Irish language will fit in there. But not in the same way as it does in the Republic. It is not tied into the National Identity as it is in the Republic. It is a feature of one of the many aspects of the Northern Irish society. And in that sense we can learn from the mistakes that have been made in the Republic concerning the implementation of the Irish Language
I must admit, I agree with Nem on this. Numerous Protesant kids in the north are taking up Irish dacing. There is an interest in Irish. They just don't want it forced on them.
 
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Darren,

Clarification needed.

In the North you can call a housing developement whatever you wish, in any language indeed some developments use Irish exclusively.

You cannot have monolingual street signs in Irish, thus one sees 'Sliabh Dubh Street / Sraid Shliabh Dubh'

Bilingual signsage is effectively banned in all instances outside of absolute Nationalist strongholds.

Bilingual direction road signage is illegal (effectively).

Trust me on this one.
 

DJP

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Gael gan Naire said:
Darren,

Clarification needed.

In the North you can call a housing developement whatever you wish, in any language indeed some developments use Irish exclusively.
Could you give me an example and possibly post up a link to a development that is named entirely in Irish?

I went through this list of 182 new/relatively new developments and did not find one.
 
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http://www.ulsterplacenames.org/tográ_sráidainmneacha.htm

Look in here, I am sure you will find one or two. Try Newry and Mourne especially.

What it is important to understand is this. Irish language activists in the north were very concerned about this kind of thing 30-40 years ago but things have moved on. People are more concerned about the language of the street rathere than on the street.

The North is far behind the South regarding Gaelscoileanna - because they had to survive for thirty years under the threat of prosecution, without a penny for the government - and it is still DUP policy to effectively ban IME.

But a part from that I think things are more advanced in the North. People are talking about new Gaeltachts and about Gaelicising completly certain willing areas.

The names of new Developments are not really that important anymore - we are seeking re-venaculsation.

You need a scoot (<Ulster Scots) across the border.

PS > people have gone to jail for speaking Irish in court, we want our rignts not a sign saying 'Rae na mBlathanna'. No more second class citizenship.
 

DJP

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No just face it GGN. Developments cannot be named in Irish amháin in the North. Councillors in one council- in Newry I think- voted to name a new apartment block in Irish a few years ago but weren't allowed as its illegal.
 

DJP

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Gael gan Naire said:
Darren,

I am not going to argue with you. But take it from me, a developer can call his development whatever he likes.
No they can't. If they could then surely some of those 182 developments I posted up would be in Irish. Also I would probably have heard that the issue had changed legally in the last few years. I haven't heard anything.

This really pisses me off. I remember a SF councillor in Ballymun saying a couple of years ago that the name of the new developments built during the regeneration should keep the names of the 1916 Rising leaders. Grand, why couldn't they also be named in Irish?

You aren't on your own in the North though. Dublin City Council is the worst council in the Republic when it comes to Irish names for new developments and is virtually identical to council in NI on this issue- as opposed to most of the rest of the councils in the Republic.
 
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Lets be clear, I am talking about private developers, the Northern Ireland Housing Executive name estates in the Queens Engllish, you know, Fodnamona Drive, Ballymore Hieghts etc.
 


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