Should Sinn Fein Campaign For Irish Speaking Quotas In the Civil Service?

TruthInTheNews

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There is a lack of Irish speakers in the Civil Service. Should Sinn Fein Campaign For Irish Speaking Quotas?

Such an initiative would discriminate against non Irish speakers but quotas by their very nature involve some form of discrimination, a good example being gender quotas.

The 2016 Census reported that 40% of the Irish Population spoke some level of Irish.

Would you agree with quotas for Irish Speakers in the Civil Service, starting with say 10% then rising to 20%?

The total number of persons (aged 3 and over) who could speak Irish in April 2016 was 1,761,420, representing 39.8 per cent of the population.

Irish Language and the Gaeltacht - CSO - Central Statistics Office
 


DJP

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Should Sinn Fein Campaign For Irish Speaking Quotas In the Civil Service?
They're not the only ones calling for it and a few years ago the FG-LP Govt. came out with a 6% policy of Irish speakers for new public sector jobs in the South which was reasonable I think as a target. Since then we have in some ways, in terms of State policy and the Irish language, gone into mad territory.
 

Sync

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I would comfortably predict that more than 40% of the civil service can speak “some level of Irish”. So job done.
 

DJP

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I would comfortably predict that more than 40% of the civil service can speak “some level of Irish”. So job done.
Yea but most of them couldn't carry out a conversation in Irish.
 

diy01

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For people to have meaningful communications or interactions with employees of the State, you’d need multiple fluently bilingual (‘balanced bilingual’) individuals in every public body, every department...otherwise it’s empty tokenism. In that case, why bother? Even most native speakers will use English from the start unless it’s clear that the other person has fluent Irish. It’s not worth the hassle otherwise...

I believe if the government announced the goal of a quota of even 10% they would struggle mightily to achieve it. It would expose once and for all how few truly fluently bilingual citizens there actually are among the general population.
 

Sync

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Yea but most of them couldn't carry out a conversation in Irish.
The OPer didn’t offer statistics for how many can carry out a conversation in Irish. Just how many have “some level” of Irish.

The 40% figure of course signals a death knell for the language given that every able bodied and minded Irish person in the county has undergone at least 10 years of mandatory Irish lessons.

But let’s say it’s 70% could hold a conversation: so what? It’s not a problem statement. The problem statement is “how many people lack the English skills to speak to civil servants”?. If that’s high then it’s something the civil service needs to address. If it’s low (which: it is) the its something people may want to address due to a political/cultural agenda. But wants rank much lower than needs.
 

DJP

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The OPer didn’t offer statistics for how many can carry out a conversation in Irish. Just how many have “some level” of Irish.

The 40% figure of course signals a death knell for the language given that every able bodied and minded Irish person in the county has undergone at least 10 years of mandatory Irish lessons.

But let’s say it’s 70% could hold a conversation: so what? It’s not a problem statement. The problem statement is “how many people lack the English skills to speak to civil servants”?. If that’s high then it’s something the civil service needs to address. If it’s low (which: it is) the its something people may want to address due to a political/cultural agenda. But wants rank much lower than needs.
For the record I find the lobbying for the 10%/10%+ policy akin to how insane I find the lobbying and plan for full working status for the Irish language in the EU- and I mean that both policies are also insane because they are/will lead to less Irish being spoken (outside of Brussels and a small number of offices in Ireland north and south).
 

cricket

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I would comfortably predict that more than 40% of the civil service can speak “some level of Irish”. So job done.
Most of that,I suspect, would be "ta se fear"Irish. There would need to be a high standard to carry out duties , especially when dealing with the public. For the most part it doesn't exist in the cs or in semi state bodies.
 

diy01

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The 40% figure of course signals a death knell for the language given that every able bodied and minded Irish person in the county has undergone at least 10 years of mandatory Irish lessons.
Vague census questions result in vague responses. Many people who speak ‘some’ Irish still tick the NO box on the census form because they realize their ability doesn’t extend beyond a few phrases.

If Ireland followed the examples of Canada or Wales or even Northern Ireland there would be questions relating to ‘knowledge of official languages’, ‘language spoken most often at home’, ‘main language’ or ‘mother tongue’. The results would be much different but I think successive governments have avoided the issue because it would lay bare the low levels of fluency among the population.
 

Sync

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Most of that,I suspect, would be "ta se fear"Irish. There would need to be a high standard to carry out duties , especially when dealing with the public. For the most part it doesn't exist in the cs or in semi state bodies.
40% with “some level” indicates it doesn’t exist in the public for the most part either.

I mean that numbers death. People must be able to see that. I can say my name, where I was born and ask to go to the bathroom in Irish. I have “some level” of Irish. 60% of the country thinks they’re WORSE at Irish than me.

That indicates a problem that’s not going to be solved by all the discriminatory quotas in the world.
 

Dame_Enda

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Its laughable to interpret the Census as the country being 40% Irish speaking in the conversational sense. The Census ducks the question of fluency.
 

Mushroom

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40% with “some level” indicates it doesn’t exist in the public for the most part either.

I mean that numbers death. People must be able to see that. I can say my name, where I was born and ask to go to the bathroom in Irish. I have “some level” of Irish. 60% of the country thinks they’re WORSE at Irish than me.

That indicates a problem that’s not going to be solved by all the discriminatory quotas in the world.
Ah, but that wouldn't be the point of Scum Féin's campaign.

It would be about occupying the moral high ground when it comes to the Irish language, much as it has done so successfully in the 6 Counties.

When it comes to pointless grandstanding, few European political parties can match Scum Féin (although the Wallace/Daly alliance has had its moments).
 

Catalpast

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There is a lack of Irish speakers in the Civil Service. Should Sinn Fein Campaign For Irish Speaking Quotas?

Such an initiative would discriminate against non Irish speakers but quotas by their very nature involve some form of discrimination, a good example being gender quotas.

The 2016 Census reported that 40% of the Irish Population spoke some level of Irish.

Would you agree with quotas for Irish Speakers in the Civil Service, starting with say 10% then rising to 20%?

The total number of persons (aged 3 and over) who could speak Irish in April 2016 was 1,761,420, representing 39.8 per cent of the population.

Irish Language and the Gaeltacht - CSO - Central Statistics Office
As Polish is the 2nd most spoken language in the State on a daily basis then why not Polish as well?

Mandarin Chinese might be a useful skill set too....petunia

Look you get the Pringles factor here

- once you start

- then where do you stop>>>>>>>>>>>>>..............................??????????????????????????????
 

DJP

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As Polish is the 2nd most spoken language in the State on a daily basis then why not Polish as well?

Mandarin Chinese might be a useful skill set too....petunia
To be fair to them I recall Brian O'Shea the then LP spokesperson on the Irish language and the Gaeltacht calling for the Official Languages Act 2003 to be amended so that it would cater for other languages also in the Dáil several years ago, although I would like to think that Irish and English would continue to be the big two main official languages.
 

Catalpast

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To be fair to them I recall Brian O'Shea the then LP spokesperson on the Irish language and the Gaeltacht calling for the Official Languages Act 2003 to be amended so that it would cater for other languages also in the Dáil several years ago, although I would like to think that Irish and English would continue to be the big two main official languages.
Ireland is now a multilingual Country now

- and Gaeilge is just a very tiny part of it...
 

Emily Davison

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I would comfortably predict that more than 40% of the civil service can speak “some level of Irish”. So job done.
That's if the level is so low as to be meaningless.
 

Sync

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That's if the level is so low as to be meaningless.
The number’s meaningnless. The number that matters isn’t how many people can’t access their social services/police/ambulance because of their lack of English. That’s what we need to fix.

In the US for instance, they have multilingual support in certain states, because you’ve got places like California where about 1/3 people identify Spanish as their primary language of discourse, and you’ve an eldery population that struggles with English. That’s a challenge that needs addressing.
 

DJP

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The number’s meaningnless.
To be fair there still are around 30,000-40,000 fluent Irish speakers in Ireland around 20,000 of who live in the Gaeltacht and I think it is reasonable for services to be provided or offered for them where they are available. I rang the Public Services Card Office last week and did my business as Gaeilge. There is no harm in services being made available dependent on there being Irish speakers to provide them and ask for them. And given that Irish is the oldest ancestral language and spoken by people still today I don't see a problem with it being our first or one of our two official national languages. I am well aware that it if Irish dies largely in the Gaeltacht within the next ten years (as has been predicted by two Údarás na Gaeltachta commissioned reports in recent years) that the playing pitch will change dramatically including, I think, in relation to the future of the Gaelscoileanna.
 

wombat

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There used to be a bonus at interviews for those who had a minimal level of Irish, I think that's a better approach than quotas.
 

diy01

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The number that matters isn’t how many people can’t access their social services/police/ambulance because of their lack of English. That’s what we need to fix.

.
That’s a cop out. It’s about providing services in both official languags. Adult Irish-speaking monolinguals no longer exist and the number of native Irish speakers who are less than fluent in English is probably in the high hundreds or a thousand (in places like Ceantar na nOileán and Camas, where I’ve encountered such individuals...)

If the State is unable or unwilling to provide services to Irish-speaking citizens in their official language of choice, then the Constitution should be amended and Irish should have its status changed from an official language nationally to either an official regional language or one with no official status at all.
 


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