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‘The Hidden History of Protestants and the Irish Language’


between the bridges

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Sep 21, 2011
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Just back from this talk/lecture presented by Linda Ervine (wife of Brian, sister in law of David) fascinating stuff and very well presented. She gave much the same talk to the PUP conference...https://audioboo.fm/boos/1004825-pupconf-linda-ervine-on-hidden-history-of-protestants-irish-language (loses a little of it's impact because of the lack of visuals) and I think she recently presented it to a SF workshop.

Another thing that doesn't come across in the audio is Linda's very obvious genuine passion for the Irish language. She gives a great insight to a forgotten or hidden narrative. I already knew some of it but was surprised to hear how anti-Irish the RCC was in the 1800's while at the same time Presbyterian minister's were roaming the country conducting services in Irish (hoping for converts of course!!).

She quoted Douglas Hyde, son of a Church of Ireland minister, who founded the Gaelic League in 1893, an organisation set up to preserve the Irish language. In 1905 he said:

''The Irish language, thank God, is neither Protestant nor Catholic, it is neither a Unionist nor a Separatist''.
PUP conference – Irish language, welfare reform, parading, Matt Baggott and the leader’s speech « Slugger O'Toole

She is now taking a sabbatical from her teaching job to be Irish language development officer for the East Belfast Mission.

She says demand for the classes is growing steadily.

"We started our first class last November, and that is continuing, and we started a new beginners class a couple of weeks ago," she said. "Altogether, we have almost 40 people learning Irish.
BBC News - Breaking the Irish language barrier in east Belfast

Somewhat fitting for the mad house that is OWC that the wife of the ex-PUP leader is one of the foremost unionist proponent's of the Irish language...
 

A REASON

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Thinking of learning a bit of Irish yourself? I was going to type something as Gaelige but I got a warning for doing that yesterday.
Imagine that.
Anyway the Ervine's always seemed like decent people. Decent people who got caught up in circumstance.
 

between the bridges

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Thinking of learning a bit of Irish yourself? I was going to type something as Gaelige but I got a warning for doing that yesterday.
Imagine that.
Anyway the Ervine's always seemed like decent people. Decent people who got caught up in circumstance.
Wouldn't say i'm as passionate about it as Linda Ervine but I have more than a passing interest, had myself down for an introduction course but they changed the night so it ended up not suiting! Tbh I don't see myself as ending up fluent i'd be happy with a bit of general knowledge and a few phrases... a bit like Gerry!!!
 

TiredOfBeingTired

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Oct 13, 2011
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A quick check implies that the East Belfast Mission (East Belfast Mission) is a long standing organisation with a non political agenda.

There is probably public money somewhere but the Irish language interest does seem natural or organic and has a decent chance of some success. I am tired of the heavily subsidised, political, quango queens etc approach that does not work.

BTW, you aint on the Norn Iron Forum now!
"OWC" needs explaining.
 

A REASON

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Feb 21, 2011
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Wouldn't say i'm as passionate about it as Linda Ervine but I have more than a passing interest, had myself down for an introduction course but they changed the night so it ended up not suiting! Tbh I don't see myself as ending up fluent i'd be happy with a bit of general knowledge and a few phrases... a bit like Gerry!!!
That would be a bit better than Gerry in fairness.
Take a trip out to the West, be that Galway, Donegal, Kerry or wherever and have a listen to the native speakers. Might influence you to go for fluency. Nice places to visit as well.
 

A REASON

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Feb 21, 2011
Messages
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A quick check implies that the East Belfast Mission (East Belfast Mission) is a long standing organisation with a non political agenda.

There is probably public money somewhere but the Irish language interest does seem natural or organic and has a decent chance of some success. I am tired of the heavily subsidised, political, quango queens etc approach that does not work.

BTW, you aint on the Norn Iron Forum now!
"OWC" needs explaining.
Our wee country.
The stories of everyone, Protestant and Catholic, speaking Irish together in Belfast not that long ago always interests me, it's kind of encouraging. Not that everyone has to speak Irish together but the idea that everyone in the 'wee country' have more in common and share more history/culture than many will admit today.
 

between the bridges

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 21, 2011
Messages
45,683
A quick check implies that the East Belfast Mission (East Belfast Mission) is a long standing organisation with a non political agenda.

There is probably public money somewhere but the Irish language interest does seem natural or organic and has a decent chance of some success. I am tired of the heavily subsidised, political, quango queens etc approach that does not work.

BTW, you aint on the Norn Iron Forum now!
"OWC" needs explaining.[/QUOTE]
feck them if they don't know what this part of the island is called by now there's no hope for them...
 

Glaucon

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Aug 13, 2012
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8,337
The RCC viewed Ireland as a spawning ground for emigrants that would go out to "catholicize" the empire; this is why she was latterly so hostile to the Irish language and a fervent advocate of anglicization.

The Protestants, outwith the established church and desiring converts more than anything else, used the common tongue to attract the people; in Ulster this was quite successful.

Irish and Protestantism have a deep and fascinating history.
 

between the bridges

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Joined
Sep 21, 2011
Messages
45,683
Our wee country.
The stories of everyone, Protestant and Catholic, speaking Irish together in Belfast not that long ago always interests me, it's kind of encouraging. Not that everyone has to speak Irish together but the idea that everyone in the 'wee country' have more in common and share more history/culture than many will admit today.
Couple of things from tonight...
David Ervine's granddad and great uncles were fluent and they marked English and Irish on the 1911 census (they also signed the covenant and fought at the Somme)

Currently two Belfast protestant churches run a monthly Sunday service in Irish.

As well as encouraging PUL to take up the language she has also encouraged some CNR who previously thought it to political!
 

Ireniall

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Joined
Oct 7, 2011
Messages
8,163
Just back from this talk/lecture presented by Linda Ervine (wife of Brian, sister in law of David) fascinating stuff and very well presented. She gave much the same talk to the PUP conference...https://audioboo.fm/boos/1004825-pupconf-linda-ervine-on-hidden-history-of-protestants-irish-language (loses a little of it's impact because of the lack of visuals) and I think she recently presented it to a SF workshop.

Another thing that doesn't come across in the audio is Linda's very obvious genuine passion for the Irish language. She gives a great insight to a forgotten or hidden narrative. I already knew some of it but was surprised to hear how anti-Irish the RCC was in the 1800's while at the same time Presbyterian minister's were roaming the country conducting services in Irish (hoping for converts of course!!).


PUP conference – Irish language, welfare reform, parading, Matt Baggott and the leader’s speech « Slugger O'Toole



BBC News - Breaking the Irish language barrier in east Belfast

Somewhat fitting for the mad house that is OWC that the wife of the ex-PUP leader is one of the foremost unionist proponent's of the Irish language...
Did she point out that it was also a British language or would that be a slightly discordant thing in a peculiar way despite being obviously true on a number of levels. I hope you go and learn Irish btb-my own Irish is absolutely and shamefully terrible btw-and you know that I emphasise the British aspect in the hope that Gaelic speaking or indeed just a regard for the Gaelic language would once again be a uniting force for us in Ireland.
 

Cai

Well-known member
Joined
May 30, 2004
Messages
7,908
Just back from this talk/lecture presented by Linda Ervine (wife of Brian, sister in law of David) fascinating stuff and very well presented. She gave much the same talk to the PUP conference...https://audioboo.fm/boos/1004825-pupconf-linda-ervine-on-hidden-history-of-protestants-irish-language (loses a little of it's impact because of the lack of visuals) and I think she recently presented it to a SF workshop.

Another thing that doesn't come across in the audio is Linda's very obvious genuine passion for the Irish language. She gives a great insight to a forgotten or hidden narrative. I already knew some of it but was surprised to hear how anti-Irish the RCC was in the 1800's while at the same time Presbyterian minister's were roaming the country conducting services in Irish (hoping for converts of course!!).


PUP conference – Irish language, welfare reform, parading, Matt Baggott and the leader’s speech « Slugger O'Toole



BBC News - Breaking the Irish language barrier in east Belfast

Somewhat fitting for the mad house that is OWC that the wife of the ex-PUP leader is one of the foremost unionist proponent's of the Irish language...
Some 20% of English born people who live in the county where I live speak Welsh (85% of Welsh born people do).

It's important in terms of minority language survival that a perception that it belongs to one section of society doesn't develop. You need a feeling that it belongs to everybody.

Having said that it also needs it's own exclusive territory - the idea that everything should be bilingual removes one of the main incentives for Learning a minority language.
 

between the bridges

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Joined
Sep 21, 2011
Messages
45,683
The RCC viewed Ireland as a spawning ground for emigrants that would go out to "catholicize" the empire; this is why she was latterly so hostile to the Irish language and a fervent advocate of anglicization.

The Protestants, outwith the established church and desiring converts more than anything else, used the common tongue to attract the people; in Ulster this was quite successful.

Irish and Protestantism have a deep and fascinating history.
Don't be so sectarian you old cynic!! Irish has a deep and fascinating history...
 

between the bridges

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Joined
Sep 21, 2011
Messages
45,683
Did she point out that it was also a British language or would that be a slightly discordant thing in a peculiar way despite being obviously true on a number of levels. I hope you go and learn Irish btb-my own Irish is absolutely and shamefully terrible btw-and you know that I emphasise the British aspect in the hope that Gaelic speaking or indeed just a regard for the Gaelic language would once again be a uniting force for us in Ireland.
Yep it got covered and she mentioned both Queen Victoria and the 12th parade being welcomed with shouts of 'céad míle fáilte'...
 

A REASON

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Feb 21, 2011
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Couple of things from tonight...
David Ervine's granddad and great uncles were fluent and they marked English and Irish on the 1911 census (they also signed the covenant and fought at the Somme)

Currently Two Belfast protestant churches run a monthly Sunday services in Irish.

As well as encouraging PUL to take up the language she has also encouraged some CNR who previously thought it to political!
I wasn't aware of current services using Irish. That's 2 times more than most RC churches do sermons through Irish a month.
I suppose supporting the promotion and spread of Irish has been seen as a 'Shiner' ideal in the recent past. Maybe even as a Catholic only language. Hopefully more people support Linda.
It wont change people's identity. I can speak English but I'm still Irish. :D
 

Ireniall

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Joined
Oct 7, 2011
Messages
8,163
The RCC viewed Ireland as a spawning ground for emigrants that would go out to "catholicize" the empire; this is why she was latterly so hostile to the Irish language and a fervent advocate of anglicization.

The Protestants, outwith the established church and desiring converts more than anything else, used the common tongue to attract the people; in Ulster this was quite successful.

Irish and Protestantism have a deep and fascinating history.
Very hard to like RC history in Ireland but they still did a lot of good overall. Imagine putting that absolute bs ahead of your country-whatever your political allegiances are. The past is truly a foreign country
 

JohnD66

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May 20, 2010
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3,316
Lots of interesting angles to this. There's a suggestion that many of the 17th century Scottish settlers were Gaelic speakers (very closely related to Ulster Irish). I've no information about how many or how long this linguistic community lasted though.

It does seem though that there was large Irish/Gaelic speaking Protestant population in Ulster at various points. And yes, as per the op, the Catholic Church discouraged Irish - helping to speed along language shift in the Oriel Galtacht (North Louth South Armagh/Down) in the 19th century because the Protestants were preaching in Irish.

Then there's the role of Ulster Protestants in the Gaelic revival. I've been looking at Ernest Blythe a lot lately - from Bangor, Co. Down, joined the Gaelic League in Dublin, moved down to Kerry and worked as a farm labourer in the Gaeltacht there to learn Irish and refused to speak English to anyone! His Witness statement is here, it's fascinating reading.
 

DuineEile

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Aug 29, 2010
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Did she point out that it was also a British language or would that be a slightly discordant thing in a peculiar way despite being obviously true on a number of levels. I hope you go and learn Irish btb-my own Irish is absolutely and shamefully terrible btw-and you know that I emphasise the British aspect in the hope that Gaelic speaking or indeed just a regard for the Gaelic language would once again be a uniting force for us in Ireland.
You need a bit of a lesson in Roman history.


Britannia later became England and Wales. Or "Britain". When you add Scotland it becomes "Great Britain". Add in NI and it becomes the UK.

Irish was never a British language.

I f you want a truly British language, try Welsh.




D
 
J

Johnny Boy

Somewhat fitting for the mad house that is OWC that the wife of the ex-PUP leader is one of the foremost unionist proponent's of the Irish language...
Paradoxes like that are nothing new in OWI (our wee island to you!)...........................the aristocrats got there a hundred years before the terrace dwellers of east Belfast.

You need to learn more about Rose Young, or as she styled herself in Irish, Róis Ní hÓgáin, related by marriage to the abominable ogre, Lord Brookeborough, Fermanagh's unique contribution to the continuation of "peace & love" in Ireland. :rolleyes:

Tributes at news of death of Lady Brookeborough - News - Belfast Newsletter

The Dictionary of Ulster Biography
 
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