Cad É Ba Mhaith Linn?



Outside government buildings this afternoon.

Laura writes:

“Members of Conradh Na Gaelige and their supporters, including Aodh O Domhnaill (bottom), protest outside Government Buildings this afternoon against the appointment of Donegal North East’s Joe McHugh as Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs, due to him having only “rusty Irish”. The Taoiseach has said McHugh will be undergoing a refersher course.”

Previously: *thudini*

(Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland)

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95 thoughts on “Cad É Ba Mhaith Linn?

  1. Panty Christ

    The problem with learning the irish language is all the irish language nazi’s ramming it down your neck.

    1. kurtz

      Is anyone really doing that to you or anyone else for that matter? Or are you just saying stuff on the internet?

      1. ReproBertie

        I’m heading round to Panty’s with a plunger and a copy of Peig as soon as I get my jackboots on.

        1. ReproBertie

          French, really? Le weekend. L’internet. Les jeans. Le parking.

          Would you like to try again?

        2. jungleman

          I don’t care for your challenge. But I will support my original point with this: apparently the Irish for Wikipedia is Vicipéid.

          Spare me.

          1. ReproBertie

            The French for Wikipedia is Wikipédia.

            You don’t care for my challenge because it shows that Irish is no different from any other living language in its evolution and expansion which makes your point backfire spectacularly.

          2. jungleman

            Irish is not exapnding, it is shrinking inevitably into extinction. Because it is useless. Unlike French.

          3. ReproBertie

            And yet jungleman you just gave an example of it expanding with vicipéid.

            Maith thú.

          4. ReproBertie

            So it’s desperation when Irish does it but expansion when French does it?

            Dig up.

          5. jungleman

            French is a globally used language. Irish is only useful as a hobby. French expands and evolves due to its usefulness. Irish evolves because some hobbyist has too much time on their hands.

    2. Conor

      Yeah, I hate it when people get all up in your sh*t about language.

      On an unrelated topic, you’ve incorrectly used an apostrophe in “Nazi’s” there…

  2. ReproBertie

    Cad é ba mhaith linn is what would we like.

    Cad atá ag teastail uainn is what do we want.

  3. Bacchus

    Surely one more convert to the cause, even if it is a gombeen Minister, is a good thing? To be honest (as Panty alludes to above) these people are everything that’s wrong with the Irish language “movement”.

    1. ReproBertie

      I watched the junior minister’s answer to the questions on his ability in the Dáil and was impressed with his attitude. I can understand the complaint but Irish speakers are a minority and his attitude will attract more new users than this sort of protest.

      1. scottser

        is this any more relevant than a justice minister who has no law qualification, or a health minister who has no medical experience etc?

    2. Llareggub

      They certainly have that militant look of the pro-lifers about them. There’d be no room for negotiation there I’d imagine.

      1. Snoouchthebigoouch

        Seems to be about 20/30 core operators and a similar number of tourists trying to get by on the footpath.

    3. Práta ag Caint

      ‘These people are everything that is wrong with the language?’ Good to hear that you know each and every one of us so personally as to be able to make a sweeping statement like that. I should remember that the next time a parent of a child that I teach to actually love the language and be able to speak it ,comes to thank me for changing their opinion of it and see the value of it… At least I know I’m progressing it and undoing the work of people who have a chip on their shoulder about it. But perhaps next September I shouldn’t bother, maybe I should just sit by and watch them struggle because afterall ‘I’ am whats wrong with the language…- not others.

    1. Snoouchthebigoouch

      it’s amazing how many of those who love the Irish language seem to end up benefiting financially from their love of the language.

      utterly amazing.

      1. Nigel

        I thought people couldn’t benefit from it financially because it was dead and useless and non-viable. Because apparently financial benefit is our major metric nowadays.

        1. Snoouchthebigoouch

          Ways to Make money from the Irish language.

          Get a job with TG4 & RnG
          Irish teacher & Irish lecturer
          Civil servant dealing with translating everything the government does into Irish
          Irish Translator in the EU
          Get a job on one of the Irish language quangos

          All paid for by your taxes.

          I don’t mind folk speaking Irish, I do mind paying more in taxes to fund their hobby.

          1. Nigel

            Saving, studying, promoting, celebrating and highlighting the Irish language are textbook examples of the sort of thing tax-payers money should pay for.

  4. Drogg

    All the fupping problems we have in this country and this is where people take a fucking stand you should all be ashamed. If you want to bolster the language go out and do it yourself don’t wait for the government to give you hand outs. Let the government sort out the serious problems and don’t bog them down with this nonsense.

    1. Grainneeadaoin

      But sure if the Govt didn’t make a ridiculous decision it wouldn’t be an issue. It doesn’t take away from their ability to make other decisions to make an obvious choice on something they have to do anyway. They overcomplicated it themselves by giving the job to someone as a reward rather than on their ability to carry out their job. Will the Gaeltacht people accept a non-Gaeilgeoir? Will they feck I went to college in Carraroe for a full year speaking Irish every day and alot of the locals would still answer you in English cause they knew you weren’t from there.

      It was a simple choice for them that would be clear to any spin doctor that it would come back to bite them in the arse.

      The reshuffle of the cabinet just cements the fact that the only people with any power are a core of Taoiseach, couple of senior ministers, advisors and senior Civil Servants – and their main aim now is staying in power and seeing as Gaeilgeoirs are a crowd of bearded lefties no-ones going to listen to them anyway (Labhraím Gaeilge gach uile lá) But the Gaeltachts are so bogged down in Petty local shmocal politics and looking after their own that you could put a monkey in there and they wouldn’t make any real change to – ‘The Gaeltacht’ the fact is the strongest Gaeltacht in the country these days is in BÁC which most non-Irish speakers wouldn’t even recognise as going to ‘The Gaeltacht’ is still a trip to Kerry or Donegal or Galway.

    2. niafall

      Surely the language is an intrinsic part of Irish culture and sense of nationality? Having someone who cannot speak the language be a minister with responsibility for gaeltacht affairs seems short sighted, insulting to the language (for want of a better phrase). If it’s enshrined in Bunracht na hÉireann as the first language of the people, surely the government have *SOME* small responsibility to protect and promote it? Some who do not want to see the language die, and who are saddened by this latest bumble stand to gain nothing financially from the language as we are working in some other corner of the globe.

      1. Drogg

        But it’s not our first language and the minister has some Irish. But this is not my point my point is there are infinitely bigger problems we need to solve before we worry about the Linguistics of the minister of the Gaeltacht.

          1. niafall

            It’s pretty trite to compare this with the Brooks fiasco. The latter is a case of loads of greedy people trying to outdo each other and the law in a race to the bottom, while a bunch of happy-go-lucky hayseeds get in a flop on the sidelines and declare “the world is laughing at us”. Turn out the world didn’t give a 5hite.

            The former is another blow to a language already in trouble, and it’s heartening to see some people actually care about it.

          2. Drogg

            Niafall then these people need to go out and bolster the language not wait for some TD from donegal to do it for them.

          3. Rob_G

            @Niafall – you’re right, the analogy is not apt; way more people enjoy Garth Brooks that like the Irish language.

          1. Drogg

            I mean our actual first language not what it says our first language is on the constitution. Does it not need a majority of the population to speak it to be our first language? I know more people that speak French, German and Spanish then i know fluent Irish speakers, so can we move away from it being our first language.

          2. niafall

            I said it was enshrined in our constitution as our first language, never that it’s the most spoken. I know far more people that speak fluent irish than the continental languages you mentioned tbh. Shall we continue with the anecdotal ping pong?

          1. Drogg

            Yes exactly, so can we go about sorting the bigger problems and let the minister do his Irish classes and hopefully during his time learning Irish he will work out that the way Irish is taught is the reason no one can speak it.

      2. Snoouchthebigoouch

        When only 77,000 out of 4.6 million people speak Irish on a daily basis, anyone who thinks Irish is an intrinsic part of Irish culture and sense of nationality, has to be taking the piss.

        1. Nigel

          Anyone who says it isn’t has a shallow understanding of Irish culture and a narrow sense of Irish identity.

  5. Eoghany

    They really do strike me as a militant bunch. I’d imagine there’d be some crossover with the pro-life loonies. They seem to be cut from the same cloth.

    1. Práta ag Caint

      God Eoghany you are clueless!! Pro-lifers & militant we are now! Hahahaha! I’ll remember that next time I’m out, gave me a right giggle!

  6. Drogg

    I don’t care. If you want to promote the language fine, do, it could do with all the help you can give and there is plenty of grants out there to help you with it. But this country is in the crapper and it’s hard enough to get the morons in there to do anything productive without distracting them with boo hoo the Gaeltacht minister only has some Irish, the fupping arts minister is an accountant from backwater Monaghan, but you don’t see me up in arms about that.

    1. niafall

      You’re working under the huge assumptions that the government pays any attention to protests with about 20 people involved, and that accountants cannot appreciate art.

      1. Drogg

        It has been talked about for two days in the rail as it stands and the opposition and loving the reaction that they are getting by constantly bring it up. Also an accountant can appreciate art but doesn’t mean she knows anything about the business of art and its economic benefits to this country but hats beside my point.

        1. niafall

          An accountant can appreciate art but not the associated business and economics? I’ll back away now.

          1. Drogg

            She has no relationships in that community has no understanding of the nature of her job and the differences in say traditional art like painting and sculpture with more modern and beneficial employers like film and tv productions. As you said above these people where given these jobs as a reward nothing to do with ability. But i feel i have spent far to long talking about the new minister for the arts.

          2. niafall

            I don’t think I said anything about how the posts were allocated.

            But the specifics of the inadequacy of the new arts minister now bother me just as much as this McHugh guy, just in a different way.

  7. Continuity Jay-Z

    The Irish language is a pure waste of time in it’s current format. It needs to be removed as a core subject in school and taught for what it is, a charming way to gossip about yanks in Galway.

    It has no function in a country aspiring to be part of a modern global economy.

    A non examined cultural studies module need to be the medium through which Irish is taught in schools. Make it fun and interesting. Rote learning gibberish is no way to give life to a language.

    1. Nigel

      ‘It has no function in a country aspiring to be part of a modern global economy.’

      It is the language of peasants and superstition and subjugation and we’ll have none of it. We must blend seamlessly with the modern global economy, we must dissolve into the cultural hegemony and besides, we’d only be embarrassed.

    2. Llareggub

      I think Irish should be optional in secondary schools. It really is force fed into kids and a lot end up hating it. We’ve had enough of force feeding by people who think they know what’s best for us, be that religious or educational institutions.

          1. Nigel

            Justify the ultra-nationalist label. I mean on me, personally. You may refer to any previous comments I have made for your thesis.

          2. jungleman

            You clearly want the Irish language to be a mandatory subject. That is ultra-nationalist.

          3. Nigel

            No, it is a rather tentative form of mild nationalism at best, the nationalism of someone to whom nationalism has become a bad word thanks to, y’know terrorism, governmental stupidity and various historical and social unpleasantness, but who thinks that in fact the loss of the Irish language would be a grave one indeed. You simply do not actually know what ultra-nationalism is.

          4. jungleman

            It’s mild nationalism to you because you value the language. To me, as someone who recognises the uselessness of the language, mandatory Irish in school is extreme, as it affects the ability of students to study other languages that would actually benefit them in their future lives.

          5. Nigel

            It’s not extreme, it’s the current status quo, albeit taught awfully. One’s ability to learn languages is not hindered by quantity. The more languages one learns, the easier it becomes to learn more languages, so in fact the effective teaching of Irish enhances your children’s overall skills as linguists. Also, there is no reason to suppose that Irish, taught effectively, could not be of benefit to them in their future lives, particularly if one does not restrict one’s ideas of ‘benefit’ to the realms of international commerce.

          6. jungleman

            Having to learn Irish was a waste of my time. I could have done another language/subject that would have actually been useful, unlike Irish. The mandatory nature of the subject most definitely hinders the ability of a student to learn another language/subject as each subject takes a lot of time to study in order to get a good grade. To say otherwise is utterly disingenuous.

            You can’t see beyond your own ridiculous bias. You might say I am equally biased against the language, but in fact I am simply biased in favour of proper education.

          7. Nigel

            It was a waste of your time because you let it be a waste of your time. It would not be the only subject in the Irish educational system that Irish students rush to forget after years of study.

            The mandatory nature of the subject reflects its importance, and it is only one of a number of mandatory subjects, and even outside those subjects, one’s choice tends to be restricted by school and curriculum.

            You no more understand ‘bias’ than you do ‘ultra nationalist.’ That is not bias. That is ‘point of view,’ which may differ from other points of view, though bias may certainly be involved somewhere.

          8. jungleman

            Every subject I studied for the LC has been of use to me in some way since I left school, bar Irish.

            “The mandatory nature of the subject reflects its importance” – a perfect example of why people like you shouldn’t be taken seriously, you’re deluded!

            I certainly do understand what bias is. You are biased in favour of the promotion of the Irish language. Clearly you’re not going to accept reality so I’m wasting my time. Good luck.

          9. Nigel

            Deluded that Irish is important? Even if it dwindles to a language that is purely academic, like Latin, it will remain of supreme importance to Irish history and Irish culture. I might retort that it is you who are the deluded one, etc, but I think you’re actually just willfully ignorant.

            And your understanding of bias is that it is an opinion you disagree with? Are you sure you learned English?

  8. Huppenstop

    As far as I’m concerned, the only point here is that Irish speaking citizens living in the Gaeltacht deserve our support in trying to preserve their communities. Appointing someone who can’t communicate with the language communities he is tasked with supporting in Irish is, at the very least, a bit of a slap in the face and just underlines that the government doesn’t really give a cräp about the problems faced by the Gaeltacht. I find the animus that this protest awakens in comments here bizarre.

  9. R

    One point and one point only. I am in the photos above. I am pro-choice. Like most of the people I talked to today at the gates. Just saying.

    1. Eoghany

      How or why would you go around talking to everyone at the protest about whether they were pro choice or not? Were you at the wrong protest?

Comments are closed.

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