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Protest against anti-Irish racism

category antrim | rights, freedoms and repression | press release author Saturday October 06, 2007 00:12author by ACHT Report this post to the editors

Cuir i gcoinne ciníochais fhrith-Ghaelaigh

Dé Máirt 9 Deireadh Fómhair 12in Stair Mhonadh

Tuesday 9th October 12pm Stormont


Dé Máirt 9 Deireadh Fómhair 12in Stair Mhonadh

Dé Máirt 9 Deireadh Fómhair, tá rún á chur os comhair Thionól an Tuaiscirt ag David McNarry, Feisire ón UUP, ina molann sé bac iomlán a chur ar úsáid na Gaeilge sa Tionól. Tá agóid eagraithe ag an eagras Gaeilge, ACHT, ar 12in Dé Máirt chun cur i gcoinne an rúin.

Dúirt Úrlabhraí ACHT, Ciarán Mac Giolla Bhéin; “Ní hamháin go bhfuil an rún seo ag teacht salach ar Alt 73 de Rialacha an Tionóil ach fosta ar Chomhaontú Aoine an Chéasta agus ar an Chairt Eorpach, a thacaíonn le ceart an duine an Ghaeilge a fhoghlaim agus a labhairt. Tá an ceart chun teangacha dúchasacha a úsáid aitheanta go hidirnáisiúnta agus ní féidir ligint do chiníochas frith-Ghaeilge agus páirtithe polaitiúla an ceart seo a dhiúltú ar phobal na Gaeilge. Creideann cainteoirí Gaeilge go léiríonn eachtraí mar seo go bhfuil géarghá ann do Acht ceart-bhunaithe Gaeilge sna sé chontae.”

Luaigh an tUasal Mac Giolla Bhéin chomh maith go gcaithfear rún na Máirte a chur san áireamh leis na hionsaithe fíochmhara eile a rinne polaiteoirí ón UUP agus ón DUP ar an Ghaeilge le mí anuas. “Is iomaí masla ciníoch a caitheadh leis an Ghaeilge ar na mallaibh. Mar shampla rinne Gregory Campbell, Feisire ón DUP, scigaithris chiníoch ar fhrása Gaeilge sa Tionól an mhí seo caite. Ní féidir glacadh leis an chineál seo iompair ó fheirsirí tofa agus ní chuirfeadh aon phobal eitneach suas lena leithéid. Is amhlaidh an scéal le pobal na Gaeilge agus tá leithscéal tuillte ag cainteoirí Gaeilge láithreach.

“Tá ACHT ag iarraidh ar phobal na Gaeilge, agus ar dhuine ar bith eile a thacaíocht le ceart daonna, tacú leis an agóid agus cur i gcoinne an chiníochais. Tá súil againn go mbeidh sibh linn ag Stair Mhonadh.”


Tuesday 9th October 12pm Stormont

On Tuesday 9th October, UUP MLA David McNarry is proposing a draconian motion to ban the use of Irish in the NI Assembly. Irish language organisation ACHT have organised a protest to coincide with the hearing of the motion at Stormont next Tuesday at 12 pm.

ACHT Spokersperson Ciarán Mac Giolla Bhéin said, “this motion not only contravenes Article 73 of the Assembly Regulations but also the Good Friday Agreement and the European Charter for Regional and Minority languages, both of which which uphold the right to speak and learn Irish. The use of indigenous languages is an internationally recognised human right that can't be held to ransom by anti-Irish racism or party political posturing. The Irish language community firmly believes that instances such as this highlight the necessity for a rights-based Irish language Act in the six counties.”

Mr Mac Giolla Bhéin also stated that Tuesday's motion can't be taken in isolation and follows what he descirbed as, “a month of vitrolic and hugely insulting racist anti-Irish attacks by senior elected representatives of both the UUP and DUP. This was epitomised by the deeply offensive racist mockery of DUP MLA Gregory Campbell last month where he disgracefully imitated an Irish phrase by saying 'Cori my yogi Bear, a can coca colya'.

"Such irresponsible and racist behaviour is totally unacceptable and wouldn’t be tolerated by any other linguistic or ethnic minority. The Irish langauge community is no different and deserve a complete retraction and apology from Mr Campbell.

“ACHT is calling on support of the Irish language community and all others who oppose racism and believe in human rights. We look forward to seeing you at Stormont.”


author by gameballpublication date Mon Oct 08, 2007 11:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

That's not racist. It may be rude and stupid, but it's time to grow up and accept that even here in Dublin, the heart of the republic, everybody speaks English. And the language we learn in school (An Caighdeán Oifigiúil) was developed in the 1950s and is not the way our forefathers spoke.

author by Tub Thumper.publication date Mon Oct 08, 2007 11:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Will ye be taking on FF and Mary Hanafin at all, they have done more to erode Irish language learning
in the Republic than silly Stormont battles and political posturing can do in the north. I do wonder
why the people who are awaiting the bogeys in northern Ireland do not recognise the erosion of
cultural values in the South. Is it cos blessed Bertie can do no wrong- except destroy Tara,
rub up to Bush and run down our health services- does that not effect a generation of Irish Kids?

author by Ciarán Ó Brolcháinpublication date Mon Oct 08, 2007 15:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

ACHT was set up as an organisation to push for the introduction of an Irish Language Act for the six counties in the wake of the St Andrew's Agreement last year.

This is no mere posturing. For over a month unionists have been attacking the Irish language at any and every given opportunity. The DUP and UUP have apparently been competing over who is the most virulently anti-Irish. Mac Giolla Bhéin is correct, such treatment meted out to any other linguistic or ethnic group would not be tolerated.

author by Not Ciaranpublication date Tue Oct 09, 2007 09:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Equating attacks denigrating or mocking the Irish language as being "anti-Irish racism", ie attacks on all Irish people as a result of their 'race' is stretching things somewhat.

I've heard a great many of Ireland's non-Unionist inhabitants say much the same sort of thing. So perhaps it is based on opposition to the Irish language, something we can understand ACHT wanting to actively counter. But don't be making dicks of yerselves by calling it racism. Y'know, hasn't anyone ever told yez that unionists are Irish too....

Shuffle Ma Yoghurt

author by Fior Britpublication date Tue Oct 09, 2007 10:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ciaran (Kieran?),

Using the deliberately insulting term "the six counties" to describe Northern Ireland rather betrays your real attitude to embracing all the communities on this small island. People like you are hardly likely to persuade Unionists that An Gaeilge is anything more than another trojan horse of agression and little to do with culture or diversity.

Sad really.

author by Turpspublication date Tue Oct 09, 2007 10:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

We really must distinguish between lingo, race and nationality. Lingo is our system of verbal and literary communication. Countries like Canada and Belgium can be bi-=lingual. There can be linguistic tensions and flashpoints between lingo groups, as in Belgium at present and in the past between the Flemings and Walloons. Things can be stirred up maliciously by crypto-racist militants, as currently and in the past among the historically aggrieved Flemings. That doesn't make the F and W people separate races, although in their case Belgium might break up eventually into two statelets, with Wallonia gravitating culturally towards la belle France and flemish-speaking people becoming real pally with the Dutch, who have no claims on the Flemings.

Race and ethnicity are linked but not inextricably. You can be an afro-american but not feel any affinity with African states like Ghana and Ethiopia. You can be a Singaporean chinese-speaking citizen with a cultural interest in the Middle Kingdom (and an economic interest if you're in business) but you want good ole Sing to have its sovereignty.

Being against the status of Irish is not anti-national, but it is culturally deracinating ('pulling up the roots, or verging on rootlessness' - a psychological wrong turn in the long run) and therefore not progressive. What should be the status of Irish in the schooling system? What practical things can be done to make the lingo seem more attractive to youngsters and older folks? Should the government experiment by facilitating the establishment of suburban and rural Gaeltacht kibbutzim? Rather than throwing more bricks at the much abused Irish lingo I feel it would be more positive to address the above and other questions. Continual self-contempt for our gaelic, peasant and religious origins is deeply self-wounding.

author by Jaypublication date Tue Oct 09, 2007 19:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Continual self-contempt for our gaelic, peasant and religious origins is deeply self-wounding."


This is simply a mythological, constructed, narrow, nationalistic and exclusive view of 'our' origins. From my prespective, as a working class atheist who certainly does not define himself as a 'gael', its extremely damaging to any progressive struggles on this Island, north or south, whatever 'lingo' you seek to promote.

You do know that there is absolutely no scientific basis to your arguments about race?

author by neitherpublication date Tue Oct 09, 2007 19:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What utter shite!
This is the kind of propaganda De Valera spread like manure through our history and its nothing less
than white supremacism disguised as nationalist pride. The intermarriage question and Irish origins
Look at arabic art and culture (Galway), Look at The Gaul (Tara) Breton (Cork), Jewish, viking,
norman and all the other cultures that have created modern Ireland and is present in the gene pool
of the 'peasant populace', and whilst some people would like to revert to neanderthal methods
of courtship and procreation they are in the minority (and possibly inbred).

author by gameballpublication date Tue Oct 09, 2007 21:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I'm not kidding folks, the flip side of Acht & co. is Ullans, which is even worse. I don't want my kids having to learn this stuff as well as a perverted form of Irish. All in the interests of propping up some northerner's self-esteem with a pointless PC inclusiveness agenda that will cost us millions.

The whole language thing in the north is nothing to do with language and everything to do with "I'm different. We were right you know. The people around my wee pedestal are all victims you know."

All together now, Aw Ae Ooo, clap your hands. Sorry, honds.

Related Link:
author by radical jonnypublication date Thu Oct 11, 2007 15:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I'm involved in community development work in North and West Belfast. I've seen Romanian, Chinese, and other migrants burned out of their homes by paramilitaries.

That's the racism that I think we should tackle first, before we get into the issue of one of the majority communities worried about the condition of millions in funding for one of its pet projects.

Don't get me wrong: I'm an Irish language enthusiast myself. The preservation of Irish is important. But catch yourself on, it's not the most important thing on NI's agenda. There is no one going hungry, not receiving benefits, or being denied justice before the court or religious liberty because they speak Irish.

Perspective, please...

author by Duinepublication date Wed Dec 05, 2007 17:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Is nach dtugann na daoine, a chuireann sinn ar an eolas i dtaobh na hagóide seo, in iúl dúinn caide a tharla!

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