Sunday, 16 February 2014


 An Phoblacht

Celtic fans’ protest song a chart hit at Number 24

One fan has already been found guilty of contravening the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communication (Scotland) Act for singing ‘Roll of Honour’
CELTIC’S ‘Fans Against Criminalisation’ (FAC) have scored a big success by hitting Number 24 in Britain’s Official Top 40 Singles Chart with the release of The Irish Brigade's H-Block song Roll of Honour as a protest against Scotland's suppression of republican songs sung at soccer matches.
FAC asked fans to get Roll of Honour into the Top 40 by downloading it from iTunes all this week and by Saturday to highlight what they argue is the “absurdity” of the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communication (Scotland) Act.
The legislation is supposed to be aimed at tackling sectarianism on the terraces but Celtic fans say the Act has “criminalised” Celtic supporters by police action against the songs they sing, including Roll of Honour
Celtic FAC placard
One fan has already been found guilty of contravening the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communication (Scotland) Act for singingRoll of Honour. Another fan is being held on remand accused of the same offence. There is a backlog of Celtic fans awaiting trial for the same reason and proceeds from the single will aid the legal defence fund for fans.
Fans say this particular song is a ballad about civil resistance and a struggle for basic human rights that has been a favourite of the Celtic support for over a decade. 
In a statement on the Celtic Trust website, the fans say:
“FAC contend that it is a damning indictment of the Scottish political and judicial system that legitimate expression of political opinion and cultural heritage within the context of a football match is now enough to result in a criminal conviction.
“We urge the Celtic support to download this song to embarrass those who seek to criminalise us to demonstrate that we stand by those who are being arrested at their homes and dragged through the courts and that we will not tolerate the continual harassment of our fellow fans at the hands of Police Scotland.”
“For those based elsewhere,” they said, “FAC still urges people to aid this campaign by downloading this single which will help create a greater awareness of this issue whilst contributing to the FAC Legal Defence Fund.
“We all have a part to play.”

Download Roll of Honour here.

Roll of Honour lyrics
Read the roll of honour for Ireland’s bravest men
We must be united in memory of the ten,
England you’re a monster, don’t think that you have won
We will never be defeated while Ireland has such sons.
In those dreary H-Block cages, ten brave young Irishmen lay
Hungering for justice as their young lives ebbed away,
For their rights as Irish soldiers and to free their native land
They stood beside their leader – the gallant Bobby Sands.
Now they mourn Hughes in Bellaghy,
Ray McCreesh in Armagh’s hills
In those narrow streets of Derry, they miss O’Hara still,
They so proudly gave their young lives to break Britannia’s hold
Their names will be remembered as history unfolds.
Through the war-torn streets of Ulster the black flags did sadly sway
To salute ten Irish martyrs the bravest of the brave,
Joe McDonnell, Martin Hurson, Kevin Lynch, Kieran Doherty
They gave their lives for freedom with Thomas McElwee.
Michael Devine from Derry you were the last to die
With your nine brave companions with the martyred dead you lie
Your souls cry out: “Remember, our deaths were not in vain.
Fight on and make our homeland a nation once again!”


Unionists call for UK chart ban for hunger strike song Roll Of Honour


Thousands march for language rights

Protest held to highlight treatment by Governments north and south of Irish-language speakers and Gaeltacht communities

Thousands took to the streets of Dublin city centre this afternoon to protest against the treatment by Governments north and south of Irish-language speakers and Gaeltacht communities.
Organisers said some 10,000 people took part in the march which started at the Garden of Remembrance in Parnell Square and marched down O’Connell Street before gathering for a rally in front of Dáil Éireann.
The crowd, with many wearing red, heard from a number of speakers who condemned the lack of public services available in Irish.
Billed as a celebration of Irish on the streets of Dublin, Lá Mór na Gaeilge attracted participants from all parts of the island and was the largest such demonstration since the 2005 campaign to elevate the status of Irish in the European Union.
Citing the decision in December by language commissioner Seán Ó Cuirreáin to resign in protest over the failure by Government to implement legislation protecting the rights of Irish speakers, Conradh na Gaeilge general secretary Julian de Spáinn said Irish language speakers were “red with rage” at how speakers are being treated by the State.
“We will continue to campaign our public representatives until we achieve fairness and equality for the Irish-speaking and Gaeltacht communities throughout the island ofIreland. ”
Lá Mór na Gaeilge was organised by Conradh na Gaeilge and marks the beginning of a campaign to seek equal treatment for Irish language speakers north and south.
“We are planning a march on Sunday week in Conamara and in Gaoth Dobhair to coincide with the resignation of the Coimisinéir Teanga and on the 12th of April we are planning a large demonstration in Belfast,” Mr de Spáinn said afterwards.
“In addition we are going to focus on the local and European elections. There is a lot to do but today was just a beginning.”
Mr de Spáinn said Conradh na Gaeilge had responded to an offer of a meeting with Taoiseach Enda Kenny and was awaiting a response from the Taoiseach’s office.

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As a non-Irish speaker - I am curious as to whether there is any commercial Irish opportunities? How many books are published in Irish? Are there any media in Irish? I have heard of the radio stations - but other than that? Is there a daily newspaper? Television channel?

This to me would indicate the probability of the survival of the language. I hear there are hundreds of languages be lost every year to modern times - ultimately, languages are a means of communication.
Hopefully the new Irish Language Commissioner's first task will be to make Irish optional for the Leaving Certificate, perhaps replacing it with a compulsory Science, Technology or Engineering subject, or learning how to code, or even another modern European language.

That way the kids who love learning & speaking Irish can continue to do so. Plus, the kids who have made up their minds about the language can pursue a subject that they feel more suited to. Because let's face it, 16 years are old enough to make this decision for themselves.

Meanwhile, the Irish language might even thrive, because as I'm sure we all agree, the language should be well able to stand on its own two feet at Leaving Cert level.
Agree entirely with your points! Well said!
Very valid point, post Junior cert all subjects should be optional subjects.
If I'm not mistaken the A Levels in the UK is just 3 subjects for your last 2 years in secondary. As you say at 16 you should have discovered the subjects that you are strong at, usually the one's you enjoy doing.
Would you be opposed to the initial 2 years of primary been thought solely as Gaeilge? After that bilingual. Secondary remaining as is.
I would be opposed to that. English is our first language and what we converse in day to day. Besides, there are all Irish schools available for parents who want to go down that route. I have no problem with Irish being taught all the way through in primary school as a subject. But Then it should be optional in secondary.
Having only left school a couple of years ago I can say without much doubt that kids who "love learning & speaking Irish" may still not pursue the subject. When I left school 5 years ago the primary concern of students was to opt for subjects which they perceived would give them easier points for CAO courses, not simply the classes they enjoyed.

I think the teaching of Irish needs a drastic overhaul from primary level upwards. The primary school syllabus needs to be strongly aligned with that of secondary schools and as such secondary school learning should build on the earlier foundations. As it stands, grammar and vocabulary take a back seat in secondary school learning which is more focused on learning off Irish poems, literature and short stories. Poems/prosecould possibly be seen as an optional question/topic at Leaving Cert level whereas at the moment, it is the main focus.
3500 according to garda estimates
If any Laoch or hero from the 16 century was to revisit this swamp they would curl up in a ball and weep. A nation of wonder the bankers and present government have walked all over us.
Maith thú Frank...
I have zero respect for most if not all Irish government ministers and TD's....jokers.

Cultureless goons most of them.
Thosaigh an réabhlóid chultúrtha inniu. An-slua, an-ócáid. Chuir sé iontas orm an líon mór daoine óga a ghlac páirt ann. Is léir go bhfuil glúin nua tar éis teacht chun cinn i saol na teanga agus nach mbeimid ag dul as amharc nó as éisteacht as seo amach. Ní ghlacfaimid le cur i gcéill aon Rialtais a thuilleadh. Is linne an tír seo, agus is linne an stát seo, Stát na hÉireann.
I really think there are more important areas to be spending money on. Our hospitals are in tatters right now!
Mark, I don't think the few bob spent on Irish is going to make much difference to that. Have you heard about the bank bailout as well as all the other bailouts?
Of course I have. That's why the country is strapped for cash and so non essential areas need to be looked at in order to save money for essential services. I also think that Irish should be an option to learn at school like Spanish or German. Some people want to learn it, others don't. So give them the choice!
Mark, agreed its important to priortise in hard times, whats the price of preserving an ancient language still spoken after thousands of years? 85 million will be spent on Uisce Éireann, a lot of it seems to be wasted on fancy consultants etc. A cultural asset cosúil leis an nGaeilge is priceless. Sure we have a Govt selling assets, paying bondholders, imposing new taxes, wasting money etc. Today was about demanding equal rights for Irish speakers, and yes so it is going to cost a few bob, so what? It is worth it. What, preferable to let an ancient language wither because it will cost a few bob? Where is our pride and moreover our dignity?
Agree with you regarding the waste that is Irish water and I've no problem with allocating a reasonable amount of funding for The Irish language. But equal rights means people should have a choice on whether to learn it or not.
So is this the same group that campaigned to "elevate the status of Irish in the European Union" to an "Official Working Language"? Despite the fact that it's not a Working Language in any way whatsoever, apart from inside the imaginations of the campaigners? On the plus side, it did start a 3.5 million-per-year gravy train, with jobs for people translating documents that will never be read by anybody.

If Conradh na Gaeilge really want to promote the Irish language in this country, they really need to rethink their strategy.
What a pathetic small-minded begrudging comment on what was a hugely joyous occasion for thousands of your fellow citizens. Can you not just live and let live and rejoice that we live in a multi-cultural and multi-lingual society?
Part of our problem is teaching Irish as a subject, not a language. It is heritage as much as Yeats or Synge or Merriman or Joyce are our heritage. Do we need to love and understand Ulysses to appreciate the legacy and importance of Joyce? There are actually four groups of people with differing attitudes to the Irish language. The fourth are those who knock it, mock it and by doing so, mock themselves. Do bhí Gaeilge agam. Chaill mé é. Agus anois tá mé ag déanamh iarracht ê a fháil ar ais. Beidh bua agam!
Maith thú a Phaddy, go n-éirí an bóthar leat!
"The crowd, with many wearing red, heard from a number of speakers who condemned the lack of public services available in Irish." you want public finances diverted from somewhere else so that you can (say) phone the Motor Fines Office and speak in Irish? Even though you can speak English? OK, good luck with that, just remember to pick out what actual *essential* services will have to be defunded in order to implement it, because it WILL NOT be cheap.
Pathetic comment, you know the price of everything and the value of nothing.
OK, thank you for the clichéd response. I'm quite sure a far more essential service that has been stripped of funding will be comforted by this noble phrase.

As ever, the Irish Language Lobbyist can only respond with insults and abuse. It's that attitudes like that has been so damaging to the Irish language.
Well said smsftzgbbn. These Gaelgoirs are a right pain in the hoop. We have far more serious matters that require funding.
Cé go bhfuil cónaí orm sa bhFrainc, coinním an Ghaeilge i gcónaí.

Ní thuigim an fháth nach bhfuil aithne níos doimhne ag Éireannaigh ar a dteanga tar éis dóibh 11 no 12 bhliain a chaitheamh á fhoghlaim sa scoil. Sin an tréimhse atáim anseo, agus cé gur thuirling mé gan focal Fraincíse ar bith agam, tá mé anois líofa inti.

Is mór an trua gur í seo an t-aon scríbhinn i nGaeilge ar an téad seo go dtí anois. Is é an bealach amháin chun an Ghaeilge a chaomhnú i a úsáid. Agus go hIfreann leo siúd a sheasann ar foirfeachta absalóideach. Ní labhraítar mar sin an tsacsbhéarla fiú amháin ag na Sasanaigh..

Lá Mór na Gaeilge, an ea?
Always three divisions of people when it comes to this debate.
The first are those in the 30% who use the language on a daily basis.
The second are about 65%of people who have drips and drabs but wish they had a better command of our language,
The 3rd the one's who don't see any need for it, probably wish we were still under the crown tbh.
10% of all Irish kids who started school last year started in a Gaelscoil, up from <1% 20years ago!!!
Rubbish statistics.

"the 30% who use the language on a daily basis."
Rubbish, complete and utter horse excrement.

It's possibly 5% AT MOST that use it on a daily use, and that's being very optimistic. I can safely say I can count on two hands the amount of time that I've heard people speak Irish in conversation (outside of the Gaeltacht) in my entire life.

"The 3rd the one's who don't see any need for it, probably wish we were still under the crown tbh"
This is absolutely typical behaviour of the Irish Language Lobby: Hurl insults at people that have little interest in speaking Irish, while sticking your head in the sand with regards to the reality of peoples' interest in the language. And then you wonder why the vast majority of people have little interest in speaking Irish.
Dont you mean the 30 people who use it on a daily basis? I think you stuck in a % sign there after 30 by accident..
Yeah its a typo, I left out could, or even should :)
Tá bron orm.
Hopefully the growth in kids attending Gaelscoilenna continues to grow. By the sound of it there is a demand for non Gaeilge schools also!!
As a proud Naturalised Irish Citizen I will make sure that my two toddlers learn Gaelic to preserve Ireland's heritage, and I will do my best that they do it in a pleasant way. I wish I could speak Gaelic fluently, but there are no evening clases near me. Yes, English is by far the most important language on earth and there is no way we can impose Gaelic as our main language, but it's a heritage and one must NEVER forget its heritage, I'll never forget mine and so shouldn't you.
Maith an fear! Have a look at Gaelchultúr by the way, they have good courses online..
We have a fine heritage..Hiberno English spoken here since the 15th century
Also nearly destroyed by the English language fascists.
Dead language with no real use as everybody can speak English to a higher standard than they would Irish. That makes it completely pointless.

On another note, Irish has been compulsory since 1922 and look at the state of it now. It's had far too much support for almost a century for what has become an irrelevancy to most. A testament to failure.
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@DamienMcGrath, As a half-French, half Australian person I find your attitude towards Irish so defeatist... All languages form part of the cultural heritage of the Earth. Irish deserves its place and is only in a weakened position because of destructive influence of the British in Ireland. You may have no confidence in yourself or your heritage but I was glad to read of the thousands of Irish people who do and who are willing to stand up for their culture and language. Vive la difference etc etc
The British were destructive Pierre..they were constructive..gave us english...No defeatisim here..theres never been a cultural war. The gaelgoirs could never even muster the numbers to start a cultural battle..
Don't blame the British. Irish people are the ones in whose hands lies the future of their country's language. It's interesting that my contribution at the head of the thread at this time of writing is the only one in the Irish language - and I live in France and speak French on a daily basis, I learnt if from scratch less than 10 years ago. Now I am totally fluent. The local paper is my monring's read every day. In Ireland children learn Irish in school for at least 10 years and the result is pathetic.
Damien should know that the civil service(the real government in Ireland) has not changed since Independence in their anti-Irish language stance. Consequently, no real effort has been made to support the language. Gaeltacht people have been forced to go and work abroad in order to keep the status quo. The used the same excuse in the 1970s ie. the cost when dealing with the demand for equal pay for women.
I seem to have no right (despite a constitutional right to educate my daughter in the way I see fit) to prevent the Irish language being inflicted on her as it was on me. Bury the language and stop wasting money on it!
Frank, you have a right to educate your daughter at home if you wish. But if you send her to a state funded school, she will follow the state agreed syllabus. This includes Irish, as supported by the vast majority of citizens. This gives her an insight into our place names, music, literature and history. It also prevents her just being one more identikit consumer in an anglophone world. But if you send her a message of hate about Irish, then she will sadly hate it too. Do rogha. Your call.
Great comment Fergal but Irish is a sophisticated language and is wasted on many ignorant Irish people. I've met foreigners though on Irish courses in the Gaeltacht who see the beauty in it and appreciate her ancient rhymes and rhythms. Ironic.
Good man feargail...bully them into speaking Irish..its worked well so far..
Frank, that's true. In the same way I can't prevent English being inflicted on my son as it was on me and my father, and my grand father and his father before him....
Most government Ministers in Ireland are culturless anyway ..... Ruairi Quinn is a boofoon and embittered politician ........ nothing much has changed in Ireland since so called Independence........a nation of gombeens
So sad that this dead language is being regurgitated and forced on the Irish people who will then be exported to the English speaking world in order to make a decent life . Shame on those fanatics. Do you not have an ounce of respect for the uneducated Irish laborer who will end up on the streets of London unable to hobble a sentence together to defend his position. Have seen this happen before in the Fifties and sixties.. The education system should concentrate on teaching proper English, Maths
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Mmmmmm........the Liverpool-Irish took to English; and we've remained at the bottom of the heap. Ireland no longer exports 'labourers' but graduates. Some of us in Liverpool - dubbed the 'low-irish' by journalists - deeply regret our great grandparents' understandable decision to 'lose' an Gaelige. Four generations of us here are still not out-from-under. Is inár cheart sinsearachta é an Gaelige.
Em, many countries speak their native language and one if not more languages. Look at the Danes, Swedes and Norwegians. They speak their own languages and English. Are we saying Irish people are incapable of learning more than one language? Obviously somewhere this message is being reinforced and is an entirely negative one that is not true.
Robin, I suspect you will find that people educated through Irish have the highest levels of 3rd education in this country and don't end up on the streets. Your attitude belongs in the last century and by and large has been confined to the dustbin of history along with colonialism, racist and sexism.
Tom Tom
We need to treasure our language and do all that we can to support it, make it blossom and flourish for the future. This government fails us when it comes to Irish.
The language de-facto and by desire of most of us on this island is English. Don't know where this "our language" comes from. It is and always was just an aspect of Ireland - not definitive!
Frank, if you had an open mind you might see the world differently. If you don't know where "our language" comes from then I wonder just how much you do know.
The current government seems to have no interest in, or vision for, our beautiful Irish language. Ruairi Quinn in particular is useless, and in a pivotal position. Hopefully today's march will lead to change.
Did it not occur to the journalist / sub editor to mention that a new Irish Language Commissioner has been appointed in the last week?
Doc, All of the problems identified by the outgoing commissioner are still there. Just filling the role doesn't address these.
What does an Irish Commissioner do? God thats hilarious....An Irish De-Commissioner is what we need...But the language beyond use for once and for all...
How does my speaking Irish affect you?

I don't want money spent on lots of things, but the fact is we support all sorts of minority interests.
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