Thursday, 20 August 2009

If the Irish language is to be 'snipped' then nothing should be sacred

The recent Bord Snip Nua report calls for an end to virtually all support for Irish in the parts of the country where it is a community language. Their rationale is that in these current economic times financial support for the Gaeltacht is not justified.

The Commission on Taxation has gotten in on the act and wants to save a pitance by stopping tax relief for people who provide accomodation for students in the Gaeltacht.

There are some who would agree, but probably not the 93% of people in the Republic who want the language to survive.,9801,ie.pdf

If however Colm McCarthy's council is to prevail, if the economic difficulties we face are so dire that we have to totally turn our backs on the Irish language, then nothing is sacred, and all options must be looked at the rectify the public finances.

One thing we could do is to look for a corporate sponsor for our flag, eg McDonalds, as the image above shows. This would net us billions and enable us to dig ourselves out of the financial hole the banks have gotten us into.

Another suggestion is to look for a corporate sponsor for our national anthem, something along the lines of "Sinne Fianna Fyffes atá faoi gheall ag torthaí blasta" or "Sinne Fianna Federal Express atá faoi gheall ag seachadadh poist in am" etc.

Again this could raise millions or billions for the exchequer.

Now you're probably thinking, "he can't be serious with these suggestions can he?"

If so I would ask you this, why wouldn't we get corporate sponsorship for our flag or anthem? Can you think of a logical or practical reason we shouldn't. We supposedly gave up Irish for purely practical and rational reasons, so why not? It would be good for the economy, and think of all the schools and hospitals we could build with the cash we would receive.

You've probably never heard of such a suggestion before so haven't had to think of a reason why we wouldn't. You might then think that the idea is ridiculous, preposterous, ludicrous and that we'd be the laughing stock of the world if we did get corporate sponsors for our flag and anthem.

So what's the connection with the Irish language? You see the only reason we are not a laughing stock in the eyes of the world over our attitude to Irish is that virtually no one knows the language exists.

If people around the globe knew that many Irish people think their language is inferior (or 'uncool' as it is put) to most (or possibly all) other languages, if they knew that our papers are full of biased and bigoted attacks on the language, that some say they 'hate' the language, that some Irish people mock the language and dearly hope it will die, then we would be the laughing stock of the world.

Personally speaking I would have as much loyalty to an Ireland without the Irish language as I would to a tricolour with the McDonalds arch on it.