Monday, December 31, 2007

Hanafin faces row over new English directive

(Dec 31, 2007)
"Education Minister Mary Hanafin is on a collision course with Irish-language schools as they step up their campaign for the option of teaching completely through Irish for a child's first year in school."

Camp proved to be an education

(Dec 31, 2007)

"A programme about Frongoch – the prison camp in North Wales where about 1,800 Irish rebels were interned in 1916 – will be broadcast on ITV1 Wales in the new year....Inside the former German prisoner of war camp the Irish language was forbidden."

Friday, December 28, 2007

Your Irish phrase, an 8ú lá 'is fiche Mí na Nollag

cé go.../cé nach... -- although... / although...not...
(followed by a verb, in dependent form if it has one)

Language sparks debate in Kerry

(Dec 27, 2007)

"The status of the Irish language in Northern Ireland has prompted bitter debate in the assembly after Culture Minister Edwin Poots said he would not introduce an Irish Language Act. But in one of the few remaining Irish-speaking areas in Ireland, there's another debate, this time demanding that more English and less Irish be spoken in a new secondary school in Dingle."

Glór Cheatharlach picks up €183,350

(Dec 19, 2007) (yes, ages ago -- sorry!)

"There is much rejoicing amongst Irish language enthusiasts in Carlow following the announcement by Foras na Gaeilge that Carlow is to be one of the centres to benefit under Scéim Phobail Gaeilge 2008-2010."

Post-rush posts

Now that finals and the holiday time-drain is over, perhaps I can get back on track a bit. I'll start with some Language Log posts I recently found while catching up on the reading backlog, that are about (or touch on) the topic of a certain file-under-wishful-thinking book on English slang:
The bunkum of "The Bunkum of Bunkum"?
Gullibility in high places
Victims and etymology
(If these entries upset you, please please please ask yourself why. If your answer is "because I want what the book says to be true," or some version of that notion...well, I can only appeal to your sense of reason.)

Friday, December 21, 2007

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Wes's Words

dreige noun f3
- meteor
mar shampla...
Bíonn dreige sa spás fós, ach nuair a thitfeadh sí go talamh, ba dhreigít í mar sin.
A meteor is still in space, but when it falls to earth, then it's called a meteorite.

Concern at 'racism' in GAA

(Dec 20, 2007)
"Youngsters playing Gaelic games are being derided and 'slagged off' for speaking Irish while on the pitch."

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Breathnach performs resignation u-turn

(Dec 19, 2007)
“Veteran broadcaster Sean Ban Breathnach has rescinded his decision to resign as Cultural and Irish officer of the Galway county board.”
also see:
Sean Ban does U-turn over Galway job (Dec 19, 2007)

“Veteran Irish language broadcaster, Sean Ban Breathnach, has decided not to quit his position as Cultural and Irish Officer of the Galway County Board.”

Irish row school can't give names to minister

(Dec 18, 2007)
"Education Minister Mary Hanafin can't contact parents to find out if they want their children taught through Irish only -- because of the Data Protection Act."

Former IRA prisoner gets seat on language board

(Dec 19, 2007)
“The former Republican prisoner who became the ‘face of the IRA’ in 2005 has been appointed to a State board.”

Saturday, December 15, 2007

EU to recruit Irish-speaking lawyers

(Dec 15, 2007)

"The European Union has launched a new recruitment drive for lawyers fluent in the Irish language. Fluent Irish-speakers with legal training were encouraged to apply before January 9th for vacancies in EU institutions in Brussels, Luxembourg and Strasbourg."

Review: Siren's call

(Dec 15, 2007),,2227854,00.html

"The Fifty Minute Mermaid is the most recent dual-language collection by Irish poet Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill."

Grá mór saying 'I Do' as Gaeilge

(Dec 15, 2007)
"The winds danced a jig yesterday in the most westerly parish in Europe, when RTE newsreader Siun Nic Gearailt married TG4 reporter Ailbhe O Monachain."

Friday, December 14, 2007

Newgrange sunrise set to go global

Nothing to do with the Irish language, really, but I can't help myself:
Newgrange sunrise set to go global (Dec 14, 2007)

"The winter solstice event at Newgrange is going global for the first time this year."

No Irish greeting on Aer Lingus to Belfast?

Cead mile failte Kate! (Dec 14, 2007)
"The December edition of Let's Talk was dominated by the politics of sport and Irish language."

Thursday, December 13, 2007

SF plea for Irish speakers in North

(Dec 13, 2007)

"The Government must protect the rights of Irish speakers in Northern Ireland, Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams urged today.
"Mr Adams today met Gaeltacht Affairs Minister Eamon O Cuiv in Dublin to push for the enactment of an Irish Language Act in the Stormont Assembly."

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Review: Translator's nightmare, this 'Táin' is a dream

(Dec 12, 2007),0,4115908.story?coll=cl-books-util
"Within the West's small but precious hoard of archaic literary epics, 'The Táin' is surely the most complex and least known outside its native Ireland."

Monday, December 10, 2007

Cutbacks threat to Irish language schools

(Dec 10, 2007)

"A serious threat has emerged to the future of Gaelscoileanna which are among the most successful second level schools in the country.
"The Irish Independent has learned that the Department of Education and Science Building Unit has proposed that no new second level Gaelscoilenna be built."

Determination is key to Gaelscoil student success

(Dec 10, 2007)

"The principal of one of the most successful Gaelscoileanna in the country claims one of the reasons his school sends so many pupils on to third level education is commitment from parents, teachers and pupils."

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Letters: Lip service can't save Irish

(Dec 9, 2007)

"Sir -- The Irish State since its foundation has presided over the virtual annihilation of the Irish language, a feat never achieved in history despite hundreds of years of repression and occupation including Cromwell and the Penal Laws."

Green light for Irish language signs

(Dec 7, 2007)

“History was made in Ballymoney Council on Monday night when the Unionist-controlled local authority agreed to erect bilingual signs in Irish in parts of the borough.”

'Kings' On General Release In Northern Ireland

(Dec 7, 2007)

"Ireland's Official Submission to the Best Foreign Language Film Category of the 80th Annual Academy Awards (Oscars) has gone on general release this weekend."
Kings ransom as acclaimed Irish film is released

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Nuacht move to Connemara

(Dec 6, 2007)
"RTÉ’s Irish language television news service is to be located to the TG4 studio headquarters in the Connemara Gaeltacht with an investment programme of over €2m in new technology."

Letters: Irish important in the courts

(Dec 6, 2007)
"It seems a pity that barristers and solicitors will not require any Irish in the future."

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Waterford Television Company punches above its weight in National competition

(Dec 5, 2007)
"Nemeton Television has just won two awards in the prestigious Gradaim Gnó na Gaeltachta. The event aims to promote the spirit of entrepreneurship in the Gaeltacht."

Colleges drop language requirement for science

(Dec 5, 2007)
"Students will find it easier to get into science courses after two universities yesterday revealed they are to drop the entry requirement for a third modern language, such as French or German.
"However applicants will still need English and Irish to get into science -- any move to drop the Irish language requirement would meet with fierce resistance."

Opinion: What Cromwell couldn't kill, we will

(Dec 2, 2007)
"More savage than the famine and more merciless than Oliver Cromwell, the persistent neglect of the Irish language by successive governments may be about to achieve what these two scourges tried but failed to do: The effective death of Irish as a living language."

Friday, November 30, 2007

Gaelic Media Service Appoints Head of Content

(Nov 29, 2007)

"Gaelic Media Service (GMS) has appointed respected broadcaster Alan Esslemont as its new Head of Content. Esslemont (49) joins GMS from the Irish language station TG4, where he is Director of Television. He has experience of creating a new channel and is recognised for his extensive expertise in developing innovative and imaginative programme strands."
EDIT 12/1 -- Here's another article on the same topic:

Carlsberg's cúpla focal

(Nov 29, 2007)

"Carlsberg’s current TV ad ‘Aon Focal’ will run across all channels until 31st December 2007 (in tandem with an outdoor campaign of support). It tells the story of how the little bitín of gaeilge goes a long way in helping to get out of sticky situations, especially when you’re miles away from home."

Saturday, November 24, 2007

No Nollaig Shona for ’07 shoppers in Lisburn mall

(Nov 23, 2007)
"Bow Street Mall in Lisburn is refusing to hang an Irish language Christmas banner in the shopping centre – a year after telling the Andersonstown News it would."

Call for Irish Language Officer in Moyle?

(Nov 23, 2007)
"Sinn Fein councillor Cara McShane is calling on Moyle District Council to appoint an Irish Language Officer. She said she was approached by people from the Irish Language community about the Council applying for such a post for which she said 50 per cent funding is available."

Gaelscoileanna launch public campaign Fighting for parents' right to choice in education

(Nov 24, 2007)
"Half of all Gaelscoileanna, of which there are five in County Tipperary, 46 in Munster and 168 throughout Ireland will be directly affected by Minister of Education Mary Hanafin's proposal to end the practice of early immersion education."

Letters: Speaking Irish with one voice

(Nov 20, 2007)

"I do not know why Irish language organisations are up in arms over the decision by Education and Science Minister Mary Hanafin to end total immersion in Irish in our gaelscoileanna."

Great disinfectant, but don't drink Irish moonshine

(Nov 23, 2007)

"Some always said poteen, the Irish brand of illegal moonshine, was good for you and now it's pretty well official: it's great in poultices, a powerful disinfectant and is a 'brilliant' antiseptic."

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Ministers told to use Irish in EU business

(Nov 20, 2007)
"Government ministers have been reminded to use the Irish language when possible on EU business."

De Brun urges move on language

(Nov 21, 2007)

"Sinn Fein MEP Bairbre de Brun said as Irish language activists lobbied the European Parliament and European Commission officials about the need to protect the rights of Irish speakers in Northern Ireland that Mr Woodward could take measures for the language at Westminster."

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

€700,000 paid every year to families with cupla focal

(Nov 20, 2007)
"Almost €700,000 is being paid to families around the country ... for speaking Irish.
"The families, living in Gaeltacht areas, simply have to prove that they speak Irish as their everyday language and they are handed a cheque for €260 every year."

Poots praises Irish attitude to Ulster Scots

(Nov 20, 2007)

"DUP culture minister Edwin Poots has praised his Irish counterpart for his attitude towards Ulster Scots issues.
"Mr Poots says Gaeltacht minister Eamon O'Cuiv has been very co-operative on Ulster Scots matters."

Monday, November 19, 2007

RTE's Irish Language News Service To Relocate to Baile na hAbhann

(Nov 19, 2007)

"RTE's Irish language television news service is to be relocated to Baile na hAbhann in County Galway with an investment programme of over €2m in new technology."

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Language problems dog opening of bypass oral hearing

(Nov 15, 2007)

"The oral hearing on the proposed Galway City Outer Bypass has been dogged by language problems since proceedings began on Tuesday. Residents from Gaeltacht areas along the route of the road have hit out at the lack of translation equipment at the hearing, as well as the lack of Irish language literature available during the public consultation process."

Gaelscoil parents reject minister’s English directive

(Nov 14, 2007)
"Parents of Gaelscoil pupils have given their backing to the policy of teaching no English for up to two years, despite a directive from Education Minister Mary Hanafin that schools should end the practice from next year."

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Galway: Christmas lights as Gaeilge

(Nov 12, 2007)

"Greetings such as 'Nollaig Shona', 'Beannachtaí na Nollag', 'Beannachtaí na Féile' and 'Oíche Chiún, Oíche Mhic Dé' will greet shoppers in Galway this year, through the collaboration of Gaillimh le Gaeilge and the Galway City Business Association. It is anticipated that the lights, which will hang in Eyre Square, Shop Street, High Street and Dominick Street, will enhance Galway's standing as a bilingual city. The project has been funded by means of a grant of €57,750 from the Ciste na Gaeilge Business Sub-Fund of the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs."

Dáil protest over Irish language move

(Nov 13, 2007)

"Children from Gaelscoileanna began a campaign at Dáil Éireann today opposing Minister for Education Mary Hanafin's decision to end early total immersion in Irish-language schools."

Mise Eire and Saoirse? Films that chart the Irish struggle for liberation

(Nov 13, 2007)

"Few Socialist Worker readers will have an Irish language DVD in their film collection. Well here’s a chance to get two, subtitled in English!"

Anyone give a focal?

(Nov 12, 2007)

"Last Saturday week, a case came before the DRA in which a player from Longford, who had been suspended for two months for verbal abuse of a referee, appealed his case....I have often written that the GAA's attitude to the Irish language in relation to the rule book simply brings Irish into disrepute and heaps derision on the language and this latest development proves the point."

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Status of Irish in the EU temporarily lost in translation

(Nov 10, 2007)
"Officials in Brussels are having difficulties recruiting translators to rewrite key EU legislation into Irish, according to representatives from Irish language groups who travelled to Belgium earlier this week."

Friday, November 9, 2007

Boost For Irish Language Development In Corr Na Mona

(Nov 8, 2007)

"Corr na Mona in County Galway is to share an Irish language development grant of a quarter of a million euro with its County Mayo neighbour Tourmekeady."

O'Cuiv policy on Irish has led to 'fewer speakers'

(Nov 9, 2007)
"Gaeltacht Affairs Minister Eamon O Cuiv was accused last night of leaving a legacy of 'useless harebrained policy' on the Irish language, with fewer speakers to go with it.
"The minister was forced to defend claims that he had stripped department budgets to satisfy his own 'personal whims' when deciding on Irish language policy."

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Fire at Irish language theatre probed

(Nov 7, 2007)

"A file is being prepared for the DPP in connection with a fire at An Taibhdhearc, the Irish language theatre, at the weekend."

Foras na Gaeilge to proceed with Gweedore centre

(Nov 8, 2007)

"The decentralisation of Foras na Gaelige to Gweedore is to proceed with five posts expected to be advertised there in the coming weeks.
"It was announced in 2004 that 30 posts would be decentralised to Gweedore."

'Gaeilge' loophole exposes rules crisis

(Nov 8, 2007)
"Official team lists must be written 'as gaeilge' but referees have habitually written their match reports in English without any previous repercussions and this judgement has not only infuriated officials but left the GAA's top brass worried about its further ramifications."

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Oireachtas a huge success

(Nov 6, 2007)
"Many people didn’t believe the Oireachtas would be as big as the committee promised, but their four-year effort left nothing to chance and the crowds flocked to Westport for what has been hailed as one of the best Oireachtas na Samhna festivals ever."

Councils count cost of Irish translations nobody reads

(Nov 5, 2007)

Monday, November 5, 2007

Corn idir dhá sháile

(Nov 5, 2007)
Bhí an lá agus an oíche le Micheál Ó Confhaola, ó Mhuiceanach Idir Dhá Sháile, nuair a chuir sé moltóirí Chorn Uí Riada faoi dhraíocht lena leagan de Chontae Mhaigh Eo agus ar athghlaoch le leagan de Pheigín Audley.
Beirt bhan a bhí sna sála ar an Chonfhaolach, duine de shliocht cheolmhar Ghriallais. Máire Ní Cheilleachair ó Mhusgraí, agus Máirín Ní Chéide a bhain an Corn sna 80í agus atá anois ina cónaí in Dorchester, Massachussetts a chríochnaigh sa dara agus sa tríú háit faoi seach.
Tá príomhghradam cheoil na Gaeilge anois chun an bhaile leis agus deireadh curtha le hOireachtas na Samhna go ceann bliana eile.
Bhí iomaíocht ghéar ann i mbliana, mar a bhíonn gach uile bhliain, agus daoine ó na ceithre hairde san iomaíocht, agus jab oibre le déanamh ag Áine Ní Cheallaogh, ag Séamus Ó Dubhthaigh agus ag Seosaimhín Ní Bheaglaíoch, na moltóirí.
Bhí Club na Féile ar fheabhas, agus céilí ar siúl, agus daoine ó cheithre chúige na hÉireann agus taobh amuigh de sin, idir óg agus aosta, ag baint suilt as an fhéile iomlán. Is cinnte, bliain i ndiaidh bliana go bhfuil an tOireachtas ag leagan síos spriocanna agus sláit thomhais, a éiríonn leo sarú, agus go bhfuil ceoltóir den scoth aimsithe le hionadaíocht a dhéanamh ar son na hÉireann i gComórtas Ceoil Cheilteach sa bhFéile Phan-Cheilteach ar an bhliain seo chugainn.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Piper's diary inspires award-winning book

(Nov 3, 2007)
"A diary belonging to the late Seamus Ennis, the famous uilleann piper, is the basis of a new book that yesterday won the Irish Language Book of the Award for 2007.
"The announcement came following the news that Bord na Leabhar Gaeilge, which runs the awards, is to be dissolved."

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Committee to look at future of Irish

(Oct 31, 2007)

"The Minister for the Gaeltacht, Éamon Ó Cuív, has announced the establishment of what is believed to be the first ever Cabinet sub-committee to deal with the future of the Irish language."

Des gives Kerry a Tongue lashing

(Nov 1, 2007)

"No stranger to Kerry, one of Ireland’s best-loved comedians spoke out loud and proud in the Irish language in Killarney."

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Wes's Words

coguasach adj
- velar
as in...
Fuaimnítear consan coguasach i gcúl an bhéil.
One pronounces a velar consonant in the back of the mouth.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Members furious as language board is scrapped

(Oct 30, 2007)
"News that the functions of the Irish Language Books Board (Bord na Leabhar Gaeilge) are to be transferred to Foras na Gaeilge was contained in a press release issued by the minister's office on Friday afternoon....But there had been no prior consultation with board members about the move and several of them only heard of it later on Friday in Irish language media reports."

Friday, October 26, 2007

Cognitive dissonance

Seen in Dinkytown, near the U of M:

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Foras na Gaeilge Announces Second Annual ‘GLEO’ Schools Scheme

(Oct 24, 2007)

"Foras na Gaeilge called on schools across County Waterford to prove their ‘Grá don Gaeilge’. With the announcement of the second annual ‘Gleo’ schools scheme, Foras na Gaeilge reminds schools that Irish is not just for the classroom!"

Westport set for Oireachtas hurling tournament

(Oct 24, 2007)

"Westport GAA Club is all set to host one of the GAA's national hurling tournaments as part of the Oireachtas na Samhna Festival. Six GAA clubs from all over the country will be travelling to the town for the event which will be played out at St Patrick’s GAA Park on the Newport Road."

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Accommodation scarce as Oireachtas countdown begins

(Oct 23, 2007)

"The organisers of the biggest cultural festival of the year, Oireachtas na Samhna, have appealed for all accommodation providers in the Westport area to contact them if they have any spare rooms."
"Founded by Conradh na Gaeilge in 1897, An tOireachtas is Ireland’s longest running annual festival and is a celebration of Irish language and culture. The festival presents a mixture of song, music, dance, literature and story-telling, and there are also events and competitions for people of all ages and abilities to indulge themselves. This will be the first ever time the national event has been held in Westport."

Gaelgeoir group to start new Gaeltacht near city

(Oct 22, 2007)

"A group of gaelgeoiri plan to develop an Irish-speaking community within commuting distance of Dublin."

New Irish-speaking areas to be formed?

And related to the previous post....
(Oct 19, 2007)
...directing interested readers to visit

€1m fund for Irish filmmakers launched

(Oct 22, 2007)

"The film board said today: 'The new short film schemes will aim to invest in new talent by providing opportunities for filmmakers to develop skills in live action filmmaking, documentary, animation and digital technology.
"'All schemes are open to the films in the Irish language and hope to stimulate new original ideas and build on the success of Irish language filmmaking to date.'"

Human Rights Commission enters Irish language row

(Oct 18, 2007)

"The Human Rights Commission was tonight drawn into the Assembly row over the Irish language."

Irish language decline is continuing in Mayo

(Oct 17, 2007)

"The number of Irish speakers in Mayo continues to decline, according to the latest information from the Central Statistics Office."

The Irish Question

(Oct 19, 2007)

"On paper, it reads like every schoolgirl's nightmare -- being cooped up in a remote boarding school where boys aren't allowed and everybody is compelled to speak Irish.
"Yet Colaiste Ide in Dingle, Ireland's only all-Irish, all-girl, seven-day boarding school, is practically turning pupils away. The Co Kerry school has only a handful of places left for its forthcoming academic year -- having been booked out for the past four years."

Feelgood factor at a high as new Irish language school opens

(Oct 9, 2007)

"Children attending a Naiscoil in Glengormley can now continue their education in the Irish medium sector with the opening of St Enda's Gaelscoil."

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Ó Cuív urges move on NI language act

WHOA. Sorry, folks. My time's not always my own lately. I'm pretty sure I've missed a fair amount of news but let's just pick up what we can....
Ó Cuív urges move on NI language act (Oct 18, 2007)

"A compromise must be found on the Irish language in Northern Ireland, Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Éamon Ó Cuív has said.
"Northern Ireland Culture Minister Edwin Poots decided this week against introducing an Irish Language Act - even though it is enshrined in last year's St Andrew's Agreement.
"Sixty-five per cent of people who participated in a public consultation process supported the legislation, but Mr Poots claimed it would prove too divisive and expensive to introduce."

Brush up on your Gaeilge, EU warns Government

(Oct 13, 2007)

"The European Commission has told the Government it needs to brush up on its Irish grammar or risk undermining the use of Gaeilge as an official EU language."

Irish language law row brewing

(Oct 16, 2007)

"Stormont Minister Edwin Poots was facing a major row today as he prepared to announce his intention of scrapping proposed Irish language legislation."

Irish language and culture is thriving in Omagh area

(Oct 18, 2007)

"The importance of strong cultural identity and was emphasised in Omagh District Council last week as bursaries aimed at promoting proficiency in the Irish language were presented."

Dingle pupils protest against Irish language policy

(Oct 15, 2007)

"Up to 60 pupils have reportedly mounted a protest outside a school in Co Kerry where a controversial decision has been made to teach all classes through Irish."

Crisis in Irish secondary education

(Oct 19, 2007)

"The closing of the Meánscoil site should make us focus on the weaknesses in Gaelscolaíocht in Derry. Why are the numbers of pupils receiving secondary education through Irish so low?"

Waterford: Classes to commence at first Polish School

Nice to see the cousins being taken care of:

"The first ever Polish school in the South East will begin classes in St. Paul’s Community College this week.
“'We are happy to be able to facilitate this venture and wish the teachers and pupils every success,' stated Anthony Condron, Principal, St. Paul’s Community College.
"The school, which will cater for more then 100 students, will operate every Saturday from 8am - 5pm.
"The students, who are aged from 7 - 15 years will be divided into individual classes and receive three hours tuition in Polish and the history of their native country.
"The school will be fully funded by the Polish government and aims to provide a Polish curriculum for the children of Polish immigrants living within a 40-mile radius of Waterford.
"It is anticipated that many of children will return to their native country in the future, which is the reasoning behind the school."

Editorial: Poots’ day of shame

(Oct 21, 2007)
"It's a long journey and all of it downward from the smiles and sweet sentiments of 8 May 2007 when Martin McGuinness and Ian Paisley were sworn into office as powersharing partners and the scowls and sneers of 16 October of the same year when DUP Culture Minister Edwin Poots strangled at birth the Irish Language Act."

Monday, October 15, 2007

Another Irish Blog

Good to see another blog in the Irish Language


Friday, October 5, 2007

Language goes from strength to strength

(Oct 5, 2007)
"Education Minister Caitríona Ruane has launched Ó Neart go Neart (From Strength to Strength) ­– the new website of Irish medium schools body, Iontaobhas na Gaelscolaíochta (I na G)."

3,200 children in North attend Irish-medium education

(Oct 4, 2007)

"'Nine children, one teacher and a dilapidated portacabin...' The above is how one Irish language enthusiast described the foundations of Irish Medium Education in the six counties. Today we are glad to see over 3,200 children attending Irish-medium education in the six counties."

Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Irish language in the Sperrins

(Oct 4, 2007)

"Peadar Joe Haughey's cottage in Creggan recently came alive again to the sound of traditional music and a comprehensive lecture on the native speakers of the Sperrins in the 20th century and relevant information as to the rise and fall of the language in the area."

MLA 'tired of listening to Irish'

(Oct 4, 2007)

"An Ulster Unionist assembly member has said he is tired of listening to Stormont ministers speaking in Irish."

Gaelic tongue slipping despite Irish drive

...and related stories from today:

Gaelic tongue slipping despite Irish drive

"The number of Irish people who claim to speak Gaelic is still slipping despite a major drive to revive the traditional language, according to figures released Thursday."

Use of spoken Irish declines - CSO

"The number of people able to speak Irish has shown a slight decline since 2002, according to census figures published by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) today."

Irish speakers top 1.6 million

"More than 1.6 million people claim to be able to speak Irish but most of them never use it, new research revealed today."

Most who can - don't talk Irish

"The majority of Irish people who can speak Irish do not use it on a daily basis."

Programme for Hyde Conference launched

(Oct 3, 2007)

"The conference, co-directed by Alan Titley, author and Professor of Modern Irish at University College Cork, focuses on Hydeís recognition of the Irish language as a living language expressed through literature and folklore and seeks to promote the practice and appreciation of the contemporary Irish language."

Carlow: Large scale support for bilingual campaign

(Oct 4, 2007)

"Enthusiastic support for the Glór na nGael campaign to gain Bilingual Town Status for Carlow was recorded at the open meeting held in the Carlow Talbot Hotel on Thursday last."

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Irish Language Scheme To Be Launched On Monday

(Oct 3, 2007)

"Clare Local Authorities has prepared a new Irish Language Scheme, in accordance with section 11 of the Official Languages Act 2003."

Letters: Disputing facts about the Irish language

(Oct 3, 2007)

"As two young members of the substantial Irish speaking community living and working on the Notre Dame campus, we have been left with no choice but to take issue with Sarah Falvey's letter ('Irish language a relic of the past,' Oct. 1). She must first be congratulated on having succeeded in fitting such a vast amount of misinformation into such a short piece."

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Non-Irish speakers 'paying the price'

(Oct 2, 2007)

"A row has erupted because the parents of English-speaking children must pay for 11-plus practice papers – while Irish speakers get them for free."

Health Minister ends Irish translation

With thanks to Kyle for pointing it out:
Minister ends Irish translation (Oct 1, 2007)

"Health Minister Michael McGimpsey has ended the automatic translation of advertisements and press releases from his department into the Irish language."

Letters: Irish language 'glue' for our new nation

(Oct 1, 2007)

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Letterkenny - Town councillors encouraged to talk in Irish

(Sept 28, 2007)

"A new Irish language Programme was presented recently to Letterkenny Town Councillors by the County Council's Irish Language Development Officer Mr Seán Ó Daimhín."

Friday, September 28, 2007

Fág Nuacht TG4 sa Ghaeltacht

This piece has apparently aged off of Lá Nua's system (oops - where's my time machine?) but I'll put it up here anyways. See the comments for a short word list to start you off.
Fág Nuacht TG4 sa Ghaeltacht - 09/11/2007
Concubhar Ó Liatháin
Tá sé ráite ag an Aire a shínigh an t-ordu a bhunaigh TnaG in 1996 nár mhaith leis ar chor ar bith go mbogfaí an tseirbhís nuachta ó Bhaile na hAbhann go Cathair na Gaillimhe.
Dar leis an Teachta Dála, Micheál D. Ó hUiginn, gurbh fhearr i bhfad an tseirbhís a bheadh le fáil dá bhfanfadh sé mar atá sé ag ceanncheathru TG4.
“Is é sin an mhian a bhí agam ag an tús agus níl aon athrú tagtha ar mo sheasamh ar an cheist ó shin,” arsa an Teachta Ó hUiginn le Lá Nua, inné. Dhearbhaigh sé go raibh díospóireacht ann ar an cheist seo nuair a bunaíodh Teilifís na Gaeilge in 1996 ach gur sheas sé an fód ar cheist shuíomh an tseirbhís nuachta.
Ó thuairiscigh Lá Nua an scéal seo den chéad uair, an tseachtain seo caite, tá RTÉ ina dtost faoi.
Tuigtear don nuachtán anois, áfach, go raibh an cheist le plé ag cruinniú de choiste feidhmiúcháin RTÉ, aréir nó maidin inniu.
Ag an phointe seo, ceaptar nach ndéanfar aon chinneadh ar an mholadh seirbhís nuachta TG4 a bhogadh go Gaillimh go ceann coicíse.

Dunnes goes bilingual in Rahoon and Briarhill

(Sept 27, 2007)

"Dunnes two new stores in Rahoon and Briarhill have been applauded for incorporating the Irish language into their signage."

Carlow - Bilingual Town Status meeting

(Sept 26, 2007)
"The campaign to achieve Bilingual Town Status for Carlow is gaining momentum and there is infectious enthusiasm for the idea."

Naming of road prompts lengthy debate in Ballina

(Sept 26, 2007)

"At Ballina Town Council’s September monthly meeting a request to change the name of a new road created consternation in the chamber. What name should be chosen? Should it be an English name or an Irish name? Should the Councillors decide themselves or should they consult with the public?"

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Oireachtas na Samhna news

Festival to bring 20,000 visitors to Westport (Sept 20, 2007)

"Ireland's largest Irish cultural festival, ‘Oireachtas na Samhna’, will be held in Westport in November."

Huge surge in Mayo interest in Oireachtas (Sept 26, 2007)

"Interest in the Oireachtas competitions, which are to be held in Mayo this year, has exceeded all expectations forcing the organising committee to extend the deadline for entries to all competitions to the end of September."

Film Interview – Colm Meaney / ‘Kings’

Some of this interview was previously published, I think, but not all of it.
King For A Day (Sept 27?, 2007)
"With the bulk of ‘Kings’ being spoken as Gaeilge, the director thought it wise to take his cast to Irish-language bootcamp in Connemara. Colm Meaney didn’t go, feeling he had enough of a grasp on his native tongue to get by. Then again, he wasn’t working off the same page as the other actors. Literally."

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Colin and Cumberland

.....So I'm in this thing called school, and while in the larger picture I'm trying to figure out where I went so horribly wrong, I'm taking solace in the opportunities to see and do new things. For one of my classes I'm supposed to find an exemplary language-learning web site to present to the class. I'm down to hours-to-go (pardon me while I get the hyperventilating under control) with no particular luck...except that I have been reminded of the existence of Colin and Cumberland. I recall being at a conference where reps of some stripe gave a presentation about the project, just on the verge of being launched at that point. If I remember correctly, at that point it was only in Welsh, with plans for Irish and Gaelic off in the future yet.
.....Colin's a newcomer to town, having just inherited a run-down house and a dog from his grandmother. Cumberland's the dog, who is not only secretly able to speak, but is also fluent in the non-English language of the town. Quoting from the Irish section of the web site, "Colin & Cumberland is an introduction to the Irish language through television, radio and online. Short animated television programmes based on the comic capers of Colin and Cumberland introduce the viewer to their world and encourage them to visit this games-rich website and learn some key Irish phrases."
.....I don't know that this is the exemplary learning site I've been seeking, but I'll admit to having been sucked in for hours, between two of the three languages offered. I started with the Welsh site (canúint an tuaiscirt) but switched to Irish when I got a little too frustrated by the lack of translation/explanation. What can I say, I like structure.
.....In its defense, I am not in its target audience, at least from what I can tell. The tag line is "bone up your (Irish/Gaelic/Welsh)" -- in other words, people in Great Britain who may have at least a low-level exposure to the language in question on a daily basis. In that sense I think it succeeds in its attempt. It gets a user's attention and holds it with games and resources and the clips that were run on television in conjunction with the program. In keeping with the Great Britain focus, the Irish is the northern flavor, which kept me on my toes to be sure. I'm familiar enough with it, though, to catch that a few of the characters have, um, highly stylized voices. I'd suspected as much, when I was playing with the Welsh site, but just couldn't be sure. I wouldn't want this to be an absolute beginner's only auditory input for this reason, but I for one am looking forward to going back when I have free time to play. That's July 2008, I think.
.....So...anyone know of a really good language learning site? For any language?...
.....In other fun news: "MacGyver says 'Halo' to Ireland!" (nothing to do with Irish, though)

Irish Language Commissioner challenges TDs and senators to use more Irish

Shannon clash on cards as Dail finally reopens (Sept 25, 2007)

"Meanwhile, all 226 members of the Dail and Seanad have been personally challenged to use more Irish in the houses of the Oireachtas."

Ring ready for new role, despite critics

(Sept 25, 2007)

"Westport-based Fine Gael TD Michael Ring has told The Mayo News that he will not be taking Irish lessons but will endeavour to learn a ‘cúpla focal’ to help in his new role. Ring was responding to some heavy criticism in the national media in the past week after he was appointed to the opposition party’s front bench as spokesperson for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, even though he cannot speak the Irish language."

Digital distribution for new Irish film

(Sept 25, 2007)

The new Irish language film Kings was released last week to digital screens throughout Ireland using the latest digital cinema packaging and secure keys."

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Friday, September 21, 2007

More "Kings" news

Apologies for the absence -- who knew school could be taxing?

Irish film selected for Oscars (Sept 12, 2007)

"A film in the Irish language about the heartache of migrant workers has been selected as Ireland's entry for an Oscar."

Irish language film put forward for Oscar (Sept 12, 2007)
"An Irish language film has been submitted for an Oscar for the first time ever, it emerged today."

Film as Gaeilge bids for Oscar (Sept 13, 2007)
"A film in Irish has been submitted for an Oscar -- possibly for the first time ever."

Oscar hopes for Derry-born director (Sept 14, 2007)

"Oscar success could soon shine on Derry as Irish language film 'Kings', directed by local man Tom Collins, has been officially selected for consideration for the 80th Academy Awards."

Back to his roots (Sept 20, 2007)

"'The idea of doing a film as Gaeilge was intriguing from the get-go,' says Meaney. 'I was very surprised, actually, when they called me.'"

A review, of a sort:

Irish movie Kings is oscar bound (Sept 21, 2007)
Based on a stage play this Irish film – in Irish and English and being talked up as a possible entry for the Oscars Best Foreign Language category – is a fine example of solid ensemble playing but an example of the difficulty of translating stage to screen in that it often gets bogged down with chat."

Press Release:

Newgrange Pictures Ltd And Digital Cinema Ltd Release Kings Digitally In Ireland (Sept 21, 2007)
Newgrange Pictures Ltd and Digital Cinema Limited (DCL) are delighted to announce the digital release of the Irish language film KINGS in Ireland."

Two thirds of survey support Irish language signage

(Sept 20, 2007)

"Ballymoney Council has received both letters of support and objection over the erecting of bi-lingual signage on three streets in the Borough."

"I've been speaking Irish for the whole of my life."

(Sept 20, 2007)

"'It's the best school in the world', gushes 11 year old Grian Ni Dhaimhin about her school, Gaelscoil Ui Dhochartaigh."

Sobaldhráma 2009

as Gaeilge:
"Fáilteoidh TG4 roimh iarratais ar chonradh do léiriú sobaldhráma le craoladh i gclársceideal Fhómhar 2009."
i mBéarla:

"TG4 would welcome applications for the production of a soap opera. Up to three seasons of the soap opera might be involved commencing in September 2009."

Clash over school closure criteria

(Sept 18, 2007)

"Education Minister Caitriona Ruane was accused of sectarianism over school closures in an Assembly clash with the DUP's William McCrea. He said Ms Ruane approved an Irish language school in Co Tyrone with 12 Primary One pupils while closing Minterburn Primary School in Caledon which had double the numbers."

'Na Dódaí’

Imagine Media's 'Na Dódaí’ To Start Shooting In Belfast's Blackstaff Studios (Sept 18 2007)

"Series 2 of ‘Na Dódaí’, Imagine Media’s landmark series for young Irish learners, produced for BBC NI and the Irish Language Broadcast Fund, begins shooting in Blackstaff studios on September 19."

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Ireland selects 'Kings' for Oscars

(Sept 11, 2007)

"'Kings,' directed by Tom Collins and starring Colm Meaney, has been selected as Ireland's entry for best foreign-language film at next year's Academy Awards. It's believed to be the first time an Irish-language movie has been entered in the Oscar race."
[EDIT Sept 12 -- Here's another story with some additional info: Kings is selected for Irish Oscar bid]

Vista boost for Gaelic speakers

For our compatriots literally or figuratively on the other side of the Irish Sea:
Vista boost for Gaelic speakers (August 30, 2007)

"The Gaelic Development Agency Bord na Gaidlaig welcomed the move, which they said was a major development in the learning and teaching of Gaelic."

Tidy Towns

(Sept 11, 2007)

"Westport retained its Gold Medal Award, County Award and Regional Award and added the Building a Bilingual Society Award to its list of honours."

Local boys!

With thanks to Suin for pointing it out:
Hurly Burly (August 27, 2007)
Subscription may be needed. Waaaay down on the page you'll see a mention of Killian, who has been known to show up for class or conversation group when hurling doesn't conflict:

"Ex-pats such as Condon, who provides running commentary during hurling sessions in both English and Gaelic, have kept the sport viable on these shores."

Monday, September 10, 2007


So I'm sitting here slogging through a long article on using technology for second-language learning when I'm suddenly bowled over by the memory of playing a Hangman game as Gaeilge on my old old computer. Obviously all progress must halt. Does anyone know of one that's currently available? I suppose I'd settle for an internet-based version, as long as it's good. And yes, I've done some looking of my own, but so far I'm not impressed.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Article mentioning Irish in Tyrone

MCSC Irish summer school (Sept 6, 2007)

"When Peadar Joe Haughey died in January 1951 a piece of Tyrone's Gaeltacht heritage died with him."

Fun family experiences await at Irish Festival

From Sept 7, 2007 -- Danbury CT again:

"There will be an Irish language workshop for beginners and an evening Ceili (6:30-10:30 p.m.) with the Green Gates Ceili Band."
"Teachers and students of the Irish language classes will give out names in Irish for children and adults."
Oh, fine, I suppose we weren't the first to have this idea. And we're certainly not doing it this weekend, so they're welcome to it.

Irish festival will feature Mass celebrated in Gaelic

Sept 7, 2007 -- Syracuse NY I'm assuming:

"For about 20 years, McColgan, a teacher at Fayetteville-Manlius High School, also has taught Irish to adults in Central New York. Saturday, she and a group of her Irish students will participate in a Roman Catholic Irish Mass being celebrated in Syracuse's Clinton Square as part of the eighth annual Guinness Syracuse Irish Festival."

Tensions grow in language act debate

(Sept 7, 2007)

"Tensions were last night rising between the DUP and Sinn Fein, after the unionist party made it clear it will stand in the way of the bid to pass an Irish Language Act."
Nice adverbial phrase placement, there.

Guinness good for you - official

At the risk of making this into the Gaeilge-and-beer blog....
Guinness good for you - official (Nov 13 2003, but still as true as ever)
With thanks to Glenn for pointing this out to us, and to Mia for pointing it out to Glenn!
"A pint of the black stuff a day may work as well as an aspirin to prevent heart clots that raise the risk of heart attacks."
And on this note...don't forget to come out and see us at the Ren Fest this weekend!
[EDIT] Okay, fine, here's some Irish to tie it all together. The magnet on my fridge says "Guinness -- deoch an fhuinnimh" (if I'm seeing all the dots). I like to think this is an assertion that Guinness is the original energy drink.