Friday, March 28, 2008

News whatchamacallit through an 28ú lá Mí na Márta

Overcrowding and lack of resources hindering teachers (March 24, 2008)
“Primary school teachers are struggling to implement key sections of the new curriculum because of overcrowded classrooms and a lack of resources, according to a major new report.”
“On the teaching of the Irish language, teachers reported how ‘a lack of age-appropriate, modern and interesting resources, including teaching resources and real books’ was hampering their work.”
“Class size was also a key issue in Irish language teaching.”

Gaeltacht revamp could cut 'population in half' (March 24, 2008)
“The population of the Gaeltacht could be cut by more than half and Dingle could lose its designated all-Irish status if the Government introduced new linguistic criteria.”

Towns at risk of losing Gaeltacht status (March 25, 2008)
"A proposed Gaeltacht revamp could see towns in Donegal such as Dungloe and Burtonport lose their Gaeltacht status."

Gaeltachtaí in danger? (March 25, 2008)
“A new study into the Irish language indicates that the population of the Mayo Gaeltachtaí could be cut to just over 2,000 people if the Government introduced new linguistic criteria – meaning that Achill, Belmullet and Tourmakeady would all lose their Gaeltacht status.”

City could lose Gaeltacht tag (March 25, 2008)
“A new analysis predicts that areas of Galway city currently classified as being in the Gaeltacht — with a population of 14,000, or about one fifth of the city’s total — would lose that status if Gaeltacht boundaries were to be redrawn, under new linguistic criteria recommended to the Government.”

Teachers: Comedian tops minister for promotion of Irish in schools (March 25, 2008)
“The Irish language has been boosted more by comedian Des Bishop than the minister whose job it is to promote it in schools, a primary teachers’ leader said last night.”

Comic 'promotes Irish language more than minister' (March 25, 2008)
“Comedian Des Bishop has done more to promote Irish language in schools than the Education Minister, said a primary teachers' leader yesterday.”

Minister Criticized Over Gaelic (March 26, 2008)
“A New York-born comedian has been credited by a teachers’ leader with contributing more to the campaign to revive the Irish language than Education Minister Mary Hanafin.”

Dingle to lose Gaeltacht status under new plan (March 26, 2008)
“Ministers will meet for the first time next month to discuss the findings of the report, carried out by NUIG and NUI Maynooth, which contends that Irish will die out as the main language of the community and home in the Gaeltacht within 15-20 years unless immediate action is taken to stem the linguistic tide against Irish.”

Cúirt’s Irish language programme travels further than before (March 27, 2008)
“Travels to India, poems inspired by the Aran Islands, and a host of award winning writers make up this year’s much expanded Cúirt Irish language programme.”

Learn Polish at the Galway City Museum (March 27, 2008)
“It is a surprising but true that many Galwegians are picking up a few Polish phrases like ‘dzien dobry’ and ‘do widzenia’ to say to their Polish friends. Now there is a chance to learn how to say much more.”

'Funky nostalgia' to characterise Electric Picnic '08 (March 27, 2008)
“... Music and art also have the opportunity to merge as major debates, hosted by broadcaster David McWilliams, will reflect on the political and cultural legacy 40 years on from 1968 - the high-watermark of 1960s counterculture - featuring some key figures from the era; the future of the Irish language and the state of the music industry.”

Grabby the alien set to give kids a grá for Gaeilge on RTE show (March 27, 2008)
“A Gaeilgeoir alien called Grabby is set to delight toddlers into getting familiar with the Irish language, before they even get to school.”

Good Friday frolics (March 27, 2008)
“The President of Ireland, Mary McAleese could certainly give comedian Des Bishop a run for his money when it comes to stage performances in the Irish language.
“President McAleese was guest of honour at TG4’s annual Musician of the Year awards on Good Friday night in the INEC, Killarney and formally opened the event. Like Des Bishop, she began studying Irish later in life, and like him, her standard of Irish would put most of us to shame.”
(Subscription required for full story.)

Does the GAA properly represent our Gaelic culture? (March 29, 2008) (yes, published tomorrow -- in the past!)
“Should we be worried about the major sponsorship coming into the GAA? The association announced new deals for the All-Ireland championships with various companies and it now seems they are now longer limiting themselves to Irish companies. I remember a time when an objection would be ruled out of order if it wasn’t written on Irish watermark paper. Now we’re opening the doors to any and all guests.”

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Maureen Kenny - the doyenne of Galway booksellers passes away

(March 27, 2008)
"Maureen Kenny, 'the doyenne of the bookselling tradition in Galway', has died, but the legacy of what she and her husband created will live on in The Kenny Gallery, Kenny’s Bookshop and Art Galleries Ltd, and"

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The slew o' news through an dara la 'is fiche Mí na Márta

Interpol given access to film of O Searcaigh youths (March 17, 2008)
“Interpol has access to full unedited transcripts and DVD footage of interviews with young men who had sex with Cathal O Searcaigh.”

Gaelic? What gall (March 17, 2008),1,6711426.story
“Gaelic -- or irish, as we call it here -- is the first official language of Ireland. (English is second.) And 41% of the population claim to speak it. But could that be true? To put it to the test, I set off across Ireland for three weeks in the summer of 2006 with one self-imposed handicap -- to never utter a word of English.”

Lá Fhéile Phádraig: Is Gaelic dead? (March 17, 2008)
By Ed Morrissey!

“Being a poor student of the ancient tongue myself, I read Manchán Magan’s essay in the LA Times today about his travails in attempting to use Irish in Ireland with some sadness and understanding.”

Want to have some ‘craic?’ Local college teaches Gaelic course (March 17, 2008)
“For the past few days, Dorothy McGinley’s Irish eyes have been smiling.”

O Searcaigh curriculum debate decided on merit (March 19, 2008)
“One of the simplest definitions of the school curriculum is that it is the set of stories that one generation chooses to tell the next. Seen in this light, it is to be expected, and welcomed, that those stories are subject to ongoing review and that they are the focus of debate and contestation.”

Glad to be gaeilge (March 19, 2008)
“What happens when a New York comic sets off to learn Irish in deepest Connemara? Des Bishop has the answers.”
“To access this article, you need to be a subscriber member to”

Pupils enjoy an old style Irish shindig (March 19, 2008)
“A big Céilí took place in John's Road School last Friday. Because it was Seachtain na Gaeilge the staff decided to organise a Dance-a-thon for all the children. Everyone in the school was reading Irish throughout the week and preparing for St. Patrick's Day.”
“Bhí Céilí mór ar suil i John's Road School ar an Aoine seo chaité. Toisc gur Seachtain na Gaeilge a bhí ann, shocraigh an foireann mœinteoireachta ar Dhamhsa-thon a chur ar fail do na páistí go léir.”

Spirit of St. Patrick is alive at Gaelscoil (March 20, 2008)
“The kids attending Gaelscoil na Lochanna in Blessington got into the spirit of St. Patrick's Day by holding a number of different events in preparation for March 17. The school may only be in its second year but can already lay claim to 23 infants enrolled. It is also the only gaelscoil in the west of the county.”

Thousands to compete at Feis Doire Colmcille (March 21, 2008)

“Thousands of competitors from Derry and further afield will start converging on the city on Monday to take part in the annual Feis Doire Colmcille.”

Monday, March 17, 2008

Lá 'le Pádraig sona daoibh

And furthermore I so can't believe it's slipped our minds to post this:
Ceardlann 2008 - Saturday April 12, 2008
Daylong Irish language workshop; all levels welcome!
Get your registration form in by March 29 and claim a discount.

More information at

Sunday, March 16, 2008

News chunk through an 6ú lá déag Mí na Márta

The Great Comedy Adventure - AS GAEILGE! (March 10, 2008)
“The Great Comedy Adventure comes over all patriotic this Paddy's weekend, with a very special Irish Language show on 16th March.”

Gay poet's PR man launches attack on TV film (March 11, 2008)
“The Annesley suite in Dublin's Alexander Hotel was full yesterday afternoon but the man everyone was talking about was nowhere to be seen. Poet Cathal O Searcaigh was launching a fightback of sorts but he stayed away, choosing to leave it to his PR consultant.”

Minding our language (March 11, 2008) plus a kazillion characters

“Culture Minister Edwin Poots has a funny way ofpromoting culture. At his first Irish language event he lambasted Sinn Féin for naming a new cumann after an IRA volunteer, claiming it would alienate the Protestant community. Recently he mocked Sinn Féin MLAs for speaking imperfect Irish.”

Irish school gets new home in Knocknacarra (March 11, 2008)

“A new ‘home’ for Irish language school Coláiste na Coiribe has taken a step forward, as outline planning permission has been granted for a new premises for the secondary school on a site in Knocknacarra.”

Norris in plea for O Searcaigh probe (March 12, 2008)
“Outspoken Senator David Norris yesterday called for the broadcasting of a controversial documentary on the poet Cathal O Searcaigh to be postponed and brought before a Dail committee.”

Visiting professor from Ireland to read, discuss epic love poem (March 12, 2008)

“Sean O Coileain, an expert on Irish language poetry from Ireland's University College Cork, will give a public reading of ‘The Lament for Art O'Leary’ on Friday.”

DCU’s Dr Peadar Ó Flatharta and Fiontar appointed Government advisors on 20 year strategic plan for the Irish language (March 12, 2008)

“Fiontar, Dublin City University’s school where teaching and research are conducted through Irish in a range of disciplines including business, communications and information technology, has been appointed to advise the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs as they prepare a 20 year strategic plan for the Irish language.”

'Disgraceful' vandals destroy children's facility (March 12, 2008)

“Pointing out that the centre was the only Irish language facility in the area, Councillor Kevin Campbell added: ‘We have Club na-Og an after schools club where children from the area are encouraged to do their homework in a friendly and positive atmosphere while interacting through the medium of Irish. I would appeal to the youth of the area to desist from this type of activity as it damages the image of the only Irish language facility we have on the estate.’”

Letters: Language rights are not obligations for us (March 12, 2008)

“In her letter (Write Back, March 5) Janet Muller talks about language rights and, in particular, Irish language rights, seemingly oblivious to the fact that she already has the right to speak and write in Irish if she wishes.”

BC Center for Irish Programs presents films (March 12, 2008)

“Boston College’s Irish Film Series marks its seventh year showcasing feature and documentary films.”

Artists' body won't cut off poet's funding (March 13, 2008)
“The most prestigious artists' group in the State said last night it would continue to fund Cathal O Searcaigh's artistic pursuits despite a damning documentary.”

Nepalese gay sex scandal may push poet off Irish syllabus (March 13, 2008)
“One of the foremost Irish-language poets is expected to have his work removed from the school curriculum in the wake of a tangled sexual controversy.”

Letters: It's Irish for themselves alone (March 13, 2008)

“As a Protestant who understands, speaks and enjoys the Irish language, I find that the present arrangements of Sinn Fein to promote the language are clearly designed to exclude people of my religion.”

Come Celebrate the Feast of St.Patrick, With an Irish-Language Mass at St. Patrick's Old Cathedral!
(March 13, 2008) (whoops)
"In honor of St. Patrick, an Irish- and English-language Mass will be celebrated at St. Patrick's Old Cathedral on Mott Street in Manhattan, between Prince and Houston streets, on Friday, March 14th, at 1:00 p.m."

Top ‘trad’ for Seachtain na Gaeilge (March 14, 2008)

“One of Connemara’s best loved musicians, sean nós dancers and singers will be in Westport this weekend as part of the Seachtain na Gaeilge celebrations in the town. Sonaí Cholm Learaí Ó Conghaile from Lettermullen, Connemara is a master accordion player, dancer and sean nós singer who has performed all over Ireland.”

Language of laughter (March 15, 2008)

“Des Bishop, who will be appearing at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, found fame after leaving his delinquent ways behind in the US at 14 for a fresh start in Ireland.”

Poet said no to Late Late debate (March 16, 2008)
“Poet Cathal O Searcaigh turned down an opportunity to explain his relationship with Nepalese youths in a one-to-one interview on the Late Late Show.”

Irish Film Series returns to BC (March 16, 2008)
“The series started last week and runs through April 16. ‘The Front Line’ plays at 6 p.m. at the West Newton Cinema and will be followed by the movie that Ireland submitted for consideration for this year's foreign-language Academy Award: ‘Kings,’ adapted from the Jimmy Murphy play ‘The Kings of the Kilburn High Road.’”

Sunday, March 9, 2008

The End of an Era: Turf-Cutting

This isn't about Irish or booze, but in case you're interested....
THE END OF AN ERA (March 9, 2008)

The practice of cutting turf is under threat because in 1992 the EU adopted a Habitat Directive which passed into Irish legislation as the European Union (Natural Habitats) Regulations, 1997.
It listed extensive habitats that must be protected, including large areas of raised and blanket bog land throughout Ireland.
The Irish Government got a 10-year derogation for landowners who cut turf for personal consumption but this runs out at the end of the 2008 turf-cutting season when it will become illegal to cut turf in designated bogs around the country.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

RTÉ celebrates Seachtain na Gaeilge

Forgot one:
RTÉ celebrates Seachtain na Gaeilge (March 7, 2008) (in list of stories)
"To celebrate this year's Seachtain na Gaeilge, RTÉ is offering the public a range of programming across television and radio along with a special language course, Easy Irish!, which will be made available free of charge to the public via both the RTÉ Guide and RTÉ.ie."

News flurry, to an 8ú lá Mí na Márta

Feel the Leabhar Power this Seachtain na Gaeilge (Feb 27, 2008)
“Leabhar Power, the popular initiative to promote Irish language books, will run from Monday, 3 to Monday, 17 March at various venues around Galway.”

Day School in Cardiff - Our Celtic Cousins (March 2, 2008)
“The Day School on the theme 'Our Celtics Cousins' organized by the Cymdeithas Carnhuanawc or Carnhuanawc Society in Cardiff on Feb 16th, was about the development of Irish language in Northern Ireland Prison of Long Kesh in the 70s, about a journey in Brittany of the Welsh Rev Thomas Price, or Carnhuawac, about the situation of Cornish and of Gaelic in Scotland nowadays, by four eminent specialists of Celtic languages, their history, their literature."

Looking to the future (March 4, 2008)
“It’s a question the Irish nation has been asking itself since the creation of the State. Is the Irish language a language in decline and is there any point in trying to revive it?”

Allez an Ghaeilge (March 4, 2008)
“They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Well nobody mentioned that to Frenchman Guy Racoillet, who moved to Ireland ten years ago and promptly started to learn Irish – at the age of 57.”

Irish language opt-outs soar (March 5, 2008)
“The number of secondary school students gaining exemption from studying Irish because they have a 'learning difficulty' is rocketing.”

Living and learning (March 5, 2008)

“Úna Quinn is easy to describe, but impossible to define. A retiree. A mother and grandmother. A widow. A Gaeilgeoir. An academic. A musician. A teacher. So many attributes – and yet none which fully captures her.”

Kings for the Craic (March 5, 2008)
“The 10th annual Craic Fest arrives this Wednesday, March 5, at Cinema Village on West 12th Street in Manhattan featuring the strongest lineup of new Irish films and performers in its eventful history.”

PCD enrollees asked to sign up to school's all-Irish policy (March 5, 2008)
“The school is currently facing the threat of two High Court actions over its language policy. One of these is being taken by parents who oppose the school?s all-Irish policy. The second is being taken by parents who contend that the school?s all-Irish policy is not being strictly enforced.”

Now you’re talking (March 6, 2008)
“The Gaelic proverb ‘Tús maith leath na h-oibre’ — meaning a good start is half the work — is particularly relevant in today’s working climate, given how valuable a basic command of, or indeed fluency in, the Irish language has become.”

'Ceol agus Craic' at Ossory Youth (March 7, 2008)
“As part of Seachtain na Gaeilge, Ossory Youth is hosting a special Irish Night of 'ceol agus craic' today (Friday) from 8-11 pm for Kilkenny's youth.”

Irish 'should threaten no-one' (March 7, 2008)
“Culture Minister Edwin Poots has said he believes the Irish language should threaten no-one.
“He was speaking at his first Irish language event, a conference organised by Irish speakers group Pobal.”

Cleas Act: Bishop putting fun into Gaeilge (March 7, 2008)

“'I don’t think there’s any language in the world with more baggage than Irish. If you want to dismiss the language, you can just take your pick of the issues you can choose from,’ observes Des Bishop as he sips a diet cola in An Cruiscín Lán pub in Spiddal.”
(subscription required for full story)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Raidió X hits the airwaves

Raidió X hits the airwaves (March 7, 2008)
(second story on the page)

"On the first day of Seachtain na Gaeilge 2008, last Monday March 3 at 1pm the first national Irish-language radio station aimed at young people called RAIDIÓ X was launched on the cricket field of the historic grounds of Trinity College in Dublin. One hundred young Irish-speakers gathered to create a huge human X on the field as a symbol of the station and to give it an explosive launch."

Monday, March 3, 2008

Nua: Nuacht RTÉ

Nuacht RTÉ -
RTÉ launches Irish-language news website (March 3, 2008)

“RTÉ has created the world’s first daily multimedia news website in the Irish language.”

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Seachtain na Gaeilge 2008

In honor of Seachtain na Gaeilge 2008 (3-17 Márta), your very-long-overdue translation opportunity is the first paragraph from the "Nuacht" page on the web site. (Yes I'm including the link to the English page too, but do yourself a favor and at least work through the first paragraph before you go looking.) See the comments for a short word list to start you off -- click on the title of this post and you get to see everything all at once.
Leagan Gaeilge --
English version --
Cad atá i gceist le Seachtain na Gaeilge?
Is eagraíocht neamhbhrabúsach í Seachtain na Gaeilge a spreagann an Ghaeilge sa bhaile agus i gcéin i rith féile coicíse gach Márta. Is é mana na féile “Croí na Teanga – It’s You!” chun a léiriú go bhfuil gach éinne, cibé aois atá acu nó cibé tír ina gcónaíonn siad, lárnach in athbheochan na Gaeilge. Tosaíodh an fhéile go luath sa 20ú haois nuair a mheas Conradh na Gaeilge go raibh gá le ceiliúradh a dhéanamh ar Lá Fhéile Pádraig, agus ar chultúr agus teanga na hÉireann. Sa lá atá inniu ann, níos mó ná céad bliain níos déanaí, tá sí tar éis méadú go mór agus anois ’sí Seachtain na Gaeilge an fhéile Ghaeilge agus chultúrtha is mó a bhíonn in Éirinn gach bliain. Scaipeadh muintir na hÉireann ar fud an domhain thar na blianta, ach choinníodar craic na tíre ina gcroíthe agus is í Seachtain na Gaeilge an tréimhse is fearr chun deis a thabhairt dóibh a mbród a chur in iúl. Ach ní hiad siúd amháin a bhíonn páirteach sa tSeachtain, tá daoine trasna na hEorpa agus timpeall Mheiriceá ag labhairt cúpla focal nó ag foghlaim Ballaí Luimnigh, chomh maith.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

News avalanche, to an 1d lá Mí na Márta

Irish film festival to open with a majestic premiere (Feb 20, 2008)
“An exclusive British premiere for an Oscar-considered Irish language film will be held in London next month as a popular film festival kicks off across the capital.”

Ag Caint with Sharon Ní Bheoláin (Feb 20, 2008)
“Irish language CDs for the Leaving Cert Irish Oral Exams - Free inside the Irish Independent from Saturday March 1.”

Reason to keep an eye on rhymers (Feb 24, 2008)
“Thankfully, the case of O'Searcaigh is one of those rare ones in which you don't need to have seen the controversial documentary, to form an opinion. Because the verdict is already beyond doubt.

“This man, by his own acknowledgement, has written poems in Irish.”

D’oh! City Council gets its Irish wrong (Feb 25, 2008)

“In Spiddal the locals may like to paint over the English place-names on road-signs, but in the city it’s the Irish words that are causing difficulty.”

A great night for the Irish (Feb 25, 2008)
“As Glen Hansard took to the podium after winning in the Best Original Song category for Falling Slowly from the movie Once, he told the audience: ‘Go raibh míle mile maith agat.’”

(That’s all the Irish, folks, the rest is just about the awards and ceremony.)

EU closes aid inquiry into Ireland's RTE, TG4 following govt commitments (Feb 27, 2008)
“The European Commission said it has closed its aid investigation into the financing of Irish public service broadcasters Radio Teilifis Eireann (RTE) and Teilifis na Gaeilge (TG4) following commitments made by the Irish government.”

Clare Celebrates Seachtain Na Gaeilge 2008 (Feb 27, 2008)
“Hundreds of people from across County Clare are expected to participate in Seachtain na Gaeilge 2008, which will be launched with a concert by Kíla in Glór Irish Music Centre this coming Friday (29th February).”

'Shabby Go Chic' Debuts On TG4 (Feb 27, 2008)

“The opening programme of Waddell Media's first Irish language commission goes out on TG4 on Monday 3rd March at 10pm. Shabby go Chic is a new series (13 x 25') that trawls second hand stores for old junk and defunct furniture, with the aim of transforming them into eye-catching pieces fit for a celebrity's home.”

In The Name Of The Fada: New Yorker Des to perform stand-up comedy show as Gaeilge (Feb 28, 2008)

“He has spent the last 11 months living in the Gaeltacht and his experiences will evoke in viewers some of their own memories of struggling with Irish. The six-part series begins on March 13 at 10.15pm on RTE1.”

'Shock and tears' at double jobs blow for Gaeltacht (Feb 29, 2008)
“Over 100 jobs were lost in the Gaeltacht yesterday with the sudden closure of three customer call centres operating in the financial services market.”

Seachtain na Gaeilge (Feb 29, 2008)
“Cumann Gaelach Chnoc na R"s will be holding a celebration of Irish language and culture in a number of venues throughout the city.”

...and going back a bit....
Then and Now - The Export of the Irish Language (January 2008)

“... And I never cease to be amazed at the number of unique words that crossed the ocean with the Irish who settled in Newfoundland.”