Friday, November 28, 2008

News through an 27ú lá Mí na Samhna

Talented new generation emerges in Muscraí (Nov 22, 2008)

“The emergence of a new generation of storytellers, poets and writers from Múscraí was evident at this year’s Oireachtas and at a winners’ concert held in its aftermath at the Ionad Cultúrtha in Baile Bhúirne.”

An Irishman's Diary for Nov 24, 2008

“Effing referee. Granted, it was a county final and swearing at the referee is nothing new in the GAA. (Yes, I have done it myself. Even booed one or two of them off the pitch.) But the swearing that was coming from this club loyalist was at a level I had never experienced.”
...“I suggest GAA officials include a few choice insults and curses in Irish in match-day programmes. In fact, once they have finished putting up the words to Amhrán na bhFiann in Irish on the scoreboard, they should add a ‘curse for the day’. Imagine how much more Irish would be spoken during the summer months of championship football if everyone at GAA games came away with one new swear-word?”

Pól Ó Muirí: What a thought, Zulu Provos in leather thongs (Nov 24, 2008)
Second section:

“Two academics in the Republic, Finbarr Bradley and James J Kennelly, have co-authored Capitalising on Culture, Competing on Difference: Innovation; Learning and a Sense of Place in a Globalising Ireland.”
...“They stress that language — including the Irish language — offers a creative spark: ‘If handled properly, a rich dynamic, vibrant Irish society, North and South, influenced by recent immigrants, is most likely to emerge from creative interaction between the various language traditions on the island.’ I am not aware of anything in a similar vein here.”

The modern renaissance of Irish (Nov 24, 2008)

“Trinity has firmly rejected its anti-Gaelic ethos of old and embraced the recent Irish revival, writes Trinity’s new Irish language officer, Aonghus Dwane.”

'Irish language must not politicize' (Nov 25, 2008)

“The Irish Language Act should not be of no expense to the public purse and be non-politicized, it has been claimed.” [What?]

Irish Taoiseach launches new Book of Facts on the Irish Language (Nov 26, 2008)

“An Taoiseach, Brian Cowen T.D., officially launched the book ‘More Facts about Irish’ by well known author, Helen Ó Murchú at the National Library of Ireland earlier this month.
“Published by the Irish Committee of the European Bureau for Lesser-Used Languages, the book provides an invaluable source of accurate information for the interested public, journalists, students, even politicians and policy makers.”

Colaiste na Corribe ‘shafted’ by Department of Education, says Mayor (Nov 27, 2008)

“‘A major setback to education in Galway’ is how Mayor Padraig Conneely has described a decision by the Department of Education which will prevent Colaiste na Corribe building a much needed new school premises in Knocknacarra.
“Colaiste na Corribe is currently operating out of a number of buildings on the Tuam Road. Although the school is successful with c180 on its waiting list, its current location is unsatisfactory. School buildings are located in different areas, there are little or no sports facilities, and not enough room for all those looking to enrol in the Irish language school.”

Irish Language 'Knows No Boundaries', Say SF (Nov 27, 2008)

“There has been a call for the inclusion of Irish place names within new council boundaries.”

Kerr hits back in Irish signs row (Nov 27, 2008)

“Councillor George Shiels' comments on Irish Language roadsigns are ridiculous, ill founded, ill informed, sectarian and scare-mongering, claims Sinn Fein Councillor Sean Kerr.”

Cash crisis for Connemara colleges (Nov 27, 2008)

“A number of Irish language summer colleges may be forced to increase their fees following the withdrawal of a Government teaching grant.”

Indian roots spice up trip for Connemara sisters (Nov 27, 2008)

“The Indian and Irish cultures mixed comfortably in the home of sisters Farah and Rebecca Taqi who were reared in the Gaeltacht but recently they took a trip of a lifetime to meet all their father’s relations.”

Saturday, November 22, 2008

EU welcomes Welsh as a minority languages

(Nov 20, 2008)

“The Welsh language, which dates back to the 6th century, got a major boost Thursday when the European Union formally recognized it as a minority tongue.”

Friday, November 21, 2008

News through an 21ú lá Mí na Samhna

Language act proposals tabled (Nov 20, 2008)

“The SDLP has tabled its own legislative proposals at the Assembly in a new bid to create an Irish Language Act.
“The party unveiled its plan yesterday, admitting that it estimated it would cost an estimated £5 million a year for the next five years to establish the law.”

Irish language move is divisive, claims Alliance (Nov 21, 2008)

“Fresh SDLP proposals for an Irish language act were last night branded divisive by the Alliance Party.”

Gaillimh le Gaeilge’s search begins for the best bilingual business (Nov 20, 2008)

“Gradam Sheosaimh Uí Ógartaigh the annual business award that recognises, honours and celebrates all the great bilingual work done in Galway City is now open for nominations.
“Gaillimh le Gaeilge, the organisation responsible for the promotion for the Irish language in business in Galway city is currently looking for the best bilingual business in Galway city. This prestigious business award offers the chance to any business/organisation using the Irish language in Galway city to win a ‘fantastic business package’ to the value of €15,000.”

Seoda...Seoda...Seoda (Nov 20, 2008)

“In 1951 Comhaltas Ceoltóiri Éireann was set up to promote traditional Irish music. The first Galway branch was formed about 1965 and initially they held a committee meeting every week. Then somebody suggested they have a session every week instead, and this they did, in Martin Forde’s Eagle Bar in William Street West. Mind you, the session could not start until Mrs Forde had finished watching The Fugitive on television. These sessions became hugely popular at a time when very few pubs in Galway allowed live traditional music.”

FAI Summer Soccer Schools success (Nov 20, 2008)

...“The Summer Soccer Schools allow children to develop their soccer skills in a fun and encouraging environment, where the focus is very much on participation rather than competition. The total number of camps included four camps conducted as Gaeilge and 24 specialist camps in goalkeeping skills.”

Europe's Guide To The Galaxy (“Nov 2008”)

“Haven't we been here before? The Telegraph reports that the EU is planning an online library project ‘to rival Google.’”
...“Its homepage (beta, for now) is ugly; Oddly, a slogan in the Irish language led on the front page, even though the service will initially be available only in French, English and German.”

A bit of everything in at the Linenhall (Nov 21, 2008)

“Antigone-Drámaíocht as Gaeilge -- Splódar Productions presents an Irish-language version of the Classical Greek drama Antigone at the Linenhall Arts Centre in Castlebar on Thursday December 4 at 8pm.”

New shop front initiative for Erris (Nov 21, 2008)

“Scéim Éadan Siopaí Bhéal an Mhuirthead, a joint initiative between Údarás na Gaeltachta and Mayo County Council designed to promote the visibility of the Irish language through traditional and modern shop front design, was officially launched in Belmullet by Pádraig Ó hAoláin, Chief Executive of Údarás na Gaeltachta and Des Mahon, Manager of Mayo County Council.”

Dublin, Shannon airports to offer US-bound clearance

Also not really language-related, but it caught my eye:
Dublin, Shannon airports to offer US-bound clearance (Nov 15, 2008)

“Dublin and Shannon airports are set to become the first outside the Americas to offer full pre-clearance facilities to passengers travelling to the US, thereby boosting their potential as transatlantic hubs and speeding up travel times.”

Thursday, November 20, 2008

News to an 20ú lá Mí na Samhna

Irish language a hit on the Costa del Sol (Nov 12, 2008)

“Spain’s Costa Del Sol gave a very warm Irish welcome when the International Festival of the Irish Language descended on the area last week.
“Irish residents and their Spanish friends enjoyed a week of Irish language classes, dances, exhibitions and concerts. More than 30 Spanish people attended the Irish classes.”

Intensive Irish course for prospective primary school teachers (Nov 13, 2008)

“Galwegians awaiting an interview for a graduation diploma in education (primary teaching), should take advantage of a Conradh Na Gaeilge course to prepare candidates for the interview’s Irish language element.”

An unseemly brawl over God and scripture (Nov 13, 2008)

“In a week when The Irish Times reports an unseemly brawl between Armenian and Greek Orthodox monks who physically battled over turf and influence in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, revered as the site of Jesus’ crucifixion, I was reminded of the unfortunate battle for the souls of Catholics in the aftermath of the Great Famine.”
...“Another attraction to Protestantism was the translation by the Irish Church Missions of the scriptures into the language of the people, namely Gaeilge. Catholic bishops always discouraged its laity from personally reading the Bible.”

Minister backs 'total immersion' teaching (Nov 15, 2008)

“Education Minister Batt O'Keeffe yesterday moved to heal a rift between his department and Gaelscoileanna caused by a row over the teaching of Irish.”
But see also:
Letters: My position was misrepresented
(Down a bit on the page)

Language needs to be spoken (Nov 15, 2008)

...“Language is about behaviour and networking through a particular language behaviour. Our Gaeltachtai have survived through 2,000 years of cultural upheaval and are still with us but as with many other of the world's languages, the Gaeltachtai are under the constant threat of linguistic erosion.
“There are five language skills. Reading, writing, comprehension and speech are the four language skills that are usually mentioned. The fifth skill is usage and this is where, I reckon, we fall down when it comes to using language, any language.”

Pieces of Pearse are translated into Polish (Nov 18, 2008)

“If you found Padraig Pearse's musings difficult to get through as Gaeilge, perhaps you should take a run at the Polish version.”

DUP, Sinn Féin reach deal on policing, justice (Nov 19, 2008)

...“The consensus yesterday was that barring unexpected crises a Northern Ireland department of justice would be operating by around this time next year. There was no agreement on difficult matters such as the Irish language, the Maze prison site and education but progress was being made.”

Gaeláras AGM (Nov 19, 2008)

“Details about the new multi-million Irish language building on Great James's Street will be revealed at the Gaeláras annual general meeting tomorrow night.”

An t-ádh na nÉireannach: The Luck of the Irish (Nov 19, 2008)

...“My mind constantly drifts off and ignores the world I am living in by creating a new one. Every day I stayed in Ireland — taking tours and looking out the charter bus's window — I wonder about the history behind every spot of land. I should also mention I love history, yet I knew little of Ireland's. The unfamiliar language I saw painted on shop windows, etched on traffic signs, and written in menus at restaurants intrigued me the most.”

Chairman presents Irish language bursary awards (Nov 19, 2008)

“Last week, the chairman of Fermanagh District Council, Thomas O'Reilly hosted a reception in the Townhall where he presented bursary awards to those who had attended the Gaeltacht during the summer.
“He told the recipients that, since the publication of an Irish –Ulster Scots audit commissioned by the Council in 2005, the Council has spent over £70,000 promoting and developing the Irish language, and, also in implementing the findings of the Report.”

Student asks minister to choose Bertie or Brian (Nov 19, 2008)

“So who is the best Taoiseach, Bertie or Brian Cowen?
“That was the question Latvian student Katrina Zacepina put - in Irish - to Education Minister, Batt O'Keeffe, when he visited her secondary school in Bettystown on Friday.”

Postcodes anger language group (Nov 19, 2008)

“And now Irish language groups are challenging an Irish Government proposal to introduce an anglicised postcode system — one which they say will not recognise the Irish language.”

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ancient Celtic coin cache found in Netherlands

Okay, not language-oriented, but interesting:
Ancient Celtic coin cache found in Netherlands (Nov 13, 2008)

“A hobbyist with a metal detector struck both gold and silver when he uncovered an important cache of ancient Celtic coins in a cornfield in the southern Dutch city of Maastricht.”

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Irish pupils bottom of the Euro class for languages

(Nov 11, 2008)

“Only one in every 28 pupils (3.5pc) is studying a foreign language, compared with one in every two throughout Europe, a confidential report reveals.
...“Two-thirds of Irish people, who took part in a Eurobarometer study, said they did not have the competence to hold a basic conversation in any language other than English or Irish.”

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

News through an 12ú lá Mí na Samhna

Junior Film Fleadh to preview Galway produced animated film (Nov 6, 2008)

...“This year’s Irish language feature is the ground-breaking Poitin (1977), by Bob Quinn which will be screened on Friday November 14 at 12.30pm.”

Gaeilge on your phone (Nov 6, 2008)

“A new 'as Gaeilge' mobile phone handset is being launched on the Irish market today.
“Samsung Electronics says the handset, offering the Gael Fón feature, will be available in stores nationwide from this month.”
See also:
Samsung Launches Gael Fón

Less than a quarter of schools provide Junior Cert oral Irish (Nov 7, 2008)

“Fewer than a quarter of secondary schools are offering pupils the optional Junior Cert oral Irish exam.
“Amid continued concern about the over-emphasis on written Irish, an Oireachtas committee heard that only 23pc of the country's 720 secondary schools are providing the optional Junior Cert oral exam, currently worth 20pc of the overall marks.”

Letters: Making Irish simpler to learn (Nov 10, 2008)

“Madam, - As a Gaeilgeoir and an Irish person, I found James Hyde's letter of November 3rd extremely offensive and indeed open to ridicule.”

Children's novelist wins Glen Dimplex (Nov 11, 2008)

Winners in the other categories included “Simon Ó Faoláin for his poetry collection in Irish, Anam Mhadra, published by Coiscéim.”

Council vote for Irish language 'barrier' (Nov 11, 2008)

“Ballymena Borough Council has passed a motion describing the Irish Language Act as a 'waste of public resources'.”

As Gaeilge on the air (Nov 12, 2008)

“The Gael Linn radio competition brings students into contact with Irish in a vibrant and effective way. It could be the first step for those looking for a career on the airwaves, writes John Holden.”

Ireland's queen of chess likes to keep life in check (Nov 12, 2008)

...“A product designer by trade, she has made her hobby pay dividends financially in recent years: she teaches chess through Irish in a plethora of Gaelscoileanna around Dublin and is about to publish an Irish-language book, Ficheall (the Gaelic word for chess), which explains the rules of chess to youngsters.”

Lixnaw an oasis for the Irish language (Nov 12, 2008)

“Lixnaw is fast-becoming a little oasis for the Irish language in the 'galltacht' of north Kerry thanks to the efforts of those behind the local Ceolann Cultural Centre - where groups of young and old are now regularly meeting to converse in the native language.”

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

TV channel for Irish emigrants is put on hold

(Nov 6, 2008)
“A new TV channel for Irish emigrants has been shelved due to cutbacks in RTE.
“‘Diaspora TV’ was due to be on air in the UK by St Patrick's Day, providing programming from the national stations to the 850,000 Irish-born people living there.”

Thursday, November 6, 2008

News through an 6ú lá Mí na Samhna

A man who plans to survive (Nov 1, 2008)

“‘I have never called a reporter in my life. They come to me,’ said Pádraig Ó Céidigh a few years ago. Aer Arann's owner had been crowned Irish entrepreneur of the year. The plucky little airline's upward mobility seemed assured. He was a ‘big fan’ of Michael O'Leary. Heck, he even talked like him.
“‘With me what you see is what you get. I have no time for plámás or bullshit,’ he told TG4, before tearing into smug ‘Dublin 4 types’.”
...“With the exception of investing around €25,000 in bank shares and €5,000 in CRH, his money has been ploughed back into his half-dozen other businesses. They include an outsourcing company, a maintenance business and Foinse, the Irish-language paper, which clearly means more to him than any airline.”

How the Irish struggle with Irish names (Nov 1, 2008)

“Barack Obama and I have something in common. Unfortunately, it has nothing to do with drawing crowds of a hundred thousand or engendering a sense of hope and optimism in an entire generation. Nor has it anything to do with the ability to wear a white shirt for twenty-two minutes at a stretch without the sudden or, indeed, gradual appearance of mysterious stains and blemishes.
“No, it's all to do with names. Or to be more specific, unconventional names. He is Barack. I am Fionnuala. And unlike the Johns and Peters and Helens and Marys of this world, the very act of attaching our name to a computer-written document elicits the prompt and angry appearance of a long, red, squiggly line.”

Seek truth about Hyde (Nov 4, 2008)

“Pól Ó Muirí (Belfast Telegraph, October 27) had his customary swipe at Ulster-Scots and then wrote of the importance and significance of Douglas Hyde as a Protestant who spoke Irish.”

Sancta Maria College wins Oireachtas 2008 debating final (Nov 4, 2008)

“Three Leaving Cert students from Sancta Maria College in Louisburgh brought national glory to their school and community last week, when they claimed first place in the debating final at Oireachtas na Samhna 2008 in Cork.”

The sadness behind the smile of Ireland's true queen of trad... (Nov 5, 2008)

“Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh is a mother with a mission. Like generations of her family before her, she is determined to pass on her love of music and passion for the Irish language to her own child.”

Why parents will pay as the recession bites (Nov 5, 2008)

“Families with children in schools and colleges are being hit in the pocket as a result of Budget cutbacks and other effects of the financial crisis.”
...“Conradh na Gaeilge has also warned that course fees for summer college in Gaeltacht areas will increase as a result of the decision to axe a teaching grant to the colleges.”

Bríd Ní Neachtain - putting her stamp on Juno (Nov 6, 2008)

“Sean O’Casey’s timeless classic Juno and the Paycock arrives at the Town Hall next week in a much-praised new production featuring Galway actress Bríd Ní Neachtain in the title role of Juno.”
...“Ní Neachtain was last seen on a Galway stage playing another iconic Irishwoman Caitríona Phaidín in Mairtin O’Cadhain’s Cré na Cille which was staged at An Taibhdhearc in 2003 and subsequently made into a film.”

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Ulster Scots phone line has had no calls since 2004

(Oct 23, 2008)

“The Government's Ulster Scots voicemail line is still awaiting its first message — despite being well into its fifth year of existence.”
...“A similar Irish Language line has had 29 messages in total over the same period.”

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

News: Gaeilge na hAlban

Plan for all-Gaelic-speaking communities (Nov 1, 2008)

“Communities where only Gaelic is spoken are being planned for Scotland to help develop everyday use of the language.”

Singer blasts plans for Gaelic village 'ghetto' (Nov 1, 2008)

“Campaigners calling for a Gaelic language-only community to be set up have been warned it could turn into a ‘ghetto’.”

Saturday, November 1, 2008

News through an 1d lá Mí na Samhna

Letters: Can't put a price on our language (Oct 29, 2008)

“In response to Brian Kennedy (Letters, October 25), I am an Irish American and I was appalled to think an Irishman in Ireland would be so apparently ashamed of his country's language.
“I, and many of us of Irish ancestry, are struggling hard to learn this beautiful language and keep it alive.”

ILBF Announces Final Funding Round (Oct 30, 2008)

“The ILBF consists of £3m per annum with funding provided by DCAL (Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure). The fund invests in at least 75 hours of Irish language output per annum which is broadcast on TG4, BBC NI and RTÉ.”

Spoken like a true native: The Irish language is now cool to use, says Síle Ní Bhraonáin (Oct 30, 2008)

“How has the Irish language progressed in the last 10 years? Honestly, looking at it from the inside, what has changed the most is the image and perception of the language.”

Six Writers Selected For SÍOL (Oct 30, 2008)

“Six writers have been chosen for SÍOL – a new initiative aimed to assist budding writers for Irish Language TV Drama writing.”

Translation hitch is latest delay for bypass decision (Oct 31, 2008)

“Galway Chamber of Commerce are seeking immediate clarification on An Bord Pleanala’s decision on the €340million Galway City Outer Bypass, as a delay in making the decision public is expected until it is translated into Irish.”

Ireland’s ‘Gaelscoileanna’ Creating Educational Divide (Nov 1, 2008)

“Irish-medium schools help preserve the Irish language and have been shown to improve students’ command of English, but critics call the schools elitist and anti-immigrant.”

BBC Alba update

Gaelic TV ratings soar (Oct 29, 2008)

“When the BBC launched its first Gaelic language channel in Scotland last month, the first night's line-up featured a comedy drama about the disembodied spirit of Elvis Presley on the Isle of Lewis and a performance from a ceilidh band from the Isle of Skye.
“It might seem an unorthodox approach to help broaden the appeal of a vanishing language – but it appears to be working. For BBC Alba is proving to be an unexpected success, pulling in more than 600,000 viewers in its first week of broadcasting, more than double the projected audience of 250,000.”