Monday, August 20, 2012

Katie Taylor items

Here's a link to the audio clip I played in class:

Here's the Gaelscéal article from 2010:
Seampín den scoth

And then there were the two blog posts:
An Chéad Amhrán Oilimpeach as Gaeilge: “Croílár na Féile” faoi Katie Taylor (aka KT)
How To Congratulate Someone in Irish: Comhghairdeas leat, a Katie, srl.

I just found another YouTube clip of the SBB audio (except this one starts from the announcement) where the poster has added an English translation below the media. I suspect if you listen and read, you may find that SBB said stuff you knew but just couldn't catch:

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Gaeltacht Bill prompts Dáil walkout

Video available at the linked page.

Irish Times, Thursday, July 19, 2012 -
by Marie O'Halloran and Michael O'Regan

All Opposition TDs walked out of the Dail this morning in protest at the Gaeltacht Bill.

The Bill abolishes elections for Udaras na Gaeltachta, the local authority that represents Irish language speaking areas and reduces its membership from 20 to 12.

The Bill gives the Minister for the Gaeltacht power to appoint seven members to the board. It also changes the way employment schemes are funded and provides for language plans to be developed for each of 19 Irish speaking areas.

They also criticised the legislation being rushed through and for being anti-democratic with the abolition of elections for the Udaras.

Thirty four opposition TDs were in the chamber and walked out as committee stage of the Bill, scheduled to take three hours, commenced, in protest because none of its 150 amendments were accepted.

More at

Texters charged for the síneadh fada

Can anyone explain/defend the technical side of this? I'm curious to know more about how it all works. 

Irish Times, Thursday, July 19, 2012 -
by Ruaidhrí Giblin

Mobile phone users who text in Irish claim they are being ripped off for using the national language.

They say it is cheaper to send a photo than it is to send a “fada”.

Vodafone confirmed yesterday users would be charged for three text messages if they include a single síneadh fada in a text of 160 characters.

Operators say texts are charged according to the data used, as opposed to the number of characters. Messages with characters in Irish or Mandarin, for instance, use more characters than a standard text in English.

O2 and Vodafone say they conform to global standards set by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute, which defines the basic list of SMS alphabet characters and symbols.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A couple more items from the news via - 20 Meitheamh 2012
"Some traditional Gaeltacht areas could lose their status under new legislation published yesterday.
"The Gaeltacht Bill (2012) redesignates current Gaeltachtaí in seven counties as 19 new 'Gaeltacht language planning areas' that must draw up and implement a language plan if they are to keep their status as strongholds of native Irish speakers."
More at via - 13 Meitheamh 2012
"I may not be a history student, but I do know the Irish language has changed utterly since the days of oppressive British intruders and fiery Irish rebels. 
"These days, Irish is suffering an entirely different kind of onslaught, not from contemptuous English nobility but from resentful Leaving Certificate students."
More at

Ó Muirí - An Irishman's Diary

Pól Ó Muirí wishes RnaG a happy birthday in this essay, published June 20 in the Irish Times.

"It is true to say that Irish speakers do not always get the chance to speak Irish with native speakers – even when in the Gaeltacht – but it is also undeniably true that Irish speakers have the chance to listen to every single dialect every single day of the week due to the efforts of RnaG, which is celebrating 40 years a-broadcasting."

More at

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Gaeltacht Bill 2012

Press release by Comhdháil Náisiúnta na Gaeilge
Issued on 19.06.2012
"After many years of lobbying from Irish language organisations the new Gaeltacht Bill 2012 was published today." 
More at

"Public debate on the provisions of the Gaeltacht bill will begin with a Seanad debate to be held on Thursday afternoon. The legislation will see major changes to the  concept  of Gaeltacht regions and will have major implications for the governance of state body Údarás na Gaeltachta."
More at

Some news, an 19ú lá Mí an Mheithimh - 12 Meitheamh 2012
"Carntogher Community Association is requesting information from the public in survey form for plans to found a new bilingual radio station that will serve the greater Mid-County Derry/Greater Maghera area."
More at via - 13 Meitheamh 2012
"There were some new and tricky elements in the higher-level second Irish paper yesterday, according to Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland subject representative Robbie Cronin."
More at - 14 Meitheamh 2012
"In this piece Leaving Cert student, Cathal Ó Céilleachar from Cork studying higher level Irish describes how he dealt with this year’s papers."
More at - 15 Meitheamh 2012
"Minister Phil Hogan announced in April that ‘Irish Water’, a subsidiary of Bord Gáis, would be founded to regulate new measures regarding water supplies and metering. 
"The public has displayed much resentment through the media to these new metering regulations as it is feared the price of water will add a substantial amount to the general cost of living. The Irish language community has also conveyed disappointment towards Hogan’s decision to name the subsidiary ‘Irish Water’ as opposed to a suitable title in Irish."
More at via - 18 Meitheamh 2012
"A consolidation of the Irish language assets of RTE, with an amalgamation of Radio na Gaeltachta, TG4 and the Nuacht news service, is planned as part of the national broadcaster’s cost-cutting drive."
More at

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Some news, an 12ú lá Mí an Mheithimh

( - 6 Meitheamh 2012)
"In a letter to Ministers Carál Ní Chuilín MLA and Dinny McGinley TD yesterday, members of An Fóram expressed their lack of confidence in theconsultation process recently undertaken by Foras na Gaeilge on the New Funding Model for the sector.  An Fóram is a group which comprises 80% of the organisations core-funded by Foras na Gaeilge."
More at .

( - 6 Meitheamh 2012)
"Statistics published today give a new insight into the state of the Irish language in the Gaeltacht. The statistics were compiled as part of the Scéim labhairt na Gaeilge, a government grant scheme for Gaeltacht families. The scheme was disbanded last year.
"The statistics were compiled as part of the Scéim labhairt na Gaeilge, a government grant scheme for Gaeltacht families. The scheme was disbanded last year.
"Over 3,370 families made applications under the scheme during the 2010/2011 school year with over 2,760 families successfully receiving grants - over 2,322 families were in receipt of the full grant with 438 families receiving a partial grant."
More at .

( - 06 Meitheamh 2012)
"An Oireachtas Committee on Environment, transport, culture and Gaeltacht has recommended a major overhaul of a contentious new funding model for the Irish language sector.
"The Committee published its report today on the new funding model proposed by Foras na Gaeilge and commissioned the report following hearings with Irish language organisations and Foras na Gaeilge earlier this year.
"The report recommends that organisations retain their yearly core-funding so as to ensure that services are provided on a consistent level to Irish speakers. It also advises that any new funding model should not pit organisations against each other in a competitive contest.
"However there the report does acknowledge that there will be some degree of rationalisation of the sector which should operate on a scheme basis."
More at .

( - 12 Meitheamh 2012)
"‘The new Gaeltacht Bill will have serious implactions for Gaeltacht areas, Údarás na Gaeltachta and Foras na Gaeilge’ Minister of State Dinny Mc Ginley TD told the Dáil last Wednesday.
"The Minister was answering questions before Dáil Éireann where he confirmed that the new Bill will be published later this month."
More at .

( - 12 Meitheamh 2012)
"'The essence of every language is understanding and communication. The Irish language has a rich history that should not be exclusive or unique to just one community.'
"Those were the words used by Dr. Adrian Johnston, Chairman of the International Fund for Ireland while launching a new initiative in Belfast recently called Together Through Culture. 
"The International fund for Ireland (IFI) was established in 1986 to improve social and economic relations between the Nationalist and Unionist communities across Northern Ireland.  Together Through Culture (TTC) is a new initiative set up by the IFI and was developed under the direction of Comhairle na Gaelscolaíochta.  The primary objective of the project is to bring schoolchildren from both traditions together through encouraging interest in Irish culture."
More at .

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

News tidbits for 29ú Bealtaine

( - 29 Bealtaine 2012)
"Cogar, a news service for Irish language broadcasters has been re-launched for 2012 and has brought social media platforms to the core of its communications strategy.
"The service is a joint-project between Comhdháil Náisiúnta na Gaeilge which provide award-winning digital media projects such as and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland."
More at

( - 29 Bealtaine 2012)
"Cá bhfuil an obair or Where is the work is the theme of a new radio series examining employment opportunities within the Irish language sector."
More at

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Nationwide Irish language picnic day

A bit far away for some of us, but if it succeeds in Ireland as an annual event, it could be fun to try a bit of replication closer to home.

( - 23 Bealtaine 2012)

"Fun and games through the Irish language will take place across Ireland on May 27th as young Irish language speaking families meet for the national picnic day organised by Comhluadar."

Full story at
More about National Picnic Day at

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

More news items, sort of recent

( - 1 Bealtaine 2012)
"A new government scheme to promote the Irish language will focus on Gaeltacht families but information will available to other families wishing to raise their families through Irish."

( - April 24 2012)
"The latest annual report of An Coimisinéir Teanga exposes ‘massive shortfalls’ in the implementation of the Official Languages Act, according to Comhdháil Náisiúnta na Gaeilge."

‘The Hobbit’ Irish translation available soon

File under "Important things you miss when you take a mental vacation":
(, 24 Aibreán 2012 -
Peter Jackson won’t be the only one to express his take on JRR Tolkien’s epic novel, The Hobbit as the Irish language translation, An Hobad, will soon be available at An Siopa Leabhar, Conradh na Gaeilge.
More at

Your Irish phrase, an 23ú lá Mí Bealtaine

Wow, it's been ages since we did these. I re-started the e-mail list recently, and this one was inspired by inexplicably running out of tea. (Don't ask, I don't know how it happened.)

Gan tae, thit mé i ndímrí. "Without tea, I became enfeebled."

dímrí (f., gen, ~) 1. Lack of energy; feebleness.  2. Ineffectiveness.
[Foclóir Gaeilge-Béarla, Ó Dónaill, (c) 1977-92]

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Spike [Milligan]’s infamous epitaph gets the last laugh in survey

(Irish Examiner, May 19 2012 -
"Goon Show creator and comedian Spike Milligan’s infamous epitaph, 'I told you I was ill', has been named as the best parting line.
"Milligan who died in 2002, aged 83, gets the last laugh again after he received nearly two thirds of the vote in a survey."
More at

What the article doesn't mention (unless I missed something) is that the epitaph is actually in Irish. GRMA to for pointing out the Gaeilge and the tombstone image:

A couple random news items

Hey, Blogger, thanks for making your stuff even harder to use! I give, I have better things to do (believe it or not) than fight to make this post fit the style I used to follow. Or even be consistent within the same post, apparently.
Chinese set to be Junior Cert subject (May 11, 2012)
"Irish secondary school students will have the option to study Mandarin Chinese when the language is put on the Junior Certificate curriculum in 2014, Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn has announced."

"After a long, distinguished career, there is very little Micheal O Muircheartaigh hasn't experienced in live sports commentary.
"But yesterday, the veteran broadcaster was at the races where he commentated on a race as Gaeilge.
"Mr O Muircheartaigh was in Killarney, Co Kerry, where he helped celebrate 'La na Gaeilge' on the opening day of a three-day horse racing festival."

Why don’t the Defence Forces make recruitment ads like this any more?

File under: "I didn't know this was missing from my life." And there's video!

(, May 12, 2012 -

This week the Defence Forces posted a collection of old recruitment ads to its YouTube account, extolling the benefits of a life in the army.

“Tar isteach ‘sna Fórsaí Cosanta agus ar aghaidh leat,” the ad from the 1980s proclaimed, translating as ”Join the Defence Forces, and go places!”

With shots of a military marching band, tanks, rifles, small guns, big guns, planes, ships and having the craic with your fellow recruits all spliced with music from Walter Murphy’s disco take on Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony – A Fifth of Beethoven – it is hard not to be enticed to sign up.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Proud voice of the Gaeltacht 40 years a growing

(April 3, 2012)

The technology was creaky, the schedule limited to just two hours a day, and the prospect of sabotage lurked in the background.

But 40 years on from its "venture into the unknown", Raidio na Gaeltachta has overcome its inauspicious and chaotic beginnings to become an Irish institution.

And it almost didn't happen. Engineers worked feverishly through the night to get the studio at Casla in Connemara ready so the national Irish-language station could go to air for its maiden broadcast on Easter Sunday, April 2, 1972.

Construction work was only beginning on its two other studios, in Kerry and Donegal, and it would be another year before they were ready.

Meanwhile, extra gardai were drafted in from Clifden over fears that a dispute about the moving of a post office -- which housed the local telephone exchange -- could lead to the new station being targeted by saboteurs. Fortunately, the telephone lines were not cut by disgruntled natives, and the broadcast went ahead as planned.

More at

Monday, April 2, 2012

Raidió réalteanna: Raidió na Gaeltachta marks 40 years

(April 2, 2012)

Limited transmission, poor roads but virgin territory – such was the landscape explored by the seven broadcasters hired for the State’s first Irish language radio station which marks its 40th birthday today.

When Raidió na Gaeltachta came on air at 3pm Easter Sunday, April 2nd, 1972, notions of wi-fi enabled digital audio broadcasting, online media players, podcasts or smartphone apps were but a distant dream.

In some locations the Irish language audience did not have wireless sets and neighbours gathered in kitchens to hear history being transmitted.

One Sunday newspaper even reported that the Easter Mass broadcast with Seán Ó Riada’s music was from “a pub”, having misunderstood the station’s reference to the “teach an phobail” or church in Carraroe.

Kerry journalist Breandán Feiriteár, who became ceannaire or head from 1985 to 1994, recalls that the first dedicated studio in Casla was not quite ready. And the Kerry and Donegal studios were still under construction.

More at and

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Number of Irish speakers up by 7.1%

(March 30, 2012)
Irish Times via Gaelport

The Census recorded a 7.1 per cent increase in the number of self-declared Irish speakers.

Some 1.77 million people said they could speak Irish – 41.4 per cent of respondents.

More women than men answered “yes” when asked if they could speak Irish. Almost 45 per cent of women said they could speak Irish compared with almost 38 per cent of men. The Central Statistics Office noted that more women than men consistently identified themselves as being able to speak Irish.

Almost 31 per cent of 10-19-year- olds said they could not speak Irish. That increased to 36 per cent for 17-year-olds and 18-year-olds.

Of the 1.77 million who said they could speak Irish, just 1.8 per cent said they spoke it daily outside the education system.

This was an increase of 5,037 people since the previous census. A further 2.6 per cent said they spoke it weekly while 12.2 per cent spoke it within the education system.

Some 14.3 per cent said they spoke it less often – this was an increase of 27,139 and was the largest increase of all categories.

One in four said they never spoke Irish.

Of the 77,185 people who spoke Irish daily, outside the classroom, one in three lived in Gaeltacht areas.

The census recorded a 5.2 per cent increase in the Gaeltacht population. Some 96,628 people were living in Gaeltacht areas on census night 2011 compared with 91,862 in 2006.

Some 68.5 per cent of Gaeltacht dwellers said they could speak Irish and 24 per cent said they spoke it daily, outside the education system. This was an increase of 2.9 per cent on the number of daily Irish speakers in 2006. However, the number of Gaeltacht dwellers who said they spoke Irish less than weekly increased by 6.6 per cent.

The findings were welcomed by Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Dinny McGinley. He said the increase in the number of people able to speak Irish was a positive development in terms of the 20-year strategy for the Irish language.

“The increase in the number of daily Irish speakers in Gaeltacht areas is good news, particularly since the 20-year strategy has set a target of a 25 per cent increase in this area over its lifetime,” said Mr McGinley.

The Irish Times/This is Ireland, Census 2011 - Alison Healy

RTÉ News: Irish is third most used language - Census

(March 30, 2012)

Nearly 82,600 people (1.8% of the population) speak Irish every day outside of school according to the first definitive results of the 2011 Census.
This makes it the third most used language in the country.

The Census figures, released by the CSO today, show that 119,526 of people in Ireland speak Polish at home while 56,430 speak French.

Meanwhile, 35% of people in Gaeltacht areas said they spoke Irish on a daily basis outside of the education system.

In addition to Irish and other languages, the Census recorded the standard of English among those who spoke foreign languages.

It found that those from Denmark had the highest ability, while people from Lithuania had the lowest.

Today's publication is the first of 13 reports on the Census results that will be published between now and the end of the year.

More at RTÉ News.

BBC News: Can foreign speakers help the Irish language survive?

(March 16, 2012)

For over a century, activists have been trying to save the Irish language. Can foreign speakers help keep it alive?

At a dimly-lit bar in Washington DC, a smattering of professionals gathered around a table to drink beer and speak Irish, with levels of varying success.

They all represented current or former students of Ronan Connolly's Irish language classes. Mr Connolly, an Irish native, has been teaching evening Irish classes for more than two years.

The students live thousands of miles away from Ireland. Some haven't visited in years, if at all. The group is not much bigger than a rambunctious family dinner party. Their language skills vary from fluent to very basic. But at a time when scholars are pondering the fate of the Irish language, could these American students play any role in its revival?

Losing strategy

Despite much effort to revitalize Irish, some activists are frustrated.

"Irish is surviving as opposed to thriving." says Mait Ó Brádaigh, a principal of an Irish language immersion school in Ireland's Galway County. As early as 1366, there have been records of Irish language under attack, and there has been a formal group in place devoted to preserving the language since 1893. But despite more than 100 years of effort, the campaign to save Irish has met with limited success, while other Celtic languages have made more progress.

More at BBC News.

A couple random news items

Obama brings Moneygall cousin to his local for a pint (March 19, 2012)

Eat your hearts out, politicians of the world. An accountant and a pub-owner from Moneygall, Co Offaly, spent close to an hour with the most powerful man on earth on St Patrick’s Day. Henry Healy – a distant cousin of Mr Obama’s – and Ollie Hayes arrived at the White House at 11.30am on Saturday for a tour of the West Wing, including the Oval Office, while the president worked elsewhere. When they met Barack Obama at the diplomatic entrance, the Irishmen presented him with a Moneygall soccer jersey emblazoned with “2012 Is Féidir Linn”.

Students develop app to help decipher 'Cork as she is spoken' (March 23, 2012)

"Included are 'You’re about as useful as a Kerryman with a hurley', 'Go away you langer' and 'Shove Wesht' – meaning move over."