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.