Connect with us

News

Irish in the North? What about Irish in the south?

Published

on

I

Incredibly, of all the issues that plague the political sphere north of the border, it’s the proposed Irish Language Act that is reportedly keeping Stormont shut down. Whether this is really a critical issue for Sinn Féin and the DUP or merely an exercise in points scoring is unclear but, either way, it is proving to be a major barrier to progress.

A poll carried out during the week on behalf of RTÉ’s Claire Byrne Live revealed that 54% of people in the south of Ireland believe that the Irish language should be protected in the North. 23% said it shouldn’t and 23% said they didn’t know.

I wasn’t overly surprised by the percentages but it did make me wonder: how many of those people who feel Irish should be respected elsewhere actually respect Irish themselves?

It seems to me that certain people only care about Irish when someone else tries to mess with it. Like a child with an old toy that they never use, as soon as someone else starts playing with it they want it back.

We’re quick to mock Americans who mispronounce Saoirse Ronan’s name, or British people who say Taoiseach incorrectly. It’s no wonder that we know the right pronunciation of Taoiseach. It’s the only Irish word many of us utter from one year to the next.

In fact, worse than merely abandoning it, many Irish people actually treat our native language with contempt. How many times have you heard someone saying that they hate Irish, before blaming it on “the way it’s taughtä”?

I’ve never bought that excuse personally. I’m not saying the methods used to teach Irish are perfect; they weren’t in my day and I’m sure they certainly weren’t in generations past.

I used to teach English as a foreign language in Asia and my Irish colleagues and I would often reflect that if we were introduced to Irish the way our students were introduced to English – in an entertaining manner and with a focus on practical conversation - we’d all be fluent Gaelgeoirs.

But blaming the schools is a cop out in my opinion. It’s a societal problem. As a nation, our attitude towards languages is terrible - being native English speakers is a crutch that we insist upon using. The simple fact of the matter is that many of us think we can get away with just speaking English, so why bother learning anything else?

Catalan history and politics are not too dissimilar to ours. Franco’s regime banned the use of Catalan, just as the English outlawed Irish. In Catalunya, they can “get by” on Spanish if they want but, instead of shunning their own language, they embrace it.

The majority of countries put Ireland to shame. Many Europeans are at least bilingual, if not trilingual or quadrilingual. Are they smarter than us? Do they have some innate ability to learn multiple languages? Or is our outlook flawed?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not on my high horse here. I’m as bad as anyone else when it comes to speaking Irish, and I actually don’t mind languages. My Spanish is okay. I didn’t hate German in school and I picked up some Chinese when I lived in Beijing. The sad thing is, since finishing my leaving Cert I’ve probably used all of those languages more than I’ve used Irish, and I’ve lived in Ireland for the majority of my adult life.

How tragic is that?

So, for those people who think Irish should have special status in the North, it’s worth noting the following: Irish has special status in the south. It’s in our schools, in our courts and on our road signs. If none of us can be bothered to actually speak it, what’s the point?

 

Continue Reading
Advertisement

News

Killarney competitors bring home the medals

By Michelle Crean It was a great weekend for Killarney as Brazilian jiu jitsu competitors took home medals from the AJP Switzerland International Tour in Zurich. Members of Movement & Fitness Club competed against the world’s finest athletes which led to them bringing home amazing results.After a great fight Matthew Morris made it into the […]

Published

on

0216101_IMG-20211129-WA0019.jpg

By Michelle Crean

It was a great weekend for Killarney as Brazilian jiu jitsu competitors took home medals from the AJP Switzerland International Tour in Zurich.

Members of Movement & Fitness Club competed against the world’s finest athletes which led to them bringing home amazing results.After a great fight Matthew Morris made it into the semi-finals.Ewelina Downey received two gold medals in Gi and NOGI fights, just two months after her promotion to blue belt.The club’s coach, Wilson Da Silva, also competed for the first time as a brown belt, and won gold in the Gi category and silver in NOGI.”The results don’t lie,” he said.”The hard work, dedication, commitment and passion pays off. Impossible is nothing, and that’s what we are trying to teach our students in Movement & Fitness Club Killarney.”Martial Arts helps to fight depression, bulling, obesity, and builds up self esteem and confidence, he explained.”There is no ego, no one is better, we are all the same trying to learn from each other, helping and correcting ourselves so we become better together. Our club is filling up with amazing students from age four up who connect with us by the same passion and love for the sport. If you are looking to change your life come and join our family.”

Continue Reading

News

Ian makes his debut as a radio presenter

By Sean Moriarty Ian O’Connell said he is delighted with the messages of support following his first broadcast as a presenter on Radio Kerry this week. The well-known and popular Killarney man was left with life-changing injuries after falling from his bike in Killarney National Park in 2017. Since the accident he has been a […]

Published

on

0216300_20211115122334.jpg

By Sean Moriarty

Ian O’Connell said he is delighted with the messages of support following his first broadcast as a presenter on Radio Kerry this week.

The well-known and popular Killarney man was left with life-changing injuries after falling from his bike in Killarney National Park in 2017.

Since the accident he has been a champion for the less fortunate under his mantra: “If you can’t stand up – standout”.

This was the inspiration behind his brand new radio show which aired for the first time on Wednesday evening.

‘Stand Out with Ian O’Connell’ will feature interviews with people who have overcome great adversary to reach even greater heights.

His first guest was fellow Killarney man Jordan Lee. The Paralympian represented Ireland in the Tokyo Olympics this summer.

“I was used to being in the studio from people interviewing me, but this time I turned the table,” he told the Killarney Advertiser.

“It was great to have Jordan on, two Killarney men! I really enjoyed it, it got a massive reaction and I got loads of emails and messages afterwards and into Thursday morning.”

Ian will reveal his guest for the show on the previous Monday through various social media channels.

Attachments

Continue Reading

LOCAL ADS

Last News

Advertisement

Sport

Trending