So Assistant Chief Constable Judith Gillespie got her silver fáinne. Big deal. I got one of those earlier this year and Caral Ni Chuilin didn’t tell ME I’d done something very, very significant. Anyway, I bet they let Judith Gillespie see the questions before she sat the exam. Imagine the row if the Belfast Telegraph headline had been “Top Cop Flunks Leprechaun Language Test”.
Besides, what about motivation? It’s not what you do so much as the reason for your actions that counts. I got my silver fáinne because of my sensitive appreciation for as well as startlingly-fluent mastery of our native teanga (see what I mean?). Judith Gillespie got hers so she can listen in on what the Shinners are saying about her hair at Policing Board meetings.
Ah, God be with the old days, when republicans could shout encouragement and instructions from cell to cell, without fear that the authorities would understand a word. All gone, lost forever. The cops will know every syllable we fluent speakers utter. Come back Rule 21, I say, or whatever it was that stopped the Trevors playing Gaelic games, and while you’re at it, put in a new one blocking them from having further access to our personal conversations as Gaeilge (need I say more?). Brendan Behan got it right, and it’s as true of the verbal world as of the physical: there is no situation so bad that the arrival of a policeman (or policeperson) won’t make it worse.
Ná bí dána Jude. Tá sé ach an teanga, tá sí ag labhairt. Don’t be a book end to Jim Allister.
You’re a hard man to please.
The police can’t speak Irish? Bigots
The police try to learn Irish? Hypocrites.
The police don’t won’t come to our street? Useless
The police come onto our street? Harassment.
And ‘Trevors’? What age are you, 14?
Gio,I’d like to think that Jude had his tongue firmly in his cheek when he wrote this.If not he’s even sadder then we think!
Fear cliste is é ár Jude – a theanga go daingean ina ghiall – sure nach raibh chuid mhór sásta acu an t-eolas a thabhairt do na peas, i dteanga ar bith, gan orthu Gaeilge a fhoghlaim! 🙂