A tale of two names


A: I hear they’ve changed the name.

B: Another on-the-run story? Subterfuge and deception?

A: No, I’m talking about a boat.

B: So no on-the-runs. Not even letters to them?

A: Not at the moment. I’m talking about a boat that had a foreign-language name.

B: Property of a sheik, maybe?

A: No, this was a fisheries protection vessel. Michelle Gildernew named it at its launch.

B: And someone has now gone and given it a foreign-language name.

A: Well, yes and no. When Michelle Gildernew launched it she was Agriculture minister, and she called it Banríon Uladh. Irish. Which is native or foreign, depending on which foot you write with.

B: Well I get the Uladh bit. We have that all over the place. Ollscoil Uladh, Raidio Uladh…

A: Not quite. We’ve got Ulster University and Radio Ulster.

B: Those are the foreign names for them.

A: Not according to the DUP. It’s the other way round with them.

B: Other way round? You’ve lost me and I’m afraid to guess.

A: It’s simple. Michelle Gildernew gave the fisheries protection vessel the name Banríon Uladh back in 2010. The present Agriculture minister, the DUP’s Michelle McIlveen, has changed the name to the English translation – Queen of Ulster.

B: What was the point in that?

A: Ms McIlveen says “DAERA (Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs ) is a new department with a fresh identity and logo and adopts a single language policy”.

B: How have the Irish language people reacted to this?

A: The Irish language group Pobal says “This is a sad and petty action, which brings no benefit or value to a society struggling to move away from inequality and discrimination”.

B: Strong words in any language.

A: The Pobal woman went further: the Irish language, she figures, “must be protected in strong, comprehensive legislation”.

B: I thought they had already. Irish Language Act, agreed to as part of St Andrew’s Agreement. Right?

A: Yes it was.

B: But?

A: But the Irish Language Act still hasn’t been passed.

B: Dia ár sábháil – you astonish me.

A: The DUP are perhaps afraid it might lead to confusion.

B: You mean confusing like Radio Ulster referring to the six counties, not nine?

A: Sort of.

B: Or Ulster University referring to the six counties, not nine, as well?

A: Sort of again. But the thing is, the DUP’s Stephen Moutray has said having an Irish name on the boat might breach law about providing a neutral working environment, and it might also make it difficult to identify the boat in emergency radio transmissions.

B: So it’s really a question of happiness and safety of all at work?

A: The Irish language people don’t see it that way.

B: They’re annoyed?

A: Very

B: Was that the real reason for the name-change – to annoy the leprechaun language lot?

A: Pass.

B: By the way, do you have to be called Michelle to become Agriculture minister?

A: No. Michaela will also do. Although it might be changed to provide a neutral Stormont environment.

B: Like Carson’s statue?

A: Correct. Slan agus beannacht

B: Hasta la vista, baby.





29 Responses to A tale of two names

  1. Dominic Hendron September 30, 2016 at 9:23 am #

    I suppose there is no chance of our “communities” minister attending an “Ulster” final anytime soon then?

    • Ryan September 30, 2016 at 6:19 pm #

      “I suppose there is no chance of our “communities” minister attending an “Ulster” final anytime soon then?”

      As much chance as Arlene Foster wanting to reach out to Nationalists…..I think that day will only come when Unionism realizes they are past the point of no return…..but Paul Girvan does attend 11th July Bonfires, he is very community spirited…..

  2. Antonio September 30, 2016 at 9:26 am #

    This is one of the more petty actions from the DUP for a while now. Pathetic!

  3. Antaine de Brún September 30, 2016 at 9:51 am #

    Vladimir: Is ionann cás don iomlan againn/We are all in the same boat.

    Estragon: Cad chuige?/Why?

    V: Tá glanchaillteanas againn./We have a net loss.

    E: An bhfuil sócmhainní reatha againn?/Have we any floating assets?

    V: Tá bád eile againn, NAMA a tugadh uirthi. Cheannaíomar í sa tsúil go mbeadh brábus

    le déanamh uirthi ach tá na fiacha ag carnadh uirthi./We have another boat, named

    NAMA. We bought it to make a profit but she is sinking deeper in debt.

    E: Caith uait an bruscar sin!/Get rid of that junk!

    V: Rinnemar. Shlog an t-iasc an baoite./ We did. The fish swallowed the bait.

    E: Is maith liom a bheith fadiascaireacht ach sin scéal eile are fad agus ní taobh le cloch

    amháin atá mo phaidrínse/I like offshore fishing but that is a different kettle of fish and I

    have other fish to fry.

    V: Beimid ag trálaeireacht i gcomhair trosc./We will fish for cod.

    • Jude Collins September 30, 2016 at 10:32 am #

      Thanks for that tour de force in bi-lingualism, Antaine. Iontach simuil…

      • Antaine de Brún September 30, 2016 at 12:01 pm #

        Fuarthas. De réir cuntasóra, is deacair do chothrom a choinneáil ar bhád./ Received with thanks. According to an accountant, it is hard to keep your balance on a boat.

        • Sherdy September 30, 2016 at 3:49 pm #

          A Titanic analogy.

  4. fiosrach September 30, 2016 at 10:11 am #

    Whenever an imperial power conquers and plants another country it does certain things to justify their actions and their theft and exploitation. It can attempt to wipe the natives completely off the face of the earth to leave the ground clear for the ‘pioneers’ or it can reduce their humanity to such a level that they are no better than slaves in their own country. All the agencies of the land thieves are together in this venture. Their church, their map makers and their judicial system etc all collude together to dehumanize the natives. As Pearse said “If the tongue is Irish then the heart is Irish too”.This is the first step. Make fun of their language. Remove it from all aspects of social, commercial and judicial life. The English have been very good at this. We all know, or so they tell us, that the Irish savages couldn’t speak English, they lived in caves, they didn’t grow crops etc but when their masters arrived everything changed. Weren’t we the lucky ones? To ask them to respect a language and a way of life now – after hundreds of years of trying to erase it – is a step too far for them. Of course there is no shortage of natives who believe all this guff about the undermined and ape them in all they do. They laugh at their compatriots, call them backward and are known as West Britishers, Castle catholics and we should try to become civilized like them. So it has always been. Land thieves don’t change their spots.

  5. fiosrach September 30, 2016 at 10:12 am #

    Undermined = ubermensch

  6. fiosrach September 30, 2016 at 11:34 am #

    As I was saying about West Brits.. dig the map. https://antuairisceoir.com/2016/09/16/podchraoladh-gaeilgeoiri-na-gaeltachta

  7. Perkin Warbeck September 30, 2016 at 11:40 am #

    Loath as one invariably is, Esteemed Blogmeister, to remind loyal Loyalists of their Leprechaun roots nonetheless there is one who just will not be gainsaid. (A daarlin word, Joxer).

    That would , ar ndoigh/ sans doute, The Perkin’s inner astringent researcher in a string vest.

    Spoiler Alert !

    The origins of the Lady-like surname ‘McIlveen’ are (gulp) ‘Mac an Ghiolla Mhin’ which translates as (gasp) ‘Son of the Smooth Lad’.

    One wonders did Ms. Michelle (?) McIlveen reflect on this inconvenient truthiness even as she whacked the Back to the Future name ‘Queen of Ulster’ with a ceremonial rebaptism bottle of Mi-Wadi, m’lud.

    Mind you, that’s only the half of it, Alf.

    Down here, in the progressively south of the Black Sow’s Dyke, we have, as usual, gone one step further: not only have we moved on (yawn, stretch and trouser cough) from over-loading our launches with those tiresome Leprechaun names like LE Banba, Macha, Maeve, Cliona, Fola, Deirdre, Eithne, Emer, Orla, Ciara, Aisling etc etc etc. but indeed have opted to ditch them entirely and replaced them with the LE Samuel Beckett and LE James Joyce.

    -Ahoy there, me boys, female names overboard ! .

    To think that all this blatant rendering of gender bending has been achieved on the baleful female watch of, um, UM without as a much as a murmur or even a purr of protest from Una Mullally (for it is she !) who occupies the Crow’s Nest of The Uniionist Times is nothing short of a sensational absence of the confrontational.

    To say that this pair of Alfie- males were anti-Gaels is to claim that Uncle Adolf did not have the Torah as his favourite bed-side reading.

    Fogra Tora, Tora Tora !

    That the namechange from ‘Banrion Uladh’ to ‘Queen of Uladh’ was not given airtime on the news bulletins of RTE,is uber-understandable, given the maritime matters of more import which had to be commented upon.

    Such as the return of LE James Joyce in calm conditions to the cove of Queenstown in de Reb-el Country of Cork, trailing clouds of glory in its battleship grey wake. Having just rescued over two thousand refuges in distress before thoughtfully dumping them on the all-too-suspicious Sicilians.

    RTE was beside itself with pride at this return of the LE from its Odyssey to the Land which Promised to take in 4000 refugees and has (gulp) homerically managed to take in 300 already.

    The return had a speedy Ryanair turnaround. The better,it is said, to ferry the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate in Waiting, Charlie ‘Je Suis Charles ‘ Flanagan of Fianna Fail Better (to put a Beckettian slant on Fine Gael) to the funeral of his pin-up boy of Peace.

    To ferry him to a funeral at the opposite end of the Mediterranean, to Old Jerusalem where Shimon Peres was due to be interred. After a typical young manhood, ill-spent in a spot of imperialism, including a stint of genocide here , and a spell of war criminality there, the deceased eventually matured into an olive –bearing Dove, love.

    Still, there are incorrigible soreheads to be found everywhere. Let us hope and prey that the Canadian Ambassador will be in attendance at the obsequies. It would be terrible altogether entirely if a local version of Oliver J were to suddenly ambush the solemnity of the occasion by suddenly choosing to stand up and bray.

    The New Testament to modernity ought never to be blamed for the sins of the Old Testament.

    The prefix LE, incidentally, signifies (gulp) …..Long Eireannach / Irish Ship. In time this utterly antiquated prefix (at a rather sharper rate of knots than the rate of 300 to 4000) will be altered (under cover of a news blackout) to Long Angla-Eireannach / LA/ Anglo-Irish.

    For both Beckett and Joyce,, therefore:

    -Tiocfaidh a LA !

    Reminding one, if such were required, that the first gunboat of the Free Southern Stateen’s servile naval service was the Muirchu (nee Helga).

  8. giordanobruno September 30, 2016 at 11:42 am #

    A petty minded and pointless act by McIlveen.
    One side as bad as the other.
    Depressing stuff.

    • Ryan September 30, 2016 at 6:16 pm #

      “One side as bad as the other”

      Sorry Gio, that old chestnut is just nonsense and I think you know that.

      • giordanobruno September 30, 2016 at 8:20 pm #

        Actually for once I agree. I think the DUP are worse for this kind of petty stuff, with “curry my yoghurt” being the most obvious example.
        I have no doubt though, that the original naming of the boat under Michelle Gildernew was done with one eye on annoying the prods, as with the policy in Health (under SF) of issuing press releases referring to the ‘north of Ireland’
        It’s all petty playground pointscoring and as I say very depressing.

        • Ryan September 30, 2016 at 10:56 pm #

          ” I think the DUP are worse for this kind of petty stuff, with “curry my yoghurt” being the most obvious example.”

          Its not only petty Gio, its also very dangerous. Sticking two fingers up to peace and reconciliation, especially in an unstable society like ours, isn’t a good idea but the DUP seem to think it is. That’s unsurprising given their past at stoking up trouble.

          “I have no doubt though, that the original naming of the boat under Michelle Gildernew was done with one eye on annoying the prods, as with the policy in Health (under SF) of issuing press releases referring to the ‘north of Ireland”

          Gio, I don’t think Michelle Gildernew did it to “annoy the prods”. Michelle has even been praised by sections of Unionism for her outreach efforts. Its naming a boat in Irish, what is offensive about that? Why would protestants find the Irish language offensive in the first place? Its the native language of this island….its been spoken here since long before a single word of English was ever uttered. The term “North of Ireland” isn’t used for pettiness either, even the people and the media of the south refer to this part of Ireland as “the North” routinely. Even many Anti-republican journalists refer to here as “the North” every now and then.

          There is no equivalence between naming something in Irish and, say, repeatedly refusing to support equality for the Irish language. One is bigotry, one isn’t. If we lived in any other part of the UK, or even mainland Europe, an Irish Language Act would’ve been enacted a long time ago.

          Peace and Reconciliation doesn’t involve Nationalists abandoning the Irish Language, anymore than Unionists are expected to give up all their parades. If Unionists oppose things named in the Irish Language then they should be consistent and rename everything named after British Royals. At least in that way they might have a leg to stand on in a debate. But the fact some people would be upset at the use of the native language of this island in the first place speaks volumes. Its the mind set of the very same people who tried to destroy the language.

          “It’s all petty playground pointscoring and as I say very depressing”

          You said you agree with me Gio but in reality you really don’t lol I know I have typed harsh criticisms of political Unionism but their all truthful. I hope I might have some positives to type in the near future but I highly doubt that given current and past trends.

          • giordanobruno October 1, 2016 at 10:04 am #

            You can see very clearly when it comes to the faults of unionism (which are many) yet it all goes a bit blurry when it comes to republicans.
            When Michelle Gildernew was overseeing the original naming of the boat she had 3 options, Irish English or bi-lingual.
            She chose the one that would annoy the unionists.Surprise!
            You think SF are not aware that the term ‘north of Ireland’ provokes annoyance in unionists? Pull the other one.
            Yes I do agree the DUP are the worst offenders but do you really believe SF are above such things?

  9. Eddie Barrett September 30, 2016 at 12:05 pm #

    I loved the Comments too Jude !
    Unfortunately Civil Rights is still a problem on both sides of our Country Jude.

    We have a Minister – Humphreys from an Ulster County – namely Monaghan, who has admitted in Dáil Éireann yesterday, that she is using 1916 Commemoration Monies – Allocated only for such usage , To Appeal The High Court case that Designated The Moore St Battle Quarter in Dublin, a National Heritage Site – She basically wants to allow yet another Shopping Centre built there – by a British Company ???
    Unfortunately , we have our own Unionist Party in the 26 Counties too – it’s called Fine Gael !!!

  10. paddykool September 30, 2016 at 3:35 pm #

    Sometimes it’s as though we’ll never get out of the playground in this benighted place.There’s never going to be any growing -up. Last night i watched “the View” on television where the DUP’s Edwin Poots was variously dissected , bissected , trissected and otherwise hanged , drawn and quartered and taken apart into tiny pieces by his various questioners and debating combatants and he still sat like a cow looking over a fence ,as unconcerned as the day he was born. He probably thought that he looked cool and untouchable but he simply looked dumb and complacent in face of a possible economic and border security meltdown. The” debate” ,if we can loosely call it that, was to do with taking a united stand alongside their Irish partners in the Republic of Ireland and arguing their special case after Brexit together. No ….he was having none of this republican contamination…..no sirreee,Bob!! He couldn’t see that he would be at the bottom of the pecking order as far as Westminster was concerned in any negotiations, otherwise. He didn’t seem to care much how much the place depended on the agri- business ,nor the loss of EU funding.”Let it hang”, seemed to be his attitude.In the end he was actually simply ignored by everyone in the room . They literally turned their backs to him and talked among themselves. The feeling seemed to be that they were dealing with an unreachable dunderhead, so what was the point in discussing grown-up stuff with him at all. I think this petty re-naming of a boat falls into the same kind of category.

  11. Sherdy September 30, 2016 at 3:55 pm #

    For as long as Sinn Fein are happy to play second fiddle to the DUP, and Marty smilingly accepts every one of Arlene’s diktats, then we can expect to be treated as the second class subjects that SF have decided we are.
    They don’t have the backbone to insist on equality of treatment and legislation in N Ireland, and will not threaten to pull down the rotten DUP edifice that Stormont has become.
    I don’t think anyone voted for Sinn Fein to bend over and have their asses kicked on a daily basis by UDA supporter Arlene or any other unionist!

  12. Argenta September 30, 2016 at 4:39 pm #

    Sounds like the latest episode in the sham fight between Sinn Fein and the D U P,each trying to show that they haven’t sold out to the other side!Meanwhile on Nolans Wednesday night show we had the unusual spectacle of the D U Ps Paul Givan representing the Health Minister,Michelle O’Neill who conveniently was unavailable to account for the latest problem in her Department.!

  13. MT September 30, 2016 at 5:43 pm #

    Utterly pathetic and embarrassing by the DUP.

    • Ryan October 1, 2016 at 12:03 am #

      “Utterly pathetic and embarrassing by the DUP”

      I think someone’s hijacked our MT’s name. Give it back, thief!

    • Colmán October 1, 2016 at 12:41 pm #

      Agreed MT. Moves like this really make me feel sorry for people is the DUP. The Gaelic language has the potential to unite people in the North but the DUP don’t want this as they thrive on division.

  14. Ryan September 30, 2016 at 6:09 pm #

    It was an extremely petty action and another act of Unionist discrimination against the Irish Language Community. I was watching the BBC’s “The View” last night where it was brought up by Mark Carruthers to Edwin Poots who giggled a little and sneered. A Professor (I’m sorry, I forget her name) was asked her opinion on the name change and she described it as “Very petty”. She said it says a lot about a DUP Minister to deliberately go out of her way to rename a boat because its original name was in Irish. It does indeed.

    I think it was commentator Chris Donnelly who referred to the Twaddell Deal when he tweeted about the name change. He made reference to the contrast between Nationalists compromising and striking a deal to allow a Unionist parade in the morning at Ardoyne, whilst this was going on a DUP Minister made it top of her list to go out and discriminate against the Irish language community.

    This poses the question: Can Unionists who run departments like Education, Agriculture, Justice, etc be trusted to run those departments in the interest of both communities? We see how Unionist councils are run and there’s numerous examples of Unionist councils dominating and discriminating against the minority Catholic community. For years and years, Invest NI has consistently invested much more in Unionist areas than Catholic, East Belfast gets over DOUBLE investment compared to West Belfast who is in much more need of job creation. Does the fact that a former DUP member is a senior executive of Invest NI have anything to do with this? The PSNI is only 30% Catholic, this is despite Catholics almost being the majority in the North. It use to have a 50/50 recruitment policy until it was ditched at the urging of Unionism. The reinstatement of that 50/50 policy is still opposed by Unionism.

    A few months ago I said on this blog that discrimination like that from the 1960’s is long gone. I retract that statement now. Its obvious Unionism tries to discriminate against Catholics whenever the opportunity arises. From senior DUP members having alleged meetings with a housing association in orange halls to stop homes being built for Catholics (still being hushed up) to renaming a boat simply to discriminate, it shows things aren’t really all that different from 1969.

    The biggest problem Nationalism faces isn’t from outside but from within. We have people who think that by pandering to Unionist sectarianism that this will bring change. It wont. All it does really is encourages this sectarian behaviour.

    The renaming of this boat is just another example of discrimination that we know of. God knows whats going in behind the scenes in Unionist run departments like Education, Agriculture, etc. The question is: what is the SDLP and SF doing about it? Nothing, from what I can see. The logic seems to be: close your eyes and pretend its not happening…..

    • MT September 30, 2016 at 6:37 pm #

      “I think it was commentator Chris Donnelly who referred to the Twaddell Deal when he tweeted about the name change. He made reference to the contrast between Nationalists compromising and striking a deal to allow a Unionist parade in the morning at Ardoyne”

      Surely it’s the loyalists who compromised at Twaddell. They’ve apparently agreed not to apply for any more parades unless the ‘residents’ agree. They seem to have caved in.

      • Ryan September 30, 2016 at 11:15 pm #

        “Surely it’s the loyalists who compromised at Twaddell. They’ve apparently agreed not to apply for any more parades unless the ‘residents’ agree. They seem to have caved in.”

        Loyalists have compromised MT but most people, including many protestants, question the need to parade near this interface in the first place. Seriously, think about it, its a PARADE. Why is it so necessarily? Why is it so important? Is it bettering community relations? No, its destroying them. Is it bringing in foreign investment? No its driving it away. The fleg protests alone is estimated to have drove away at least £100 million in investment, according to the Nolan Show. Maybe that was the intention all along? to stop this place moving forward.

        If it was Republicans demanding to parade by a Protestant community, setting up an illegal camp, etc you can bet your life the vast majority of republicans would’ve told them to wise the hell up and have actively supported the residents of that community, I know I would’ve. Its all sectarian coat trailing, that’s all it is and most Unionists know it, even those who support the Twaddell camp. Its people who are so brainwashed by sectarianism and so stuck in the past that they simply cant move on. This sort of thing has cost lives, ask the families of Bernadette Martin who was shot through the eye by her boyfriends friend or the mother of the 3 Quinn children who were burnt alive because Orangemen couldn’t parade at Drumcree. Even the outside world are completely bewildered by this behaviour involving parades.

        It really is no wonder why most educated and intelligent protestants leave this place, go to University in Britain and never come back. I know I would if I was surrounded by that nonsense.

        Loyalists may have compromised, they may have abandoned the return parade by the looks of it and are going to dismantle the camp but most sensible people think this situation should never have occurred in the first place.

      • Twinbrook Lad September 30, 2016 at 11:33 pm #

        Precisely MT and the sooner people realise that this region controlled by Westminster is not about winners or losers but about us all together then the better it will be for everyone

  15. Robert October 1, 2016 at 8:19 am #

    Almost as petty as Sf and the Sdlp voting to take down the Union flag from Belfast city council many Republicans and Nationalists are quick to forget sleights they inflicted but very quick to remember sleights they had inflicted on them.

  16. MT October 1, 2016 at 9:35 am #

    “Seriously, think about it, its a PARADE. Why is it so necessarily? Why hy is it so necessarily? Why is it so important? Is it bettering community relations? No, its destroying them. Is it bringing in foreign investment? No its driving it away.”

    One could equally ask if it’s only a parade why have the ‘residents’ turned it into such an issue? It’s only since the ‘residents” hate groups emerged that parade has been a problem. No investors knew anything about it before the hate group started protesting and trying to get it banned.