“We do want to respect and indeed better understand the language and culture which we are not a part of and to that end over the next short period of time I do intend to listen and to engage with those from the Gaelic/Irish background, those without party political baggage or indeed demands, people who genuinely love the Irish language and don’t want to use it as a political weapon.”

….and there was Arlene Foster , our ex-First Minister ,fossicking about at the very bottom among the seeds and stems of that bag of political trickery to come up with a set of sounds …a scrabble of words…something to get herself and her DUP party off the hook of their own devising and rush them back to the well-heated sanctuary of and soft seats of a renewed local government.
Outside the worthies are beginning to bark and keen about business failing, the health service crashing and the need for all these politicians to get back inside government to continue their endless squabblings.The political punters and pundits are already suffering from the dearth of brand new political scandals to write and report on and are now talking in circular riddles and hopes for any little crumb to write about.They need the DUP back inside to provide some news! What new and wonderful nonsense can this party come up with next , they ask themselves. Surely there’ll be something new to fill the airwaves? Some new wee scandal or foot-in-mouth statement , possibly about the Japanese community and their awful behaviour during World War Two or they might even have another dig at the Muslim community….have they left anyone out in their quest to offend?. None of them realise, even yet ,that their own political train just might have hit the buffers forever…..that is , unless the DUP do a complete turnaround , have a re-think about what is really most important to them …and then eat some serious crow-pie.
Of course, it goes without saying that the DUP and Arlene are a little late at catching up with everyone else in realising that there will never be a new government without the Irish Language Act being in place first and possibly even already working in real-time , as a small first step. Too many previous promises have already been reneged on, after all.The fact that these politicians and their supporters all live in a land whose place-names and town-lands are steeped in the Gaelic Irish tongue, already ,seems to have escaped them for several generations so there may be a need for some very quick re-education.These things might take a little more time than a paltry few weeks or months.Do their supporters have any idea what is required of them in the coming years?
.We might each have a spanking new postcode consisting of a few capital letters and numbers to help the man in his little red van find our homes and deliver our mail , but scratch a little harder and the gaelic townland ,town, village or city name will be there in our addresses ,hiding in plain sight.It will hardly hurt us to shine a brighter light on them.
Béal Feirste….rivermouth of the sandbanks….anyone?


Then there’s that Bill Of Rights……….?


  1. fiosrach April 14, 2017 at 12:06 pm #

    It’s funny the anglicised gobbledegook of Belfast is acceptable on direction signs but Béal Feirste isn’t. Is it worth digging down to possibly find out why? All over the north – as a matter of fact all over the island – the English have tried to remodel the Irish spelling to something more comfortable to their mouths. A few words are so prevalent, like Bally and Mullach, they can’t or don’t really change but the rest they try to change to a recognisable English word. The gibberish conveys nothing of the sense of the place. Like Limavady. If you don’t have the original Irish it means nothing. A lot of the British Irish have a strong interest in townlands names and indeed they have provided a gateway for the Irish Irish to investigate and learn their own language. I find that most thinking people are inquisitive about local names and it should at least be taught in all schools. I mean what does a teacher in a state school say when a rural pupil asks what is the meaning of their townlands and where does it come from?

    • paddykool April 14, 2017 at 12:23 pm #

      This is why I find it absurd for Arlene to say..”the language and culture which we are not a part of “……in her statement above . What planet is she living on ? Has she never asked herself anything about the origins of the place she lives in and has lived in all her life? Far from not being a part of the culture , she and her ilk are a very real part of the culture but seem afraid to have ever accepted that this is the case.It’s that old thing of thinking that there are separate communities when in fact there is only one with many interlocking facets.

  2. Sherdy April 14, 2017 at 3:13 pm #

    The publicly admitted ignorance of all things Irish by our former first minister and leader of the DUP is staggering – never once in her life has she ever wondered about what should be her own native language or culture!
    And those organisations which have rushed to offer to educate her should possibly be a bit more circumspect, as she is not prepared to meet just any old Irish speakers – they must first be vetted by her, or maybe by Nigel Dodds, as she has not been allowed in front of a mike without him guarding her wayward mouth since the election.
    So the new ‘nicer’ Arlene couldn’t even make a diplomatic move with good grace – she still has to give the impression that she is in a position to decide who she will meet or speak to!

  3. Páid April 14, 2017 at 9:00 pm #

    “those without party political baggage or indeed demands” she won’t be meeting anyone then as Acht na Gaeilge is a very firm demand by all Irish language speakers and supporters.

  4. Dominic Hendron April 14, 2017 at 10:50 pm #

    Is Conor Cruise O’Brien still about?

  5. michael c April 14, 2017 at 11:00 pm #

    No Conor Cruise is in heaven (or some part of it that is forever England) but he still has plenty of earthly disciples in the free state parties that canvas for your beloved SDLP ,Dominic.

    • Dominic Hendron April 15, 2017 at 12:52 am #

      Thanks Michael c but I was thinking more about Arlene’s problem.

  6. ANOTHER JUDE April 15, 2017 at 3:51 am #

    Seeing how the English tried to wipe out the language (therefore politicizing it) they should hand over the money for the Irish Language Act at once and shut the feck up.