Déardaoin, Feabhra 09, 2012


Cearta Gael á n-Éileamh i Rith an Ama
09/02/2012
StormontBa bheag an t-iontas a bhí ar phobal Gaeilge na Sé Condae nuair a rinneadh tagairt d’Acht na Gaeilge i gcuimhní cinn Peter Hain a foilsíodh ar na mallaibh,Outside In. Maidir le cainteanna Chill Rímhinn in 2006, admhaíonn iar-státrúnaí na Breataine nach raibh aon rún ag rialtas na Breataine an tAcht a rith, ag rá gur ‘sheafóid’ a bhí ann ach gur chuir siad é i gComhaontú Chill Rímhinn ar scor ar bith.
Níl an chaimiléireacht neamhiontach seo ag cur aon bhac ar Ghaeilgeoirí a gcearta a éileamh áfach. I ndiaidh stocaireacht agus cruinnithe le habhcóidí Gaeilge, mhol Comhairle na hEorpa le déanaí go bhforbraíodh na húdaráis reachtaíocht chuimsitheach ar an Ghaeilge sna Sé Chondae agus go ndéanaidís beart le cearta teanga phobal na Gaeilge a chonsaint agus a chur i bhfeidhm níos éifeachtaí. Mhol siad chomh maith go ndéanadh na húdaráis tuilleadh le ceist chomharthaíocht phoiblí agus chraoltóireachta a réiteach.
Dúirt Janet Muller ón eagraíocht Pobal, “Tá sé an-suntasach, mar gheall ar an raon leathan de cheisteanna a dhéanann an Coiste Comhairleach trácht orthu a bhaineann le Sasana, le hAlbain, leis an Bhreatain Bheag agus leis an thuaisceart, gur dhírigh siad ar an Ghaeilge mar bhuncheist go réiteofaí láithreach bonn.”
Cé gur tábhachtach é reachtaíocht a bheith ann chun an pobal Gaeilge a chosaint, is léir nach sin tús deireadh an scéil. D’ainneoin go bhfuil sé leagtha amach i gComhaontú Aoine an Chéasta go ndéanfadh rialtas na Breataine “dualgas reachtúil a chur ar an Roinn Oideachais chun oideachas trí mheán na Gaeilge a spreagadh agus a éascú”, tá sé soiléir go bhfuil lucht leanúna na caipéise úd i Westminster agus i Stormont ag déanamh a bheag den Ghaeloideachas go fóill.
Nuair a thug an mheánscoil Ghaeilge Coláiste Feirste roinn oideachais na Sé Chondae os comhair na cúirte anuraidh as seirbhís bus a dhiúltú don scoil, rinne dlíodóirí na roinne iarracht cinneadh an aire a chosaint as rá nach raibh sa Chomhaontú ach ábhar ‘mianaidhme’.
Bhí sampla eile den drochiompar seo le feiceáil díreach seachtain ó shin nuair a dhiúltaigh aire oideachais Stormont John O’Dowd do mholadh naíscoile reachtúla in iarthar Bhéal Feirste. Rinneadh iarracht an cinneadh a chosaint trína rá nár chóir an naíscoil dheonach a chur in áit naíscoile reachtúla, ach tá foireann dheonach na naíscoile ag streachailt leis na deiche míle punt a thiomsú gach bliain i gceantar díothach Lóiste na Móna leis an scoil an chothú. Pé scéal é, tá an fhoireann tiomanta chun leanúint le deachaighdeán oideachais a chur a fáil trí mheán na Gaeilge sa naíscoil.
Ní thiocfaidh deireadh ariamh leis an streachailt chun cearta Gael a chosaint, ach ní féidir bheith ag brath ar fhreagraí reachtúla nuair is léir go ndéanann na húdaráis neamhaird orthu agus iad míchaoithiúil. Is ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann an pobal Gaeilge agus is é an pobal céanna sin a chosnóidh agus a chuirfidh an teanga chun cinn i ndeireadh an dála.
Ní neart go cur le chéile.

Irish Speakers Continue to Demand Rights
Peter HainThere was little surprise in the Irish language community of the Six Counties when the Irish Language Act was referenced in Peter Hain’s recently published memoirs, Outside In. In regards to the St Andrew’s talks in 2006, the former British secretary of state admits that the British government had no intention of passing the Act, saying that it as“nonsense” but they included it in the St Andrew’s Agreement at any rate.
However this unsurprising duplicity has not prevented Irish speakers from demanding their rights. Following lobbying and meetings with Irish language advocates, the Council of Europe recently recommended that authorities “develop comprehensive legislation on the Irish language in Northern Ireland and take resolute measures to protect and implement more effectively the language rights of persons belonging to the Irish-speaking community”. They also recommend that the authorities do more to resolve the issues of public signage and broadcasting.
Janet Muller of the organisation Pobal said, “It is highly significant, given the broad range of issues which the Advisory Committee have commented on throughout England, Scotland, Wales and the North, that they have focussed on the Irish language as a key matter for immediate resolution.”
Although it is important that there be legislation to protect the Irish language community, clearly this is not the beginning and end of the story. Despite it being laid out in the Good Friday Agreement that the British government would “place a statutory duty on the Department of Education to encourage and facilitate Irish medium education”, it is clear that the supporters of that document in Westminster and Stormont are still making little of Irish-medium education.
When the Irish-medium second-level school Coláiste Feirste took the Six-County department of education before the courts last year for refusing the school a bus service, the department’s lawyers attempted to defend the minister’s decision by arguing that the Agreement was merely “aspirational”.
Another example of this negative attitude could be seen just last week when Stormont education minister John O’Dowd rejected a proposal for a statutory nursery in west Belfast. There was an attempt to defend this decision by saying that a voluntary nursery should not be replaced by a statutory nursery, but the voluntary staff at the nursery is struggling to raise tens of thousands of pound every year in the deprived Turf Lodge area to maintain the school. Nonetheless, the staff is committed to continue providing a good standard of education through the medium of Irish in the nursery.
The struggle to defend the rights of Irish speakers will never end, but legislative solutions cannot be depended on when it’s clear that the authorities ignore them when they are inconvenient. The Irish language community prospers by its own initiatives and achievements and ultimately it will be that same community that will defend and develop the language.
Ní neart go cur le chéile.

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