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16 Aug
0

Irish Language Act

After the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) was signed in 1998 many people throughout Ireland believed it would herald positive changes in their lives. Those who either disagreed with, or actively opposed, it were labelled ‘anti-peace’, Neanderthals, etc.

Many Irish republicans argued that the GFA would put the cause for a Socialist Republic on the backburner. It was in the interest of the British and 26 County governments for it to be implemented and after a referendum was called the majority of people voted for it.

Since then there have been many changes in society, most of which are negative. Poverty is rife, sectarianism and racism are on the increase, and most importantly the constitutional question is still not settled.

Unionists, supported by successive British governments, continue to renege on issues like the Irish language despite Sinn Féin signing up to one of their main demands-policing.

In October 2006 both governments and the constitutional parties met at St. Andrews in Scotland to sort out the issue of policing. Sinn Féin, had for years, argued that the RUC was a paramilitary police force that upheld the Orange state and they called for their disbandment. They had, in fact, been very critical of the SDLP who had always supported policing in the 6 Counties.

It is the opinion of many people that for Sinn Féin to be part of a power-sharing ‘government’ in Stormont they had to endorse policing. Another part of the talks was the Irish language and it was agreed an Act would be brought in giving Irish as equal a status as English.

The Welsh and Scottish Assemblies got their own Acts which gave people in both of those countries the opportunity to use their language as and when they wanted.

The difference in the 6 Counties to those countries was that many unionists opposed all things Irish because they claimed it impacted on their ‘culture’. They kept up the demand for Sinn Féin to endorse policing. After months of ‘consultation’ with their members and others Sinn Féin did indeed agree to support the PSNI. They argued that it would put them in a stronger position to push for the likes of an Irish language act.

Irish language activists believed that it was only a matter of time before legislation was brought in, which would mean many benefits for schools, etc. However, unionists continued to oppose it in debates in Stormont. They claimed other languages such as Polish and Mandarin were spoken by more people but this is not the case. Research has been carried out by academics and others who claim that Irish speakers are numerous and the language is growing. Many young people are going to the many scoileanna in Béal Feirste and beyond and this is proof of its growth.

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14 Aug
0

Acht na Gaeilge

Nuair a síníodh Comhaontú Aoine an Chéasta (CAC) in 1998 shíl mórán ar fud na hÉireann go dtiocfadh athruithe dearfacha ina saol dá bharr. Tugadh ‘frithshíochánaithe’ nó Néandartálaigh srl. orthu siúd nár aontaigh leis nó a bhí go gníomhach ina éadan.

Mhaígh go leor de Phoblachtaigh Éireannacha go gcuirfeadh CAC aisling na Poblachta Sóisialaí ar cúl. Ba le leas rialtas na Breataine agus Rialtas na 26 contae go gcuirfí i bhfeidhm é agus nuair a iarradh reifreann vótáil formhór na ndaoine ar a shon.

Ón uair sin is iomaí athrú atá tagtha ar an tsochaí, drochathruithe an mhórchuid acu. Tá an bhochtaineacht forleathan, tá méadú ar an tseicteachas agus ar an chiníochas, agus an rud is tábhachtaí níl socrú ar cheist an bhunreachta.

Tá Aontachtaithe, lena dtacaíonn rialtas i ndiaidh rialtais sa Bhreatain , i gcónaí ag dul siar ar na gealltanais, a bhaineann leis an Gaeilge mar shampla, cé gur shínigh Sinn Féin do cheann de na príomhéilimh acusan .i. an phóilíneacht.

I nDeireadh Fómhair 2006 tháinig an dá rialtas agus na páirtithe bunreachtúla le chéile i gCill Ríbhinn in Albain le ceist na póilíneachta a réiteach. Ar feadh blianta fada mhaígh Sinn Féin gur fórsa póilíneachta paraimíliteach a bhí san RUC, péas a sheas leis an Stát Oráisteach, agus d’éiligh siad go

ndéanfaí iad a dhíscaoileadh. Cháin siad go trom an SDLP a thacaigh i gcónaí le póilíneacht sna Sé Chontae.

Creideann cuid mhór daoine gurbh éigean do Sinn Féin tacú le póilíneacht sa dóigh is go mbeadh siad páirteach i ‘rialtas’ cumhachtroinnte in Stormont. Bhí an Ghaeilge mar chuid de na cainteanna fosta agus aontaíodh go dtabharfaí Acht isteach leis an Ghaeilge a chur ar comhchéim leis an Bhéarla.

Fuair Tionól na Breataine Bige agus Tionól na hAlban a nAcht féin a thug deis do dhaoine sa dá thír sin a dteanga a úsáid am ar bith ar mhaith leo.

Is é an difear a bhí sna Sé Chontae go raibh a lán Aontachtaithe in éadan rud ar bith atá Éireannach mar go gcuirfeadh a leithéid isteach ar a ‘gcultúr’. Lean siad dá n-éileamh go dtacódh Sinn Féin le póilíneacht. I ndiaidh míonna de ‘chomhairliúchán’ idir Sinn Féin agus a gcuid ball agus daoine eile shocraigh Sinn Féin ar thacú leis an SPTÉA. Mhaígh siad go bhfágfadh sin níos láidre iad agus iad ag brú ar son achta don Ghaeilge.

Shíl gníomhairí Gaeilge gur ghairid go dtabharfaí reachtaíocht isteach a bheadh ar leas na scoileanna srl. Mar sin féin, lean na hAontachtaithe ag cur ina éadan i ndíospóireachtaí in Stormont. Dúirt siad go raibh níos mó daoine ag labhairt teangacha eile, mar shampla an Pholainnis agus an Mhadairínis ach ní sin mar atá. Tá taighde déanta ag acadóirí agus eile a mhaíonn go bhfuil líon an-mhór Gaeilgeoirí ann agus go bhfuil an teanga ag fás. Tá mórán daoine ag freastal ar an iomad scoil taobh istigh agus taobh amuigh de Bhéal Feirste rud a chruthaíonn go bhfuil sí ag fás.

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