Wednesday, 21 December 2011

An-tóir ar dhrámaí Gaeilge i mBaile Átha Cliath


Bhí páirt an-bheag agam i léiriú de chuid Aisteoirí Bulfin le déanaí - Gur Eile. Seo an chéad uair ó rang na naoínán móra a rinne mé aisteoireacht agus bhain mé an-sult as.

Bhí beagáinín d'imní orm nuair a chuala mé go mbeadh dráma Gaeilge eile, Sétanta, ar siúl ag an am céanna in Amharclann na Mainistreach. Cheap mé go mbeadh an lucht féachana do Gur Eile, a bhí ar siúl sa New Theatre, go mbeadh sé thíos leis dá bharr.

Ní amhlaidh a bhí, ná baol air. Bhí Gur Eile lán ón gCéadaoin go dtí an Satharn. Seo an chéad uair d'Aisteoirí Bulfin léiriú a dhíoladh amach go hiomlán ó bunaíodh an compántas ag deireadh na 1960í.

Bhí an-ráth ar Sétanta chomh maith. Díoladh é amach ceithre oíche agus bhí sé trí cheathrú lán an cúigiú oíche. Tá díomá orm nach raibh mé in ann é a fheiceáil ach tá súil agam go mbeidh sé ar siúl arís.

Sílim gur éacht den scoth a bhí ann dhá dhráma Gaeilge a chur ar siúl sa chathair ag an am céanna agus oiread sin tóir a bheith orthu.

Ardú croí atá ann gan amhras.

www.twitter.com/colmobroin

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Dublin City Council didn't want stronger fire regulations


Dublin City Council is currently embroiled in a dispute with builder Tom McFeely over the enforcement of fire safety regulations in the Priory Hall apartments. The apartments are virtual death traps due to the fact that they were not built according to fire safety regulations.

The council moved its tenants out of Priory Hall in 2009 and got a High Court order in October to remove private residents. The High Court ordered the council to pay for the residents' emergency accommodation but DCC is trying to overturn the ruling.

The lack of building regulation is causing major problems for the council, but it turns out that they and other local authorities didn't want stronger rules during the Celtic Tiger years.

Local authorities give buildings fire certificates based on architectural plans, not on inspections carried out following completion. The Competition Authority proposed a full inspection regime for construction projects as part of a consultation document on the architectural sector in 2003, but this was rejected by Dublin City Council and other local authorities.

The City and County Managers' Association wrote to the Authority saying that they did not have the resources to implement such a regime. They acknowledged that the cost could be covered by charging construction companies a fee, but rejected this option as it would increase the cost of building projects.

“We feel that monitored self-certification by suitably qualified persons should continue,” the Association said.

The Department of Environment recommends that 12-15% of completed buildings are inspected by fire brigade officers, but there is no way at present to verify that the remaining buildings were built according to plans.

Construction industry insiders say that plans are not always implemented as outlined to fire brigade officers due to pressure to cut costs.

The Chartered Institute of Building also wrote to the Competition Authority in 2004 saying there was an urgent need to introduce an inspection regime. The group condemned the self-certification system claiming that developers were discouraging building professionals from monitoring construction projects.

“It has become normal practice on large and medium-sized housing developments (and in some cases small developments) to refuse to allow work-in-progress inspections by client's professional representatives.”

“Self-certification by architects, building surveyors and appropriately qualified engineers etc should only be considered in conjunction with a combination of an increase in Local Authority inspections and resources, where necessary, in addition to the introduction of an approval system...in the interests of public health and safety.”

The recommendation to introduce a full inspection regime was not included in the final report on architects published by the Competition Authority in 2006, the year Priory Hall was built.

John Kidd from the Irish Fire and Emergency Services Association told me that Priory Hall is the “tip of the iceberg.” The trade union estimates that fire regulations were not complied with in 10% of Celtic Tiger-era buildings.

“It's only a matter of time before we have a major fire tragedy. Fixing the problems now could end up costing the council more than it would have to enforce a proper inspection regime during the boom, and lives would not have been put at risk either.”

Amen to that.

By the way Dublin City Council has not said why they didn't move private tenants out of Priory Hall when they moved their own tenants in 2009 due to fire safety concerns. It's unclear who would have been liable if a fire had occured there in the meantime.

www.twitter.com/colmobroin

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

An bhfuil gach sceimhlitheoir ar mire, nó Breivik amháin?


Caithfidh mé a rá go bhfuil an-amhras orm faoin measúnú go bhfuil Anders Behring Breivik ar mire. Dar le saineolaithe, bhí Breivik síocóiseach nuair a dhúnmharaigh sé 77 duine san Iorua i mí Iúil.

daoine san Iorua in amhras faoin maíomh seo chomh maith.

Má tá Breivik ar mire, caithfidh go bhfuil gach sceimhlitheoir nó saighdiúr a dhúnmharaigh daoine ar son cúis éigin as a meabhair chomh maith.

Bí cinnte de go raibh cúis shoiléir ag Breivik, is cuma más cúis lofa gan bhunús a bhí ann. Creideann sé gur bagairt iad Moslaimigh don Iarthar agus go bhfuil comhcheilg ar bun ag an eite chlé leo chun smacht a fháil ar an Eoraip. Sin an fáth gur ionsaigh sé daoine óga ó Pháirtí an Lucht Oibre san Iorua.

Má léann tú forógra Breivik feicfidh tú go gcuireann sé a chás i láthair le struchtúr - ní rámhaille atá ann. Níl sé níos áiféisí ná seasamh Al Qaeda go bhfuil an tIarthar ag iarraidh Ioslaim a scrios, nó seasamh Ronald Reagan go raibh bochtáin Ghuatamala, na Salvadóire nó Nicearagua ina mbagairt do na Stáit Aontaithe.

Bhí loigic lofa ag Breivik – níl an dara rogha againn na daoine seo a mharú toisc go bhfuil siad ar tí 'muidne' a scrios. Bíonn an 'loighic' chéanna ag sceimhlitheoirí mórthimpeall na cruinne. Sin an fáth go maraíonn Al Qaeda sibhialaigh de gach reiligiúin agus cúlra agus an fáth gur thacaigh SAM leis an sléacht bharbartha a mharaigh 200,000 duine i Meiriceá Láir sna 70í agus 80í.

Bheadh sé an-éasca dúinn beag is fiú a dhéanamh de Breivik mar 'ghealt'. Tá go leor daoine leis an tuairim chéanna faoi Ioslam agus an eite chlé is atá ag Breivik. Buíochas le Dia nach bhfuil níos mó acu sásta foiréigean a úsáid mar a rinne seisean.

Mura théitear i ngleic le hIoslamafóibe áfach athróidh sé sin amach anseo.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Internet crusaders target all Muslims, not just extremists


The brutal murders of 77 people in Norway in July by Anders Behring Breivik has drawn attention to so-called 'anti-jihad' writers and bloggers.

So far the focus has been on whether the writings of people such as Robert Spencer (above) and Pamela Geller 'inspired' Breivik's terrorist attack. It is virtually impossible to say if this is true, so they should be presumed innocent.

What is undeniable is that dire warnings about 'Islamisation' have become more frequent in Europe and America in recent years. Controversial Dutch politician Geert Wilders and US Republicans Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich have now be joined by the first Irish politician to attempt to garner votes on the subject, co-opted Fine Gael councillor Joe O'Callaghan, who recently called for burkas to be banned.

Spencer and Geller are not marginal internet cranks however, they have appeared on Fox News, CNN and NBC in America. Spencer has advised the FBI on Islam and his best-selling books have been recommended for its agents by the FBI.

At first glance it would appear that their websites, Jihadwatch.org and Atlas Shrugs are committed to highlighting crimes and oppression by extremist Islamists. They claim to be defending human rights, religious tolerance, freedom of speech and equality for women from Islamic supremacists.

Articles posted on Jihadwatch.org in recent months detail the scandalously short sentences handed down to Islamists for the brutal lynching of three members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim minority in Indonesia, despicable honour murders against Muslim women by their families, repression under Sharia law and the persecution faced by people around the globe who leave Islam.

All very commendable, so far.

The more you look into the sites, however, the clearer it becomes that the 'anti-jihad' writers are not just targeting extremist and violent Islamists, but all Muslims.

Their argument, essentially, is that Osama Bin Laden is the true face of Islam (1) and that the root cause of extremist violence is the religion itself (2). Spencer, the intellectual heavyweight of the movement who regularly quotes from Islamic texts, derides the concept of 'moderate Islam,'(3) and claims that “there is no political Islam, no 'Islamism', no 'Islamists' -- there are only Islam and Muslims.” (4)

According to this school of thought, Muslims who say they don't agree with a violent campaign for world domination either don't understand their own religion or are lying and waiting until Muslims are in a strong enough position to reveal their inner fundamentalist.

The documentary Islam: What the West needs to know, which features many of the most influential anti-jihad writers, makes this point clear. A short TV ad is shown of ordinary Muslim Americans describing their backgrounds and finishes with the statement that “Muslims are part of the fabric of this great country and are working to build a better America.” The contributors to the documentary warn ominously however that the Koran allows Muslims to deceive non-believers in the service of Islam.

This is possibly the most reprehensible claim made by the anti-Muslim writers. If you accepted what they say it would mean that you can't trust your friends, relatives, neighbours or work colleagues if they happen to be Muslim. In fact, all Muslims are suspect according to this poisonous allegation.

Jihad Watch would be better called Muslim Watch as its modus operandi is to collate as much evidence as possible to prove that the Koran obliges Muslims to use violence to conquer the world - and ignores all evidence to the contrary. This is the trademark tactic of internet hate sites, similar to 'Gombeen Nation' which incites hatred against Irish speakers or the 'Jewish Crime Thread' found on neo-Nazi website Stormfront, which seeks evidence to reinforce pre-existing antisemitism.

Jihad Watch mixes real, harrowing examples of violence and oppression by Islamic extremists with transparent and ludicrous attempts to convince readers that Muslims as a whole are a threat to the rest of humanity. All conflicts between Muslims and others are interpreted as part of the global jihad. Resistance by Uighur Muslims to oppression by the Chinese government is therefore part of the 1,400 year struggle by Islam to dominate the world (5).

Spencer even refers to Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci as a 'jihadist' (6) while Geller has described Kosovo as a “radical Islamic state in the heart of Europe” (7) and included Somali piracy as another front in the conflict. It is noteworthy that in the case of Kosovo, the anti-jihadi writers are targeting Europe's indigenous Muslims, people who have been living on the continent for thousands of years, not recent migrants.

The anti-jihadi narrative is that Islam and Muslims are the problem, so they must be opposed in all contexts. Spencer and Geller don't just confine their activities to the internet or TV, they organised the protests against the planned mosque and community centre close to Ground Zero in New York, claiming it was a 'victory mosque' to celebrate the murder of 3,000 people by Al Qaeda on 9/11. They have also targeted recently appointed New Jersey judge Sohail Mohammad (8), America's first Muslim Congressman - Keith Ellison (9), and David Ramadan (10), a Republican Party member who is running for the Virginia House of Delegates. Ramadan is labelled an 'Islamic supremacist' by Geller simply because he doesn't oppose the 'Ground Zero mosque'.

Comments by readers of Jihad Watch leave us in no doubt about the core issue. 'Quranimals', 'subhuman barbarians', 'parasites', 'savages', 'bearded apes in pajamas', 'people infected with the musloid faith', 'vermin', these are just some of the dehumanising descriptions of Muslims that Spencer allows on his site. He himself has called Pakistan a “den of vipers.” (11).

One commenter has called for anti-jihadis to form groups modelled on Irgun and the Stern gang (12), Zionist terrorist groups that were active in Palestine during the British Mandate period, and states that Anders Breivik “chose his targets well” but that anti-jihadi activists should not follow his example “at this time, anyway.” (13). “It's only a matter of time before there's a Pan-European parasite-cleanse,” another commenter predicts (14).

An indication of the grasp on reality that fans of the site have is the claim that “Ireland is becoming just as dhimmified as the rest of Europe. The last time I was there, I barely recognised Dublin. Jilbabs, niqabs, and saffron beards everywhere.” (15).

Anyone who doesn't buy into this world-view is unilaterally dismissed as a 'dhimmi', a term that refers to subjugated Christians and Jews who live under Islamic rule. The media are said to be part of a Leftist-Islamist conspiracy because they don't explicitly explain to the public that the Koran orders Muslims to commit violence against infidels.

If the anti-jihadi activists confined themselves to highlighting human rights abuses by Islamic extremists and governments the charge of Islamophobia would not be true. They go way beyond this legitimate activity however, and demonize all Muslims and all Muslim communities.

The one defence that anti-Muslim writers have to the charge that they are mimicking Nazi Jew-baiting is to say that Jews were not launching terrorist attacks against Germany in the 1930s (16). This is true of course, but just like the Islamophobes, the Nazis were able to mix facts, canards and prejudice to portray Jewish people as a threat to Germany.

It may be extremely difficult for us to comprehend how the Nazis were able to generate such a frenzy of hate against Jewish people, but examining how Muslims are being dehumanized today shows how simple it might have been for them to spread their doctrine of genocide.

All they had to do was highlight the disproportionate number of Jewish people in business, law, medicine, entertainment and the media and to use this as evidence that Jews were conspiring to dominate society. The Nazis also promoted the 'Jewish Bolshevik' conspiracy, claiming that Jews were an imminent threat to Germany through their supposed control of the Soviet Union.

Add in the latent religious antisemitism in Europe and soon you had a large group of people convinced that there was an intractable Jewish 'problem' that had to be 'solved' somehow. Jews could then be barred from certain professions, have their property seized and their citizenship stripped. The Nazis contemplated deporting Jews from Europe but then decided to murder them all as deportation was not 'practical'.

All of the above solutions to the Muslim 'problem' have been backed directly or indirectly by various anti-jihad activists. That's right, all solutions, including the final one. John Joseph Jay, a co-founder of the Spencer/Geller organisation American Freedom Defense Initiative (17) and a board member of its campaign group, Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA) (18), has recommended “old fashion war with wholesale slaughter including indiscriminate death of innocents and babes. down to the last muslim, if necessary.” (19).

Robert Spencer says that Muslims should not be allowed to emigrate to Western countries (20) but claims he does not support the deportation of European or American Muslims. He is however an enthusiastic supporter of people who do, like Geert Wilders, the far-right Dutch politician who has said it may be necessary to deport millions of European Muslims (21).

Wilders mixes standard anti-immigrant rhetoric with attacks on the deviant minority du jour - Muslims, based on alleged concerns for human rights. He blames crime among Muslim communities on their religious background and ignores the link between petty criminality, poverty and inequality found in all societies.

He has blithely spoken of deporting millions of Muslim from Europe. To highlight what this would actually involve, let us imagine that his plan was implemented in the UK. Wilders has said that Muslims who won't integrate should be stripped of their citizenship and deported. According to research 40% of British Muslims support Sharia law (22). In a city like Bradford this would mean deporting 30,000 of the 75,000 Muslims living there (23). But what if these English people don't want to leave their country for ever, what if some members of a family support Sharia but others don't? What if no country was willing to accept deportees? How much money would it cost to deport and compensate over a million people in total from Britain? Eventually other 'solutions' would be sought for this 'problem'.

This may sound like a far-fetched scenario, but once you start demonizing and dehumanizing an entire community you've begun to lay the tracks to Auschwitz.

The anti-Islam activists don't just fantasise about futuristic doomsday scenarios involving the ethnic cleansing of Muslims however, they include people linked with actual ethnic cleansing and killing of Muslims in Europe.

One of the contributors to Islam: What the West needs to know, is a man called Serge Trifkovic, a former spokesperson for the Bosnian Serb forces (24) that waged a bloody campaign of ethnic cleansing against Muslims and Catholics in Bosnia.

As Muslims were involved in the conflict, the anti-Islamic writers conclude that it was part of the global conflict between Islam and Judeo-Christian civilisation (the targeting by Orthodox Serbs of Catholic Croats is conveniently ignored).

Trifkovic was a spokesman for the Bosnian Serb government during their onslaught which killed at least 30,000 Muslim civilians (25) (26). This campaign of ethnic cleansing, which involved murdering, torturing and raping civilians, was designed to drive Muslims from their native areas and leave them too terrified to ever return.

He has supported indicted war criminals Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic and denied genocide and planned ethnic cleansing took place in Bosnia (27) (28)(29). He spoke for the defence at the trial of convicted war criminal Milomir Stakic (30), whose fiefdom included the notorious Omarska concentration camp.

Trifkovic, whose writings on Islam have been praised by Spencer (31), was also an advisor to former Bosnian Serb President, Biljana Plavsic (32), who pleaded guilty to war crimes against Muslims (33). Plavsic was considered to be 'extreme' by yet another indicted war criminal, Vojislav Seselj. As hard as this may be to believe, Seselj claimed at his trial that Radovan Karadzic also considered her to be extreme (34).

You may never see an outright justification of the monstrous crimes committed against Bosnia's Muslim community by Robert Spencer, Pamella Geller or other writers, but what you will see are attempts to downplay or deny these crimes and repeated efforts to contextualise the Bosnian war as being part of a conflict between peace-loving Christianity and violent Islam (35).

The anti-Muslim writers are as thorough in ignoring extremism in other religions as they are in scouring the earth for evidence that Islam is violent. This may seem like a minor point, but without it demonization becomes much harder. To dehumanize a group of people it must be shown that they are different from 'us', that they are an 'other'. We are peaceful, they are violent; we are enlightened, they are backward; we treat women equally, they oppress women; we are honest, they lie.

If the anti-Muslim writers acknowledged that Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and others are not without sin, it would show that 'we' are not that different from 'them' after all, thus making it harder to turn Muslims into social outcasts.

As the quotes at this post show, the anti-jihadi message bears a remarkable similarity to the antisemitism of Nazi propagandist Julius Streicher, the editor of Der Stuermer. It includes the quoting of religious texts to prove the nefarious and conspiratorial nature of Muslims/Jews, the claim that the Left are allied with Muslims/Jews while governments stand idly by, the slur that Muslims/Jews are deceitful and the contention that criticising Muslims/Jews is not incitement to violence against Muslims/Jews.

Spencer et al would no doubt feign outrage at being compared to Nazis like Julius Streicher, and others may think it unfair or exaggerated. However, given the fact that he portrays the entire Muslim community as a threat, calls for legal discrimination against Muslims, supports advocates of future ethnic cleansing of Europe's Muslims, has collaborated with people linked to real life ethnic cleansing of European Muslims and makes every effort to downplay an act of genocide in Srebrenica (36) – the worst massacre in Europe since the Nazis, the comparision is entirely appropriate.

Demonizing and dehumanizing a community has consequences. In Streicher's case it had personal consequences for him, as he was tried and executed for crimes against humanity at the Nuremberg Tribunal despite the fact he had no part in the planning or implementation of the Holocaust. His anti-Jewish writings and speeches were enough to convict him.

Reacting to claims his writings inspired Anders Breivik, Spencer said that this was like blaming the Beatles for the Tate/La Bianca murders because Charles Manson said he was inspired to commit them by their song Helter Skelter (37). This comparison would only be apt however, if Helter Skelter contained lyrics which said Sharon Tate, Leno La Bianca and their friends were involved in an evil conspiracy to take over the US, that the media was helping them and that the US government, police and FBI knew of the plan to enslave the American people but refused to prevent it.

If indeed the Beatles had made such a claim would they be to blame for the Manson Family's violence? It's hard to know, but they would certainly be shunned by society for using such highly irresponsible rhetoric.

If Spencer, Geller and other anti-jihad writers want to show they are not hate-mongering crypto-fascists they must in future restrict their efforts to highlighting religious persecution and intolerance in all faiths, desist from publishing noxious anti-Muslim comments on their websites, end campaigns to restrict the religious and civil freedoms of Muslims and efforts to downplay horrific war crimes committed against Muslims. Above all they must stop targeting 20% of the world's population because they are followers of Islam.

Otherwise there will be no doubt that they are inciting hatred against Muslim people.

(For further information on Islamophobic activists see www.loonwatch.com and www.islamophobia-watch.com).

Notes

(1) http://usminc.org/pigtislam.html. The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), 2005.
(2) http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2009/11/will-muslims-serve-on-the-911-muslim-terrorist-jury.html
(3) http://www.jihadwatch.org/2006/01/what-is-a-moderate-muslim.html
(4) http://www.jihadwatch.org/2011/09/islam-versus-islamism----a-distinction-without-a-difference-1.html
(5) http://www.jihadwatch.org/2005/04/china-crushing-muslim-uighurs.html
(6) http://www.jihadwatch.org/2010/12/more-on-kosovo-jihadists-organ-trafficking.html
(7) http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2008/02/give-em-a-state.html
(8) http://www.jihadwatch.org/2011/08/nj-governor-christie-says-critics-of-hamas-linked-judge-are-ignorant-and-this-sharia-law-business-is.html
(9) http://www.jihadwatch.org/2006/09/spencer-keith-ellison-cair-and-hamas.html
(10) http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2011/04/ramadan-watch-defeat-islamic-supremacist-david-ramadan-in-virginia.html
(11) http://www.jihadwatch.org/2011/08/shocker-terrorists-who-attack-kill-civilians-in-western-china-were-trained-in-pakistan.html
(12) http://www.jihadwatch.org/2011/07/the-malaysian-response-to-the-norwegian-massacre.html
(13) http://www.jihadwatch.org/2011/07/lebanon-roadside-bomb-targets-un-peacekeeping-convoy.html
(14) http://www.jihadwatch.org/2011/07/us-special-ops-commander-warns-of-al-qaedas-next-generation.html
(15) http://www.jihadwatch.org/2011/05/ireland-muslim-arrested-for-threatening-obama.html
(16) http://www.jihadwatch.org/2011/08/the-atlantics-jeffrey-goldberg-equates-resistance-to-islamization-with-nazism.html
(17) http://powerbase.info/images/6/66/AFDIarticles.pdf
(18) http://www.jihadwatch.org/2010/08/hamas-linked-cair-dhimmi-leftist-bloggers-lie-again.html
(19) http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2008/11/mumbai-muslims.html?cid=140889682#comment-6a00d8341c60bf53ef010536253cce970b
(20) http://www.jihadwatch.org/2007/08/australian-pol-to-oppose-islamic-immigration.html
(21) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCxKjcwrBo4
(22) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1510866/Poll-reveals-40pc-of-Muslims-want-sharia-law-in-UK.html
(23) http://www.neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk/dissemination/LeadTableView.do;jsessionid=36FMTG4HYGnjMGnTfDhMLpLswGyDpSy59nV1RZncQ8161K2rlWkp!193229230!1313274023452?a=7&b=276807&c=bradford&d=13&e=16&g=379385&i=1001x1003x1004&o=35&m=0&r=1&s=1313274023452&enc=1&dsFamilyId=95&nsjs=true&nsck=true&nssvg=false&nswid=1280
(24) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/1423835.stm
(25) http://www.icty.org/sid/10591
(26) http://www.icty.org/x/cases/stakic/trans/en/030319IT.htm
(27) http://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/2008/07/22/karadzics-arrest-bosnian-myths-rehashed/
(28) http://truthfrequencynews.com/?p=4363
(29) http://www.srpska-mreza.com/WarCrime/ST-Hague.html
(30) http://www.icty.org/x/cases/stakic/acjug/en/sta-aj060322e.pdf
(31) http://www.jihadwatch.org/2006/05/trifkovic-jihads-fellow-travelers.html
(32) http://archive.frontpagemag.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=20283
(33) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/2293037.stm
(34) http://www.icty.org/x/cases/slobodan_milosevic/trans/en/050830IT.htm
(35) http://www.jihadwatch.org/2011/03/setting-the-record-straight-on-bosnia.html
(36) http://www.jihadwatch.org/2011/06/un-officials-and-the-muslim-regime-in-sarajevo-orchestrated-the-srebrenica-massacre.html
(37) http://www.jihadwatch.org/2011/07/anders-breivik-stole-the-counterjihad-movement-from-freedom-fighters----were-stealing-it-back.html

Jihad Watch support for restrictions on rights.
http://www.jihadwatch.org/2005/07/fitzgerald-bomb-mecca.html
http://www.jihadwatch.org/2007/08/fitzgerald-needed-a-muslims-only-airline.html

Jihad Watch comments:
'Quranimals/Bearded apes in pajamas' - http://www.jihadwatch.org/2011/07/uk-there-are-25-areas-around-the-country-which-the-government-has-earmarked-as-areas-where-violent-e.html
'Subhuman barbarians/Savages' - http://www.jihadwatch.org/2011/06/taliban-raid-on-kabuls-hotel-inter-continental-ends-after-six-hours-nato-helicopter-support.html
'Parasites' - http://www.jihadwatch.org/2011/04/we-urge-all-muslims-to-stay-away-from-the-royal-weddingbecause-of-the-likelihood-of-an-attack-by-the.html
'People infected with the musloid faith' - http://www.jihadwatch.org/2011/07/shocker-anti-semitism-marrs-malaysian-football-match-with-british-club.html
'Vermin' - http://www.jihadwatch.org/2011/04/israeli-foreign-minister-there-was-quiet-and-hamas-took-advantage-of-the-quiet-in-order-to-smuggle-m.html

www.twitter.com/colmobroin

Islamophobia and Antisemitism: Same message, different minority.



Below are quotes which highlight the disturbing similarities between Islamophobic and Antisemitic messages.

Ten statements by 'anti-jihad' writer Robert Spencer and Nazi propagandist Julius Streicher are compared.

Julius Streicher was the editor of Der Stuermer, a Nazi paper that spread vicious Antisemitic propaganda from 1923-1945. As Nazi Party leader in Nuremburg he organized the destruction of synagogues in the city.

He was not directly involved in the Holocaust but was convicted of crimes against humanity after WWII. He was found guilty of inciting hatred against Jews in Der Stuermer and was executed in 1946.

Robert Spencer is a prominent critic of Islam who runs the Jihadwatch.org website. He is the author of several best selling books on Islam and he has spoken on Fox News, CNN, NBC and other news channels.

He has organized protests against the construction of mosques in New York. He has advised the FBI on Islam and his books were recommended by the FBI for its agents.

The following is a comparison of their views on Muslims and Jews respectively.

1 Muslims/Jews have a religious duty to conquer the world.
“Islam understands its earthly mission to extend the law of Allah over the world by force.”

Robert Spencer.

“Do you not know that the God of the Old Testament orders the Jews to consume and enslave the peoples of the earth?”

Julius Streicher.

2 The Left enables Muslims/Jews.
“The principal organs of the Left...has consistently been warm and welcoming toward Islamic supremacism.”

Robert Spencer.

“The communists pave the way for him (the Jew).”

Julius Streicher.

3 Governments do nothing to stop Muslims/Jews.
“FDI* acts against the treason being committed by national, state, and local government officials...in their capitulation to the global jihad and Islamic supremacism.”

(Freedom Defense Initiative, Robert Spencer/Pamela Geller organisation).

“The government allows the Jew to do as he pleases. The people expect action to be taken.”

Julius Streicher.

4 Muslims/Jews cannot be trusted.
“When one is under pressure, one may lie in order to protect the religion, this is taught in the Qur'an.”

Robert Spencer.

“We may lie and cheat Gentiles. In the Talmud it says: It is permitted for Jews to cheat Gentiles.”

From The Toadstool, children's book published by Julius Streicher.

5 Recognizing the true nature of Muslims/Jews can be difficult.
“There is no reliable way for American authorities to distinguish jihadists and potential jihadists from peaceful Muslims.”

Robert Spencer.

"Just as it is often hard to tell a toadstool from an edible mushroom, so too it is often very hard to recognize the Jew as a swindler and criminal."

From The Toadstool, children's book published by Julius Streicher.

6 The evidence against Muslims/Jews is in their holy books.
“What exactly is ‘hate speech’ about quoting Qur’an verses and then showing Muslim preachers using those verses to exhort people to commit acts of violence, as well as violent acts committed by Muslims inspired by those verses and others?”

Robert Spencer.

“In Der Stuermer no editorial appeared, written by me or written by anyone of my main co-workers, in which I did not include quotations from the ancient history of the Jews, from the Old Testament, or from Jewish historical works of recent times.”

Julius Streicher.

7 Islamic/Jewish texts encourage violence against non-believers.
“'And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter...' -- 2:191.”

Koranic verse quoted by Robert Spencer on Jihadwatch.org.

“'And when the Lord your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally: men and women and children, even the animals.' (Deuteronomy 7:2.).”

Biblical verse quoted by Julius Streicher in Der Stuermer.

8 Christianity is peaceful while Islam/Judaism is violent.
“There is no Muslim version of 'love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you' or 'if anyone strikes you on the right cheek turn to him the other also'.”

Robert Spencer.

“The Jew is not being taught, like we are, such texts as, 'Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself,' or 'If you are smitten on the left cheek, offer then your right one.'"

Julius Streicher.

9 Muslims/Jews are uniquely violent.
"(Islam) is the only major world religion with a developed doctrine and tradition of warfare against unbelievers."

Robert Spencer.

"No other people in the world has such prophecies. No other people would dare to say that it was chosen to murder and destroy the other peoples and steal their possessions."

Julius Streicher.

10 Criticising Muslims/Jews is not incitement to violence against Muslims/Jews.
“There is nothing in anything that I have ever written that could be reasonably construed as an incitement to violence against anyone.”

Robert Spencer.

“Allow me to add that it is my conviction that the contents of Der Stuermer as such were not (incitement). During the whole 20 years, I never wrote in this connection, 'Burn Jewish houses down; beat them to death.' Never once did such an incitement appear in Der Stuermer.”

Julius Streicher.

Notes:

Robert Spencer quotes;

(1) http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-871902797772997781
http://www.ourbeacon.com/cgi-bin/bbs60x/webbbs_config.pl/md/read/id/314123119154008
(2) http://www.jihadwatch.org/2011/07/anders-breivik-and-the-echo-chamber.html
(3) http://freedomdefense.typepad.com/about.html
(4) http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-871902797772997781
(5) http://www.jihadwatch.org/2007/08/australian-pol-to-oppose-islamic-immigration.html
(6) http://www.jihadwatch.org/2011/07/daniel-greenfield-in-defense-of-robert-spencer.html
(7) http://www.jihadwatch.org/2011/08/wapo-do-critics-actually-read-the-koran-uh-yeah.html
(8) http://books.google.ie/books?id=eanFm7hiM1cC&pg=PA27
(9) http://www.jihadwatch.org/2006/01/what-is-a-moderate-muslim.html
(10) http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/p00hz34g

Sources for Julius Streicher quotes;
http://propagander.tripod.com/js2.html
http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/story5.htm
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/Streicher.html
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/Giftpilz.html
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/secretplan.html

Internet Crusaders target all Muslims, not just extremists.

www.twitter.com/colmobroin

Friday, 21 October 2011

Téarma Uachtarántachta amháin, ar feadh seacht mbliana


Ó thosaigh an feachtas Uachtarántachta táthar ag caint ar leasú a dhéanamh ar théarma na hoifige. Faoi láthair maireann an téarma seacht mbliana agus tá cead ag an Uachtarán dhá théarma a chaitheamh san Áras.

Ceann de na moltaí ná go leanfadh an téarma ar feadh cúig bhliana ionas nach mbeadh Uachtarán sa phost ar feadh 14 bliain dá gceapfaí iad faoi dhó.

Sílim gur cheart an post a leasú – ba cheart an téarma a fhágáil ag seacht mbliana, ach srian téarma amháin a chur ar gach Uachtarán.

Ceannaire Stáit gan chumhacht atá san Uachtarán agus tá sé nó sí ceaptha bheith 'os cionn' na polaitíochta. Ní bhíonn aon bhaint acu le riaradh na tíre agus is annamh a dhéantar cáineadh orthu.

An t-aon am a tharla sé sin, in 1976, d'éirigh Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh as an bpost “to protect the dignity and independence of the presidency as an institution”.

Bhí roinnt conspóide ann in 2004 nuair a ceapadh Máire Nic Giolla Íosa don dara théarma gan toghchán. Abraimis go raibh toghchán ann - bheadh uirthi teacht anuas ón ardán neamh-pholaitiúil ómósach go gáitéar na polaitíochta arís.

Tá sé feicthe againn le cúpla mí anuas cé chomh salach agus gaingeadach is atá toghchán na hUachtarántachta, agus ní bheadh sé ceart ná cóir go mbeadh ar an Uachtarán bheith páirteach ina leithéad d'fheachtasaíocht mhíchuibhiúil.

Dá mbeadh an bua ag Nic Giolla Íosa in 2004 fillfeadh sí ar Áras in athuair, ach is cinnte nach mbeadh an meas céanna ag an bpobal uirthi dá mbeadh sí ag argóint leis na hiarrthóirí eile.

Mar sin molaim fad an téarma a fhágáil ag seacht mbliana, ach srian téarma amháin a chur leis an Uachtarántachta.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Do Unionist politicians understand what British means?


There was a furore in the Northern Ireland Assembly last week when SDLP MLA Dominic Bradley was censured following a spat involving the Irish language.

Bradley was in the process of asking a question in Irish (which he was going to translate to English), when he was interrupted by David McNarry of the UUP (you can read the transcript here).

McNarry is an extremist when it comes to Irish, having tried to ban the language in the Assembly a number of years ago.

Bradley objected to being barracked by McNarry, but instead of being allowed to carry on he was asked to sit down by the Deputy Speaker, Roy Beggs. He refused and was later sent a letter by the main Speaker, Willie Hay, saying he would be denied speaking rights for an unspecified period.

The sorry episode is another example of hostility to the Irish language among Unionist politicians. It shows that they oppose the language even when spoken by peaceful constitutional nationalists like the SDLP.

All bases are covered in Stormont when it comes to the language. If it's a few words of Irish at the start of a speech it's tokenism, if it's half in Irish and half in English it wastes time and if simultaneous translation was proposed that would be waste of money. The message is clear - no Irish speakers about the place.

Antipathy to the Irish language has been a feature of British politicians in Ireland since the Middle Ages, so this is not something new.

Various reasons are given by today's Unionist parties for their hostility to Irish, one of which is that it is a threat to Northern Ireland's Britishness, an argument that has been made by people in the DUP, UUP and TUV.

These parties' entire world view is defined by being British. They are British in the same way that Americans are American or Danes are Danish, yet many of them don't seem to understand what 'British' actually means.

British, by definition, incorporates cultures and characteristics that are indigenous to or have developed in the United Kingdom. We are told that it is an inclusive, 'umbrella' term which covers English, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish identities. It allows people to be English and British, Scottish and British, Welsh and British etc.

The Unionist parties say that Northern Ireland is British, which is why they often have images of the six counties covered in the Union Jack, so that means that cultures indigenous to Northern Ireland are also British (this also holds for the rest of Ireland for people who use the term 'British Isles').

Scots and Welsh people complain that many in England use the word 'British' when what they really mean is English. It seems that many Unionist politicians in the North think the same too.

If they believe Northern Ireland is British, they have to accept that the Irish is a British language in the same way as Unionists in Scotland and Wales say their indigenous languages are. In fact, compared to the respect shown to Scottish Gaelic and Welsh in Britain, Unionist opposition to the Irish language is downright anti-British.

Of course, the above definition of Britishness is the de jure one. The de facto definition has been different - culturally and politically, Great Britain can often seem like Greater England.

In terms of language, one thing is clear, the Union has been a complete and utter disaster. Manx, Cornish, Channel Island French and Irish (in the parts of Ireland that remained in the UK) have been wiped out as community languages, Scottish Gaelic is at death's door, Scots has been ridiculed and marginalised while even Welsh is under severe pressure from English in its heartland.

The de facto definition of Britishness promoted in Britain and Ireland until recent decades was Englishness, essentially. Things have changed in Scotland and Wales, and some people in Northern Ireland like the UUP's Basil McCrea have too , but it's about time other Unionist politicians realised that English and British are not the same thing.

www.twitter.com/colmobroin

Monday, 10 October 2011

X-Men ag iarraidh bean a smachtú


Bhí mé ag breathnú ar X-Men The Last Stand tamall ó shin agus thug mé rud éigin suimiúil faoi dheara faoin bplota.

Sa scannán déanann ceannaire na X-Men, Professor X, iarracht smacht a choiméad ar Jean Grey, baill den ghrúpa 'sóiteáin'.

Tá dhá phearsantacht ag Grey, ceann deas agus ceann fíochmhar. Bíonn sí stuama agus sochar nuair a chuireann Professor X a cumhachtaí faoi smacht, mura ndéantar é seo tiocfaidh pearsantacht dainséireach Grey chun cinn, an Phoenix.

Mar a deir ceannaire na X-Men: “whereas Jean is calm and thoughtful, the Phoenix is pure will, instinct, glee, rage...she has to be controlled.”

Ní féidir le Jean Grey srian a chur ar a pearsantacht dainséireach í féin. Tá an Phoenix oll-chumhachtach ach níl aon chiall ná réasún aici, mar sin is baol an-mhór í do gach rud mórthimpeall uirthi, an domhan é féin san áireamh.

Mura gcuireann na X-Men an bhean seo faoi smacht éireoidh sí mí-loighciuil, mí-réasúnta agus rialóidh a cuid mothúchán céard a dhéanann sí, ní a hintinn.

Mar achoimre, caithfidh na fir an bhean seo a choiméad faoi smacht nó rachaidh sí ar mire agus scriosfaidh sí an domhan.

Hmm...táim ag ceapadh go bhfuil ábhar tráchtais anseo do mhic léinn patrarachta!

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Dublin-Monaghan was Ireland's 9/11


Last month people in America and around the world commemorated the ten year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. On that day 3,000 civilians were murdered by Al Qaeda.

In response to this massacre the US government launched a massive worldwide campaign to destroy Osama Bin Laden's group. It invaded Afghanistan and removed the Taliban from power because they were sheltering Al Qaeda.

It got a resolution in the United Nations which called on all countries “to work together urgently to bring to justice the perpetrators, organizers and sponsors of those terrorist attacks and stressed that those responsible for aiding, supporting or harbouring them would be held accountable.”

George Bush said that anyone helping terrorists were terrorists. The US built the Guantanamo Bay prison camp and kidnapped and tortured people it suspected of being involved in the 9/11 attack.

It eventually caught up with Osama Bin Laden in May of this year and killed him.



Now imagine that the US had taken a different approach to the greatest single act of murder against its citizens. Imagine that the investigation had been wound down after two months. Imagine that leads were not followed up and that US authorities ignored strong evidence that a foreign government had helped the terrorists to carry out their bloody attack.

Imagine that survivors who were campaigning for justice were placed under surveillance by the FBI. Imagine that police and Department of Justice files on the case went missing. Imagine that for years there was no official commemoration of the event and that the families had to campaign for a monument to the victims.

Imagine that the Taliban refused to share information they had on the attack but the US continued to have friendly relations with them. Imagine that Al Qaeda carried out more terrorist attacks on America while the Taliban continued to give them shelter.

It's hard to imagine such a scenario, but one just like it happened, and continues to to happen, in Ireland.

The Dublin-Monaghan bombings were Ireland's 9/11. It was the single biggest crime in the history of the State. 33 people were killed, including one pregnant woman, when bombs went off in Dublin and Monaghan town in 1974.

The UVF were suspected at the time of being behind the atrocity, and they finally admitted responsibility in 1993. Evidence suggests that the loyalist paramilitary group did not act alone, and that the British government's security forces, MI5, the British Army and the RUC, may have helped them to carry out the terrorist attack.

As you might guess from the paragraph above, the Garda investigation into the attack was stopped after two months and leads indicating UVF involvement weren't followed up. The families of the victims were outraged and began a campaign to find the truth. Garda Special Branch officers surveilled the families at protests and commemorative events. Garda and Department of Justice files on the case have disappeared, presumed destroyed.

The families eventually forced the government to holding an inquiry into the attacks. It concluded that the allegation that British forces were involved in the attack was “neither fanciful nor absurd” but that as the British government refused to cooperate with the inquiry, it could not give a definitive answer. A parliamentary report ohttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifn inquiries into other loyalist attacks in the Republic accused the British government of engaging in 'international terrorism'.

Earlier this year newly-elected Taoiseach Enda Kenny asked David Cameron to hand over files the British government it has on the bombing. He refused. This is how things stand at the present – the Irish government half-heartedly asks the British government for the files, they say no and we say ok, no worries.

Given the way the Irish and British states have dealt with the attacks since 1974, it's hard not to suspect that both governments are happy to allow the situation to remain as it is.

All the while the British government was, at best, refusing to reveal all its knew about loyalist attacks in the Republic, at worst, actually involved in them, the Irish government was helping the British government to stop the IRA from attacking the UK.

If you're not from Ireland you may be totally baffled as to the reasons the Irish government has basically covered up Ireland's 9/11. If you're Irish you may have an idea, but it'll most likely be one that is almost never openly discussed in Ireland.

It's got to do with the implications of possible British involvement in the attack. If it so happened that the British government organised the bombing, it would mean that they had launched a terrorist attack on their nearest neighbour and had committed an act of war. This would have massive international repercussions.

More importantly for Irish governments, it would cause massive outrage in Ireland.

The main priority of the Irish establishment since the beginning of the Troubles has been to maintain 'stability' south of the border. This means keeping support for the IRA in the Republic as low as possible. If it were known that Britain bombed Ireland, support for the IRA could grow. Looking the other way with regards to the Dublin-Monaghan bombing was done in the name of protecting the State.

Unfortunately the 'State' in this case does not include the citizens of the State, and more specifically the 33 citizens killed on 17 May 1974. They, their families and the truth have been sacrificed in the name of the 'State'.

Since 1974 Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Labour, the Progressive Democrats, the Green Party and Democratic Left have been in power and have been involved in this scandal. Remember this the next time you hear people from these parties pontificating about law and order or morality.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Ochón, ochón tá Blagadóireacht na Gaeilge marbh

Scríobh Breandán Delap alt ar Beo.ie tamall ó shin a mhaígh go raibh blagadóireacht na Gaeilge chomh marbh le hArt.

An fhianaise a luaigh sé don ráiteas gruama seo ná an easpa chlúdaigh a thug blagadóirí na Gaeilge don scanall ionsaí gnéis i gColáiste Cholmcille agus an laghdú atá tagtha ar ghníomhaíocht ar bhlaganna áirithe.

Ina measc bhí Garraí Johnny Mhorgan, iGaeilge, An Druma Mór, an tImeall, Dónal na Gealaí, Blag Mháirtín Uí Mhuilleoir agus Blag na Gaeilge.

Scríobhadh an t-alt, Blagadóireacht na Gaeilge RIP, ag tús na míosa, agus d'fhéadfaí a rá gur léiriú eile é ar easpa beochta na blagadóireachta Gaeilge gur thóg sé mí orm freagra a thabhairt ar an maíomh éadóchasach seo.

I rith na míosa chaill Ciarraí Craobh Pheile na hÉireann in éadan Bhaile Átha Cliath. Samhlaigh dá scríobhadh saineolaí spóirt alt faoin méid a bhí déanta ag foireann Chiarraí le deich mbliana anuas agus gur luaigh siad na cluichí a chaill an Ríocht in aghaidh na Mí, Ard Mhacha, Tír Eoghain (faoi thrí), an Dún agus Baile Átha Cliath.

Samhlaigh gur sin an méid a bhí san alt, agus nár luadh na craobhacha a bhuaigh Ciarraí in 2004, 2006, 2007 agus 2009. Is ionann sin agus an t-alt faoi bhlagadóireacht na Gaeilge.

Níl sé ceart ná cóir an drochscéal a lua agus neamhaird a dhéanamh den dea-scéal. Má táthar chun cur síos a dhéanamh ar na blaganna atá imithe le sruth ní mór na cinn atá beo agus gníomhach a lua chomh maith.

Ní mór cuir san áireamh chomh maith go bhfuil gach seans ann go bhfuil neart blaganna Béarla imithe le sruth ó thosaigh an bhlagadóireacht in Éirinn. Ní fheictear domsa ach an oiread go bhfuil mórán tionchair imeartha ag blagadóireacht an Bhéarla ar an bpobal i gcoitinne in Éirinn.

Ó thaobh an bhlaig seo de ba cheart dom níos mó a scríobh air, an t-aon chúis nach ndéanaim amhlaidh ná am, ach dar ndoígh, ba cheart dom níos mó ama a chur ar leath-taobh don bhlag.

Cuireann an t-alt ar Beo.ie ráiteas i gcuimhne dom a rinne craoltóir Raidió na Gaeltachta, Máirtín Mac Donnchadha, roinnt blianta ó shin go raibh Gaeltacht Mhaigh Eo 'chomh marbh le hArt'. Anois tá's againn go bhfuil cainteoirí dhúchais beo beathach i Maigh Eo, agus go bhfuil páistí á dtógáil le Gaeilge, cé go bhfuil cúrsaí ag éirigh níos laige i gcónaí.

Seans nach bhfuil tuiscint iomlán agam ar an mbrí atá le 'chomh marbh le hArt' ach shílfeá gur rud nach bhfuil ann a thuilleadh atá i gceist. Más féidir a rá go bhfuil Gaeltacht Mhaigh Eo chomh marbh le hArt céard faoi Ghaeltacht Liatroma nó Gaeltacht Ros Comáin, chomh marbh le seanathair Airt?

Tá an Ghaeilge lag a dhóthain cheana féin - níor cheart neamhaird a dhéanamh den laigeacht seo, ach níor cheart áiféala a dhéanamh air ach an oiread.

www.twitter.com/colmobroin.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Why Dublin's All Ireland victory means so much



It's five days since Dublin won the Sam Maguire Cup and I'm still smiling. Indeed I've never seen so many people with smiles on their faces as I did last Sunday.

The celebrations went late into the night and there was another session the next day in the local GAA club in Clondalkin and at the homecoming event in Merrion Square.

It'll take me a bit to explain why Dubliners are so delighted with this victory.

The first one is that we haven't won the All Ireland in 16 years. But even in 1995 and the time before that in 1983 the victories were controversial and left a bit of a sour taste.

In 1983 three Dublin players were sent off, Brian Mullins for elbowing a Galway player in the head and Ciarán Duff for kicking another in the head. Depending on where you were from the players became known as the the 12 Apostles or the Dirty Dozen. I'm not sure when the 'Dirty Dubs' tag got attached to the county but it's been around for as long as I remember and I'm sure that game added a lot to it.

In the 1995 final Charlie Redmond was sent off for headbutting a Tyrone player, but managed to stay on the pitch for a few minutes in one of the most bizarre episodes in GAA history. This incident led to the introduction of yellow and red cards in the games. The awarding of a free out against Peter Canavan in the dying minutes of the game as Tyrone were about the equalize and the accusations that the referee had favoured Dublin also cast a shadow over the victory.

Even though the Dubs did win in 1995, that team should have won at least two other All-Irelands, but they never lived up to their potential. They could and should have won all of the four games against Meath in 1991 but failed on each occasion.

Since then bad luck and nerves have plagued the Dublin team. Look at the record at this link to see what I mean.

In the past ten years there was the epic draw against Kerry in Thurles after we were ten points down, the free kick in the last minute that came off the post against Armagh in 2002, the physical pressure we buckled to against the same team next year, the eight point lead we lost against Mayo in 2006, the shameful capitulations against Tyrone and Kerry in 2008 and 2009, and the one point loss against Cork last year.

One of the best things about the win this year is that it was against Kerry, the team that has gotten the better of us eight times since 1977.

They destroyed Dublin in 1978 and 79 and made a laughing stock out of Paddy Cullen in 1978.

They were the better team in 1984 and 1985 but Dublin were unlucky in 2001. They were the better team again in 2004 and 2007, but you can't fault Dublin's great effort in the latter year.

The worst loss came two years ago. After Tyrone had trounced us in 2008 the team looked like it had recovered and were favourites to win against a Kerry team that was playing terribly that season.

Dublin totally bottled it however, and lost by 17 points.

Pat Gilroy was in charge of that team, and things didn't improve at all at the start of the 2010 Championship. The games against Wexford, Meath and Tipp were the worst performances by a Dublin team I'd ever seen. I was just hoping that my fears about Gilroy's management were wrong (thankfully they were).

I was so despondent about the team that I was almost ready not to go to the next game against Armagh. One of the things that persuaded me to go was the fact that the Dublin hurlers were playing Antrim beforehand, so I was thinking that we'd at least have one victory to celebrate.

Then the hurlers threw away a comfortable lead and lost in the last minute! The time between the end of that game and the victory over Armagh was the darkest in the entire time I've been following the Dubs.

Now I'm going to forget about all that heartbreak!

Last Sunday the Dubs did things they hadn't done for many many years. They beat Kerry, they won a game that was slipping away from them and they showed incredible bravery and composure. The dramatic manor of the victory only adds to the celebrations.

I used to watch clips on Youtube from the 1977 victory over Kerry every so often, but now we have a successor. I've watched the glorious last nine minutes of the 2011 final on the RTÉ Player a few times since Monday, and I might just watch it a few more times in the future.

As well as that I've been watching clips of the last minute of the game, some of which are below. Fans from counties who haven't succeeded on the big day like Mayo and Kildare can take some inspiration from them, for the Dubs...enjoy!











Thursday, 22 September 2011

An bua is sultmhaire riamh



Tá sé ceithre lá ó bhuaigh Baile Átha Cliath Corn Sam Maguire agus tá an meangadh gáire fós ar m'aghaidh. Go deimhin féin ní fhaca mé an méid sin daoine le meangadh gáire ar a n-aghaidheanna is a chonaic Dé Domhnaigh seo caite.

Bhí oíche go maidin ann dar ndóigh agus seisiún mór eile Dé Luain sa chumann peile áitiúil i gCluain Dolcáin agus ag an ócáid don fhoireann i lár na cathrach. Tógfaidh sé píosa dom míniú cén fáth go bhfuil muintir Bhaile Átha Cliath ag baint an méid seo sonais as an mbua.

An chéad cheann ná nár bhuaigh muid Craobh Uile-Éireann le 16 bliain. Fiú in 1995 agus an uair roimhe sin in 1983 bhí na buanna a fuair muid an-chonspóideach.

In 1983 cuireadh triúr imreoir de chuid Bhaile Átha Cliath den pháirc, Brian Mullins as buile a thabhairt d'imreoir Gailleamhach lena uilleann agus Ciaran Duff as cic sa cheann a thabhairt do dhuine eile. An 12 Aspal nó the Dirty Dozen a ghlaodh orthu ina dhiaidh, agus d'fhan an leas ainm na 'Dirty Dubs' leis an gcontae ar feadh na mblianta.

Sa chluiche ceannais in 1995 d'fhan Charlie Redmond ar an bpáirc ar feadh cúpla nóiméad tar éis gur chuir an réiteoir é den pháirc agus bhí raic ann faoin gcic amach a bhronnadh in aghaidh réalta Thír Eoghain, Peter Canavan, ag deireadh an chluiche. Droch-chluiche amach is amach a bhí ann.

Cé gur éirigh leo an corn a bhaint in 1995, ba cheart don fhoireann sin ar an laghad dhá chraobh eile a bhuachan, ach theip orthu ar an lá mór. Bhí an-deis acu sa cheithre chluiche a bhí acu in éadan na Mí in 1991 ach theip orthu an bua a chinntiú gach uair.

Idir an dá linn bhí idir mhí-ádh agus néirbhísí ag cur isteach ar an bhfoireann sa chraobh. Breathnaigh ar an taifead sa nasc seo le cur síos cuimsitheach a fháil ar an méid atá á rá agam.

Le deich mbliana anuas bhí an comhscór i nDurlas Éile in 2001, tar éis dúinn teacht ar ais ó bheith deich gcúilín taobh thiar de Chiarraí, an liathróid a bhuail in aghaidh an phosta in éadan Ard Mhacha in 2002, an géilleadh a rinne muid don fhoireann chéanna in 2003, an farasbar ocht gcúilín a chaill muid in aghaidh Mhaigh Eo in 2006, na cailliúntí náireacha in éadan Tír Eoghain agus Ciarraí in 2008 agus 2009 faoi seach agus an chailliúnt aon phointe in éadan Chorcaí anuraidh.

Ceann de na rudaí is fearr faoin mbua i mbliana ná go ndearna muid é in éadan Ciarraí. Bhí an ceann is fearr faighte ag an Ríocht ar Bhaile Átha Cliath ocht n-uaire ó 1977.

Rinne siad sléacht ar Bhaile Átha Cliath in 1978 agus 79, agus ceap magaidh de Paddy Cullen in 1978.

B'iad an fhoireann is fearr in 1984 agus 1985 ach bhí mí-ádh orainn in 2001. B'iad an fhoireann is fearr in 2004 agus 2007, cé go ndearna Baile Átha Cliath traen iarrachta in 2007.

Tharla an chailliúnt is measa dhá bhliain ó shin. Tar éis do Thír Eoghain ár a dhéanamh orainn in 2008 bhí an fhoireann ar ais ar a shean léim arís agus iad mar rogha na coitiantachta in aghaidh Chiarraí, a d'imir go dona sa chraobh go dtí sin. Ghéill Baile Átha Cliath sa chluiche áfach, agus bhí 17 cúilín le spáráil ag an Ríocht ag an deireadh.

Bhí Pat Gilroy i gceannas don chluiche sin, agus níor tháinig aon leigheas ar chúrsaí ag tús na craoibhe in 2010. Ba iad na cluichí in aghaidh Loch Garman, na Mí agus Tiobraid Árainn na taispéantais is measa a chonaic mé riamh.

Bhí an méid sin lagmhisneach orm go raibh drogall orm dul chuig an gcéad chluiche eile in aghaidh Ard Mhacha - ceann de na fáthanna go ndeachaigh mé ná go raibh iománaithe Bhaile Átha Cliath ag imirt roimh na peileadóirí, agus bhí mé ag ceapadh go mbeadh bua san iomáint le ceiliúradh againn ar a laghad agus nach cur amú iomlán a bheadh sa lá.

Ansin chaill na hiomáinithe in aghaidh Aontroma sa nóiméad deireanach!

Anois táim chun dearmad a dhéanamh faoin gcrá croí sin ar fad! Dé Domhnaigh seo caite rinne Baile Átha Cliath rudaí nach raibh déanta acu le blianta blianta fada. Fuair siad an ceann is fearr ar Chiarraí, bhuaigh siad cluiche a bhí ag sleamhnú uathu, agus léirigh siad crógacht agus stuaim dochreidte.

Tráth dá raibh bhreathnaigh mé ar sean-fhíséain ón gcluiche cáiliúil idir Baile Átha Cliath agus Ciarraí in 1977, ach tá a chomharba againn anois. Tá an naoi nóiméid draíochta de Chluiche Ceannais 2011 feicthe agam iliomad uair ar an RTÉ Player ón Luan seo caite ar aghaidh, agus táim ag ceapadh go mbreathnóidh mé air anois agus arís amach anseo.

Mar aon le sin bhreathnaigh mé ar na físéain den nóiméad deireanach ar Youtube, tá roinnt acu le feicéail thíos. Do na contaetha nár éirigh leo ar an lá mór ar nós Mhaigh Eo agus Chill Dara - bainigí ionspioráid astú, do lucht Bhaile Átha Cliath - bainigí sult astú!











Monday, 5 September 2011

Ireland could pay for the entire African famine relief



Revelations about the hundreds of thousands of euros spent by Anglo Irish Bank on parties, corporate gifts and golf outings in the months before they were bailed out will rightly infuriate the public.

The actions of the Anglo Irish bosses and the recent statements by Bertie Ahern show the level of delusion that plagued Ireland's Celtic Tiger elite.

As bad as this waste of money by Anglo Irish was, the wider picture of what has happened in the last few years is even more shocking.

Consider this; Over 12 million people are threatened by famine in Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Djibouti. The US estimates that 30,000 children have died so far. The UN says 750,000 people could die in Somalia. Ten children are dying every day in one refugee camp alone.

The UN is seeking $2.4 billion in total to deal with this humanitarian disaster. $2.4 billion, or €1.68 billion. The Irish people have pledged over 17 times that amount to Anglo Irish Bank. As of 2nd September, €1 billion has been pledged to the relief fund, leaving just €675 million to go, or one 43rd of the Anglo Irish bailout.

Unlike the tens of billions we are giving Bank of Ireland and Allied Irish Bank, none of the €29 billion going to Anglo Irish is to recapitalise it, to enable it to continue operating and lending to businesses and households. The bank will be closed and the money is going into a black hole to cover bond debts run up by Anglo Irish.

The reason we have to do this is that the rules of international finance have been fixed so that senior bank bonds must be repaid in full or the entire global economic system will collapse, apparently.

At this stage we still don't know how much the banks are going to cost us. The margin of error in the predicting the final bill isn't in the millions or even the billions, it's in the tens of billions, with estimates going from €70 billion to €100 billion.

Given the amounts involved in the bailout, and the number of lives that would be saved, €675 million is virtually nothing. The Irish government could cover the remaining money needed by the UN to deal with the African famine.

If we're going to bailout the richest people in the world to the tune of €70,000 million or more, there should be no problem with coming up with another €675 million to save some of the poorest people on earth from starving to death.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Teip Translations


Chonaic mé dráma Brian Friel, Translations, don chéad uair le déanaí. Baineann an dráma le meath na Gaeilge i nDún na nGall, in áit darbh ainm Baile Beag.

Tá sé suite in 1833 agus an tSuirbhéireacht Ordanáis ag déanamh Béarlaithe ar logainmneacha na tíre. Bhí go leor cloiste agam faoi Translations i rith na mblianta, ach bhí díomá orm faoin dráma.

Shíl mé roimh ré gur léiriú ar na fáthanna gur tháinig meath ar an nGaeilge a bhí ann, ach theip ar an dráma an t-athrú sóisialta ollmhór seo a mhíniú.

Cuirtear go leor cúiseanna chun cinn i rith Translations le míniú a thabhairt ar an bhfáth gur fhoghlaim daoine Béarla – bochtanas, imirce srl. Sean scéal agus meirg air atá ann.

Tuigeann gach duine na buntáistí a bhaineann leis an mBéarla. Thuig daoine é in 1833 agus tuigeann daoine timpeall na cruinne é in 2011.

Níl mistéir nó iontas ag baint le hÉireannaigh san 19ú hAois a bheith ag iarraidh Béarla a fhoghlaim – is rud iomlán nádúrtha go bhfoghlaimeodh daoine teanga na himpireachta atá i gceannas ar a dtír. D'fhoghlaim daoine i dTíomór Thoir Indinéisis, d'fhoghlaim Seicigh, Slóvacaigh agus Polannaigh Gearmáinis, d'fhoghlaim Eastónaigh, Laitviaigh agus Liotuánaigh Rúisis.

Chuir Translations neart roghanna bréagacha os comhair an lucht féachanna – Béarla nó Gaeilge, Béarla nó bochtanas, (go deimhin tugann an dráma le fios nár mhúin scoileanna scairte an Béarla, ach nílim cinnte an bhfuil sé sin fíor).

An difríocht idir Éireannaigh agus Tíomóraigh, Seicigh, Eastónaigh srl ná nár stop siadsan ag labhairt a dteangacha dúchais tar éis dóibh teangacha a máistrí a fhoghlaim.

Ó thaobh cúrsaí teanga in Éirinn ní hé 'Cén fáth ar fhoghlaim daoine Béarla' an cheist is tábhachtaí, ach 'Cén fáth ar stop daoine ag labhairt Gaeilge.”

Theip ar Translations díriú ar an gceist seo.

Is cinnte gur chuir na Breatanaigh brú ar dhaoine droim láimhe a thabhairt don Ghaeilge, ach níor chuir siad iachall ar éinne. Féin-mharú cultúrtha a bhí ann.

Níl na fáthanna don fhéin-mharú seo chomh láidir is a bhí, ach tá siad fós beo in Éirinn, rud a mhíneoidh mé in alt amach anseo, agus tá siad fós ag baint an bhoinn den Ghaeilge.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Riots in the UK


The authorities in the UK seem to have regained control of the streets following days of looting and rioting.

I've no doubt that most of the people involved in the chaos are those who normally spend their days and nights robbing, joyriding, intimidating residents and generally making people's lives a hell.



That doesn't mean that law and order is the only response to this issue. There is rarely a clear line between criminal, sociopathic elements and the rest of society.

Increased poverty, unemployment and reduced services like community centres etc will swell the ranks of the 'disaffected youth' making outbursts like those seen in England more likely.

Letting criminals in the middle and upper classes away with behaviour that can lead to massive spending cuts or bankrupt a nation entirely also doesn't help with the 'working man is a sucker' argument of criminals either.

www.twitter.com/colmobroin

Monday, 1 August 2011

NAMA: Cairt na ngaimbíní


Tá cúpla scéal suimiúl sna meáin faoi NAMA le déanaí a léiríonn nach bhfuil ann ach cairt do ghaimbíní na hÉireann.

Bunaíodh NAMA chun drochfhiacha maoine na mbanc a thógáil óna gcuid cuntas. An teoiric a bhí ann ná go mbeadh na bainc in ann iasachtaí a thabhairt go comhlachtaí dá mbainfí na drochfhiacha. Gan amhras theip go hiomlán ar an mbunaidhim sin.

An dara chuid den phlean ná go gcoimeádfadh NAMA an mhaoin go dtí gur ardaigh praghsanna in athuair agus go bhféadfeadh siad brábús a dhéanamh amach anseo. Ach céard a tharlaíonn mura n-ardaíonn na praghsanna?

Tá go leor forbairtí ceannaithe ag NAMA ó na bainc, 8,000 teach san áireamh, ach má thiteann luach na maoine seo caillfidh NAMA airgead (chaill siad €1.1bn in 2010). De réir mar a thiteann luach na bhforbairtí atá ag NAMA ardóidh caillteannais na háisíneachta agus an costas don cháiníocóir.

Anois tá NAMA ag cur a ladhar isteach sa mhargadh tithíochta ach ag séanadh ag an am céanna go bhfuil siad ag cur a ladhar isteach sa mhargadh tithíochta.

An aidhm ná an margadh a “spreagadh”. Má cheannaíonn tú teach ó NAMA ar €200,000 le hearlais €20,000, mar shampla, íocfaidh NAMA as má thiteann an luach 20% thar cúig bhliana. Má thiteann an praghas €40,000, ní bheidh ort ach €140,000 a íoc arais chuig na bainc – íocfaidh NAMA, sé sin an pobal, as an gcuid eile.

Nochtaíodh chomh maith go mbeidh na forbróirí atá ag comhoibriú le NAMA in ann airgead a dhéanamh fiú má tá an praghas a dhíoltar a gcuid maoine faoi bhun an luach a bhí ar na hiasachtaí sa chéad dul síos.

Mar shampla, dá mba rud é gur íoc NAMA €600m chun iasacht €1bn a bhaint ó leabhair na mbanc, gheobhaidh an forbróir a fuair an iasacht sin 10% de bhrabús NAMA má éiríonn leo an fhorbairt a dhíol ar €650m, mar shampla. Beidh muintir na hÉireann ag íoc as an gcaillteanas €350m a rinne na bainc ar an iasacht sa sampla seo – athchaiptliú a ghlaotar air.

Anuas ar sin tuairiscítear go bhfuil NAMA ag admháil anois nach mbeidh siad in ann suas le €37bn a fháil ar ais ó fhorbróirí. 'Maithiúnas fiachais' an t-ainm atá ar seo. Beidh ar an bpobal glacadh leis na fiacha seo de réir mar a sheasann rudaí.

Aisteach go leor ach nuair a mholtar 'maithiúnas' d'iarfhiacha na mbanc agus na bhforbróirí atá a i seilbh an cháiníocóra, deirtear go scriosfadh a leithéid córas baincéireachta na hEorpa, nó an domhan fiú.

Is fior go bhfuil rialacha ar leith do Mháistrí na Cruinne agus rialacha eile don chosmhuintir.

Níl i NAMA ach cairt do na máistrí áitiúla.

Monday, 25 July 2011

The only power the Catholic Church has is the power we give it


“How many divisions does the Pope have?” Soviet tyrant Joseph Stalin famously asked. His Chinese counterpart, Mao Zedong, claimed that political power grows out of the barrel of a gun. The power of the Catholic Church is one example that disproves Mao's claim.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny's excellent speech on child abuse has made headlines around the world, and with good reason. 'Catholic' Ireland has finally told the Vatican that its behaviour is no longer acceptable.

The only caveat I would add is that the speech didn't go far enough in acknowledging the State's ultimate responsibility to protect its children.



An oft-repeated claim is that the Catholic Church wielded immense power in Ireland up until very recently. The words of bishops and priests were law, both literally and socially.

People who challenged the power of the church were sidelined and ostracised, many of them felt forced to leave the country.

However, the Catholic Church has no divisions, it has no guns to enforce its will on the Irish people. The only power the Catholic Church has is the power the Irish people give it.

It was the citizens of Ireland that followed and enforced every pronouncement from the pulpit. It was the citizens of this country that allowed priests and nuns to abuse children.

The Church did cover up much of what was being done, however, people looked the other way on the rare occasions that victims and campaigners did speak out.

A perfect example of this was in 1954 when the case of a 14 year old boy who was hospitalised after a severe beating in Artane Industrial School was raised in the Dáil by Independent TD Peadar Cowen.

According to Creating Ireland by Paul Daly, Education Minister Seán Moylan said:

"I would be as much concerned as the Deputy is if I thought it was anything other than a very isolated incident and in one sense what might be called an accident...I cannot conceive any deliberate ill-treatment of boys by a community motivated by the ideals of its founders. I cannot conceive any sadism emanating from men who were trained to a life of sacrifice and of austerity. They are also trained to have a greater devotion to a very high purpose...The point is that accidents will happen in the best regulated families and in this family there are 800 boys...These boys are difficult to control at times. Maybe it is essential now and again that children should be punished."

One of the reason priests could get away with the rape of children, why they could be transferred from parish to parish, was because of the slavish, subservient attitude people had to them. How many times have you read of parents whose children were abused going to the local parish priest or bishop instead of straight to the gardaí?

The Irish State allowed Catholic religious orders to run schools, orphanages, industrial schools and Magdelene Laundries and abdicated its duties to protect children from sexual and physical abuse.

The Catholic Church couldn't have gotten away with their horrific behaviour in relation to child abuse without the power the Irish people and State gave them.

The Government should indeed expel the Papal Nuncio, as the Irish people would have lost their deference to the Church a lot sooner if it hadn't covered up most of its crimes.

It should pursue the Church for half the cost of compensation for victims. If the Church pleads a lack of funds to pay up, I know of three massive houses plus extensive grounds it owns in the parish I'm from, Clondalkin village, alone, which even in today's market could fetch well over a million euros.

The Irish people and State are liable for the rest of the compensation as they are ultimately responsible for the protection of the children of the nation.

www.twitter.com/colmobroin

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Riail Órga an Chaipitleachais


Tá an-chuid cáinte déanta ag grúpaí den eite chlé ar an tarrtháil atá déanta ar bhainc san Eoraip agus sna Stáit Aontaithe Meiriceá.

Tá na céadta billiún caite ag rialtais ar bhainc a theip de bharr droch-iasachtaí.

Cháin go leor daoine ar an eite dheis an tarrtháil seo chomh maith, ina measc, an Tea Party i SAM agus eacnamaithe mór le rá in Éirinn.

Dar leo, ba cheart na bainc a fhágáil ag rialacha an chaipitleachais agus ligint dóibh teipeadh go hiomlán.

Ní thuigeann siad riail órga an chaipitleachais áfach, go gcuirfear gach prionsabal caipitleach ar fionraí má chaithfear saibhreas an uasail aicme a chosaint.

Tá tuairim shoineanta acu go gcreideann lucht an rachmais i rialacha an chaipitleachais – an fhírinne ná go dtacaíonn siad le pé córas a thuillfidh níos mó airgid dóibh. Is é saint agus féinleas bunchlocha an chaipitleachais, mar sin, níl aon chúis nach gcuirfeadh siad a rialacha féin ar leataobh chun níos mó airgid a thuilleadh.

An raibh creidimh daingean ag na tiarnaí agus barúin sa feodachas agus ag ríthe agus impirí sa schlábhaíocht, nó ar thacaigh siad leo toisc gur bhain siad leas as na córais eacnamaíochta sin?

Deir na daoine a thacaíonn le tarrtháil na mbanc go gcaithfear é a dhéanamh toisc go gclisfeadh ar an gcóras ar fad dá dteipfeadh ar na bainc. Sé sin, teipfidh ar an gcaipitleachas má chloítear le rialacha an chaipitleachais.

Tá go leor fadhbanna ag an gcóras reatha ach an bhfuil córas níos fearr ann? Go dtí seo níl an fhianaise ó thíortha sóisialacha ró-láidir. Tá sampla rathúil amháin den sóisialachas daonlathach sa tríú domhain, Kerala san Ind, ach níl aon cheann sa chéad domhain.

Tá neart deashamplaí den daonlathas sóisialta áfach, sna tíortha Lochlannacha ach go háirithe, agus ní mór d'Éirinn a n-eiseamláir a leanúint.

www.twitter.com/colmobroin

Monday, 18 July 2011

The Apprentice: 16 candidates, 12 weeks, one gigantic waste of time



The finale of the BBC's Apprentice on Sunday was a total sham.

Having whittled down the original 16 contestants during 11 entertaining episodes, the final four were judged on their business 'plans'.

The candidate with the best one was apparently going to win the series. Suzie's was by far the strongest, but Tom was the eventual winner.

He had some vague notion of selling chairs to businesses to reduce the costs of back injury, but as it turns out, Alan Sugar ditched this plan after the show and decided to develop Tom's curved nail file which he had invented and sold before the Apprentice even started.

So what exactly was the point of the 11 weeks of gruelling tasks?

Clearly whoever came up with the 'business plan' concept for this year's series should be hauled before an panel of TV heavyweights and ritually humiliated before being 'fired'.

The Apprentice is entertaining mainly because of the challenges the candidates are faced with, and like most reality TV you can't help but think what you would do and say if you were in that situation.

It is also is a bit of a guilty pleasure, a modern incarnation of the gladiator spectacles of old where contestants are pitted against each other in a dog eat dog fight to the bitter end.

The weakest members are selected for disposal and made to attack each other (delivered through the 'who do you think is responsible for this mess' question).

The competitors are then metaphorically shredded before Lord Caesar gives of of them the thumbs down.

Terrible stuff altogether...anyone know when TV3's Apprentice is starting?

www.twitter.com/colmobroin

Friday, 15 July 2011

Cáineann an rialtas nua an Vatacáin, chosain an sean rialtas iad



Táthar ann a deir go bhfuil páirtithe polaitiúla go léir mar an gcéanna agus nach n-athraíonn toghcháin faic. Go hiondúil ní tharlaíonn athruithe ollmhóra nuair a bhuann páirtithe nua toghchán, ach níl sé fíor gur saothar in aisce atá i vótáil.

Chonacthas é seo tar éis foilsiú Thuairisc Chluana an tseachtain seo. Léirigh an tuairisc nár chuir Deoise Chluana rialacha na hEaglaise Éireannaigh i bhfeidhm ó thaobh líomhaintí faoi mhí-úsáid leanaí a chur ar aghaidh chuig na gardaí.

Dhiúltaigh an Vatacáin agus an Papal Nuncio comhoibriú leis an bhfiosrú ar Dheoise Chluana agus léiríodh chomh maith go ndúirt an Vatacáin leis an eaglais in Éirinn in 1996 nár chloí na polasaithe tuairisce diana in Éirinn le polasaithe an Vatacáin fhéin.

Tá cáineadh láidir déanta ag ionadaithe ón rialtas nua ar an Vatacáin de bharr seo. Dúirt an Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore go raibh sé go hiomlán doghlactha gur dímhol an Vatacáin do shagairt in Éirinn líomhaintí faoi ionsaithe ar pháistí a thuairisciú chuig na gardaí.

Tá sé ráite ag cathaoirleach Fhine Gael, Charlie Flanagan, gur cheart an Papal Nuncio a dhíbeart ón tír.

Anois, chuir é sin i gcomparáid leis an méid a bhí le rá ag Brian Cowen in 2009 nuair a nochtaigh Tuairisc Murphy gur dhiúltaigh an Vatacáin comhoibriú leis an bhfiosrú ar ionsaithe gnéis ar pháistí i mBaile Átha Cliath.

Creid nó ná creid ach chosain ár dTaoiseach ag an am seasamh náireach na Vatacáine.

Léiríonn an difríocht simplí seo nach bhfuil na páirtithe 'uilig mar an gcéanna' agus gur fiú vóta a chaitheamh i dtoghcháin.

www.twitter.com/colmobroin

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Compulsory English and Compulsory Suits


A fierce debate has been raging in the letters pages of the Irish Times and Irish Independent this week over language fanaticism and extremism.

It all started over two typically hyperbolic letters complaining about money 'wasted' on bilingual leaflets printed by state bodies. They argued that as everyone speaks English there is no need for any of this material to be made available in Irish.

Last year I wrote an article for the Insideireland.ie website (which unfortunately is no longer available due to changes in the site's layout) which pointed out that such an attitude is effectively arguing for compulsory, lifelong English for everyone in the State.

I also pointed out that if someone who forces Irish on others is to be labelled an Irish language fanatic, then someone who forces English on others is an English language fanatic. Some of the letter writers have made similar points, while one claimed that the 'cost' of translating one of the leaflets mentioned would be about €8.

Another letter says that Ireland is a 'wholly English-speaking nation' and always has been, which is false on both counts and a nice way to deny the existence of Irish speakers. It also claims that 'forcing' Irish on people has made people hate the language.

It's true that people do hate Irish, but people have been hating Irish for hundreds of years, long before 'compulsory Irish' or the Official Languages Act. Throughout the vast majority of that time there was one very simple reason the Irish language was hated, because it was the Irish language. This is the reason extremist British nationalists hated and continue to hate the language.

Many people from the Irish nationalist tradition also hated the language long before 'compulsory Irish' or the Official Languages Act.

In 1845 Thomas Davis wrote that the middle classes in Ireland think it a “sign of vulgarity” to speak Irish, while Douglas Hyde wrote in 1896 “that it is considered a disgrace in most Irish cities to speak Irish.” In 1926 the Gaeltacht Commission stated that in relation to the language “the educated were ignorant of it; and they protected their position by affecting to despise it, or often despising it with conviction.”

These were adults who had gone through the education system before Irish became compulsory, yet they despised the language, some of them “with conviction”.

There is a fallacy at the heart of the 'I hate Irish because it's compulsory in school' argument.

If this theory were true then we will shortly see a massive increase in hatred for suits among members of the Dáil. New rules are set to be introduced to make it compulsory to wear a suit in the chamber. A small number of TDs have objected to being forced to wear a suit - the TDs who don't wear one at present.

The rest of the members don't object to the rule, and won't end up hating suits because of the new compulsion, because they agree with wearing suits already. The TDs who object to the 'compulsory suits' rule don't want to wear a suit in the first place, not because there is a new rule forcing them to do so.

It's high time we had an honest debate about the real roots of hatred of the Irish language. The reason this hasn't happened, and that people make ludicrous arguments to justify their objections, is that bigotry and fear lie at the heart of this hatred.

I and many others speak Irish because it's the Irish language, so it should be no surprise that others rejects and hate the language for the same reason.

www.twitter.com/colmobroin