The Irish Unarmed Struggle


The Journal carries an article on the Irish language from Ian Mac Eochagáin, a professional Russian-English translator. Or more accurately it carries an article debating the preservation of the Irish language versus its promotion. Personally I see this as a false dichotomy. There is essentially no difference between both positions: preservation is inherently bound up with promotion.

“THE NEW GAELTACHT Bill, currently at the second stage in the Oireachtas, is really nothing new in Irish-language legislation. This jumble of reorganisations and reclassifications will fail native Irish speakers for two reasons.

Firstly, it provides no linguistic definition of a Gaeltacht; and secondly, it does not differ between the realistic task of maintaining the current number of native Irish speakers (preservation) and the unrealistic one of turning English speakers into Irish speakers (promotion).

Nor is there any distinction made between maintaining the current level of Irish speakers in a given area and increasing that number. Tragically…

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