Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Bullying from government!

A frightening event has taken place in the last few days. It has been reported in the Irish Daily Mail this morning!

As many are aware a Bill on the Gaeltacht is being rushed through the Oireachtas by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Junior Minister Dinny McGinley. Few if any Gaeltacht Voluntary body, community group or Irish Language organisation or indeed Language Planning Expert is in favour of this bill with Senator Seán Barrett describing it as the worst prepared and worst intentioned Bill to come before the Seanad in a long time. A good examination on the legislation appeared in the Irish Times recently.

Indeed this bill, is the first bill on Irish or the Gaeltacht has not been passed unanimously by the Oireachtas. Acht na Gealge in 2003 was painstakingly put together and debated in each house and passed with the full agreement of all parties.

Today we learn that a spokesperson for Guth na Gaeltachta, Dónal Ó Cnáimhsí, a gardener in Glenveigh National Park, and who recently spoke strongly advocating the postponement of the passing of this bill on radio, has received a threatening letter, in English, from his employer, the self-same Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. This letter stated that his comments could be interpreted as contrary to his contract with the Department.  

In a discussion on the matter spokesmen for various voluntary bodies referred to the fact that many people who disagreed strongly with this bill and afraid of its impact on their districts felt unable to speak out because they were in receipt of funding from the Department. It appears that their fears were very well founded indeed! (See also account on Highland Radio!) 

This later article by Conchubhar Ó Liatháin, in the Sunday Independent (22/7/2012) says that The Gaeltacht Bill deserves to be thoroughly debated in every detail.

One wonders how many teachers who protest at the policies of the Department of Education, or nurses who speak out about the HSE, receive letters like this? If they don't why should a gardener receive such a letter from his employer?

Are we living in a fascist state?

See also story in Donegal Daily: "Outrage over over claims that Dept tried to gag Donegal gardener!" (17/7/2012)

Monday, July 2, 2012

New directer for language umbrella body

Comhdháil Náisiúnta na Gaeilge has announced the appointment of Mr. Kevin De Barra to the position of Director.  An Chomhdháil acts as an umbrella body for 24 Irish language voluntary organisations.  Mr. De Barra will succeed Mr. Pádraig Mac Criostail who held the role since 2007.

Kevin De Barra hails from An Spidéal, in Conamara.  He attended NUI, Galway where he was awarded a Commerce Degree, as well as a Masters in Business Studies and Marketing, and also a Diploma in Irish, and a Diploma in Translation Skils. Recently he completed a Masters in Applied Irish with DIT. 

He has been working with Comhdháil Náisiúnta na Gaeilge sin 2007, firstly as Marketing and Communications Manager, then as Secretary to the Board, and since February of this year as Acting Director.

Prior to working with An Chomhdháil, De Barra worked as an International Marketing Manager with QTEK Manufacturing Ltd. whose headquarters are based in Galway.

Speaking on the appointment of Mr. De Barra, President of Comhdháil Náisiúnta na Gaeilge, Pádraig Mac Fhearghusa siad: “This appointment will allow An Chomhdháil to give leadership and direction to the Irish language voluntary sector in the challenging times ahead.  Kevin De Barra has unique skills and experience which will greatly benefit An Chomhdháil, its member organisations and the Irish language speaking community”.