Yesterday was Lá na Gaeilge - the Day of Irish - in the Dáil. One day in which Irish was to be the medium in which the business was to be conducted in the National Language.
"Cuir ort na cluaisíní!"
Only three weeks ago I received a reply to a written query in the National Language to the Chairman of an Oireachtas in English. The irony is that at the base of this letter was the legend, "Cuirfear fáilte roimh chomhfhreagras i nGaeilge!" (Correspondance in Irish will be welcome!). This is by no means a unique experience. The Office of the Comisinéir Teanga is inundated with hundreds of examples of such "ignorance" each year.
Cathal MacCoille of Morning Ireland remarked on a radio programme yesterday evening that he had attended the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis over the weekend in Derry and that a simultaneous translation system was available, and in use, for all a delegates throughout the event. He lamented that the Dáil, with a much smaller number of Deputies did not seem to be able to manage that. That is a matter for house keeping. I wonder is that an area for the Ceann Chomhairle's staff to sort out? He further remarked that no one in the European Parliament or at EU meetings seems to have any problem in donning these headphones as translations are available in all (except one) of the working languages.
I live in an Irish speaking area. I shop, have my car serviced, attend Church Services, attend local parish meetings, buy my medicines etc all through Irish. I live in a district where parents with children with chronic medical conditions are advised and encouraged to change the language of the family so that the State does not have to provide the requisite on-going treatment in the child's own language.
When I have to deal with the state I am constantly put on the long finger, "The person with Irish is off sick today!" or "on her lunch break!" I MUST use English, no translation service provided!
I see little understanding of mine or of those encountered daily by anyone endevouring to use our National Language in dealing with the manderins of state! Perhaps this incident will help in the understanding of this daily problem for the Irish speaking citizens in their own country.
|As seen by ASNC in tuairisc.ie today!|