Cumhachtú na Gaeilge

An bhfuil ré úr tar éis breacadh don Ghaeilge?  An bhfuil sí i gcumhacht, don chéad uair ó bunaíodh an stat ó dheas?

Tá tús áite á thabhairt ag an dTaoiseach nua, Brian O Comhain, don teanga ina cuid focail.  Ar ndóigh ní bheathaíonn na briathra na bráithre ach is féidir an ardú meanman i measc cainteoirí Ghaeilge ó thosnaigh sé ag caint a thomhas. 

An rud is tabhachtaí faoina chaint go bhfuil sé á chur i gcomhthéacs níos leithne – tá sé ag caint ar thírghrá,  ar shaorántacht agus ar an shaoránach a chur i lár na seirbhíse phoiblí.   Seo rudaí atá ag croí an chaidrimh atá ag an chainteoir Ghaeilge leis an stát.   

Tá tábhacht ag baint leis an mbealach a bhógfaimíd chun tosaigh.  Caithfimíd an Ghaeilge a chur i lár an aonaigh i rith an ama – sé sin le rá gan ligint do dhaoine tuatacha aineolacha í a imeallú, mar a dheintear go minic. 

Sampla den chineál imeallaithe seo ar a bhfuilim ag trácht an méid a scrígh Fintan O’Toole san Irish Times ag an deireadh seachtaine in alt dar teideal ‘What does Cowen believe in?‘ 

San alt seo deineadh tagairt don leabhar a luaigh an Taoiseach nua, Forty Shades of Green le Des Geraghty, ina chéad oráid agus é ceaptha ina Thaoiseach.  Dar le Fintan O’Toole go raibh seo an tabhachtach: 

 “I have been reading,” said the taoiseach-elect, “Des Geraghty’s excellent book, Forty Shades of Green, in recent days and his thesis is that we are now in a new space. What was once one of the most dispersed nations in the world is now becoming one of the most diverse nations and the change is visible and real.” Apart from the delight it must have given to a small Irish publisher, Real Ireland, this ringing endorsement has two remarkable aspects. One is Cowen’s attraction to the idea of a “new space”, to an Ireland whose increasing ethnic complexity is celebrated in Geraghty’s book. Far from looking backwards to his Fianna Fáil heritage, Cowen seems to be signalling that he recognises that the country he now leads would have been unrecognisable to most of his predecessors. The implication is that Cowen realises that social stability in Ireland can no longer draw on a simple sense of ethnic solidarity and has to find new social and civic foundations.

BUT MORE NOTEWORTHY still is the name of the author. It would have been hard for the new Taoiseach to think of a more stalwart figure of the left to namecheck in his inaugural speech. Geraghty is not just a lifelong trade unionist, from a family of agitators, who rose to become president of Siptu. He also has a long history of left-wing political activism, serving briefly in the European Parliament for the Workers Party and going on to help found the now-defunct Democratic Left. If Bertie Ahern famously declared himself one of only two socialists in the Dáil, was Brian Cowen hinting that he might like to be regarded as the other one?

Among the sentiments Geraghty expresses in the book that Cowen regards as “excellent” are, for example, the view that instead of growth for its own sake, we should be pursuing “a more people-friendly and eco-friendly form of economic development”. He attacks “classical market-based globalisation” and the EU Services Directive, whose implementation has been driven in part by Cowen’s party colleague, Charlie McCreevy. He calls for a change of emphasis from “the ‘super-market’ concept of Europe to one of a co-operative community of European peoples”, in which the market would be shaped to social goals.

Ar ndóigh ní raibh aon tagairt in alt O’Toole don mhéid a dúirt Cowen, ag tús a oráíde, faoin nGaeilge.  Ní raibh sé ar an ‘radar’ fiú ag an dtrachtaire cumasach seo. 

Maith go leor bhí alt ann cúpla lá roimhe sa nuachtán céanna, ag fear darbh ainm Anthony Munnelly,inar dúirt sé go raibh tábhacht leis an Ghaeilge, dar leis an dTaoiseach nua, thar an ‘cúpla focal’.

Ach shamhlófá ón ceannlíne fiú nár theastaigh ó lucht an Irish Times go mbeadh tábhacht suntasach riamhl eis an nGaeilge in aigne an taoisigh.  Is amhlaidh go bhfuil an méid atá déanta ag an nuachtán go dtí seo ar an gceist déanta de bharr é bheith curtha ar a súile doibh go raibh siad easnamhach, mar shampla, nuair a cuireadh oráid an tUasal Cowen nuair a toghadh é mar Cheannaire FF agus Taoiseach le ceapadh an mhí seo chaite ar a suíomh idirlíon gan an meid  a dúirt sé i nGaeilge ann. D’aithin siad an t-easnamh sin – ach ní h-ionann sin agus a rá go bhfuil siad ag aithint a gcuid easnaimh ar fad ar an gceist. 

An tastáil mhór anois don Taoiseach nua agus a Rialtas – céard a dhéanfaidh siad ar cheisteanna ar nós an tumoideachas agus an t-Ionad Náisiúnta um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta???  

leid ann ón Aire nua Oideachais, Batt O’Keeffe, go bhfuil sé chun breis taighde a lorg faoi cheist an tumoideachais.  Dar leis an t-alt san Irish Examiner Dé Máirt;

At policy level, the Taoiseach’s clear enthusiasm for the Irish language might be the inspiration for a rethink of his predecessor Mary Hanafin’s stance on early total immersion in all-Irish schools. Her directive last summer that the teaching of English must begin by the second term of junior infants is to be the subject of a High Court challenge, but the new minister could possibly ease the tension by commissioning the research, which experts suggest is needed on the issue. 

Agus cén áít a dheinfí a leitheid de thaighde?  Cén áit eile ach an tIonad Náisiúnta Um Oideachais Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta gan amhras.  

 

 

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