Níl an scéal faoi thréas Shinn Féin ar Lá Nua ag imeacht ar shiúl nó, mar a dhéarfadh Gerry Adams, ‘it hasn’t gone away you know’.
Is cosúil go raibh freagra ag Barry McIlduff, Gaeilgeoir aitheanta agus ball tionóil Shinn Féin, ar cháineadh ghéar Gearóid Ó Cairealláin ar an phairtí sa North Belfast News an tseachtain seo chaite.
Ina alt dúirt Gearóid ná raibh sé chun vóta a thabhairt do Shinn Féin riamh arís mar gheall ar an éagóir a dhein an pháirtí ar Lá Nua.
Tá freagra tugtha ar cháineadh Ghearóid ag an Ball Tionól Mac Giolla Dhubh. Is cathaoirleach é Barra ar an gCoiste Chultúr, Ealaíon is Foillíochta. Is é a bhí ag gabhail leithscéil le déanaí ar son teip an Fhorais a gcuid cúntais a fhoilsiú, cúntais 2004-7.
Is é seo mar a deir Barra – níl teacht ar an alt ar shuíomh Ghrúpa Mheáin Bhéal Feirste. Tá mo thuairim féin agam faoi agus nochtfaidh mé ina dhiaidh.
Right of Reply
Barry McElduff MLA
Sinn Féin is committed to the objective of a daily news-service in Irish. The importance of a daily news-service to any language community in the modern world and the centrality of such a news-service to the development of the language itself is widely acknowledged and accepted.
Sinn Féin supports the call from the European Committee of Experts (March 2007) regarding the implementation of the European Charter and reiterates its call for the development of “a comprehensive Irish language policy, including measures to meet the increasing demand for Irish-medium education” as well as “increase support for the printed media in Scottish Gaelic and Irish.” This is the obligation of the British Government under the Charter and they must live up to those responsibilities.
Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams has made all of that clear in unambiguous terms several times over the past number of months.
Gearóid Ó Cairealláin’s views in regard to the decision by Foras na Gaeilge to end funding for Lá ignore this reality and the following facts:
The contract held by the Belfast Media Group (the publisher of Lá) to provide a daily newspaper was due to end in December 2008. Sinn Féin representatives consistently argued for the continued provision of a daily newspaper and that this would be put out to public tender.
There are 16 board members in Foras na Gaeilge. Four of them are Sinn Féin representatives. The party does not have a controlling influence over the cross-border agency.
Other board members argued that the money spent on Lá Nua did not represent value for money. That opinion prevailed in the subsequent decision.
Sinn Féin’s next objective was to persuade other board members that the funding from both the weekly paper and the daily paper could be combined to provide a sound financial basis for a new contract for a weekly paper and a daily news service. That the party’s representatives on the Foras failed to win that argument was and remains a source of disappointment.
The backdrop to this is that since its foundation Foras na Gaeilge has not enjoyed funding commensurate with the task it has been charged with. There are, of course, other significant problems to be overcome.
In the current economic climate this is more likely to deteriorate than to improve.
Now, when the Irish Language is under attack by some within political Unionism is not the time for bickering and discord among supporters of the language. Now, when economic cutbacks threaten to undermine advances in all sections of society, is not the time for negativity and division amongst supporters of the Irish Language.
What supporters of the language must do in the time ahead is stand together to develop and push forward a realistic and achievable strategy to advance the language. Sinn Féin is prepared to continue to play its part as it always has done, along with others, in the development of such a realistic and achievable strategy.
There will no doubt be setbacks and problems along the road. But in the face of problems and setbacks we must guard against division and recrimination and instead redouble our efforts to advance the cause of the Irish Language as a central part of the rich cultural heritage of all those who live on this island. That is the task ahead of all of us who are committed to the promotion and development of the Irish Language.
Mar fhocal scoir, is maith liom an tagairt ag an deireadh ag Barra faoi ‘seasamh le cheile’. Is mór an trua nár smaoinigh sé ar sin sara rinne a phairtí an feall ar Lá Nua.
Níl sé ráite go neamh bhalbh sa raiteas seo gur votáil ionadaithe SF in éadan an chinnidh gan conradh le h-aghaidh nuachtán laethúil a thairiscint in athuair. Cad é an fhírinne ar an gceist sin?
Cad is ciall le “Sinn Féin is committed to the objective of a daily news-service in Irish.”? Tá seo ar fáíl trí ‘An Druma Mór’ agus ‘Raidió Fáílte’. Cén fath nach n-éilíonn siad ar an bhForas tacaiocht mar is ceart a thabhairt don dhá sheirbhís sin?
An rud a tharlóidh, an rud céanna a tharla le Foinse agus Comhar, go mbronnfar an chonradh ar ‘lámha sabhailte’ éigean, ó dheas den teorainn is dócha.
Mar is leir le samplaí Comhar agus Foinse, ní miste leis an bhForas deontas thar an luach a thabhairt – €8,500+ in aghaidh an eagrán i gcás COMHAR, €7,500 i gcás Foinse – nuair is cáirde an Fhorais atá ag baint leasa as an deontas. Ní raibh siad sásta ach deontas €1,500 in aghaidh an eagráin a cheadú do Lá Nua.
Má tá Sinn Féin ar son na Gaeilge, tá gá go mbeadh an imirt níos fearr agus níos eifeachtaí acu ar son na teanga. Cuid larnach den phroiseas sin éisteacht le cáirde agus, fiú, iar cháirde.
Is é mo bhuairt nach bhfuil ceannairí SF go dáirire ar son na Gaeilge ach go bhfuil siad ag baint úsáid aistí ar mhaithe a leas pholatúil féin.