Fimíneacht i leith na crichdheighilte….

Seo alt a bhí agam sa Sunday Independent inniu faoi cheist na criochdheighilte agus moladh uaim maidir le céim i dtreo reitigh.

As Dana so memorably put it, ‘a little girl from the wee North’ won the All Ireland Talent Show  a week ago.  Soccer players from throughout the Six Counties are being poached to play for the Republic on an ongoing basis while Belfast born Mary McAleese is the incumbent President of Ireland and is scheduled to leave Aras an Uachtaráin after a fourteen year residency next year.

All this signifies a dilution of the age-old partitionist mentality with which Southerners are afflicted and which is so beloved of Sinn Féin.  After all where would that party be without partition and partitionism?

Unionists, perhaps rightly, fear the Dublin government having too much of a say in the internal affairs of Northern Ireland – but what if the boot were on the other foot?

Would they be worried if they and their fellow Northern Irelanders in the nationalist community had a say in the election for President of Ireland?

The question arises from a proposal in Fine Gael’s  ‘New Politics’ document which proposes a radical reform of the political system.   Not a bad thing in itself, that an overhaul of the machinery of the state and the rules which govern us is badly needed qualifies as an understatement but then again it depends on the proposed reforms.

One of the FG proposal would give Irish people living abroad a vote in the Presidential election for up to five years after the’ve left the ‘shamrock shore’.

This proposal appears to be aimed at the young Irish who, in the words of Tánaiste Mary Coughlan, go overseas to enjoy themselves, or in search of work or other adventures. The presumption is that these people will come back sooner or later and the extension of the franchise to them is intended as a signal that we want them back.

The proposal is an acknowledgement that ‘our out of sight, out of mind’ attitude to our exiles in the past wasn’t the best way of maintaining the link between those who left and those who were left.

But the report in the Irish Times last weekend was silent on one aspect of this issue.   If we’re prepared to allow the Irish who emigrate to far distant shores to vote, then surely we will allow those who live as our neighbours on this island to have a say?  The question was neither addressed nor answered in the newspaper report.

If it were in the FG document, I’m sure it would have been mentioned in the Paper of Record.  The very notion of northerners having a vote in southern elections is so unthinkable to many in southern Irish society that it was for this reason, I assumed, it wasn’t included in the report.

There’s a clear ‘us and them’ division on the island of Ireland.  As much as we love the people from the ‘wee north’, and we’d give them a vote in a talent contest or the ‘shirt off our backs’, can we make a bit of space for them in this small if symbolic way?

Back in 1998, we voted in overwhelming numbers in an all Ireland vote for the Good Friday Agreement.   Down south we thought we were voting for the abolition of Articles 2 and 3 which claimed jurisdiction over the north – but there was a lot more to it than that.

The Agreement guaranteed the option of Irish citizenship – and British nationality – to the inhabitants of the north.  It’s this very provision which allows the FAI to identify talented young footballers from the north and to approach these players to see whether they will line out for Giovanni Trapattoni’s squad.  The Northern soccer administration is incensed by what it sees as our poaching of their best prospects and they have a right to be.  All the same, these young players want to play for the Republic in preference to the Northern Ireland team.  The experience of Neil Lennon, one time captain of Northern Ireland and Celtic legend, bears this out.  He called for an all Ireland soccer team, along the lines of our Grand slam winning all Ireland rugby champions – and received death threats from loyalists for his troubles.

So we’re in favour of peace and mutual understanding north of the border – but when it comes to living up to the ideals of the Good Friday Agreement in practical terms, we come up short down south.

The Fine Gael proposal on allowing emigrants the vote, albeit for a limited time, opens the door for a debate on this issue.   Let’s have it.

As it stands, the FG proposal creates a third class of Irish citizens.  The first class is the Irish citizen of voting age who lives in the 26 counties who has a vote in every election.  In the second class catergory comes the Irish citizen who is working ‘or enjoying him or herself’ abroad for five years or less who has a vote in Presidential elections on the home sod   And the third is the Irish citizen who lives in the north who, despite holding an Irish passport in which the Minister for Foreign Affairs asks foreign governments to respect the holder of the travel document, has no vote of any description.

This may have seemed like a good idea when Enda and his colleagues sat around to compile this document.  When this proposal was discussed, did anyone ask, to quote Michael McDowell in last Sunday’s Independent:  “”hold on a minute, Enda, what do you actually mean by this?”.

5 thuairim ar “Fimíneacht i leith na crichdheighilte….

  1. séamus Mac Seáin

    cad a dhéanfaimis gan thú a Choncubhair le muid a chur ag smaoineamh ar cheisteanna crua an tsaoil? Mar a dúirt an té a dúirt ” Is í slánú na Gaeilge Athgabháil na hÉireann agus is í Athgabháil na hÉireann slánú na Gaeilge” Murar slánú na Gaeilge an deireadh a bheadh le guth a bheith againn i saol polaitiúil na 26Co ní fiú an tairbhe an trioblóid a bheith á lorg dar liom. An gcuideodh sé le slánú na Gaeilge comhnascadh polaitiúil de chineál ar bith a bheith idir an dá stát béarlach atá againn ar an oilean seo i láthair na huaire? Ní shílim go gcuideodh agus ní fiú traithnín é aontú polaitiúil na tíre gan an Ghaeilge a bheith lárnach ann. Ní hionann agus a rá dar ndóigh nach bhfuil rudaí ann gur fiú comhoibriú a dhéanamh orthu. Córas Gaelscolaíocht i gcointinne thuaidh agus theas mar shampla. Córas Fóin i gcoitinne nó a bheith in inimhe airgead a mhálartú ó bhanc go banc gan útamáil mar atá faoi láthair. córas poist a bheith ann a ligfeadh domh litir a chur chuig mo mhac i gCorcaigh chomh saor céanna (tá a dhá oiread ar an stampa) agus a thig liom í a chur chuig mó iníon i Sasain nach bhfuil ar an oileán chéanna fiú amháin. Is ioma rud a thiocfadh a dhéanamh leis an oileán seo a aontú gan tracht ar chúrsaí polaitiúil ar chor ar bith ach dar ndóigh níl sé comh “gnéasúil” a bheith ag caint ar na rudaí sin i bhfaradh le “Lia Fáil” na haontachta polaitiúil.

    Freagra
  2. Concubhar O Liatháin

    Aontaím leat sa mhéid is go gcreidim gur ghá don Ghaeilge a bheith lárnach d’aontú pholatúil. Sin an rud ar mhaith liom. Ní gá gur mar sin a thitfidh amach, áfach.
    Bhí trath ann gur aontaigh mé leis an raiteas thuas ón gCadhnach. Tá an Ghaeilge ar an imeall anois agus tá sé suas do phobal na Gaeilge áit a bhaint amach i lár an Aonaigh arís. Ní féidir linn sin a dhéanamh gan comhghuailithe.
    Creidim go bhfuil an cheist atá á phlé san alt thuas tabhachtach cé acu an bhfuil an Ghaeilge ann nó nach bhfuil. Rud siombalach atá ann cinnte go mbeadh vóta ag Tuaisceartaigh (ComhÉireannaigh) i dtoghchán Uachtarántachta. Léann 1m+ an Sunday Indo gach seachtain – seans gur léigh cuid acu an alt sin inné agus go m’bhféidir go gcuirfidh sé FG ag smaoineamh ar a moladh
    Agus má eiríonn linn cluas a fháil don tuairim seo, gach seans go bhfaighimíd cluas d’ár n-achainí i leith na Gaeilge amach anseo. (Bhí alt agam ar an abhar sin san Indo an tseachtain seo chaite – alt a raibh cainteach ar SF gan amhras ach sin an hiumar atá orm na laethannta seo).
    Tá sé tabhachtach áit a bhaint amach don Ghaeilge san Aonach – de bhrí neamh eifeacht agus leithleasacht na n-eagrasaí Ghaeilge le blianta fada, bhí guth na Gaeilge ar an imeall. Is beag is féidir a bhaint amach ar an imeall -cé go bhfuil na smaointe is fearr le fáíl ann – gan an lár a bhogadh.

    Freagra
  3. séamus Mac Seáin

    níl mise i gcoinne seo a phlé ar an Indo nó in aon áit eile is mór an spórt é ach ní shílim go mbaineann sé le cur chun cinn na Gaeilge dubh bán nó riabhach agus sin an rud a bhfuil mé chuige. Dar liom go bhfuil neart comhgualaithe againn a Choncubhair ach muid leas a bhaint as. Gach Pobalbreith i ndiaidh a chéile léiríonn sé tacaíocht phobal na hÉireann don teanga ach tá sinne mar dhream de Ghaeilgeoirí ró thugtha do shiombalachas agus do dheontais le go nglacfadh an pobal dáiríre sinn. Dá mbeadh gach Gael atá fostaíthe in earnáil na Gaeilge sásta an teanga a thabhairt isteach ina shaol féin mar atá déanta agatsa bheadh linn ach go bhfuil muid go síoraí ag iarraidh ar gcearta ar an rialtas ach gan sinn an rud is loighiciúla agus is simplí a dhéanamh agus an teanga a fhí isteach inar saol féin. Sin é an dúshlan agus ní go mbeidh nó nach mbeidh vóta againn do Úachtarnacht na 26Co.

    Freagra
  4. Seosamh Ó Beirgin

    Is maith le feiceáil go bhfuil tú den dearcadh nach féidir le cearta vótaíochta sa toghchán uachtarántachta a síneadh chuig Tuaisceart Éireann gan é a shíneadh chuig an pobal uilig ann. Fós féin ní dócha go bhfuil sé críonna a leithéid de rud a dhéanamh. Tá cúpla fáthanna ann nach bhfuil sé críonna.

    Sa céad áit níl sé soiléir in aon chur go bhfuil éileamh an-mhór ann i measc náisiúntóirí an tuaiscirt dá leithéid, seachas b’fhéidir i measc suid a bhfuil ag iarraidh aontas polaitiúil leis an deisceart scun scan agus gan mhoill! Ní gá ach breathnú ar téarmaí Chomhaontú Aoine an Chéasta maraon le cuinsí eacnamaíochta, poilitióchta and socheolaíochta na tíre uilig chun a thuiscint nach mbeadh an t-aontas sin ann le píosa an-fhada fós. Baineann an uachtaránacht leis an stát ó dheas agus níl aon dul as sin.

    Freisin, níl aon giúmar i measc muintir an deiscirt dá leithéid. An t-aon mór-aidhm polaitíochta atá againn ó dheas anois ná fáil amach as an práiseach ina bhfuilimid tite (a bhuíochas dár baincéirí, “fiontraithe” agus gaimbíní uilig). Bhreathnófaí ar aon fheachtas chun an vóta uachtarántachta a sineadh ó thuaidh, bhreathnófaí air le ciniceas.

    An príomh fáth nach mbeadh sé críonna a leithéid de rud a dhéanamh ná go gcuirfeádh sé leis an teannas ó thuaidh, teannas nach bhfuil maolaithe go mór ó aimsir Chomhaontú Aoine an Chéasta. Más buan mo chuimhne, leagadh amach sa comhaontú sin na módhannna agus slíte chun go rachaidh an dhá chuid den tír i bpáirtí lena gcéile. Ba chóir dúinn,ar an dhá thaobh den teorann, cloígh le sin. I ndáiríre, aon iarracht chun tionchar na poblachta a scaoileadh isteach sa tuaisceart mar atá molta agat san alt san Indo bheadh sé i gcoinne spiorad an chomhaontaithe. Ní amháin sin ach d’fhéadfadh sé bheith contúirteach, an-chontúirteach ar fad.

    Freagra
  5. John

    I’m afraid I can’t speak or write Irish, but I read this article in the Sunday Independent and wanted to include it on the Newshound – http://www.nuzhound.com – but I can’t find it on the Independent.ie web site.

    Is there a reason it’s not available online?

    Freagra

Freagra

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