Monday, 21 January 2008

Pol O'Muiri: Edwin Poots kaj la Irlandalingvo

…de la Belfast Telelgraph:

It may be too cynical to suggest that Culture Minister Edwin Poots attended a GAA football match because it was a cheaper act of support to nationalists than spending money on the Irish language, but I will do it anyway.

Poots knocked an Irish-language Act on the head due to perceived expense and lack of cross-community appeal. He has not made any provision for the Irish Language Broadcast Fund which will run out of money in March 2009.

The fund does what it says on the tin - provides some much-needed money for the production of television programmes.

It is not the money hole that a language act might be and it does not offend anyone's sensibilities. Disgusted Loyalist can just as easily turn off the television as Disinterested Nationalist.

It could be that Poots has swallowed the Sinn Féin line that the language is theirs - after all they and their supporters in the language lobby push it often enough.

However, in the case of the broadcast fund, Poots could not be any more wrong.

If anything, this is the language sector that is least dominated by Shinners.

Ironically, much work is commissioned from English-language production companies who employ Irish speakers, often on a temporary basis.

The lack of funds will undermine an area where non-aligned Irish speakers actually had half a chance of making a living and, just as importantly, offered a more rounded view of what interests and entertains Irish speakers.

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