Thursday, 8 October 2009

Scott de Buitléir

…de Scott de Buitléir:

A recent article by Eithne Shortall in the Irish edition of The Sunday Times newspaper caused concern for Irish-language writers, as apparently only “76 copies” were sold between a number of Irish-language writers, despite a total of €74,000 in grants being given to them.

While the article can be read on the website (with my response available on my Irish-language blog) it seems that the information that Ms. Shortall has was incorrect. Having posted my response on ‘Dialann Scott,’ I soon received an e-mail from Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh, one of the writers mentioned in Ms. Shortall’s article. According to Ní Ghearbhuigh, roughly 400 copies of her last publication, Péacadh, were sold within the last 12 months – 80% of the total number of copies published. It is apparent, in this case, that Ms. Shortall did not have all the figures required to write on such a topic.

So, is this a deliberate attempt to put Irish-language publishing in an unpleasant light? Possibly, but I’m going to give both the journalist and newspaper the benefit of the doubt. Maybe Ms. Shortall could not have gotten all the facts, but if this were the case, then the piece should have been neither written nor published. If the intention was, however, to paint Irish-language publishing in a bad light, then it was a very good attempt. Read the article for yourself and make your own decision.

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