Wednesday, 9 December 2009

“Triumfa Filistreco”?

…de Irish Independent:

From last Friday, all new housing developments in Dublin, by law, must be named solely in Irish. Dublin City Council, which in a decade of persistent and triumphant philistinism has undone so much of the history of the city, is now reaching its triumphant apogee: we can now pretend the capital is Irish-speaking by naming places in Irish.

This will change nothing, any more than awarding swimming badges to concrete blocks turns them into butterfly champions, but it does give the appearance of Baile Atha Cliath being Gaeilge agus Saor, Saor agus Gaeilge: and are appearances not the essence of modern Ireland?

Eight years ago, the city council abolished the name Dublin Corporation. This had been the legal name of the governing body of the capital city since 1601, but it had been the informal name of the city government since the Middle Ages. At the same time, ancient terms like 'alderman' and 'town clerk', were removed from the lexicon of the city council.

…The real underlying purpose is to make yet another genuflection towards the enduring white elephant of language restoration: for has not a legalistic veneration of the language been one of the primary default modes of Irish independence, no matter how worthless and unproductive such veneration has always been?

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