The revolution will be lip-dubbed

The revolution will be lip-dubbed

March 12, 2017 Blog 0 Comments

The revolution will be lip-dubbed

An tseachtain seo d’fhreastail mé ar trí h-imeacht Ghaeilge i mBéal Feirste.
Léacht le Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh, seoladh leabhráin ag Cnoc an Anfa agus ceiliúradh 20 bliain Aisling Ghéar.
Bhí mianach, ardmheanman agus dóchas an phobail Ghaeilge le sonrú ag an trí h-imeacht.
Tá meas ar athbheochan na Gaeilge i mBéal Feirste ar fud na hÉireann. Leoga, dearctar ar Bhéal Feirste mar phríomhchathair na Gaeilge in Éirinn.
Ní nach ionadh nuair a tchí tú an spiorad agus an lúchair a bhaineann le cainteoirí óga na teanga sin san fhíseán seo de cuid Nós.
Cé nach mbeadh bródúil as seóid mar sin a bheith ag pobal?
Ar an drochuair an dream sin a dhiúltaíonn do thaisce roinnte seo na Gaeilge.
Mar as siocair an droim láimhe a thug lucht an ’Ní hea’ do chomhaontaithe agus do gheallúintí a rinne siad, níl aon stádas oifigiúil ag an Ghaeilge sa Tuaisceart.
Samhlaigh seo: Tá an seasamh agus an stádas céanna — nó an easpa stádais — ag an Ghaeilge inniu agus a bhí aici i 1971 nuair a bunaíodh an chéad bhunscoil Ghaeilge i mBéal Feirste.
San idirlinn tá réabhlóid teanga i ndiaidh bláthú sa Tuaisceart.
Tá daoine ann ar mhaith leo an clog a thiontú siar ach is chun tosaigh atá pobal na Gaeilge ag triall.
Ní seo 1969. Seo 2017. Tá sé thar am Acht Teanga a bheith againn.

This week, I attended three uplifting Irish language events.
A lecture by revered academic Gearóid Ó Tuataigh from Galway, a book launch to mark Seachtain na Gaeilge in Stormont and the celebration of professional theatre company Aisling Ghéar’s 20th birthday.
The generosity, confidence and sheer genius of the Irish language community was on show at each event.
The stunning Irish language revival of Belfast is a cause of inspiration across Ireland. Indeed Belfast is viewed as our Irish language capital.
And you can see why from the exuberance and ebullience of the young pupils of Coláiste Feirste in this lip-dub (by Nós) created in their 700-pupil Falls Road school.
Who wouldn’t be busting with pride at the beauty and brilliance of the achievements of these young people?
Sadly, those who continue to rail against an Irish language Act and who refuse to accept the Irish language as a wonderful gift for all of our community.
The ‘No’ people who are refusing to honour international agreements and solemn promises made to end discrimination against Irish speakers.
Imagine this: the Irish language has the same status — or non-status — in terms of government administration today as it had in 1971 when the first Irish medium school was established in Belfast.
In the period since, Belfast has enjoyed a miraculous linguistic revolution and cultural awakening. Yet, amazingly, Irish has absolutely no official status in the North of Ireland.
Those who want to turn back the clock to 1971 should know that the Irish language community will not be turned back.
This isn’t 1971. It’s 2017. And that’s way past time we had an Irish Language Act which reflects the reality of the rich and diverse society we cherish.

You got me in trouble with my post-election blog.
Not everyone agrees that my reference to Bright Side of the Road People — those who voted for change –  was inclusive enough of the unionist community.
Fair point. (Especially when that point is made by someone as highly regarded as our friend and community leader in East Belfast Maurice Kinkaid.)
So to be clear to the elected representatives of unionism who still refuse to accept the case for justice and equality for all: there’s a golden bridge available to you at any time to cross over to join those of us who celebrate diversity, fraternity, equality and liberty for all.
In the meantime, let’s not let political divisions blind us to the fact that we are all — unionist, nationalist, dissenter, stranger, young, old — one beloved community.
On the bright side of the road, all the MLAs eat at the dining room table. If, however, you believe Muslims, or gays, or Irish speakers should eat in the kitchen, then, with respect, that’s not how we treat each other on the bright side of the road. We find that’s not only the right thing to do, it also makes our city stronger.
Anyhow, our controversy made the TV. Here’s a clip from BBC’s The View.

This is my last Election story and it’s by way of a thank you.
I heard last night of a young man from South Belfast working in Dublin who belted up the road in his car to vote on the election morning, arriving in time for his mother’s hot breakfast. At the polling station, however, he learnt he didn’t have the correct ID.
So he jumped in his car and drove to Dublin to pick up his passport, turned around and made the journey back to the polling station to vote for me.
Which sort of tells you all you need to know about the recent election.
Go raibh maith agat, a Ruairí.

About the Author

Máirtín Ó Muilleoir

Máirtín Ó Muilleoir is the outgoing Sinn Féin MLA for South Belfast and a civic activist in Belfast.