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15 Apr 2014

image1Bhí breis agus 50 Gael as Ard Mhacha in éineacht leis na mílte ar mhórshúil ar shráideanna Bhéal Feirste Dé Sathairn le cosaint agus cur chun cinn na Gaeilge a éileamh. Bhí rannpháirtithe ann ó áiteanna chomh fada ar shiúl le Gaillimh, le Dún na nGall agus le Baile Átha Cliath agus thosaigh siad ag an Chultúrlann i gCeathrú Gaeltachta Bhéal Feirste agus rinne sé a bhealach trí lár na cathrach chuig an cheannscríbe ag Cearnóg Theach an Chustaim.  Bhí mórchuid de na rannpháirtithe ag caitheamh éadaí dearga nó d’iarr lucht eagraithe an mhórshúil ar rannpháirtithe a thaispeáint go raibh siad ‘Dearg le Fearg’. Cuireadh críoch leis an mhórshúil le roinnt óráidí spreagúla ón ardán ag éileamh comhionannais do Ghaeilgeoirí sa reachtaíocht agus acmhainní cuí don Ghaeloideachas. Bhain an t-ollscaifte sult as an cheol a chuir JJ Ó Dochartaigh, daltaí Choláiste Feirste agus Éamon Ó Fagáin ar fáil.

Dúirt lucht eagraithe ‘An Lá Dearg’ gur socraíodh an mórshúil mar gheall ar an cháineadh a rinne an Eoraip ar an Fheidhmeannas i dtuaisceart na hÉireann as siocair nach raibh siad ag cur codanna áirithe de Chomhaontú Aoine an Chéasta i bhfeidhm.

“Níor chomhlíon polaiteoirí Stormont na gealltanais seo,” arsa na heagraithe áitiúla ó CAIRDE Teo agus cuireadh in iúl chomh maith nár cuireadh aon reachtaíocht i bhfeidhm go fóill leis an teanga a chosaint.

Shonraigh Caoimhe Ní Chathail, duine de choiste an fheachtais na héilimh a bhí Gaeilgeoirí an tuaiscirt ag iarraidh a fháil le tamall mhaith anuas:

image2“Tá pobal na Gaeilge ag iarraidh go gcuirfear Acht na Gaeilge i bhfeidhm láithreach nó tá sé geallta le fada an lá. Éilíonn muid córas ceart Gaeloideachais ón naíscoil chuig an iarbhunscoil agus chuig an tríú leibhéal. Ba mhaith linn acmhainní cuí do phobal na Gaeilge, rud atá ábhartha faoi láthair agus eagraíochtaí Gaeilge ag cailleadh maoinithe trí chiorruithe rialtais. Níl uainn ach go dtabharfar cosaint dhlíthiúil ar ár gcearta agus go gcuirtear na gealltanais a tugadh dúinn i bhfeidhm,” arsa sí.

Níos luaithe i mbliana, bhí breis agus 5,000 páirteach in agóid taobh amuigh de Theach Laighean i mBaile Átha Cliath ag iarraidh ar an rialtas níos mó tacaíocht a thabhairt don Ghaeilge. Tháinig an mórshúil i mBaile Átha Cliath sna sála ar chinneadh an Choimisinéara Teanga Seán Ó Cuirreáin éirí as. Dúirt Ó Cuirreáin go raibh sé le héirí as mar gheall ar “d(h)rochchinneadh i ndiaidh drochchinnidh” atá déanta ag an rialtas maidir leis an Ghaeilge ó tháinig sé isteach sa phost sa bhliain 2011. Dúirt sé chomh maith nach bliain maith a bhí sa bhliain 2012 don Ghaeilge.

D’eagraigh scátheagras de ghníomhaithe Gaeilge mórshúil an tSathairn. Dúirt urlabhra ón ghrúpa Fergal Mac Ionnrachtaigh go raibh siad ag teacht amach go láidir le cur in iúl do pholaiteoirí go mbeidh orthu beart a dhéanamh leis an Ghaeilge a chur chun cinn agus a chothú”.

Dúirt LeasUachtarán Aontas na Mac Léinn in Éirinn Feidhlim Seoighe go bhfuil an rialtas ar dhá thaobh an teorainn “ag ligint Gaeilgeoirí síos. Gan seirbhísí a chur ar fáil, is é atá a rá acu go bunúsach ná nach bhfuil tábhacht leis an teanga náisiúnta. Tá daoine óga ar fud na tíre ag máirseáil ar son thodhchaí na Gaeilge. Cearta daonna atá i gcearta teanga.”

Ba é CAIRDE Teo a d’eagraigh an dream as Ard Mhacha a d’fhreastail ar an mhórshúil agus léirsiú ag an deireadh seachtaine.

image4Over 50 Gaels from Armagh joined thousands of marchers on the streets of Belfast on Saturday last to call for increased protection and promotion of the Irish language. The well-supported march, which attracted participants from as far away as Galway, Donegal and Dublin, departed from An Chultúrlann in Belfast’s Gaeltacht Quarter and made its way through the city centre to its finishing point in Custom House Square.  The vast majority of participants were dressed in red in response to a call from organisers who encouraged participants to come ‘Dearg le Fearg’ (Red with Anger). The colourful rally ended with uplifting speeches from the stage in the Square calling for equal rights in legislation for Irish speakers and proper resources for Irish medium education. The huge crowds also enjoyed musical entertainment from JJ Ó Dochartaigh, Coláiste Feirste and Éamon Ó Fagáin.

Organisers of ‘An Lá Dearg’ (The Red Day) said the march had been prompted by criticism from Europe that the Northern Ireland Executive was not implementing certain parts of the Good Friday Agreement.

“These commitments have not been honoured by the politicians in Stormont,” local organisers from CAIRDE Teo said, noting that there has also been no legislation implemented to protect the language.

Campaign committee member Caoimhe Ní Chathail outlined the demands that Irish speakers in the North have been campaigning on for some time:

“The Irish language community is calling for immediate enactment of the long-promised rights-based Irish language act (Acht na Gaeilge). We demand a properly resourced Irish medium education system from pre-school through post-primary to third level. We are also seeking adequate resources for the Irish language community, which is particularly pertinent in the present time when established Irish language organisations are having their funding slashed by government cuts. We ask only for the legal protections of our rights and that the promises we have heard are made real in practice,” she added.

Earlier this year, over 5,000 people took part in a protest outside Leinster House, Dublin, calling for increased government support for the Irish language. The Dublin march came in the wake of Language Commissioner (Coimisinéir Teanga) Seán Ó Cuirreáin announcing his decision to resign. Ó Cuirreáin said the move was due to “bad decision after bad decision” made by government in relation to the Irish language since he took office in 2011, and later referred to 2012 as ‘not a vintage year’ for the language.

image3Saturday’s protest was organised by an umbrella group of Irish language activists. Spokesperson Fergal Mac Ionnrachtaigh said that they are “coming out strongly to say that the politicians have to start acting on what it is we’re looking for when it comes to Irish language promotion and support”.

 Vice President of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) Feidhlim Seoighe said that governments on both sides of the border are “letting the Irish speakers of the country down. By not providing services through Irish, they are essentially putting out the message that our National Language has no importance. Young people across the country are marching for the future of the Irish Language. Language rights are Human Rights.”

 The Irish language contingent from Armagh who attended the weekend’s march and demonstration was organised by local Irish language campaign group CAIRDE Teo.