This is an article I found on another web group dedicated to Ireland taken from this site www.openrepublic.org
I think the tone is very negative and plain nasty! see the bottom for the contributors! I could even vouch to you the name of the author by looking at the names of the contributors!
Erin Go Bragh - But in English Please
Ireland's opposition parties proposed a motion in the Dáil (Irish parliament) in February that the Irish language, the "official" language of Ireland, should become an official EU language as well. The EU already has 20 official languages, but don't be fooled by the temptation to add just one more. Even the smallest EU languages, like Maltese, Estonian, and Lithuanian are spoken by people who live in the real world. Irish - or Gaelic - is the tongue of a country inhabiting a dream-world - in other words a country that doesn't exist.
Here are the facts: Most of the native-born population of Ireland can't understand the language of their road signs. They can't understand the language of the document that is the guarantor of their basic human rights, the Constitution - the English is just a translation. They can't understand the English meaning of the Gaelic names of the state agencies that spend their money. Tens of thousands have been denied education and employment for which they were entirely suited because a language that the law tells them is theirs and no one else's is alien to them.
For most Irish people compulsory Irish language lessons in schools are their first experience of the state's pervasive policy of promoting "native" Irish culture. All pupils take Irish language classes right up to the end of secondary level. Despite this effort, very few people are able to speak the language. And of those that can, even fewer actually do. The need to pass the Leaving Cert (final secondary level) Irish exam to get into most Irish universities and state jobs has blighted thousands of lives.
But the damage doesn't end there. The Irish-language regime has fostered an ethnocentric definition of culture that has relegated non-indigenous and Anglo-Irish culture to second-class status. The de facto reality-including the reality that most of what is worthy about the real culture of Ireland has its origin in Britain, Continental Europe and the U.S.-has been wished away. This reality, which also includes what Ireland has exported, is our real heritage.
By using the educational system and official "arts" policy to colonize the minds of generations of Irish with a pseudo-aboriginal ethnicity, the promoters of this policy have replaced what would have been a real culture with a fake culture. This is why so many people in Ireland know nothing of our British, American and European cultural heritage. It's why even graduates are happy with the dumbed-down assumption that street theatre and public drinking are Ireland's answer to Shakespeare and Dante. It explains the persistence of the "plastic Paddy" version of Ireland that has escaped from Airport Duty Free shops and has, in recent years, spread through Ireland itself. Thus, Irish life has come to imitate a parody of itself.
The policy has detached the Irish language from reality in three ways. As the "official language of Ireland," it is a signifier of high-office and a currency of state occasions-elegant but fossilized. Secondly it has become an Esperanto for people living off Byzantine language-grant and social schemes in state-created pseudo culture-homelands-Gaeltacht areas. Thirdly, it has become a great "arts" white elephant surrounded by modish, media-savvy, café-intellectual types who lose no opportunity to pretentiously inflate the language as "fashionable" and "European." The trouble is that the public art that derives from this policy is more schlock than slick.
The promotion of "native" culture is driven by cultural nationalism. As a political force, cultural nationalism broke out all over Europe in the 1920s and 1930s-when Fascism, Nazism and Irish Nationalism spawned myths that Europe's nations had once been racially and culturally pure and that this purity could be regained through state intervention. In Germany intervention meant mass murder and war. In Ireland it meant, in addition to unofficial IRA terrorism, official measures to change the everyday spoken language from English to Irish. This wasn't as nasty as mass extermination. But it was just as preposterous. Also, old scores could be settled-against Jews, homosexuals and, in Ireland, Protestants. There was no better way of ethnically cleansing Ireland of "West-Brits" than to make the language compulsory in schools and for state jobs.
Cultural nationalism is still a powerful enough faith to ensure that, not only is the native-culture-first policy still in place, but that anyone questioning it can expect to be treated with contempt by many of his fellow (non-Irish-speaking) Irish. The traditional accusation has been that we critics are "West British." But "West British" is also a disparaging term for Protestants living in the Republic. Ireland may have been cut by Protestantism in the past but Protestant secular culture has, for nearly 500 years, been a main driver of Western civilization. To block our window on this culture is, quite simply, to plunge us into darkness.
Enshrined in Ireland's state arts and education apparatus, cultural nationalism is still a vital force. As recently as 2000 an Irish language TV station was launched. This has been a bottomless well for tax-payers' money with few viewers to show for it. Then we have the production of wholly unread Irish-language versions of every conceivable government document. This last policy is not a legacy of some long-dead politician. An "Official Languages Act," requiring every public document to have an Irish version, was voted through the Dáil only last year. Making Irish an official EU language will spread this madness to Brussels. The EU will have to hire around 150 new translators and interpreters and produce millions of pages of decisions, opinions, regulations, directives and recommendations in the Irish language. But there will be a new, surreal, twist. Nearly every Irish MEP will require any documents or speeches originating in Irish to be translated back in to English so they can read them.
The solution is simple. Irish cultural nationalism needs to be killed off by refuting its core claim - that the state and those arts and culture organizations to which the state is patron, are the keepers of the essence of Ireland's artistic achievement - and that that essence is mediated through Gaelic. For decades the Cultural Nationalist high-priests have stood between us and our true culture. Now they are trying to stand between us and Europe. It's time to cut them out.
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