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The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 1999-2004 » 2004 (October-December) » Archive through November 11, 2004 » The Irish Times, 11.04.2004, Kevin Myers « Previous Next »

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Náid (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted From: 62.231.55.170
Posted on Thursday, November 04, 2004 - 01:07 am:   Edit Post Print Post

An Irishman's Diary
By Kevin Myers, The Irish Times, 11.04.2004



Luas means speed in Irish. If anything testifies to the moribundity of the Irish language, it is the misuse of Irish words as if they have no meaning to the plain listener - which they clearly don't. Because one thing that Luas is not is speedy. It is slow. You could just as easily call it "mall", which is Irish for slow. Did you know that? Probably not, writes Kevin Myers

Luas indulges in all the mythological gibberish that we are an Irish-speaking nation; calling the tram-lanes lána tram is a linguistic confection too risible for parody. On the trams themselves, a recorded female voice - well, I hope it's recorded: otherwise I've just discovered the world's most boring job - announces the name of each stop in Irish and English, and the Bluebell Industrial estate is rendered into a sonorous An Cloigín Gorm, as if there were legions of Bluebell-bound monoglot gaelgoirí aboard who wouldn't otherwise know that it's time to get off.

Of course, place-names are not translated in any other convention except the loony world of phoney Irishness. When in Paris we do not make sense of Longchamps, Champs Elysées or Notre Dame Cathedral only when they are translated into Long Fields, Elysian Fields, or Our Lady's Cathedral. The Bluebell Industrial Estate has absolutely no existence in Irish, and to render it thus is to provide abysmal proof of the essential bogusness of the Irish language project.

Naturally, this is not the only holy cow before which Luas abases itself: it is also prostrate before that other sacred heifer, the Red Cow roundabout - or, as we say in the first national tongue, An Bó Rua. It took Irish planning at its most inspired to mix the main route to Munster with the orbital route around Dublin, and then - by Jove! - to throw in the metropolitan tram-service also.

When Luas reaches An Bó Rua, you truly know how unLuas it is. Lots of lovely pauses as the Aer Bó Rua jumbo heads off to the Aran Islands, and then the Iarnród Bó Rua express heads off on its two-day journey to Mullingar, breaking down in a bog near Kinnegad, and then An Bó Rua Riverdance troupe circles the roundabout, followed of course by An Bó Rua GAA semi-final. And after An Bó Rua ladies mini-marathon is finished, the Luas resumes its journey in Dublin.

Journey time from Tallaght to the centre of Dublin is over 50 minutes - pretty much the same as the old-fashioned bus, which takes you on the tourist route through Drimnagh, Inchicore, and the Liberties. There is, however, a bus-lane on the Tallaght bypass, on which no one has ever seen a bus; and there is even supposedly an express bus from Tallaght into the city centre, presumably taking far less than 50 minutes to complete its journey - but then that express itself might be an urban myth. Nobody in Tallaght knows where it leaves from, or when - and if it uses the invariably empty bus-lane on the bypass, it uses Stealth technology to do so.

The return journey from the city was splendid fun and proof indeed that the instincts of Dublin Bus (Bus Áth Cliatha, don't you know) are imprinted in the molecules of the capital's streets. An electronic signal at Jervis Street tells passengers the waiting time for the next three trams - in this case, it was five minutes, 12 minutes, 20 minutes (approximately). The first tram's estimated time of arrival dropped to one minute, before dropping to "due".

Then it was back to four minutes, while the tram behind it was down to six, then five. Was the second tram trying to overtake the leader? And how? Using a pole-vault?

But then, the first tram was suddenly "due" again; giddy with excitement, we all aahed expectantly, before it went back to four minutes, with the second still at five. The race was on again! After about half an hour of this, what happened?

Of course, three trams arrived almost simultaneously, just like the old days.

We have spent zillions of doubloons on Luas. Why? Just what has been achieved by it which could not have been achieved by creating dedicated bus-lanes using a few pots of paint and a bit of common sense?

Yet common sense is precisely what we have been lacking in the provision of the most basic elements of urban transport in the capital.

For example, the bus-lane down the quays from Heuston Station halfway along its length ceases to be a bus-lane to admit traffic from the left. At which point, predictably, interminable delays result, and the bus becomes a stationary waiting room.

So why is the bus-lane not contra-rotational against main traffic-flow, and lying directly alongside the Liffey on the right hand side of the road and uninterrupted in both directions?

Alternatively, still using the river bank option, Dublin Bus could use buses with doors on the right-hand side.

They're quite easy to find, you know; they apparently abound in a place called mainland Europe.

Buses can go anywhere: the trams on our two Luas lines are not even compatible with one another - an organisational feat which is certainly the match of the Red Cow roundabout.

Needless to say, the northern and western suburbs of the capital have benefited in no sense whatever in all our transport initiatives, while the southside, and its northside colonies - Clontarf, Sutton and Howth - now have the DART and/or Luas.

But now I've done Luas: next time I go into Dublin, I go by car.
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Aonghus
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Username: Aonghus

Post Number: 362
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Thursday, November 04, 2004 - 04:23 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Spare us this bore. Kevin Myers has a myopic obsession with Irish, which he claims nobody speaks. Any public use of Irish causes him to foam at the mouth and rant as he does above.

A minor note: "luas" is indeed the Irish for speed. But it is not the Irish for fast.

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Ó_diocháin
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Username: Ó_diocháin

Post Number: 37
Registered: 09-2004
Posted on Thursday, November 04, 2004 - 06:35 am:   Edit Post Print Post

A chairde,
In addition to agreeing entirely with Aonghus, I'd just like to point out an error of fact in KM's rant.
Dúirt se "Place-names are not translated in any other convention except the loony world of phoney Irishness."
Perhaps our friend should try a wee visit to Barcelona. Place names tranlsated all over the Metro, for example, and indeed native speakers of Catalan and Castillian happily using their own linguistic form to refer to these places.
Slán beo!
Chris

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Seosamh Mac Muirí (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted From: 193.1.100.102
Posted on Thursday, November 04, 2004 - 06:41 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Tagaim le hAonghus a Náid. B'fhearr liom gan gabháil sa Phuiteachas go luath ar maidin ná go mall tráthnóna, ná idir eatarthu! Ní fiú a bheith leis in aon chor.

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Aonghus
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Username: Aonghus

Post Number: 367
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Thursday, November 04, 2004 - 07:56 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Errors of fact are common in KM's rants. He is imprisoned in a monoglot cage of his own making.

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Fear_na_mbróg
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Username: Fear_na_mbróg

Post Number: 229
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Thursday, November 04, 2004 - 08:32 am:   Edit Post Print Post

"An Cloigín Gorm" is not the Irish for "Bluebell Industrial Estate".

It is however the Irish for "Bluebell", which makes perfect sense.

Cloigín = Bell
Gorm = Blue

And I would presume that the Irish name preceeded the English name.

As for industrial estate, : eastát tionsclaíoch

Bluebell Industrial Estate : Eastát Tionsclaíoch an Chloigín Ghoirm

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Diarmo
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Username: Diarmo

Post Number: 64
Registered: 08-2004


Posted on Thursday, November 04, 2004 - 08:55 am:   Edit Post Print Post

http://myhome.iolfree.ie/~damplands/bluebell.html
''It got its name from Blue Bell Tavern which no longer exists.
There is a medieval ruined church in the Bluebell cemetery.
Bluebell will be served by the LUAS light rail trams.

The Wolfe Tones come from Bluebell.''

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Natalie
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Username: Natalie

Post Number: 52
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Thursday, November 04, 2004 - 04:19 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

From the articles I have read on this site, I'm starting to think I can become a very good journalist. Because I whine a lot and these people get paid to complain!

Natalie

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Diarmo
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Username: Diarmo

Post Number: 65
Registered: 08-2004


Posted on Friday, November 05, 2004 - 05:49 am:   Edit Post Print Post

People like Kevin Myers, Connor Cruise O Brien, Eoghan Harris have been whining in the same tone of voice for years..whats amazing is that they get any readers at this stage..maybe you come add David Quinn and some other plonkers to this Irish neo-Con list though they are really old-con!!

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Batman
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Username: Batman

Post Number: 3
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2004 - 12:26 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Plonkers is exactly the word.
Dont forget Ruth Dudley Edwards either mo chara,that hateful piece of so and so.
These people are West-Brits who mostly come from Backrock and D4 and think that the world revolves around Dublin 4 and themselves.They think they are the best thing since sliced bread but in reality no one ever listens to them.

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Rebecca (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted From: 213.202.130.192
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2004 - 12:40 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Unfortunately people obviously do listen to them or you wouldn't be discussing them!

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Batman
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Username: Batman

Post Number: 6
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2004 - 01:47 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I'd disagree.I think people would read their articles etc but would not neccesarally listen to them and take their opinions to heart.
Whether thats being pedantic or not I dont know?

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Rebecca (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted From: 213.202.130.192
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2004 - 02:26 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

If you read their articles you're listening to what they're saying, you might not necessarily agree with what they say but you're still listening.

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Poblachtach
Member
Username: Poblachtach

Post Number: 41
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2004 - 03:51 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Isnt this a clear example of what is termed the Stockholm syndrome , whereby people who are taken over and disempowered by another group eventually become so self-hating to the point of arguing there captors case in a more forceful manner than the captors themselves. Or ,yes , in the words of someone above , West-Brits , a slimy species that makes my blood boil. go gcuire siad isteach ar a thoin fein!

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Diarmo
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Username: Diarmo

Post Number: 66
Registered: 08-2004


Posted on Monday, November 08, 2004 - 08:45 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I prefer the title neo-cons or even the term revionists the old titles are a bit too nasty to be used-we don't want to sink to their level after all do we?...

They have considerable power since the Sunday Times and the Sunday Independent are the two main Sunday papers here..worryingly these are bought by middle class readers with a small minority reading Sunday Tribune etc...People do get their opinions from these sort of people

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Alevans
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Username: Alevans

Post Number: 145
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Monday, November 08, 2004 - 10:42 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Diarmo: "They have considerable power since the Sunday Times and the Sunday Independent are the two main Sunday papers here..worryingly these are bought by middle class readers with a small minority reading Sunday Tribune etc...People do get their opinions from these sort of people"

Interesting. Considering only their writing style and their editorial posturing from a US perspective, their editorials sound like they're out of some small-town newspaper in some particularly "twittish" area of the country. Obviously, the subject matter would be different.

I don't believe they would get much attention at all here, nationally, and their superior attitude alone would place them solidly in the category of "lunatic fringe".

--Al Evans

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Diarmo
Member
Username: Diarmo

Post Number: 67
Registered: 08-2004


Posted on Monday, November 08, 2004 - 11:23 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Mr Eoghan Harris is popular enough to keep his column in the Sindo-see yesterday's diatribe below! He can simultaneously attack nationalists in the north and in the Republic and people against the war by calling them all trotskites!!His worst ones attack the govt and anybody not Unionist here in Ireland!!

http://www.unison.ie/irish_independent/stories.php3?ca=36&si=1283247&issue_id=11 662

Free registration required

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(Unregistered Guest)
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Posted From: 213.202.158.253
Posted on Tuesday, November 09, 2004 - 06:53 am:   Edit Post Print Post

By the way I just wanted to say that Connor Cruise O'Brien has nothing against the Irish Language, he sent all his children to an irish speaking school so they would have fluent Irish. I think he has a broad view of things that may be perceived incorrectly...but he does love the Irish language



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