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Tóibín expresses disappointment at Paul Williams comments on Irish language

22 September, 2016


Sinn Féin spokesperson on the Irish language, Peadar Tóibín TD has expressed disappointed regarding comments made by broadcaster Paul Williams on the Irish language yesterday morning. These comments followed allegations that a referee last weekend urged Gaelic football players not to speak Irish, despite being in a Gaeltacht region.

Deputy Tóibín said:

“I am disappointed by comments made by Paul Williams yesterday morning as regards the Irish language. While we are all entitled to our opinion, and Mr Williams made known his support for the referee’s alleged decision, to claim that Irish speakers are extremist is an insult.  

“It’s well known that Paul Williams has anti-republican views, but this is our national language and he needs to respect that. Mimicking a German accent on the national airwaves to convey the supposed fundamentalist nature of Gaeilgeoirí is a totally unfair representation of Irish speakers and undermines the inclusivity and passion that the vast majority of Irish language speakers have in sharing our native tongue. 

“The alleged incident regarding the football match is also very concerning and comes only weeks after a barman from the Gaeltacht was effectively forced to leave his job in Cork city for speaking Irish. 

“It is clear that much work is to be done to protect the Irish language from attack from a legislative point of view. We need to introduce Acht na Gaeilge as a matter of urgency. We also need to challenge the tired attitudes of those who proudly declare their disdain for both Irish and Irish speakers. These opinions do not reflect the reality of the vibrant Irish speaking community and the positive benefits that arise from speaking our native tongue.” 

Díomá ar Pheadar Tóibín TD maidir le ráiteas Paul Williams ar an nGaeilge 

Léirigh urlabhraí Shinn Féin ar an nGaeilge, Peadar Tóibín, a chuid díomá maidir le ráiteas a rinne an t-iriseoir agus craoltóir Paul Williams ar an nGaeilge ar maidin. Lean an ráiteas líomhaintí gur chuir réiteoir ag cluiche peile iachall ar imreoirí gan Gaeilge a labhairt, in ainneoin gur i nGaeltacht a bhí an cluiche. 

Dúirt an Teachta Tóibín:

“Tá díomá orm ó thaobh an ráitis a rinne Paul Williams ar maidin maidir leis an nGaeilge. Cé go bhfuil sé de cheart ag gach duine a chuid tuairimí a phlé, agus gur thacaigh Paul Williams le cine an réiteora, mar dhea, tá sé thar a bheith maslach a rá gur ghrúpa antoisceach iad lucht labhartha na Gaeilge.

“Is í an Ghaeilge ar dteanga náisiúnta agus ba chóir go mbeadh níos mó measa aige uirthi, in ainneoin a chuid tuairimí frith-phoblachtacha. Níl sé ceart nó cóir go ndearna sé aithris ar chanúint Ghearmánach ar an raidió, le cur in iúl don lucht éisteachta chomh hantoisceach is atá Gaeilgeoirí. Déannann an cineál dearcaidh seo beag is fiú ar thromlach lucht labhartha Gaeilge atá paiseanta faoin dteanga. 

“Is cúis imní freisin iad na líomhaintí seo agus iad sna sála ar an scéal gur fhág fear óg a phost i mbeáir I lár Chathair Chorcaí toisc nach raibh an t-úinéir sásta go raibh Gaeilge á labhairt aige ann.   

“Is léir go bhfuil an-chuid le déanamh chun an Ghaeilge a chosaint ó thaobh reachtaíochta de. Caithfidh an rialtas Acht na dTeangacha Oifigiúla a fhoilsiú gan mhoill. I dtaca leis sin, is gá dúinn dul i ngleic leis an dearcadh sean-chaite atá acu siúd a chaitheann anuas ar an nGaeilge agus ar Ghaeilgeoirí. Tagann na tuairimí seo salach ar bheocht agus ar bheatha phobal na Gaeilge agus na buntáistí uile a ghabhann lenár dteanga dúchasach a labhairt.” 

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