23. “From Language Revival to Survival”

Tá macalla smaointeoireacht Fennell le fáil i scríbhneoireacht Dhonncha Uí Éallaithe, gníomhaí pobail agus teanga a bhfuil cónaí air i bparóiste an Chnoic i gConamara Theas.

San aiste “From Language Revival to Survival” a foilsíodh i 2004, léirigh sé a thuairim gur theip ar athbheochan na Gaeilge, “because it was an aspiration rather than a realistic objective”i.

“Whatever angle one looks at it, it has to be admitted that the Revival of the Irish Language has been a failure,” a scríobh sé.

An Spidéal
An bhfuil muid an cur amú ama ag cur na Gaeilge chun cinn taobh thoir den chomhartha seo?

Bhí sé den tuairim gurb é aisling na hAthbheochana a bhí ina bhac ar rud a bhí inbhainte amach, maireachtáil na Gaeilge:

“The retreat of the State from the official policy of reviving or restoring Irish, has opened the door to the more realisable project of language maintenance, not just in the Gaeltacht but within minority networks of Irish speakers, who wish to use Irish in the family home, at work, at play, for cultural expression and for socialising.

Is ar ghluaiseacht na Gaeilge a chuir sé cuid den locht:

“The problem with the Irish language movement it still hangs on to the utopian aim of restoration. The latest example of the Irish language movements propensity for the pursuit of wild dreams, is the Stádas campaign for recognition of Irish as a working language within the EU, in the vague hope that a status in the corridors of Brussels denied it in the corridors of Merrion St., might save the Irish language from extinction.”

Ní dócha gur mhaígh aon duine go sábhálfadh stádas oifigiúil don Ghaeilge san Eoraip an Ghaeilge sa bhaile agus ar ndóigh, d’éirigh le feachtas Stádas amach is amach, agus tá gréasáin de Ghaeilgeoirí ag cur fúthu sa Bhruiséil anois mar thoradh air (féach thíos).

“Whatever angle one looks at it, it has to be admitted that the Revival of the Irish Language has been a failure.”

Donncha Ó hÉallaithe

Dar le Ó hÉallaithe, ba é bunús na teipe ná nach raibh fonn ar phobail ghalldaithe tiontú ar an Ghaeilge ar chor ar bith, tá cuma ar an scéal gur cheistigh sé an coincheap ar bhonn morálta lena chois:

“To change the language of Kilkerrin in East Galway to Irish would have done as much violence to that community’s cultural life, as changing the language of Cill Chiaráin in Conamara from Irish to English.”ii

Fiú dá mba rud é nárbh amhlaidh sin, bhí sé den tuairim nach féidir an cineál aistriú teanga sin a bhaint amach cibé ar bith:

“There are examples of Irish speaking communities within which language shift was arrested but there are no examples of Irish being restored as the main language of any community, after language change had taken place. Rath Chairn is the only example of a geographical area becoming mainly Irish speaking.”

Is dóigh liom go ndéanfadh muintir Bhóthar Seoighe, Árd Barra fiú, cás ar a son féin a bheith curtha san áireamh in éineacht le Ráth Cairn, más beag féin atá siad.

Ba é conclúid Uí Éallaithe ná gur chóir cúlú ó athbheochan na Gaeilge mar aidhm ar an ábhar nach bhfuil tacaíocht aige agus nach bhfuil sé réalaíoch, ar son gach iarracht a dhéanamh chun í a shábháil sa Ghaeltacht. Dar le Ó hÉallaithe, tá seachrán ar an “Irish Language Movement”iii, rud atá contúirteach don teanga fiú:

“The danger that of such delusions is that the Government will waste scarce resources and energy on flogging the dead horse, while the wounded horse continues to weaken. A large dose of realism, peppered with guidance from available expertise in language maintenance, would redirect the effort to one of consolidating what exists of an Irish language community in Ireland, both inside and outside the Gaeltacht.”iv

Scríobh Ó hÉallaithe go bhfuil ‘athbheochan’ na Gaeilge díreach dodhéanta agus gurbh ionann bás na Gaeilge sa Ghaeltacht agus bás na teanga:

“On the other hand if we continue to believe in the illusion that Irish can be ‘revived’ or ‘restored’ in communities where it has ceased to be used as a language of the community, then the likelihood is that Irish becomes a language of a dispersed band of well meaning zealots… that will not be enough to classify it as a living language, being transmitted organically from one generation to the next.”v

i Ó hÉallaithe (2004).

ii Ó hÉallaithe (2004).

iii Caithfear a lua nach bhfuil ann eagraíocht ann dar teideal the “Irish Language Movement” nó “Gluaiseacht na Gaeilge” cé go mbaintear úsáid as an téarmaíocht sin ó am go ham.

iv Ó hÉallaithe (2004).

v Ó hÉallaithe (2004).

Aon tuairim amháin ar “23. “From Language Revival to Survival”

  1. is léir go n-aontaîonn Rialtas na Poblachta le Donncha agus nach fiú aon rud fiúntach a dhéanamh ar son na Gaeilge taobh istigh nó taobh amuigh den Ghaeltacht. Tá go leor ” intleachtóirí ” sa tír a shîleann ach iad an droch scéal a inse minic go leor go léimfidh slua de lucht tarrthala nGaeilge le sinn a fhúascáil ón chúnglach ina bhfuil muid. Dar leat go bhfuil siad a tnúth leis an am a mbeith siad inmhe a rá ” I told ye so”

    Moladh

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