24. ‘The Broken Harp’

Duine eile a scríobh, go paiseanta, i gcoinne Athbheochan na Gaeilge mar aidhm ag eagraíochtaí Gaeilge nó ag an stát ná Tomás Mac Síomóin, údar a bhfuil cónaí air sa Chatalóin le fada an lá.

Arís eile, is léir go bhfuil sé féin faoi thionchar Fennell. Ba é tuairim Mhic Shíomóin nach tábhachtach le tromlach na ndaoine in Éirinn cás na Gaeilge, gan trácht ar a bheith ag iarraidh í athbheochan:

“For a tiny minority, the ability to speak Irish Gaelic ‘the first official language of the Republic of Ireland, is at the core of its Irishness. However, the majority of present-day Irish citizens probably feel that the ability to speak Irish, which many may even see, paradoxically, as being foreign, can no longer be a defining national characteristic. Their Irishness is expressed fully and completely through English…

Chan amháin sin, cuireann sé cuid den locht ar “”official” language revivalists”, “serious Irish language activists need to be aware of tendencies rooted in the practice of their movement to date that have vitiated the possibility of successful language revival,” a scríobh sé:

“So, it is past time to abandon the wasteful, futile and all but Sisyphean task of trying to convert the bulk of a thoroughly Anglophone population into Irish-speaking bilinguals, and to direct with desperate urgency-it may be already too late-all future resources and effort into more productive channels if the language is to have any hope of survival.”

“Paradoxically, the only area in Ireland in which a significant resurrection of communal Irish occurred as a result of community activism, is outside the jurisdiction of the 26-county Irish State: the Shaw’s Road area of Belfast, where a small urban Gaeltacht bucks, heroically, the overall linguistic trend.”

An Chultúrlann
An Chultúrlann i mBéal Feirste – an bhfuil a leithéid ina bhealach chun cinn don teanga. Griangraf leis an Chultúrlann.

Mar sin, bhí Mac Síomóin ar son “Éire Ghaelach” mar aidhm a thréigean ar son straitéis nua a dhéanfadh na hacmhainní atá ar fáil don teanga a dhíriú go hiomlán orthu sin atá tiomanta chun an Ghaeilge a labhairt.

Bhí sé ar son ‘circles’ de lucht labhartha na Gaeilge a bhunú ar fud na Éireann, bheadh an-bhéim ar chúrsaí oideachais ag tús an fheachtais.

Aidhm eile a bheadh ag an fheachtas ná ionaid chultúrtha a bhunú – ar nós na Cultúrlainne i mBéal Feirstei. Ní bheadh i mbunú na gciorcal ach an chéad chéim agus ghlacfadh sé an-chuid ama chun dul chun cinn a dhéanamh, dar leis.

“Paradoxically, the only area in Ireland in which a significant resurrection of communal Irish occurred as a result of community activism, is outside the jurisdiction of the 26-county Irish State: the Shaw’s Road area of Belfast, where a small urban Gaeltacht bucks, heroically, the overall linguistic trend.”

Tomás Mac Síomóin

Luaigh sí sprioc an-uaillmhianach leis, cé go bhfuil fíor-bheagán dóchais aige féin go dtarlódh sé, é den tuairim nach bhfuil i mbunús na nGaeilgeoirí in Éirinn ach lucht caitheamh aimsire:

“The culmination of this strategy, after some years of consolidation, would be the evolution of this pioneering core of linked networks into a substantial Irish-language minority within the State – 20% of the population could be an ultimate goal.”

Títear dom gurb é an rud atá á mholadh aige ná aithris a dhéanamh ar ghluaiseacht na Gaeilge ó thuaidh, nó cuid de, ar fud na hÉireann. Ar ndóigh, ní raibh athbheochan na Gaeilge mar aidhm ag Tuaisceart Éireann, agus don chuid is mó dá stair bhí an stát ann naimhdeach don Ghaeilge.ii

i Tá sé de nós ag lucht labhartha na Gaeilge ó thuaidh díriú ar ionaid a bhunú mar áiteanna gur féidir buaileadh le chéile chun an teanga a labhairt, a theagaisc agus chun imeachtaí a reáchtáil ann. Is nós é seo a théann siar i bhfad siar go tús na 1950í nuair a rinneadh institiúid lán-Ghaeilge as Cumann Chluain Árd. Tá anois tuairim air 14 ionad de shaghas éigin le fáil i dTuaisceart Éireann inniu. Tá leithéidí Club an Chonartha i mBaile Átha Cliath agus Club Áras na nGael i nGaillimh ann ó dheas ach bhí buntáiste ar leith ag na hUltaigh le blianta anuas mar gheall ar an Chiste Infheistíochta Gaeilge. Féach http://www.ciste.ie/

ii Féach Andrews (1997).

Aon tuairim amháin ar “24. ‘The Broken Harp’

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