28. “Scéimeanna Pobal”

Más radacach smaointeoireacht Uí Chadhain, Uí Shé agus Mhic Sheáin, cuir i gcás, bhí rud éigin iontach cosúil leis ina pholasaí rialtais ó dheas, sna 1980í, trí Bhord na Gaeilge.

Déanta na fírinne, chuir Joshua Fishman an-spéis sna ‘Scéimeanna Pobail’ seo a bhí molta ag an Bhord. Sé phobal phleanáilte in oirthear na tíre a bhí i gceist, beirt acu i mBaile Átha Cliath, pobail inarbh fhéidir le cainteoirí líofa Gaeilge teacht le chéile chun cónaí iontu.

Bóthar Seoighe
Bóthar Seoighe i mBéal Feirste, mar a bhíodh tráth.

Shíl Fishman go dtiocfadh lena leithéid ligean go “glúin a 2” tógáil ar obair “ghlúin a 1” agus iad a shárú fiú:

“What was envisaged was a number of newly planned communities where fluent speakers of Irish could concentrate, a planned expansion of the prior tendency for urban ‘revivalist’ Irish speakers to cluster residentially roughly in the vicinity of an all-Irish school. In these planned (‘basic’) communities Irish would be the normal means of communication from the very outset, and their hinterland, with which they would necessarily be in constant touch, would be the ‘supportive community’, consisting of the vast majority of Irishmen whose main language is still English even though almost all of them are fond of Irish, many of them understand quite a bit of Irish and some have a modicum of conversational capacity in the language.”i

D’éirigh an Bord as an smaointeoireacht seo ag deireadh na n-ochtóidí, cé gur féidir argóint go ndearnadh athbheochan éigin ar an smaoineamh le blianta anuas leis an choincheap níos scaipthe “líonra Gaeilge”.

Dar le Fishman, ní ar an Bhord amháin a bhí an milleán:

“Unfortunately, these plans have most recently been abandoned entirely, partially because of inexperience on Bórd na Gaeilge’s part insofar as field, interventionist and local efforts are concerned (given the prior administrative/bureaucratic, promotional and national focus of the Bord) and partly because such efforts, even were they to be successful, seemed to compete with the local efforts of voluntary agencies who simply could not fathom and strenuously objected to the necessarily sustained community planning approach (rather than the ‘special events’ approach) that the projected ‘basic communities’ focus requiredii.

Mar gheall air seo, bhí Fishman den tuairim gur cailleadh deis chun cabhrú le seachadadh idir-ghlúineiii:

This failure is not merely a failure for Bórd na Gaeilge; the voluntary agencies themselves are implicated, as is public opinion as a whole. In returning to the status quo ante, the prior vicious circle has been returned to, the circle that requires language activists of all kinds to run harder and harder in order, at best, to stay in the same place year after year.

i Fishman (1991).

ii Ibid.

iii “As a result of this combination of difficulties, Bord na Gaeilge has returned to coordinating and facilitating ‘choice of Irish’ in the media, education and all government-related (and dependent) services rather than pursuing the new departure of building genuine all-Irish local communities whose pay-off could be intergenerational transmissibility.” Fishman (1991).

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