Not long ago, plans to provide Dubliners with real-time signage indicating when buses were due had to be put on ice after complaints were made to An Coimisinéir Teanga (I think it means “The Language Kommissar”… there is no English translation of the title on the website).
This particular quango was set up to enforce Eamon O’Cuiv’s Official Languages Act, which stipulated that public signage and documentation must be in Gaelic as well as the spoken language of the country, English. Gaelic must appear first of course.
As a result, crank complaints from Irish language careerists and hobbyists must now be taken seriously, and bus-using Dubliners must stand at stops in ignorance of when their transport will arrive. The system, planned 10 years ago, would have used existing GPS data to inform those long-suffering customers of just how late their buses were running.
Now the HSE and the National Museum have also been reported as “being in breach of statutory language provisions” to the same quango (Irish Examiner, July 5th). What the breaches are it does not say. Maybe, in the HSE case, “Accident and Emergency Department” signs being too prominent in our hospitals?
I am sick of this, I really am.
A few years back ASH, the anti-smoking body, complained that forcing manufacturers to print health warnings in Gaelic and the vernacular would lessen their impact, as of necessity smaller point sizes would have to be used.
The Gaeliban – boosted by its very own Ayotollah O’Cuiv – is not interested in the practicality of signage as a means of communication though. It is interested in using State legislation to increase bureaucracy so it can further bolster its own industry.
The same Examiner article also mentions that “a report outlining suggested amendments to a review on the official languages act has also been published”, but no mention of what those amendments might be.
How about a complete repeal of the wasteful Official Languages Act, at a time when we can scarcely afford such an extravagance of Official Ireland nonsense?
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