Sunday, 20 October 2013

An Coimisinéir Teanga

Two of the three founding pillars of our wonderful bullshit banana repubic were the Catholic Church and the "Irish language".    The other one was their sporting wing, the GAA.  

The nuns and priests are on the run, cassocks and habits a-flapping.  

The other two are definitely still with us.   It might take another 100 years or so, but the De Irish Peeple, who voted to keep the Senate politicians in jobs,  will eventually get it and give them the bum's rush.  They're very sophisticated, you see. 

How about this, from a reader who works in the Civil Service?   

My  workplace Big Brick Building normally houses 400 – but in this recession this has gone down to 200. Our safety committee had dwindled but had re-convened: and decided to  do up the  internal safety signage of our Big Brick Building.

 Other signage throughout the building was also done up - since it had been drawn before the 2004 language act. However as internal offices changed rooms at times, not every office Had a sign ( eg Accounts office) on the door – most did not. 

So as well as safety notices, for example  "exit this way", they mostly contented themselves with putting new signs on each floor opposite the lifts - bilingually. 

I have no problems with this- even though office is squarely in central Dublin- and the public only use the ground floor...  therefore anyone getting to the remaining 5 floors are all Dublin-based English speakers.  However these signs duly went  up and some pointed out a "fada" in the wrong place on "Cead". 

What amazed me was when our admin staff came into my office and told us to take my home-made typed notice off the door: 

Parts of my Dept are re-organising  – and I am in one of the little set-up offices overseeing   the changes - a completely new office- so  to aid visitors  and service staff I put  up a notice:  "The ****** Transition Office’.   I was told to take it down as it  was English only.  The Irish Language Auditors were to be in the next day.  Of course they told me it was  OK to put it back up after they had gone!

So, better- NO Sign – in central Dublin - than one in English!

Compare the zeal of the Irish Language Auditors (!!!) - Nazis checking our Green stars are on - with the safety inspectors at Dublin city council.  Those who let Priory Hall pass due to ‘safety self-certification’- and it it took a suicide to force a solution. two Years Later……..

Of course the Irish language Nazis could also quickly fine us for any English only signs….. 

OK I don't know how often they issue fines- but the zeal of public officials doing a pointless job -  when safety in Priory Hall was never an issue...

If that poor man hadn't committed suicide he could have died instead in a fire there....

But  what  does all that matter?  Let's concentrate on matters important to Official Ireland and its career bureaucrats. Never mind the real issues, including many other Priory Halls that remain covered up or ignored.

Developers and builders are not subject, it seems, to regulations such as those described below.

Complaints & Investigations An Coimisinéir Teanga (The Irish Language Kommisar)
The Act provides for the imposition of a fine not exceeding €2,000 and/or imprisonment for a term of up to 6 months on a person convicted in court of refusing or failing to cooperate with or obstructing an investigation.

What''s "safety self-certification" in Gaelic, I wonder?

Developers can relax::  knowing they may remain less bothered about the placement of viable fire exits in their buildings than the Civil Service has to be with "fadas" on its internal signage.


Anonymous said...


anna said...

Thanks Ralph I must have a good listen to those clips- I am a civil servant with a Govt Dept_ I am from NI and am 11 yrs there_ I know more Irish after learning it for 3 yrs in grammar school in NI than most co- workers who did 12 yrs.After 11 yrs in the job I Never got a telephone call In Irish - and 2 letters: I translated letter 1 and answered in English. Letter two was more involved- I got someone to translate it for me, typed the translation and left that on file with the original- it did not invite a response, as it was a reply to a query i had sent. However the recipient of my response to letter one Could have reported me to the commission- I had sent that about 2003-2005, before this commission really began to bite: My dept occassionally now sends us reminders now to have the Few ( or any)letters recieved first sent to a translator to find out what in them(!)- and then the same translation translator would have to translate any reply drafted.

anna said...

However my Dept is mostly Dublin based- certain Govt departments who are regionally based ( eg local offices of Revenue and Agriculture) would be Far more likely to get correspondence in Irish- and after all people in Galway Kerry etc who DO have it as their 1st language do have a right to communicate in a language they feel comfortable in- IF they aren't genuinely bi-lingual: However the ridiculous instance shown above does Nothing to help the rights of people who Genuinely do NOt undertand English- well ACTUALLY THE ACT IS TO FORCE THE IRISH LANGUAGE ON PEOPLE WHO Don't have it as 1st language- most of us.However as i said my Dept for reason above doesn't usaully fall foul of Commissioner- so they have to try hard to find offence: 2 YRS ago, one office Was Reprimnded ( not sure if a fine was involved).Reason- this office reminds certain business sectors of a legal obligation by sending them an annual automatic computer generated reminder EG a letter a bit like a TV or car tax reminder)- it's pretty obvious what the letter is a reminder of- BUT a complaint was made to the Kommissioner anyway :
It IS Shocking the Zeal of these peopel with their meanigless jobs

anna said...

Re Priory hall: The solution Finally -after 1 man's suicide -was Dublin City council will take it off the hands of the unfortunate people who bought in good faith- after being sold a pup thanks to the Councils Hugely negligent safety checking - 10% of buildings or something like that ngs :( I Think in UK all buildings have to be checked- and even significant changes to existing buildings) .
So Council will now take on these peoples mortgages- and their banks will give them new ones for decent buildings- and the council will now upgrade Priory hall and use it for social housing- and this plan is Exactly what i Assumed would happen " YRS ago- as to me this was the OBVIOUS solution- as the council had a Duty of Care to those people- YET it took a Suicide to force a solution- a solution that was Staring ina the face of a Council that Refused to take responsibility- it wasnt the builder alone who was responsible. Incidentally when i first saw this on TV, the safety officer who was beign interviewed ( I think this was the whistle blower) seemed to have a NI accent- some how it often seems to take those born outside here to spot glaring ommissions. Yet it took 2 yrs and a suicide to bring a solution. X case- over 20 yrs and a death to force a change in law to stop pregnant women with a life threatening pregnancy from dying,
Let's hope there are no more deaths in bringing this country into the 21st century.

The Gombeen Man said...

We can only hope...

John said...

In parts of Tallaght they put up street names with out the Irish equivalent, on breech of the said act..could name where but will not.. as they are busy taking blonde haired children from Roma families there in Tallaght, so I read today. I am seriously worried about the mental state in Ireland at the moment

Nenad said...

Somebody smashed the front-window of the Ennis-Museum a few years ago. The costs were about €2.000, which was paid by the museum without any support from the council. But that was not the only thing the museums director was worried about. After visiting the damage the local inspector claimed something else: the signs in the museum were all in english only. They had to be replaced by english/irish ones. Therefore the inspector sent an email to the director written in irish. The director had to find somebody to translate. In the end he had to pay another €1.000 on top of the damaged window for the new signs.

The Gombeen Man said...

@ Anna, John.

Such regulations should be ignored for the nonsense they are. Before O'Cuiv's fascistic Language Act, Gaeltacht road signs could be bi-lingual.

Since 2005 they can be only be in Gaelic... much to the confusion of natives and tourists alike. The authorities used taxpayers' money to paint out the English and erect new signs at great expense.

A great example of waste and gombeenism in our public service.

@ Nenad. Good to hear from you, mate.

O'Cuiv's bill needs to be repealed. I notice all this nonsense started happening when Ireland became a country of inward migration... Subtle way of excluding and marginalising "blow-ins" I wonder?

DC3 said...

GM if this was 1999 even 2007-8 I would be surprised that the Fascist Mind Police, could implement up to 2000e or imprisonment for not "COOPERATING," I'm not now. "Actually" GM it makes sense as John says: "I am seriously worried about the mental state in Ireland at the moment." Whatever next GM, looking for your papers coming out of a housing estate? Zeik Hail.

Imprisonment, just think of that for a moment, your criminalised just because you don't bow to BS, and value your sanity. Dog, RTE Licence comes to mind.

Hick, cartoon logic.

The Gombeen Man said...

Yes, DC3. And while others get away scot-free with bankrupting and wrecking the country...

Priorities amiss somewhere there, one thinks.

anna said...

at long last it was announced there will be an end to civil servants who pass a proficiency test in Irish getting extra marks in promotion interviews later on- even if those IVs were usually conducted in English- AND this bonus effect went on for Several yrs after each proficiency test- at Last a bit of progress