A new sense of empowerment was evident in the largest ever demonstration for Irish language rights in Belfast last weekend, as up to 20,000 people demanded overdue legislation to protect the rights of Irish speakers under British rule.
Tag Archives: Gaelic
By Lasair Dhearg
For more than six centuries, British policy in Ireland has been aimed at the destruction of the Irish language.Partition has failed the language in both the Twenty Six and the Six County states. Successive Free State governments have failed to support the revival of the language in any meaningful or practical way and have refused to support the economic development of Gaeltacht areas to the point of no return. British repression of the language has continued post partition with the foundation of the Six County Orange state where it has been continually treated with hostility.
Forty years ago today, Bobby Sands began his hunger strike. In order to fight Thatcher’s policy of criminalisation and secure their status as Irish political prisoners, he and his comrades were willing to fast until death. He died 66 days later, followed by nine of his comrades who made the ultimate sacrifice. In doing so, they changed the course of Irish history.
He recorded his thoughts for the first seventeen days, setting them down for as long his mind was clear. This is his hunger strike diary. Continue reading
The Church of England has been accused of anti-Irish racism after it refused to allow an Irish language inscription on a gravestone on the basis that Gaelic ‘can cause intense feelings’. The Irishwoman’s family wanted to include the words ‘In ár gcroíthe go deo’ [In our hearts forever] on the grave in Coventry. Continue reading
Some 15 years ago this day, the Inverness Oran, the community newsweekly on the west coast of Cape Breton Island, reported that the impoverished island, home to some 150,000 people, had decided to secede from the province of Nova Scotia, Canada. Continue reading
Today is the birthday of Bobby Sands (Irish: Roibeárd Gearóid Ó Seachnasaigh; 9 March 1954 – 5 May 1981) , an Irish independence fighter and Member of Parliament who died while on a heroic hunger strike along with other Irish Republican prisoners in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh prison in Northern Ireland in 1981. They were incarcerated for resisting both British rule and discrimination. Their hunger strike was in protest at the conditions they faced in jail, a brutal feature of colonial rule.
Sands joined the Provisional Irish Republican Army when he was 18. Shortly after he was arrested for the possession of four handguns found in the house where he was staying. He was tortured in the Castlereagh interrogation centre and sentenced to 14 years. After that he never saw a Christmas outside prison. He died at the age of 27. Continue reading
We are providing information on the background of the movement for Scottish independence, its background and the issues involved. This article by Tony Seed was published in Mac-talla, the annual Gaelic edition of Shunpiking, Nova Scotia’s discovery magazine, May, 2002, No. 42, and is slightly revised by the author for this publication.
IN accordance with the September 1997 referendum, Scotland now has home rule. Nearly three hundred years after the abolition of the last Scottish parliament, the country again has its own elected legislative authority. But there is no knowing if this stage will be Scotland’s last.
ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON reckoned that Calton Hill was the best place to view Edinburgh, “since you can see the Castle, which you lose from the Castle, and Arthur’s Seat, which you cannot see from Arthur’s Seat.” Here, below the hill in one of the city’s greatest buildings, the Grecian Old Royal High School, it was assumed for many years Scotland’s new Parliament would sit. Less than a year before the ﬁrst elections, the Scottish Office unexpectedly announced that a new building would be commissioned. Empty docklands were proposed. Ultimately the ideal location chosen was a disused brewery – in Holyrood, at the foot of the Royal Mile, neighbour to the royal palace – a site that satisﬁed no-one except the land owners and the royals. The parliament, which has been sitting in the Church of Scotland Assembly Hall, will move into this £200 million home soon. Continue reading
756 documented instances of discrimination of Irish speakers noted in the Irish Language Commissioner’s report for 2012
By Cuan Ó Seireadáin
(Feb. 13) – THE impending resignation of Irish Language Commissioner Seán Ó Cuirreáin on February 23 has sparked a wave of protest all over Ireland.
On Saturday, February 15 speakers and supporters of the Irish language will gather in Dublin to make plain their dissatisfaction with the Irish and Northern Ireland governments’ lack of response to Ó Cuirreáin’s criticisms of their policies. The protest is expected to be the largest public demonstration of support for Irish since the protests of the Gaeltacht civil rights movement in the 1960s. Continue reading
EDWARD CORNWALLIS was a military leader tasked with founding Halifax in 1749 as part of Britain’s strategy to capture all of North America and push France off the continent.
Edward Cornwallis was a genocidal war criminal whose attempted extermination of the Mi’kmaq people ranks as one of the province’s darkest chapters.
For 300 years, the debate over his legacy has raged. But until now, one person has been strangely absent: Cornwallis himself. No biography told his story and provided deep context for the events of 1749-1752. Jon Tattrie’s new book, Cornwallis: The Violent Birth of Halifax, uses Cornwallis’s own writing, and the writing of those who knew him best, to unearth the man buried by the controversy. Continue reading
We have received the following media release from James Cheecho and family, which we are reproducing for the information of our readers.
JAMES CHEECHOO will be visiting Aberdeen from 13-20 May 2013 on an exciting one-off visit to meet musicians and give performances and a workshop on the James Bay fiddle tradition and its historical connections with Scotland. This will be part of a two-week Scottish tour which will incorporate performances on the Isle of Skye and at the Orkney Folk Festival in conjunction with the 200-year anniversary of the explorer John Rae’s birth. James will be accompanied by his wife, Daisy, and his daughter Treena, on wooden spoons and drum. Continue reading
(Updated Jan. 22) The following obituary appeared in Cape Breton yesterday.
Joseph Peter MacLean
Hello, if you are reading this I am gone from the earth. I am here with my parents Charlie and Katie (Campbell) MacLean, also my baby sister Mary Margaret is here too. I never had a chance to know her on earth as she died when she was one and a half years old.
I lived for 67 years, it was a good life. I enjoyed playing music and speaking my beloved Gaelic — my native tongue. I played with the Boisdale Trio, the Cape Breton Fiddlers Association, made a CD, “Back to Boisdale” and had several trips to Scotland. It is great here, lots of Gaelic music too. Continue reading
Nova Scotia election and the Bard Dan Alec MacDonald – ‘tonight, she walks the streets with Yankees’
Fourth in a series of articles on the 2009 Nova Scotian elections by TONY SEED*
LOOKING at how the establishment parties – the Conservatives, Liberals and NDP – are behaving towards the people of Nova Scotia, one is reminded of the bard Dan Alec MacDonald of Framboise, best known for composing “Song to Cape Breton” (Òran Do Cheap Breatainn – the island’s “national anthem”). Continue reading
25 January 2009 marks 250 years to the day since Scotland’s national poet was born. PETER EWART* reflects on the legacy of Scotland’s celebrated bard whose polemics against the exploitation, injustice and oppression of his time enraged the establishment and won him enduring love from the peoples of all lands.
MANY PEOPLE IN THE MARITIMES have Scottish blood in them, and the same holds true for people across Canada, especially in parts of Ontario and northern British Columbia where I reside. Indeed, at one point in Canada’s history, Scots were the third largest ethnic group, and they have certainly played an important role in the development of the country.
A good number of these men, women and children are descended from the hardy Scots who were scattered to the wind in the 18th and 19th Centuries, sometimes driven out of their homes and forced off their land, sometimes imprisoned or exiled, other times leaving poverty and hardship, in search of opportunity and a better life. Continue reading
A REFLECTION BY TONY SEED
Mac-Talla, annual Gaelic supplement of Shunpiking Magazine, May 2006
THE 90TH ANNIVERSARY of the Easter Rising in Dublin and 25th anniversary of the H-Block hunger strikes in Belfast have become times of great celebration for the Irish people and are being commemorated throughout the world, including Canada. Activities include marches, seminars, public meetings, plays, films and exhibitions. The actions of those who stood up and fought for independence in 1916 and the courageous sacrifice of the ten hunger strikers who gave their lives in 1981 represent the best of Ireland. They typify a valiant spirit that has endured much suffering over the centuries of armed British colonial occupation. Continue reading