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Sunday 4 December 2016

Des tells of surprise at 'as Gaeilge' tweet anger

Published 28/02/2012 | 05:00

At the launch yesterday of Irish language social network Abair Leat, are comedian Des Bishop with TG4's Sile Ni
Bhraonain, right, and Maire Treasa Ni Dhubhghaill. Photo: MARK STEDMAN
At the launch yesterday of Irish language social network Abair Leat, are comedian Des Bishop with TG4's Sile Ni Bhraonain, right, and Maire Treasa Ni Dhubhghaill. Photo: MARK STEDMAN

DES Bishop has spoken of his surprise that tweeting 'as Gaeilge' has drawn criticism from upset fellow Twitter users.

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"I'm a big user of Facebook and Twitter but when you post in Irish, people who speak Irish respond, but then everyone else makes passive/ aggressive comments saying things like, 'Why are you speaking this dead language?' and 'I don't understand' or 'speak English, please'. Irish is funny for some people, they get very upset," he said.

However, speaking at the launch of Abair Leat, the world's first Irish language social network, which only allows posts and comments containing a minimum 70pc Irish, the RTE star said: "If two people were posting in Polish, no one would ask, 'Why are you speaking in Polish?'

"But for some reason when Irish people do it, people can get a bit funny, when all it is are people who just like using Irish sometimes. This is what's wonderful about Abair Leat, it's a community for Irish speakers where you can learn more of the language," said Mr Bishop, who fronted the 2008 RTE series 'In the Name of the Fada', learning enough Irish to perform an entire stand-up act through the language.

Micheal O Foighil, founder of Abair Leat, yesterday publicly thanked Kildare-born David Martin, the CEO of US-based online business Fantasy Interactive (FI), for his help in creating the social media site for Irish speakers.

Irish Independent

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