Monday 19 March 2018

Irony lost in Sinn Fein translation

The party doesn't seem to know its Erse from its elbow on a range of policies from the Irish language to coalition, says Conchubar O Liathain

AT THE party's Ard Fheis last weekend, Sinn Fein redefined "bilingualism" as the ability not to use both the Irish and English languages, but as the tendency to speak out of both sides of the mouth at once.

Yes, of course, there was a lot of Irish spoken by party leaders and delegates on the sections of the conference broadcast by RTE. As an aside, conference is an inadequate translation of "ard fheis", whose actual meaning is closer to a night of debauchery than debate. Perhaps it was Sinn Fein's contribution to Seachtain na Gaeilge, which reaches its climax on St Patrick's Day.

Or maybe it was further evidence of what I regard as the leadership of Sinn Fein's real Irish language policy, which I term 'TUIL' or 'Tactical Use of Irish Language' in deference to the more well-known 'TUAS' or 'Tactical Use of Armed Struggle' policy initiated in the late Eighties.

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