Irish language

The debate on Ireland's future takes another stride forward

LEO VARADKAR: The former – and future – Taoiseach will be key to the development of a government strategy aimed at bringing about an Ireland where all will have the freedom to create a brand new society on the island
Robert McMillen

GO mBEANNAÍ DIA daoibh, hello to unionists and republicans alike, you’re all more than welcome to the Bluffer’s Guide to Irish.

The Bluffer was at the Ireland’s Future conference in Dublin on Saturday and a big word used was comhrá - conversation.

Well, actually, the word comhrá wasn’t used at all and the Irish language was conspicuous by its absence at the event apart from the odd mention and a rousing speech by Paula Melvin, Uachtarán Chonradh na Gaeilge - President of the Gaelic League.

In fact, the whole event and similar events happening across the country has been called a siopa cainte - a talking shop but the Bluffer believes this is a good thing because léirigh sé na fadhbanna atá le sárú - it exposed the obstacles to be overcome, moladh cuir chuige difriúla - different approaches were proposed, nochtadh easaontais - disagreements were discovered amongst those who are seeking Éire Aontaithe - a United Ireland or Éire Chomhroinnte - a shared Ireland or oileán comhroinnte - a shared island rather than one island with two jurisdictions.

People might complain that those in favour of a United Ireland haven’t a foggy notion of what it entails but events like Saturday’s at least have identified where the problems lie and once you can name a problem you can deal with it.

For instance, several speakers spoke of the idea of keeping a parlaimint - a parliament in the north.

However, when Leo Varadkar added that the north could also keep seirbhís póilíneachta - police service, it brought one of the few occasions of booing in the three-hour event.

However, it’s fair to say a lot of cur agus cúiteamh - debate about how the campaign for a United Ireland would be seen through a unionist prism.

Lou McDonald spoke of building “a home” for all to feel safe in and there were speakers at the Ireland’s Future conference who came from a unionist background but who had come to see the benefits of uniting all the people of Ireland, north and south.

James Nesbitt said that change has to come but it must come from the bottom up.

“Politicians may point to a political mandate giving them the power and responsibility to lead but people can only vote for what is in front of them on the ballot paper.

“I believe that it is time to ask wider society, outside of the ballot box, what way it wants to be governed.”

The former and future Taoiseach said, there was “a responsibility on all of us to ensure that our dreams do not become someone else’s nightmare.”
There, of course, is little chance of that if the tenor of the debate was anything to go by.

Most speakers talked about the need for a new constitutional arrangement which would include everyone in society – daoine faoi mhíchumas - the disabled, an lucht siúil - Travellers, daoine aeracha - gay people and so on.

Is díospóireacht é - it is a debate which will only grow in the years to come.


comhrá (coe-ra) - a conversation

Uachtarán Chonradh na Gaeilge (uakhtaraan khonra ne gayliga) - the President of the Gaelic League

siopa cainte (shuppa kiyntcha) - a talking shop 

léirigh sé na fadhbanna atá le sárú (layree shay ne fiybana ataa le saaroo) - it exposed the obstacles to be overcome

moladh cuir chuige difriúla (moloo kir higge jifroola) - different approaches were proposed

nochtadh easaontais (nokhtoo asayntish) - disagreements were discovered

Éire Aontaithe (ayra aynteeha) - a United Ireland 

Éire Chomhroinnte (ayra khoe-rintcha) - a shared Ireland

oileán comhroinnte (ilaan coe-rintcha) - a shared island

parlaimint (parlamintch) - a parliament 

seirbhís póilíneachta (sheraveesh poeleenyakhta) - a police service

cur agus cúiteamh (kur agiss cootchoo) - debate

daoine faoi mhíchumas (deenee fwee veekhumas) - the disabled

an lucht siúil (un lukht shooil) - Travellers

daoine aeracha (deenee ayraha) - gay people

Is díospóireacht é (iss jeesporakht ay) - it is a debate 

Irish language