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social, cultural, environmental jusice

category national | miscellaneous | opinion/analysis author Thursday July 19, 2007 15:54author by herself Report this post to the editors

I have a problem with many activists- those who go on about social justice such as socialists often ignore environmental issues, likewise Greens and environmentalists tend to think social justice issues aren't that important- they are after all usually middle class.....

When will we realise these are inseparable?. You cannot bring about real environmental change without creating more equality around the world- the rich have a huge environmental footprint and the poor when desperate destroy the environment also (though not at all on the same scale) eg burning down the rainforest since feeding their families comes first.

However, almost everyone largely ignores cultural justice eg many activists don't regard the destruction of Tara as being as important an issue as Rossport- 'oh it's only an archaeological matter' blah blah.

Many activists on Indymedia scorn the Irish language which is a social and cultural justice issue. Gaelgoirí (ever notice the negative connatation that has?) have a right to speak (what is after all the first official language) and other countries take it for granted that national languages must be conserved and actively promoted. Yet in this country STILL we harp on about it having been forced down our throats in school, it being useless, pointless, English is now the language to be spoken and we're embarrassed by the language blah blah blah. Is it not time to stop the blame game and stop the tokenism?- 'yeah Irish should be preserved but so long as I don't have to speak it' or they put up some token signs in Irish but don't speak it. There will truly be a reival only if people start SPEAKING it (and not just the older generations). Irish speaking people can be found all over Ireland - yes they're thin on the ground but they're out there.

Finally, I'll end on this sad note- there are 25 native speakers (all quite old) left in Menlo (a village north of Galway which is actually now part of Galway). Therefore, of all the cities in Galway there are only 25 ppl left who speak Irish as their first language (Of course there are more if we include ppl who themselves learned Irish and passed it on to the kids but I mean here going back generations)
Why aren't these people brought into schools regularly to speak to children from a young age (before the shame and 'baggage' has a chance to develop?) The govt. should pay such people (who are a valuable resource) - of course the locals themselves must decide and the native speakers must agree and be enthusiastic- there have been enough bad policies dictated from Dublin telling people what they should do, but this in my opinion ought to be initiated before Irish is totally and utterly obliterated.

Can we at last start to value Irish?
Labhraigí Gaeilge súla mbeidh sé ró-dheireanach........

author by Vercingetorixpublication date Thu Jul 19, 2007 21:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There's more cultural history to Galway than many realise.

With all the talk just now about the Hill of Tara (which is absolutely necessary and extremely good of course), it would be all too easy to gloss over the Hill of Turoe area, and the planned new toll road (N6 Upgrade) that's scheduled to destructively plough right through the middle of it all - for no good reason whatsoever.

How many Irish people (at the present time) I wonder know about the powerful ancient Celtic links between the Turoe area of Galway and mainland Europe - as shown photographically at http://www.handofhistory.com/photos/thumbnails.php?album=1 ?

Related Link: http://www.google.com/search?q=Hill+of+Turoe&btnG=Google+Search
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