Monday, April 03, 2006

Ar dheis De go raibh a anam dilis

The good and concerned Steven asked me if I was okay. Thanks blog buddy, I'm doing just fine. Or at least I was doing fine, until the no-less-good Damien drew my attention to some guy wrangling out of a speeding ticket cos the Courts couldn't provide an Irish translation of the Road Traffic Act.

We probably think we are the smartest nation on earth. Our legal profession (a group generally known to consider themselves as the smartest among the smart) probably believe themselves to be the finest among the developed world. Our inherent ability to subvert the system is something that we take pride in. The Brits found us ungovernable and we will proudly remain so.

It is because we are so smart that we are unable to maneouvre mass produced vehicles along designated routes without killing and maiming large swathes of our population. I don't know the specifics about this case. Perhaps the defendent was unable to speak English and that Gaelige was his/her only tongue. But to be honest, I couldn't care if he could only speak a particularly rare colloquial version of a long forgotten Tibetan tongue.

Unfortunately your linguistic skills offer little in the way of protection when you are knocked down by a speeding car. The defendent, barrister and judge should all be forced to visit the family of a crash victim. It’s not like we wouldn’t be able to produce one at short notice.



Blogger Omaniblog said...

Well said. I could hardly believe my ears at first, then I thought again...

I wrote this to Damien's blog:

"Come on. Surely our constitutional right to conduct our affairs in Irish is much more important than a few people’s simple lives. After all, when people are dead and gone there will always be future generations who are entitled to their linguistic heritage.
This man was diving in Irish; he was on Irish roads; he had the Irish attitude to speed; he was entitled to an Irish hearing.
If he killed anyone, I’m sure there would have been an Irish funeral.
The fact that there are more Polish speakers in Ireland now doesn’t change the fundamentals: Irish lives deserve Irish. At least now he can go back on the roads and drive his Irish car in his Irish manner. Speed on Mac Gaeilge.

7:03 p.m., April 03, 2006  
Blogger Paige A Harrison said...

Omani, your argument is so persuasive, I think I might retract my post. That the driver was from Gaoth Dobhair and a life-long gaelgoir puts it all in perspective. That likely victims of his speeding would also be rare native Irish speakers is merely a coincidence.

9:39 a.m., April 04, 2006  

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