Léirmheas & Taighde / Criticism & Research

Our Tangled Speech. Essays on Language and Culture.  Aodán Mac Póilin

Our Tangled Speech
Essays on Language and Culture
Aodán Mac Póilinn

Chaith Aodán Mac Póilin bunús a shaoil oibre mar Stiúrthóir ar an eagraíocht trasphobail Iontaobhas ULTACH, rud a thug léargas maith dó ar na ceisteanna atá á gcíoradh anseo. Tugann sé cuntas cuimsitheach agus léirsteanach ar na dúshláin chasta a bhaineann le haitheantas agus cultúr sa tuaisceart. Tá na hargóintí sna haistí seo a scríobhadh idir 1990-2011 áitithe go maith agus tá idir éirim agus greann iontu. Beidh an bailiúchán seo, atá ar uairibh conspóideach ach i gcónaí suimiúil, ina ábhar machnaimh agus caibidil. Fóirfidh sé don ghníomhaí teanga, an t-acadúlaí agus an gnáthléitheoir araon.

Ginearálta agus acadúil, léann teangacha, an Ghaeilge, Albais Uladh, mionteangacha, léann Eorpach agus teangacha, Stair pholaitiúil agus shóisialta na hÉireann, Stair an naoú haois déag agus an fichiú haois sa Bhreatain agus in Éirinn, léann an thraidisiúin chultúrtha, Stair logánta agus teaghlaigh Uladh.

Chaith Aodán Mac Póilin (1948–2016) a shaol ag saothrú i ngort na teanga. Bhí sé ina Stiúrthóir ar Iontaobhas ULTACH (1990–2014) agus ina ionadaí ar réimse leathan eagras, An Biúró Eorpach do Theangacha Neamhfhorleathana, An Chomhairle Craolacháin, BBC TÉ, Foras na Gaeilge, agus ina Chathaoirleach ar Chiste Craoltóireachta na Gaeilge.

People are rarely neutral about the Irish language. In Northern Ireland it is a topic which usually creates more heat than light. While attitudes have softened somewhat over the years, polarised views about the language are remarkably persistent. Historic and contemporary efforts to maintain the language have had varied success, but the key goal of creating new sustainable language communities, where inter-generational language transmission is the norm, has yet to be achieved. Building such communities requires the support and engagement of central and local government, broadcasters, educators and a wide range of other interest groups. It requires a shift in attitudes, appropriate language policies, an in-depth examination of our past and a willingness to learn from it.

This book seeks to address some of these issues. It provides a comprehensive overview of the Irish language revival north and south, examining its successes and failures. It gives a fascinating account of historical attitudes towards the Gael and examines the complexities of linguistic and cultural identity.

Aodán Mac Póilin, Director of the ULTACH Trust, a cross-community Irish language organisation based in Belfast, was uniquely well-positioned to answer these and many more related questions. He provides a comprehensive, insightful and thought-provoking survey of the challenging complexities of culture and language in Northern Ireland. These essays, written between 1990 and 2011, are well-argued, witty and refreshingly honest. This sometimes controversial but always compelling collection will illuminate and stimulate debate. It will appeal to the language activist, academic and general reader alike.

Aodán Mac Póilin (1948–2016) spent his life working with and for the Irish language. He was Director of the ULTACH Trust (1990–2014) and represented the Trust on a range of bodies including the European Bureau for Lesser-Used Languages, Colmcille, The BBC Northern Ireland Broadcasting Council, Foras na Gaeilge, and was Chair of Ciste Craoltóireachta na Gaeilge.


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