As an Irish language speaker, I don’t actually listen to Raidió na Gaeltachta that much. I don’t listen to the radio itself much. Things I listen to are generally audiobooks or podcasts, in English.
I switched on Raidió na Gaeltachta lately. It was an evening drive-time current affairs show. It’s good one (Cormac ag a Cúig).
The topic of the discussion was whether it was good enough that for the past several years the government ministers in charge of the Irish language and Gaeltacht regions don’t themselves speak Irish.
There was banter back and forth about whether Irish language speakers care enough to protest the state of affairs (the point being made that if you have a Minister of Finance who didn’t understand finance, it would be ridiculed).
One member of the panel voice the opinion that people have been resigned to the fact that this is how things are. Lives are busy “these days”, and it’s hard for people to find time.
The discussion turned political, with a representative of Conradh na Gaeilge being crisitised, pretty much, for not being more political in their advice.
The details of the discussion are not my point, though. My point is this: much of the discussions of public media in the Irish language are about the Irish language. It’s such a hot point that we can’t avoid these discussions.
And that’s how it is for small communities of minority languages (and cultures). They are forced to look inward at their own situation, while members of larger nationally-spoken languages take that for granted.
I just wanted to offer a peek into this subtlety of Irish Gaelic media. As a non-Irish language speaker, it can be hard to tap into these day-to-day practical discussions of life through the language.
If you have opinions about this, please leave a reply under this blog post.