Jason Walsh on Irish as the elite language, just as in Wales, although he is wrong about Irish as a Catholic peculiarity in Northern Ireland, or as necessarily bound up with Nationalism.
His American readers probably assumed that, anyway. They might have appreciated, and benefited from, some mention, both of Nationalism's history of hostility towards Irish, and of the role of Unionists, notably Protestant clergy and the rector's son brought in as the first President of the Republic by the people who resented having been bounced into declaring it, in preserving the use of the old tongue. Yes, far more Catholics than Protestants speak Irish in Northern Ireland. But not many Catholics speak it.
Will elite status compromise the generous public funding of Irish? It has not had that effect on Welsh. Whether in London or in Brussels, the people who write the cheques do not have a clue.
And Jason Walsh again, on the impending announcement of a new party, economically and socially liberal, in the Irish Republic. What's that? Been tried before? What I want to know is, who is behind this? We all know who is behind the big three Irish parties as they stand. The Irish Labour Party in its present form, venerating the memory of James Connolly but sharing almost none of his objectives, is heavily funded by trade unions that exist throughout these islands and are headquartered over here. And that's just official funding.
Fine Gael and, if anything even more so, Fianna Fáil are not even takeovers early on, as in the Labour case. We can all see who was behind a merger in 1933 of the Blueshirts, Cumann na nGaedheal and the National Centre Party, complete with a commitment to Commonwealth membership (which in those days necessitated retention of the monarchy, and a very high degree of integration in foreign policy and defence), albeit for a United Ireland as the ultimate aim. Never mind a 1926 secession from Sinn Féin itself, which went on to hang the IRA. You see, there is always a price.
So, who is behind this new, neoliberal, neoconservative secession from, at least, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, and possibly Labour as well? Three guesses. And they would all be right. In which case, what is their price?