A comment on cobber Chapple

Published in Early Modern History (1500–1700), Issue 2 (Mar/Apr 2008), Letters, Letters, Volume 16

Sir,

—Like Ian Chapple (‘Gaelic gripes’, Letters, HI 15.6, Nov./Dec.2007), ‘usually I read your magazine from cover to cover withenthusiasm and interest’. I fell on your excellent issue on Imeacht nanIarlaí/Flight of the Earls with extra interest. Although I was broughtup as ‘a monoglot Anglophone’, as Ian Chapple describes himself, unlikehim I did not find the articles in Irish ‘totally incomprehensible’.With a dictionary and the help of my teachers, I was able to learnsomething from both articles. My cobber Ian, rather than complainingabout History Ireland’s policy, might like to campaign for improvedteaching of languages in our sunburnt country. If Ian cares to comeover to our place (yes, Fitzroy may be too far away from him, you gaveno town or postcode for him, but you get the idea), we will throwanother prawn on the barbie, open up the computer and give him a lookat http://www.gaeilgesanastrail.com so he can think about trying thesummer school in Irish language at Rowsley, Victoria, or the winterschool in Sydney. From first-hand experience I can tell him thatlearning even a few words of Irish opens up a fresh window on thehistory of Ireland. As for your rate of four out of 400 articles inIrish in fifteen years, it seems a bit slack when compared with one ortwo per issue over seven years for some 45 issues of Táin, the magazineof the Australian Irish network.

—Yours etc.,
VAL NOONE
Fitzroy
Victoria
Australia

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