Pootsie the Gaeilgeoir


If you were watching the news last night, you’ll have seen the PSF delegation, headed by Grizzly himself, going to talk to our new culture minister, the DUP’s Edwin Poots, about the implementation of the Acht Gaeilge. I fear they didn’t get very far. Pootsie, as his performance over the national stadium saga demonstrates, is a master at buck-passing and stonewalling. The situation currently is that, of the 4000 responses to the original consultation, the overwhelming majority were in favour and only a small number hostile, which confirms my view that most Prods don’t care much about Gaelic one way or the other. However, since the issue became a unionist hot potato, another consultation was called, and the DUP was properly mobilised this time. But fear not – our minister holds out the prospect of taking some unspecified non-legislative action for Gaeilgeoirí, just as long as it doesn’t get him into trouble in the Assembly.

But it was encouraging that Pootsie managed the traditional cúpla focal, thus proving, as the minister joked, that he knows as much Irish as many nationalist MLAs. This is probably true – Caitríona Ruane is a good speaker, and Barry McElduff can (and frequently does) talk Irish till the cows come home, but that’s about it. There can be few more painful experiences than going to a republican meeting and hearing the speaker read out a Gaelic text that neither he nor 80% of the audience understands.

Rud eile: Readers will be aware of the Stormont Executive’s campaign to encourage inward investment by lowering corporation tax in Norn Iron. Now comes word that El Gordo has a better idea: lowering the minimum wage. It’s plausible, I suppose, that London workers should get a premium, but what kind of cracked redistribution is it to further lower the wages of workers in what is already the lowest-paid region of the ‘UK’?


  1. ejh said,

    July 27, 2007 at 9:48 am

    Is there actually any reason to think that the sort of high-powered overseas companies, whose investment in the North is being sought, would be paying minimum wage anyway?

  2. splinteredsunrise said,

    July 27, 2007 at 11:15 am

    Well, there’s a lot of talk about getting in high-powered finance and IT companies, but an awful lot of the boom is in the retail sector and call centres. Even in the public service there are quite a few people only barely over the minimum wage… so how regionalising the minimum wage would help us beats me.

    Or maybe it’s just spin. If the London minimum is being raised and we’re being dropped to compensate, it might make us feel better if the magic word “investment” is tagged on.

  3. Ciarán said,

    July 28, 2007 at 8:15 pm

    Poots may need an issue like this to help at the next party get-together. He preference that the multi-purpose sports stadium be built in Lisburn (his own constituency) has ruffled a lot of feathers with the DUP colleagues. Maybe he can win them over again on the Irish Language Act. During the first consultation process, the DUP submission included gems such as this:

    “The Irish language serves no communicative purpose in Northern Ireland, but simply the promotion of a political cause. An Irish language Act is divisive, would alienate the majority population in Northern Ireland and would be a complete waste of money.”

    And this was before they got all worked up for the second consultation process.

  4. splinteredsunrise said,

    July 28, 2007 at 8:26 pm

    Maybe Poots could talk to Jim Shannon about the positive impact of bilingualism on Airds Cooncil…

  5. pootsiepie said,

    March 19, 2008 at 5:02 am

    his name is Pootsie! haha pootsie pootsie oh pootsie pie.. i like to eat pootsie like fresh rye.. i like it so clean and i like it so wet.. ill eat all the pootsie like a fresh spaghett.. haha fuckin dudes names pootsie.. fuckin whackadoo..
    with a hug and a kiss and im out like this


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