International body backs Irish language role

Graffiti in Belfast calling for an Irish Language Act

Language commissioners from six countries have supported a similar role being established in the North of Ireland.

Members of the International Association of Language Commissioners voiced their support in a letter to the Irish language organisation, Conradh na Gaeilge.

An Irish language commissioner was a key feature of previous proposals for an Irish language act.

However, the proposals have been politically contentious.

Language laws ‘strengthen not threaten’
The power of words
Both main unionist parties have opposed a standalone act, but other parties have supported calls for one.

The International Association of Language Commissioners is an umbrella body for language commissioners in a number of countries.

Eleven commissioners from Canada, Spain, Wales, Ireland, Kosovo and Belgium have signed the letter of support.

Five of the signatories are from regions of Canada, while both the Basque and Catalonian language commissioners from Spain have put their name to the letter.

Police standards
The principal role of an Irish language commissioner would be to promote and facilitate the use of the language.

They would also police the standards required of public sector bodies in delivering services in Irish.

The letter said that language commissioners brought many advantages.

“In our view language commissioners can be central in the protection and preservation of a language that is spoken by a minority,” it read.

Dr Niall Comer, from Conradh na Gaeilge, said that independent commissioners were vital in protecting language rights.

“Language rights and rights-based legislation are afforded to minority and indigenous language communities across these islands and indeed across the world,” he said.

“If anything we are the anomaly.”

A working group on rights, languages and identity has been established as part of the ongoing talks between the political parties at Stormont.

With many thanks to: BBCNI and Robbie Meredith NI Education Correspondent for the original story

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Jack (Blue) Barry (47), Barry was killed at Boadilla del Monte in December 1936. So he was one of the first Irish Diaspora to arrive, and die, in Spain !

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Australian Irish Republican History Project

‘Barry is dead. we clench our fists who know

He died for freedom on the fields of Spain.

His grave among those ancient hills will show

Eureka’s spirit lives and burns again.’

Second from right in front of the banner is Melbourne based Dubliner Jack William ‘Blue’ Barry who fell in action against the fascists at Boadilla 1936.

One of the first Irish into Spain, 47 year old Jack (Blue) Barry was a sailor and a member of the Communist Party. Although born in Dublin he had lived in Melbourne, Australia and it was from there that he travelled to Spain, arriving August 1936. He was initially in the Tom Mann Centuria in Barcelona during September. He transferred to the English Section, Commune de Paris, Batt. X1, Int. Brigade, Madrid Sector, Nov-Dec. 1936. There is some confusion over this units name as it is thought that it was actually called the Doumont Battalion after it’s commanding officer.

Barry was killed at Boadilla del Monte in December 1936. So he was one of the first Irish Diaspora to arrive, and die, in Spain.

Barry was not the only Australian to pay the ultimate price in defense of the Spanish Republic:

Ted Dickinson 13/02/1937

Harry Hynes 1937

Jack Newman Feb 1937

Percival Butler Feb 1937

James Stewart Feb 1937

John Burgess Feb 1937

Jack Kent (New Zealand) 31/05/1937

Jack Stevens July 1937

Ralph Baynham 1938

Cormac McCarthy 1938

John William Young July 1938

William Arthur Morcom Sep 1938

Kevin Rebbecchi Jan 1939

‘We will not forget their names

those that did their bit for Spain

Viva los Brigadistas!’

‘BIGGEST CYBER-ATTACKER’ WORKED IN VAN

‘The largest assault clocked in at 300 billion bits per second

A DUTCH citizen arrested in northeast Spain on suspicion of lunching what is described as the biggest cyber-attack in internet history operated from a bunker and had a van capable of hacking into networks anywhere in the country, officials have said.

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The suspect traveled in Spain using his van “as a mobile computing office, equipped with  various antennas to scan frequencies,” an interior ministry statement said. Agents arrested him on Thursday 25th April in the city of Granollers, 22 miles north of Barcelona, complying with a European arrest warrant issued by Dutch authorities. He is accused of attacking the Swiss-British anti-spam watchdog group Spamhaus, whose main task is to halt ads for counterfeit Viagra and bogus weight-loss pills reaching the world’s inboxes. The statement said officers uncovered the computer hacker’s bunker “from where he even did interveiws with different international media”. The 35-year-old, whose birthplace was given as the western Dutch city of Alkmaar, was identifed only by his initials : SK. The statement said the suspect called himself a diplomat belonging to the “Telecommunications and Foreign Affairs Ministry of the Republic of Cyberbunker”.

Spanish police were alerted in March by Dutch authorities of large denial-of-service attacks being launched from Spain that were affecting internet servers in the Netherlands, Britain and the US. These attacks culminated with a major onslaught on Spamhaus. The Netherlands National Prosecution Office described them as “unprecedentedly serious attacks on the non-profit organisation Spamhaus”. The largest assault clocked in at 300 billion bits per second, according to San Francisco-based CloudFlare, which Spamhaus enlisted to help it weather the onslaught. Denial-of-service attacks overwhelm a server with traffic, jamming it with incoming messages. Security experts measure the attacks in bits of data per second. Recent cyberattacks – such as the ones that caused persistent outages at US banking sites late last year – have tended to peak at 100 billion bits per second, one third the size of that experienced by Spamhaus. Dutch, German, British and US police forces took part in the investigation leading to the arrest, Spainish officials said. The suspect is expected to be extradited from Spain to face justice in the Netherlands.

With many thanks to : Irish News.