Thursday, November 12, 2009

Wolfe Tone, An Uaimh agus Euskal Herria

Wolfe Tone, An Uaimh agus Euskal Herria

New Media such as podcasting, blogs, or social media such as Bebo, Facebook etc. are changing how we communicate with each other.

These types of media are radically redefining the structure of communication in the world. Where once communication was top down and you only heard what you were supposed to hear now we have a flatter model. I can ignore RTE, ignore the Irish Times and not rely on Stephen Collins of Charlie Bird to tell me what to think.

In a way we are back to the era of the pamphlet - when any man or woman could, via a single press, spread their message outside the normal channels of communication.

When Wolfe Tone wrote his pamphlet about the rupture with Spain he was disappointed to see that it had less of an effect then he expected. But he himself was immediate witness to how it shook both the supporters of the foreign govt. and the Irish who stood with them.

An occasion soon offered to give vent to my newly received opinions. On the appearance of a rupture with Spain, I wrote a pamphlet to prove that Ireland was not bound by the declaration of war, but might, and ought, as an independent nation, to stipulate for a neutrality. In examining this question, I advanced that of separation, with scarcely any reserve, much less disguise ; but the public mind was by no means so far advanced as mine, and my pamphlet made not the smallest impression. The day after it appeared, as I stood perdue in the bookseller's shop, listening after my own reputation, Sir Henry Cavendish, a notorious slave of the House of Commons, entered, and throwing my unfortunate pamphlet on the counter in a rage, exclaimed: Mr. Byrne, if the author of that work is serious, he ought to be hanged.

Sir Henry was succeeded by a Bishop, an English Doctor of Divinity, with five or six thousand a year, laboriously earned in the church. His lordship's anger was not much less than that of the other personage. Sir, said he, if the principles contained in that abominable work were to spread, do you know that you would have to pay for your coals at the rate of five pounds a ton?

Those principles did indeed spread across this entire country and they are still spreading today. Just as Tone harnessed his ingenuity, creativity and passion for a Republic to use simple technology to force the pace of change via an independent, non-sanctioned media, then surely we modern republicans can follow once again his footsteps and do the same. There is an amazing legacy of independent media argiung for the republican cause in Ireland. This is just the next chapter.

In that vein I thought I'd look at two exciting uses of technology where political discourse is bypassing and ignoring the main stream media and instead doing its own thing and talking directly to the people.

The first is:

Ar Muin na Muice, agus Peadar Toibín - 12ú Samhain -

Is é Ar Muin na Muice an clár Gaeilge de Near90FM i mBaile Átha Cliath Thoir-Thuaidh. Téann sé amach gach lá i rith na seachtaine ag 5.30 i.n. agus bíonn sé a athchraoladh ag 9.00 ar maidin chomh maith. Bíonn sé le fáil timpeall na cruinne ar an idirlíon freisin ag

Tá na Comhairleoirí san Uaimh tar éis vótáil ar son rúin go mbeadh gach forbairt cónaithe nua sa bhaile ainmnithe i nGaeilge amháin. Chuir Comh. Peadar Toibín (SF) an rún síos agus labhair Darren Mac an Phríora leis faoi.

Tá an Podchraoladh anseo.

Basque Info

And the second inspiring use of new media is the Facebook group: Basque Info. They are dedicated to bringing news from the Basque world to the English speaking world.There Facebook group page states that "You can listen to Basque Info live today at 12pm on Féile FM 103.2 Belfast and tomorrow at 3.30pm on Near 90.3 FM Dublin. This week along with the news we'll be carrying out an interview with Basque analyst Inaki Soto."

It sounded like a very interesting discussion and unfortunately the broadcasts went out yesterday and today. I have not seen if they have them on podcasts but I will keep an eye out for their next broadcast. Did anyone hear it?

Their stated goal is to break the wall of silence imposed by the Spanish and French states on the Basque Country and its struggle for self-determination. Its a great idea and effective - there is good material on Herri Batasuna's new initiative and also details on the repression by the French/Spanish govts.

Its a great resource and if you are on facebook I recommend it. If you are not on facebook then what are you are waiting for :)

The only limitation to using such a media route is imagination and creativity. There are many exiting possibilities and its exciting to see new media coming to life.

1 comment:

  1. Agree with you here mo chara. the potentil of the internet etc to encourage discussion and promote alternative viewpoints is incredible. The problem is sort yourself through the masses of stuff available.