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Chríochnaigh Foras na Gaeilge a chonradh le Foinse ceithre bliana ó shin.

Bhí an Foras míshásta maidir le díolachán, de réir cosúlachta. Thaitin Foinse go mór liomsa: bhí scríbhneoirí den scoth ag an pháipéar agus uaireanta fuair tú scéalta nach bhfuair tú i nuachtán ar bith eile. De réir mo bharúlasa, ní raibh Gaelscéal, an páipéar a tháinig ina dhiaidh, leath chomh maith is a bhí Foinse. Níor díoladh ach thart fá 1,400 cóip sna siopaí, de réir dealraimh. Ach tháinig Foinse ar ais mar fhorlíonadh san Irish Independent gach Céadaoin. Paipéar an-mhaith a bhí ann. Tá an ceart agat: aimsir chaite. Bhí fógra ar shuíomh Idirlín Foinse.ie an tseachtain seo caite ag rá nach mbeadh an t-eagrán clóite de Foinse ar fáil as seo amach. Tá seirbhís Idirlín Foinse ar fáil go fóill. Áis den scoth atá ann: tugtar sé no seacht bpíosa nuachta ar an suíomh i nGaeilge ghlan agus tugtar cuidiú do dhaoine nach bhfuil mórán Gaeilge acu. Rinne Emer Ní Chéidigh agus a foireann an-jab. Bhí cuma an-phroifiseanta ar an pháipéar bheag. Mhéadaigh an lucht léitheoireachta 350% ! Thosaigh daoine óga ag léamh nuachtán Gaeilge den chéad uair. Áis den scoth a bhí san eagrán clóite – áis d’fhoghlaimeoirí go háirithe. Ach anois níl nuachtán Gaeilge againn. Ní bheidh múinteoir Gaeilge ábalta nuachtán a thaispeáint dá rang le pointe a léiriú. An bhfuil tír eile sa domhan nach bhfuil nuachtán aici sa chéad teanga náisiúnta? Nach fimínigh muid? Nach ceap magaidh í Éire? Táimid ag lorg stádas oifigiúil don Ghaeilge agus nílimid in ann nuachtán seachtainiúil a chur le chéile fiú. Thiocfadh le foireann bheag – seisear b’fhéidir – páipéar maith a chur amach gach seachtain. Tá na scríbhneoirí againn. Ach tá siad dífhostaithe. An mbeidh glúin eile de scríbhneoirí Gaeilge againn? An bhfuilimid sásta leis na liarlóga Béarla? (‘No fun, no Sun’). Ar chaill muid ár ndínit ar fad? An rachaidh an Ghaeilge bóthar na Laidine: teanga bheo – ábhar scoile - cuid de staidéir chlasaiceacha – as radharc?

Foras na Gaeilge ended its contract with Foinse four years ago. It seems that Foras were unhappy with circulation figures. I really liked Foinse: the paper had first rate writers and sometimes it carried stories that you couldn’t find in any other newspaper. In my opinion,the paper that came after it, Gaelscéal, was not half as good as Foinse. Only around 1,400 copies of Gaelscéal were sold in the shops, apparently. But Foinse came back as a supplement in the Irish Independent. The new Foinse was a very good paper. That’s right: past tense. There was a notice on the Internet site Foinse.ie last week saying that the printed edition of Foinse would no longer be available. The Foinse Internet service is still available. This is an excellent facility: the site gives you six or seven pieces of news in very good Irish and there is help for those who do not have much Irish. Emer Ní Chéidigh and her staff did a great job. The paper had a very professional look. Readership increased 350% ! Young people started reading Irish for the first time. The printed edition was an excellent resource- particularly for learners. But now we don’t have an Irish language paper. An Irish teacher will not be able to show his class a newspaper to illustrate a point. Is there another country in the world that does not have a newspaper in the first national language? Are we not hypocrites? Is Ireland not a laughing stock? We are looking for official status for Irish and we cannot even produce a weekly paper. A small staff- perhaps six people- could put out a good paper every week. We have the writers. But they have no work. Will we have another generation of Irish writers? Are we happy to be reading the English rags? (‘No fun, no Sun’). Have we lost our dignity completely? Will Irish go the same way as Latin: a living language – a school subject – a part of classical studies - disappeared out of sight?