January 26, 2024
An Coimisiún Toghcháin must explain and apologise for wrong amendment wording – Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Sinn Féin’s Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD, who chairs the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Irish language, the Gaeltacht, and the Irish Speaking Community, has demanded answers and an apology from An Coimisiún Toghcháin following their publication of incorrect amendment wordings in their information leaflet for the upcoming referendums on the Family and Care on 8th March.

Sinn Féin is due to decide its position on the referendums in the next week.

The Sinn Féin spokesperson for Gaeilge, Gaeltacht, Arts and Culture said:

“This error by An Coimisiún Toghcháin constitutes a very serious breach of trust by our electoral commission. I am glad to hear that a corrected version of the leaflet is now being issued, but questions remain to be answered.

“I am calling on An Coimisiún Toghcháin to apologise to the people of Ireland for this mistake, and to provide answers as to how it arose. A tweet on X in English only is not sufficient, and given the error affected Irish speakers it is insulting that there was no statement in Irish to address it.

“This is not simply another instance of a state body badly translating something of little consequence from English to Irish. In this case, both the Irish and English wordings of for the proposed amendments were decided by the Dáil, and the commission’s job was simply to relay and explain those wordings to the public.

“The body charged with combatting misinformation appeared to have unilaterally substantially altered the Irish language wording of the proposed constitutional text in material published online,  intended to inform the general public.

“Words are the only thing that matter when it comes to a constitutional amendment, and getting them right is of the utmost important.

“Under the Constitution, the Irish text has primacy over the English in the case of any dispute over meaning, meaning that such an error would in effect mislead the public about the most important and authoritative wording they will vote upon.

“We need a swift explanation and apology from An Coimisiún Toghcháin if the body is to have any credibility and regain trust in what is the first referendum campaign since its establishment.

“As Cathaoirleach of the Oireachtas Committee on the Irish language, I will be requesting that the Committee arranges a meeting with An Coimisiún Toghcháin as soon as possible to get answers on how this was allowed to arise and what steps will be taken to ensure this never happens again.”

Teastaíonn míniú agus leithscéal ón gCoimisiún Toghcháin faoin fhoclaíocht leasú míchruinn – Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Tá Aengus Ó Snodaigh, Teachta Dála Shinn Féin agus Cathaoirleach ar Chomhchoiste Oireachtais na Gaeilge, na Gaeltachta agus Phobail Labhartha na Gaeilge, ag lorg freagraí agus leithscéal ón gCoimisiún Toghcháin tar éis gur fhoilsigh siad foclaíocht leasú míchruinn ina mbilleog eolais maidir leis na reifrinn atá beartaithe faoin Teaghlach agus faoin Chúram ar an 8ú Márta.

Tá Sinn Féin ag súil le cinneadh a glacadh maidir lena sheasamh sna reifrinn sa tseachtain seo chugainn.

Dúirt urlabhraí Gaeilge, Gaeltachta, Ealaíon agus Cultúir Shinn Féin:

“Sárú suntasach iontaoibhe atá san éarráid seo ag ár gCoimisiún Toghcháin. Táim sásta a chloisteáil go bhfuil leagan ceartaithe den bhilleog le scaipeadh anois, ach tá ceisteanna fós le fhreagairt.

“Táim ag fiafraí ar an gCoimisiún Toghcháin leithscéal a ghabháil le muintir na hÉireann as an botún seo, agus freagraí a thabhairt maidir le conas ar tharla sé. Ní leor tvuít ar X i mBéarla amháin, agus toisc gur ghoill an botún ar lucht na Gaeilge tá sé sách maslach nár tháinig aon ráiteas i nGaeilge ina leith.

“Ní díreach sampla eile é seo de eagras stáit ag déanamh drochaistriúcháin ar rud gan mórán tábhacht ó Bhéarla go Gaeilge. Sa chás seo, shocraigh an Dáil an foclaíocht Gaeilge agus Béarla do na leasuithe molta, agus ní raibh sé mar ról ag an gcoimisiún ach na foclaí seo a chur ar aghaidh agus a mhíniú don phobal.

“Bhí gach cosúlacht ar seo go bhfuil an eagras atá freagrach as dul i ngleic le mífhaisnéis tar éis athrú suntasach agus aontaobhach ar focla an téacs bunreachtúil molta a chur in ábhar foilsithe ar líne a bhí beartaithe chun eolas a thabhairt don phobal.

“Níl rud ar bith seachas na focla tábhachtach i gcás leasú bunreachtúil, agus mar sin tá sé rí-thábhachtach a bheith cruinn leo.

“De réir an Bunreacht, tá tús áite ag an dtéacs Gaeilge thar an Béarla i gcás aon coimhlint maidir le brí, agus mar sin dhéanfadh botún den chineál seo an pobal a mhíthreorú maidir leis an bhfoclaíocht is tábhachtaí agus is údarásaí ar a mbeidh siad ag caitheamh vóta.

“Teastaíonn míniú agus leithscéal láithreach ón gCoimisiún Toghcháin más mian leo seasamh an eagrais agus muinín an phobail a leigheas sa chéad feachtas reifrinn ó bunaíodh é.

“Mar Chathaoirleach ar Choiste Gaeilge an Oireachtais, beidh mé ag lorg go n-eagróidh an Coiste cruinniú leis an gCoimisiún Toghcháin chomh luath agus is féidir chun freagraí a fháil maidir le conas ar ligeadh dó seo tarlú agus cén céimeanna a nglacfaidh siad le cinntiú nach dtarlóidh a leithéid arís.”

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